Tuesday Tidbits: July 19th Edition

Another installment of the column that nobody reads and increasingly less people care about.

Training Camp in 11 days
Panthers begin their first on-field activities in 11 days, and I can't wait. It's going to be hot – it's going to be nasty, sticky hot outside, but it's all going to be worth it, because football is BACK! We've made it through the off-season quagmire of Golf and MLB! It's finally here! I can see it! I can see it!!

Rookies
Still got a lot of rookies to sign. Seward signed the other day and Emanuel is close to signing as well. Word out of Mathis' camp is that there is nothing to report. I find it odd though that throughout the league there are very few 1, 2 and 3rd rounders signed as of this moment. Agents don't want to be the first guy to sign, because they almost always will be the ones to be criticized by the others as "the guy who set the bar too low".

This has gotten ridiculous. If there is one thing the NBA has done right, it's the slotting of the rookie contracts so that there is no fussing and no confusion when it comes to signing contracts. The NFL needs to figure out something creative to get these rookie deals done in a timely fashion.

Minter on Moving to FS
"I feel like I could move to free safety if needed. I think out safety positions are pretty interchangeable." -- Panthers SS Mike Minter, who may need to move to FS to accommodate first-round draft pick Thomas Davis.

Conner goes to jail, another former Panther behind bars
Former Carolina Panthers linebacker Darion Conner was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday for killing a bicyclist while he was driving drunk. Conner, who started all 16 games at outside linebacker for the Panthers during their inaugural season in 1995, was found guilty last week of DUI-manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

Conner played only one season for the Panthers before being replaced by Kevin Greene.

According to the Associated Press, witnesses testified they saw the 37-year-old Connor driving his Toyota Land Cruiser erratically before slamming into Jonathan Michael Conklin around 1:50 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2004. Prosecutors said the collision sent Conklin, 32, flying about 200 feet through the air. He died at the scene.

Investigators who arrived a few minutes later said they found Conner passed out behind the wheel with alcohol on his breath. His blood-alcohol level was tested at 0.27, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08.

It always makes me sick to hear that people have lost loved ones due to a drunk driver. Today in the Observer, there was a story about how an illegal immigrant slammed into a family's station wagon, killing the Dad and seriously injuring the mom as they were making their way to the beach for a family vacation. The illegal immigrant had previous convictions for DWI, resisting arrest and failure to appear in court, but yet was NOT deported – and now the poor children, ages 2 and 5 are without their dad and possibly their mom, who remains in critical condition.

This is truly a preventable tragedy – people, if you've had too much to drink, nothing could be more devastating then trying to drive. You put your lives and the lives of others at risk by doing so.

Freaky Premonitions of the week
I did have a couple… but my buddy BreakoutFan had some really good ones that overshadowed mine. His is modeled after Conan O'Brien's "in the year 2000" skit – queue the music!

In the year 2000…

Kris Jenkins will succumb to the medical condition known as ran sacking.....

Jake Delhomme will realize the potential of crawdads and come up with a new Gatorade flavor called "Lousianna Delight"...

and..

John Fox will discover that Dan Henning's play calling mechanism is actually a copy of Tecmo Bowl being played on a Nintendo Entertainment System. He will then order Dan Henning to upgrade to Super Tecmo Bowl on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Movie of the Week
So many movies this week…. Ok, not really. I did see one that is under-rated and seemingly thrown into the garbage can by the people that were supposed to promote it. ENVY, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Christopher Walken spent little time at the box office then went straight to DVD. Black invents a new spray named "Va-Poo-Rise" that makes doggy doo disappear when it's sprayed on it. Stiller is Black's best friend who declines joining him in the venture of his new invention, and when Black strikes it rich, Stiller has to deal with all the problems of missing out on a big thing. Christopher Walken plays a hippie bum who befriends Stiller in a bar and tries to get him to seek revenge on Black. It's not a great movie by any stretch, but it's not a total trash-canner either. If you are a Jack Black, Ben Stiller or Christopher Walken fan, this is a decent movie to watch on a weekend before football season starts, as there are some funny parts and situations that only Black and Stiller can pull off. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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