Monday, November 30, 2015

The Right Decision

I understand why Mark Richt was fired. To compete for conference and national championships it might be the right decision, but I don’t like it. I’m not sure greener pastures are ahead in Athens. But could things take a turn for the worse?
 
Sunday I quickly learned the decision had been made before the Florida game. A former player's co-worker spilled those beans on Facebook.
 
Active Coaches ranked by Winning Percentage
.847 100-18 Chris Petersen: Boise State, Washington
.845 142-26 Urban Meyer: Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State
.841 58-11 Jimbo Fisher: FSU
.792 168-44 Bob Stoops: Oklahoma
.778 42-12 David Shaw: Stanford
.752 182-59-1 Nick Saban: Toledo, Michigan State, LSU, Alabama
.746 132-45 Gary Patterson: TCU
.739 136-48 Mark Richt: Georgia
.737 98-32 Brian Kelly: Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Notre Dame
.730 92-34 Bobby Petrino: Louisville, Arkansas, Western Kentucky
.724 139-53 Les Miles: Oklahoma State, LSU (under fire for going 9-3)
 
All eleven coaches above have lost games this year. Most have lost more than one. Two of the 11 are in the hunt for the national championship. Half of the top ten padded their winning percentage at small schools. Others inherited winning programs at major powers. Richt inherited a mess at Georgia and won right away. But that was 15 years ago. Times have changed.
 
It is a foregone conclusion Georgia’s new hire will not have as winning a record (if any). Who will they get? Kirby Smart has never been a head coach before. Dan Mullen is 54-35 at Mississippi State, a .607 winning percentage (3-2 in bowl games). He is a good family man, a decent replacement for Richt. Could he take Georgia to the next level? With a Heisman candidate playing quarterback, State finished next to last in the SEC West. Ohio State’s former offensive coordinator Tom Herman turned Houston around in one year. He’s already spurned South Carolina and signed a new deal with Houston today. Would he accept an offer from Georgia? I’d rather have an offensive coach at the helm, but what do I know?
 
The people on social media wanting Mark Richt to be fired - most know just enough to have an opinion, but they’re leaving out everything they don’t know. Most never went to Georgia. “That’s not the way I wanted it to happen” said one fan who had long called for Richt’s firing. What did he want, Richt’s head on a platter? “I thought he would retire.” Would YOU walk away from the challenge, from a multi-million dollar job? Are these people mouthing off on social media even watching the games? Do they watch three games every Saturday? Watch the pregame? Listen to talk radio? Read the articles? Or are they going to dinosaur movies on Saturday afternoon?
 
Georgia Tech is just as guilty. Their fans just aren’t as rabid. Tech is far from the perfect environment for a student athlete. The Jackets use and abuse athletes just like any other school, then cast them aside when their eligibility is done. For any Tech fan (or any other school) to hold up their school as a paragon of virtue is just as ignorant. If Stanford or Northwestern or Duke can field a competitive team, there’s no reason the Jackets shouldn’t compete for the championship in the much-easier ACC every year. Six wins and a bowl game is nothing in the ACC.
 
It’s fun to watch the games. It’s fun to get educated about the team, about the season, to determine what a reasonable expectation is for the team. What isn’t fun is to read uneducated, often emotional responses on social media. In this new age I must find a way to better balance the good information and shield myself from the noise, from the clutter.
 
After the win over Tech, Mark Richt somewhat uncharacteristically quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 “Citizenship in a Republic” speech in Paris: It’s not the critic who counts. It’s not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or whether the doer of deeds could’ve done them better. The credit belongs to the man who’s actually in the arena, who’s been devoured. Win or lose, at least he wasn’t one of those timid souls that know neither victory nor defeat.” Fans read that, stop for a second – then go right on bashing.
 
UGA did not spend on the level as other SEC schools they competed against: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida. Until last year. The Dawgs were a step behind in facilities, recruiting, nutrition, strength training, and coach’s salaries. Fans complained for years about offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo, who finally left town for a bigger payday and head coaching job. His unproven replacement was awarded the salary Bobo deserved. By midseason fans were wishing Bobo had never left. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt came in from Alabama and shook things up, ruffling some feathers in the process.
 
