Welcome to Tom Talks, the talk show of the printed page. You know what the show lacks? It lacks a sidekick. I don’t even know what kind of sidekick I want. I’ll see what the budget allows and figure it out. Today we take calls only from South Carolina. Let’s go to the phones.
Tom, Dee from Kline.
That’s pretty cool.
You’re not. If P.J. Hairston of the Charlotte Hornets had attended South Carolina or Clemson you’d write that he should be kicked off the team. But, no, P.J. went to North Carolina, so you refuse to write what needs to be written.
Hairston has made so many vehicular errors that when he drives to the hoop he gets pulled. But he’s 22, he’s under contract this season, and nothing he’s done suggests he should be fired. I don’t care where he went to school.
Yes you do.
I know that many of you are hung up on the Tar Heels, and not all of you attended N.C. State. But I don’t care. Why would I care?
Tom, Darrell from Due West. You wrote this week that athletes such as Cam Newton and Rory McIlroy are entitled to play Australian Rules Football (Cam) and soccer (McIlroy). What about the fans who pay top dollar to see them? McIlroy ripped an ankle and deprived us of an opportunity to watch the world’s best player in the British Open.
Several readers told me the same thing. Athletes, like the rest of us, are more than what they do. What do you want to do, tell them they’re grounded? If it’s that big a deal, cancel your flight.
Tom, Lille (they call me the Hammer) from Norway. What’s your take on DeAndre Jordan?
Jordan told Dallas he wanted to play for them. But NBA rules prohibit the Mavericks from making the deal official. Meanwhile, Jordan’s former employer, the Los Angeles Clippers, sent a regiment to Jordan’s Houston home to convince him to come home. And he did. We can rip him. But we’ve all made decisions we’ve regretted. Most of us don’t get to take them back.
Tom, Sammy from Sullivan’s Island.
I love Sullivan’s Island.
The suspension of Greg Hardy, the former Carolina Panther, was reduced Friday from 10 games to four. Is that fair?
I defended Hardy after the domestic violence episode that ended his employment with the Panthers. I wrote that they had every right to offer him a contract. The evidence against him, I thought, was murky. I was wrong. The evidence the NFL uncovered removes any reasonable doubt. But Hardy’s transgression occurred before the NFL’s post-Ray Rice policy went into effect last August. That policy states that a first offense results in a minimum six-game suspension. Do it again and you’re out for life. So why engage in domestic violence? Why would you? Why would anybody? I don’t understand.
Tom, Arlene from Ulmer.
Ulmer sounds like a disease. How bad is it, Doc? Sorry, son. It’s your Ulmer.
How amusing. Hardy is overrated anyway, don’t you think?
I think he’ll have the best season of his career.
Tom, Ollie from Olanta. You’re kind of a dumb guy, so how about if Tom Talks includes a regular feature entitled: Dumb thing Tom did this week. What’s the dumb thing you did this week?
I called my doctor to schedule an EKG and, because of my basketball summer, I said I wanted an MKG. I wasn’t trying to be funny.