The Miami Hurricanes are finally in the ACC championship game. It’s about time, right? AL DIAZ TNS
The Miami Hurricanes are finally in the ACC championship game. It’s about time, right? AL DIAZ TNS

Tom Talks

Tom Sorensen's off-beat and often biting take on the world of sports

Tom Sorensen

Short takes: Hey, Miami Hurricanes! It’s about time U arrived ...

By Tom Sorensen

Correspondent

November 23, 2017 09:13 AM

The Miami Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004. And now, in 2017, they’re already contending for the national championship. No rush, fellows. Take your time. …

Every time LaVar Ball says something outrageous, people talk and write about him, which prompts him to say something even more outrageous, after which he again is talked and written about. I don’t even know what the guy does for a living other than live vicariously through his three basketball-playing sons. His second son was apprehended shoplifting in China.

You know how it is. If you travel with your UCLA basketball team to the other side of the world you bring a to-do list. (1) See the Great Wall of China. (2) Experience the Forbidden City. (3) Shoplift.

I’m afraid LaVar will be with us for a long, long time. Or maybe it just feels long. ...

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen used Carolina’s bye week to serve as a guest commentator in Minneapolis on Sunday for the Minnesota Vikings-Los Angeles Rams game. The Vikings complained, as did many of their fans. The Panthers play Minnesota Dec. 10, and who knows what inside secrets Olsen was able to uncover.

Although Olsen didn’t have access the other broadcasters did, he could have had fun with this. He could have worn a trench coat, preferably London Fog, pulled up to his neck. He could have worn dark glasses. He could have looked for secret stuff, and when he finished gathering intelligence on the Vikings, he could have turned his focus on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Minnesota played the Charlotte Hornets in Minneapolis in early November and beat them by 18 points. The rematch was Monday at Spectrum Arena. This was the day after Olsen’s guest announcing gig, and this time the Hornets won by 16. That’s a 34-point swing from the Nov. 5 game. Coincidence? Oh, sure. …

I didn’t watch Olsen provide commentary in Minneapolis Sunday for the Minnesota Vikings-Los Angeles Rams game. Come on. Are you really going to stay inside in Charlotte on a day such as Sunday?

But the people I talked to about Olsen, almost all of them Minnesotans, praised Olsen’s work. He’s smart, he likes to talk and he might be the best tight end in football. That’s a good start. ...

Guy on Twitter angrily criticized the NFL for allowing Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott to play. Could have been that Prescott undermined the guy’s fantasy team with his poor performance against Philadelphia Sunday night. More likely the guy confused Prescott with Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas running back whom the NFL suspended for six games, including Sunday’s. ...

Kyrie Irving has been superb this season, and his Boston Celtics had won 16 straight games before losing Wednesday night. Their 16-3 record is the NBA’s best. Irving pushed this offseason to leave Cleveland, which had been the Eastern Conference’s best team. Why did he want to leave? One reason is that Irving never would have been the best player on the floor, or even on the Cavaliers. They were LeBron James’ team. Irving now has one, too.

Being Boston’s best player has not enhanced Irving’s numbers. Last season he averaged more points and more assists, shot better from the field and from 3-point range. But winning? Irving and the Celtics so far have done that that better than anybody. …

I used to write a column an annual day after Thanksgiving column about all the things for which I was not thankful. Many of those things had to do with driving – not using a turn signal, blocking the left lane of the freeway, parking in a space reserved for the handicapped or in a fire lane or parking an SUV in a space reserved for compacts.

I’d like to add a new one. Slow down when you drive through a parking lot. A child about 4 years old ran right in front of my car outside Harris-Teeter. Fortunately, I have good brakes and was able to avoid him. The boy’s dad ran after him, carrying a toddler, and thanked me. If I had been speeding, my brakes would not have been enough.

Look. My car is fast. And I know it’s fast. I don’t have to prove it in front of the Harris-Teeter. The drivers that speed through parking lots appear to be trying to prove that their cars are fast. The Daytona 500 was run on the sand, but never in a parking lot. Please slow down. If you tell us your car is fast, we’ll pretend to believe you.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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