Are SEC titles and national championships an unreasonable expectation? In the big bucks world of college football, certainly not. Winning at all costs trumps developing young men and graduating players. When you are paying a head coach millions and millions, ten win seasons and New Year’s Day bowl games aren’t enough. UGA is indeed an elite program. If the team fails to even compete against ranked opponents, something has to change. This I understand. But not like.
 
I do wish UGA success in their dance with the devil. I’ll try not to say I told you so.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Captain Who

Alex Hawkins made his mark playing special teams for the Baltimore Colts and Atlanta Falcons.
Also known as Captain Who, Hawkins grew up near Charleston and matriculated to South Carolina.
As an analyst for CBS, Hawkins was fired for saying Roger Staubach ran like a girl.
Hawkins wrote books about his career and life after football, that I need to read. He also published a couple of cookbooks.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ode to a Shoe

The Nike Air Zoom Turf Trainer recently made a comeback, honoring the great Barry Sanders' shoe of choice. The shoe has been on my mind ever since I recently stumbled across a pair. Since then I've seen the shoes gracing the feet on All Pro running backs, defensive backs, Super Bowl winning quarterbacks - even an NBA champion and a baseball player.
Two pair in this Barry Sanders photo.
Brett Favre wore them on turf (above) and grass (below).

Kurt Warner
Cincinnati Bengal Jeff Blake
Lebron wearing the good-looking all black Oregon model.
http://blog.finishline.com/2014/06/11/get-ready-for-football-season-with-the-nike-air-zoom-turf/

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Tradition

I did not know the traditional lighting of the Rich's great Christmas tree was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1961.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

UGA/Georgia Southern

UGA/Georgia Southern: Both Georgia Southern TDs came off turnovers. Lambert wasn't great targeting his receivers but wasn't the one fumbling neither was Richt. On the punt fair catch the official behind the return man blew his whistle when he thought the ball was caught. The announcers missed that. Good thing there was a replay. After UGA tied it Lambert celebrated like he'd just won the national championship, as opposed to tying the game against a heavy underdog. The Georgia Southern coach didn’t kick a field goal on fourth down in overtime. When they didn’t make a first down it was like the defense had given up. I knew GA would kick a field goal on 4th down after running it three times to get as close as possible. I’m not 100% confident in Marshall Morgan as a kicker. I guess GA wanted to break Southern’s heart a different way this time – by waiting until the end.
Before the game injured Southern player Devon Gates was at the game on the field in a wheelchair, and Richt came over and gave him a hug. Will was in the group of people on the field standing nearby, taking pictures.

I've said all year Deshaun Watson wasn't the greatest downfield passer on the planet. Two more interceptions against a terrible Wake forest team.

Tech's worst fear happened: Justin Thomas got hurt. It may have been a matter of time. You'd think the ground game would've worked in the rain but no. Highly doubtful GT can beat GA without Thomas. GT just doesn’t have the players. Now the top 2 QB’s are hurt – not sure Justin’s status for the UGA game. Paul Johnson says they’re not executing. Seems like when a player is stopped the refs should blow the whistle. Skov was stopped but Miami wrestled the ball away and ran for a TD. Skov really hasn't done much this year. No wonder he didn't play much at Stanford.

Ezekiel Elliott acted like he was the coach. A little too big for his britches. At least he apologized. And to thing some of the media wondered whether he should have. Of course he needed to.

Friday Ceil didn’t want to wait so she and M went on to IKEA. I ate at Cheeseburger Bobby’s again.

Saturday I loaded up the CRV full of stuff to take to Goodwill. M went along and bought a shirt. Stopped by a friend’s house to get some books – I probably took too many. Then gas and the library and Joseph A Bank to fit me and M for the wedding. Then Walmart and Taco Bell. Didn’t get back until the Clemson game had started. Watched it and then UGA and then OK/TCU – great ending.

Sunday was JFBC. Anna arrived home from Clemson. Ceil fixed lunch. Will arrived from Athens and Joel came over to watch the Falcons, fix coffee, and play music. I noticed the Bears game was extra cold. Dinner was with the small group: ham, roast beef, mac&cheese, sweet potato casserole, pigs&blanket, broccoli casserole, salad, cakes, and other desserts. Later I gassed up Anna’s Jeep and drove M to Norcross. On the way back we were going to drop off the CRV in the shop but something broke in the jeep. I was able to limp the 5 miles back to the shop without getting stranded. Turned out to be a broken spark plug. The CRV might need a new muffler.

