Panther Paw Prints - Early July Edition

With little news coming forth I have a short addition of Paw Prints for you this week and then a bit of commentary on blogging to follow that I think you will find interesting.

  • Lets start with a unknown rookie OT who has at least one fan in the area, Panther LT Jordan Gross:

Rookie OT Patrick Brown picks his spot
"We have the same agent (Ethan Lock) and he told me to take care of him (Brown) because he’s a guy with kind of a similar story to my own," Gross said. "I think he's definitely got potential. His head’s still spinning a little bit – as it is for all the rookies – but I’ve definitely been impressed with what I’ve seen so far."

Let's hope Gross' impressions are correct. Besides, I don't think Geoff Schwartz has the back-up job at tackle nailed down at all.

  • I always tell people coming to the Carolinas from the north that the heat and humidity takes some getting used to:

Darin Gantt's Panthers Blog | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC
I knew Juergens might be a short-timer here during OTAs. We spoke one afternoon walking off the practice field, when he was dripping with sweat and I wasn't far behind. Having been raised in Denver and playing his college ball at Wyoming, he wasn't accustomed to the heat and humidity, and couldn't believe Spartanburg was more damp, once I told him where Spartanburg was. "I can't imagine it being much worse than this," he said

So another snowbird melts in the summer heat!

That's all the Panther posts I could find worth discussing this week. To follow is a topic I've been wanting to post on but didn't feel it was worthy of a separate story. It is essentially the bloggers role in sports as compared to traditional media, that it can be a double edged sword as far as gaining acceptance. You may have seen similar discussions on other sites in this regard, most recently on Canal Street Chronicles and user Stugo4 which you can piece together the story starting here.

The issue is whether you want your favorite Panther blog to have access to locker rooms and sidelines and report similar to what traditional media does. OR...do you want objective opinions? The premise is that by gaining the access via club permission you in essence are checking your credibility at the door. I have to admit that if I was in the locker room talking to players and had hopes of doing it regularly that I would certainly be more careful in how critical of was of that player. Seriously, I admit I'm less likely to clamor for Na'il Diggs benching if I think Diggs might corner me in the locker room next Sunday wanting an explanation as to what was said on my blog. You think I'm being silly? Go to TC in August and when one of the guys is signing autographs by the fence after a hot practice ask him a critical question and see how it goes over."Hey Diggs, how come that rookie FB got the best of you on that 3rd down play? Better tighten up!" They can be pretty darn intimidating even when they are not trying to be. A probably better example is questioning free agent signings and draft pick strategy. If Panther management should take offense you might be on the outside looking in and I wonder if that is a Pandora's Box I do not want to open. Once getting locked out it would be hard to recover from that.

So you can see why I might be reluctant to wish for access like the Darin Gannt's and Steve Reeds. You will notice those guys are not as critical of the players or management as we can get on this site. Fortunately I can't get anyone with the Panthers to respond to my requests for access so I guess I'm kind of safe. Don't get me wrong, if I was granted access I would take it without thinking, at least once. I think I would take the 'fly on the wall' approach at first, just watch, listen and take mental notes. There is also the whole 'team secrets' thing that the team will most certainly be concerned about but I would have no problem not divulging specific plays and the such. Even with some stringent rules I think i could operate effectively in the locker room and on the sideline but without having to stick a mic in a players face and try to come up with some electrifying question. Yet I cannot say that it would not impact how I report what heard and saw while there for fear of losing the access.

So I guess in summary what I'm asking my readers is that if I should somehow start to get this type of access do you think it would affect my credibility with the readers of this site? I do admit I would probably be more careful with my words regarding players and management but I don't think I would become a 'tool' of the team like many people suggest. Do bloggers really need an arms distance from the team they are covering to remain objective? Try to put yourself in our shoes. I look forward to your comments.

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