Monday, August 10, 2009

Norm's Top-5 Summer Highlights

Summer is almost over and I got to thinking…

When I look back on the summer of 2009, what will I remember? The economic downturn? Yes. Watching The Hangover four times in the movie theater? Yes. Rubbing my eyes as the US Soccer team was beating Brazil (2-0) in the Confederations Cup Final? Yep. The Bachelorette season finale? Not so much...

Join me as I countdown my Top-5 Niner highlights from the 2009 summer..

#5. For many businessman/woman summers in Charlotte just aren’t complete without fun times at Alive After Five at the EpiCentre after work on Thursdays. Anytime you can combine good food, good drink, good music and good people it’s a ‘good’ time. For the first time this summer the Niners made their presence felt at the after-work gathering as coaches and staff members convened on uptown hotspot to continually spread the work about Charlotte Athletics.

#4. Sometimes in sports the loser ultimately becomes the winner. Charlie Coley III lost the slam dunk contest in Detroit, but certainly caught the attention of many folks for if nothing else his insanely large head of hair. I always thought CC3 looked good in green. He is going to look even better in the red, white and blue. Getting drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters is quite an accomplishment. We will find out this fall if the man they call ‘go get it’ will be going to get a red, white and blue basketball instead of your run of the mill leather sphere.

#3. Baseball is a funny sport. The baseball first year player draft is a funny process. So many rounds, so many players, so many places to choose guys from. That’s why when a guy gets selected in the top six rounds it’s a truly special accomplishment. Atlantic 10 world-beater Rob Lyerly becomes the highest 49er to be drafted since John Maine, who other than a recent bout with injuries has had a very solid professional career. Lyerly was selected with the 195th pick and almost immediately signed and shipped up to Staten Island to play ball. Through 20 games he hasn’t hit any homers, but has seven RBI and 27 total bases. Lyerly was joined by Aaron Bray (Astros/27th rd) as the only two Niners to be selected in this years MLB draft.

#2. I hadn’t seen 5:30am in over four years. Typically when you roll out of bed in the morning some resemblance of the sun is suppose to greet you almost lifting you up out from the covers and straight to the coffee pot to start the brew process. Well, that WASN’T the case last week. But you know what, I didn’t mind it. An intimate gathering of 49er football fanatics parked themselves at Hendrick Acura off Independence Blvd. to rally and tailgate along with Wilson from Fox News Rising. I never knew Fox had a morning show, but again this goes back to my unfamiliarity with the pre dawn hours of the day. Though I was so jacked up I probably could have kicked the football through the oversized billboard goalposts we were rallying beneath. All morning long we cheered, chanted, ate, drank and even danced for 49er Football. Don’t believe me? Check out the vid.

#1. The headline could have read, “Former Charlotte golfer qualifies for 2009 US Open” and that would have been exciting enough. To watch a 49er compete at Bethpage Black against the best in the world was special enough. Then Trevor Murphy, member of the Niners 2006-07 NCAA 3rd place squad, goes out and fires a 2nd round (69) the included a birdie-birdie-birdie finish amidst the congenial New York faithful to make the cut and play on the weekend. (Due to rain delaying play, he actually finished his 2nd round on Saturday so technically played on the weekend, but work with me here.) Murphy’s weekend was less than desirable as he finished tied for 58th, but that one run in the 2nd had all the announcers gushing.
Thats the list. Golf at #1. Oh what a summer it was!
Honorable Mentions: Globetrotting Jon Busch makes presence felt in MLS and on US Soccer team, Lutz jumps to other side as member of media/color commentator on ESPN’s coverage of ASA softball, Tweeting. Follow me on twitter at @Charlotte49ers.

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