Drove up to Chattanooga Monday morning and arrived at the office right at 8 am. Walked in and it seemed like all eyes were on me. I cracked them up when the first thing I said was that I was this week’s helper idiot. I followed up by saying that I was actually their Thanksgiving turkey. My fiend Danny from Birmingham is here as well as Leigh Ann, Roy, Taylor, and Dennis. Have been busy so far.

It was 32 degrees in Atlanta Tuesday morning. Will was out playing golf with David Norman and DJ Hoffer, the former high school basketball marvel. Will’s friend Connor Smith plays for Oglethorpe. This year he’s a junior and one of the veterans on the team. I went to a few games last year and hope to get down there for more.

With all the travel and hanging around I wouldn't make a good beat writer.

I was in Chattanooga until Wednesday. Accepted the trip and then learned all three kids would be home all week with no school. Looks like I'll be too busy to write any great blog content until Friday, so I'm just posted a few listed I had already typed up. Then last night I forgot my power cord so I couldn't write from the hotel. Trying to post something every day.

Busy in Hixson but I wanted to run down our meals:
Monday breakfast: Hardees biscuit.
Monday lunch: Zaxby’s salad
Monday supper: Chicago Pizza restaurant: 8” Hawaiian pizza, side salad. Appetizer was these pizza rolls (I had one).
Tuesday and Wednesday breakfast at hotel.
Tuesday lunch: Ruby Tuesday salad bar.

Tuesday supper: Boathouse Restaurant on river east of downtown. Very nice. We ate on the deck overlooking the river and downtown. Appetizers: onion rings (several), shrimp quesadillas (2), raw oysters (none). I had a chopped sirloin steak sandwich (excellent). It came with onion rings and French fries (great, but I did not finish). Danny ordered dessert which the four of us shared: ice cream brownie with amaretto.

One of Will’s former teammates was the number one starting pitcher for a small school up in the northeast. As a freshman the left-hander started 7 games and appeared in 3 more: 3 wins 4 losses 44.2 innings pitched 31 strikeouts 33 walks 43 hits 36 runs 13 HBP 4.63 ERA against teams like Gordon, Mitchell, Wesleyan, and Clark. For the season the team went 16-16.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Eli vs Super Bowl QBs

Twenty quarterbacks have started at least two Super Bowls. Thirteen are in the hall of fame, or will be for sure. I’m counting Brady, Peyton, and Farve as shoo-ins.  

Eli Manning is one of six QB’s who’ve won two or more Super Bowls without losing one. Four are in the HOF and one (Eli) is still active. Will Eli make the hall of fame? Playing in New York will help his case. So will his Super Bowl record. These two things cover a multitude of sins. Heck, Jim Kelly played in the rival USFL before losing four Super Bowls, and he’s still in the HOF.

Other borderline cases: Roethlisberger has won two of his three Super Bowls. Playing for the mostly successful Steelers strengthens his case. Hopefully the second half of his career won’t be injury-riddled, casting a shadow on his HOF candidacy. I’m thinking he will make it, but right now he is no lock. Kurt Warner played in three Super Bowls during his mercurial career, winning just one. The shortness of his career may keep him out. Unlike Eli, Plunkett mostly played on losing teams. HOF voters usually ignore such players, even if their accomplishments surpass those voted in who played on championship teams or in big cities.  

Seventeen of these quarterbacks account for 35 of the 49 Super Bowl wins. Eleven account for 29 Super Bowl wins.

4-2 Tom Brady, Patriots #12 future HOF
2-3 John Elway, Broncos #7 HOF
4-0 Terry Bradshaw, Steelers #12 HOF
4-0 Joe Montana, 49ers #16 /Chiefs #19 HOF
2-2 Roger Staubach, Cowboys #12 HOF

0-4 Jim Kelly, Gunslingers/Bills #12 HOF
3-0 Troy Aikman, Cowboys #8 HOF
2-1 Bob Greise, Dolphins #12 HOF
2-1 Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers #7 (active)
1-2 Kurt Warner, Rams/Cardinals #13

1-2 Peyton Manning, Colts/Broncos #18: future HOF
0-3 Fran Tarkenton, Giants/Vikings #10 HOF
2-0 Bart Starr, Packers #15 HOF
2-0 Jim Plunkett, Patriots/49ers/Raiders #16
2-0 Eli Manning, Giants #10 (active)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Celebrity MLB Fans

The Bleacher Report’s 2011 list of greatest celebrity fan for each MLB team, with many of my own additions. Some of the BR’s suggestions are contrived, with many being celebrities who happened to have thrown out the first ball or sang the national anthem.

Angels: Holly Madison
Astros: George H W Bush
Athletics: UFC fighter Randy Couture
Blue Jays: Drake, Arvil Lavigne
Braves: Jimmy Carter, Mike Mills, Lang Whitaker, Pearl Sandow
Brewers: Bob Uecker
Cardinals: Jon Hamm, Nelly
Cubs: Bill Murray, Vince Vaughn, Jim Belushi, George Will
Diamondbacks: Alice Cooper, John McCain
Dodgers: Ashton Kutcher, Alyssa Milano
Giants: the Grateful Dead
Indians: Drew Carey
Mariners: Macklemore, artist Dale Chihuly
Marlins: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long
Mets: Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Kevin James
Nationals: Paula Deen?
Orioles: Michael Phelps
Padres: Kendra Wilkinson
Phillies: David Beckham
Pirates: rapper Wiz Khaifa
Rangers: George W Bush
Rays: Dick Vitale
Red Sox: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Stephen King
Reds: Nick Lachey
Rockies: Southpark creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone
Royals: Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, American Idol David Cook
Tigers: Tom Selleck, Kid Rock, Charlie Sheen
Twins: Josh Harnett, Troy Polamalu, Jesse Ventura, Garrison Keillor
White Sox: Obama, mayor Richard Daley
Yankees: Billy Crystal, Rudy Gulliani


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Celebrity NFL Fans

From 2011: the Bleach Report’s list of celebrity NFL fans. Not sure how valid many of these picks are.

Bears: Jim Belushi, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey
Bengals: George Cooney
Bills: Donald Trump
Broncos: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Browns: Condoleezza Rice
Buccaneers: Dick Vitale
Cardinals: John McCain
Chargers: UFC fighter Chuck Liddell
Chiefs: Paul Rudd
Colts: David Letterman
Cowboys: Jamie Foxx
Dolphins: Marc Anthony
Eagles: Will Smith
Falcons: Usher, Evander Holyfield
49ers: Jennifer Garner
Giants: John Bon Jovi
Jaguars: Gene Hackman
Jets: Jay-Z
Lions: Eminem
Packers: Justin Timberlake
Panthers: model Brooklyn Decker
Patriots: Mark Wahlberg, Gisele Bundchen
Raiders: Tiger Woods
Rams: Nelly
Ravens: Josh Charles
Redskins: Mathew McConaughey
Saints: Brad Pitt, Harry Connick Jr
Seahawks: Drew Carey, Macklemore
Steelers: Adam Sandler
Texans: George W Bush
Titans: Vince Gill
Vikings: Al Franken

To come: similar NBA and MLB list, plus my reasons for posting them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Celebrity NBA Fans

Leave it to the Bleacher Report to list the greatest celebrity fan for every team. Here’s the 2011 NBA list, with a few of my own additions:

Bobcats/Hornets: Nelly
Bucks: Red Forman (That 70’s Show)
Bulls: Gene Siskel, Barack Obama (future owner?)
Cavaliers: Usher?
Celtics: Matt Damon
Clippers: Billy Crystal, Will Ferrell, Frankie “Malcolm in the Middle” Muniz
Grizzlies: the Tuohy family (The Blind Side)
Hawks: Lil’John, Jermaine Dupri, T.I., Bow Wow, Young Jeezy, Lang Whitaker
Heat: Jimmy Buffett
Jazz: American Idol’s David Archuleta
Kings: Tom Virtue (as Steve Stevens from Disney’s Even Stevens)
Knicks: Spike Lee
Lakers: Jack Nicholson
Magic: singer Tamia, Grant Hill’s wife
Mavericks: Mark Cuban, Jessica Simpson
Nets: Kim Kardashian (her ex-husband was Net Chris Humphries)
Nuggets: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Pacers: ex-Subway spokesman Jared Fogle
Pelicans/Hornets: Lil’Wayne, Harry Connick Jr
Pistons: Eminem
Raptors: Justin Bieber, Drake, Samuel L Jackson
Rockets: YouTube’s Back Dorm Boys
Sixers: Will Smith
Spurs: Eva Longoria
Suns: Alice Cooper (also the Coyotes)
Thunder: Sam Bradford
Timberwolves: Craig Kilborn
Trail Blazers: Elizabeth Banks
Wizards: rapper Wale
Warriors: Dusty Baker (when he managed the Giants)

This is the first time I ever typed the word Kardashian.

On all three lists there were 23 that I had never heard of.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Rookie of the Year

Sports Illustrated often publishes more than one "regional" cover each week. Not sure who is on the main cover this week: either Jeff Gordon or Todd Gurley of the Rams. Surely Gurley is in the covers in the St. Louis region, but does his cover appear anywhere else? Not in Bulldog territory – I received a Gordon cover. You'd think in the Southeast, where NASCAR is most popular, SI would send out the Gordon cover. That means Gurley's home state of North Carolina also got Gordon.

Thursday night C and M went to the premiere of the final Hunger Games movie. I want to see the Redford/Nolte movie A Walk in the Woods. I guess the R rating is for language. GT/GB: I was listening to the game on the way home.

All week I've been kicking myself for not buying a particular pair of shoes. They normally sell for $100.00 and they are scarce, so even if I hadn't liked them I could've sold them for a big profit. I'll never be able to find those shoes for such a cheap price again. Last night on the way home I stopped by three stores. The first store had the shoes in a kids size. The second store had an adult pair in my favorite colors: white/black/blue/grey. Even at double the price I was going to buy them - but they were size 14. Looked like boats next to my feet. At the third store I bought a different pair of shoes for M. We'll see if he wears them.

Spent some time Thursday and Friday working on my 2015 scrapbook calendar. I've about got it all filled up. Got my new 2016 calendar all ready to go for next year.

If it wasn't for my Chattanooga trip next week I would've taken off the 20th. Slept at least 15 minutes late this morning, because I've stopped setting an alarm. Went to Cheeseburger Bobby's for lunch. I will probably take off several Fridays in December.

Not much else going on this weekend. Sunday night we have our small group Thanksgiving dinner.

Wedding: I wasn't involved in the guest list. There were just a few people I made sure stayed on the list. I could check the list, but I really won't know who was invited until the wedding. I don't think I've even seen the invitation yet. Just a bunch of black envelopes. Ceil addressed all the envelopes, using a fountain pen. She might have even dipped the pen in an inkwell.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Grateful?

I've been doing my job for eight years, and work orders for fifteen. Kept the customer happy, pulling off miracle after miracle despite putting up with negative circumstances. Never invited to congratulatory banquets, golf tournaments, or retirement dinners for people I've worked alongside for 28 years (I was given a golf ball). I get to go to Chattanooga to answer questions while everyone else is on vacation for Thanksgiving - while all my regular work piles up. 

I can do without the banquets and the golf. It would be nice to not be taken for granted (and maybe get a raise every decade or so). Next I'm wanted in Charleston the week after I get back from Chattanooga. No matter what I say people don’t listen or understand. If I’m not at my desk working to resolve the next week’s potential problems there’s gonna be trouble. I can’t do that when I’m hundreds of miles away. The Ogre understood. So did my old boss Steve Apollo. 

Now that I've my little pity party - not even mentioning all our troubles at home - there's this: my family isn't the only ones sailing rough seas.

RH needs a new roof. Their driveway is settling, which is effecting the foundation of their house. They have one son in college and another who just got his driver’s license and a used BMW. Think of their auto insurance bill. And they just had us over for dinner.

LE’s son had another wreck. This after buying a second used car after the first was a lemon. Plus two kids in college. SW’s co-worker has cancer. My brother is out of work. One co-worker has to manage the affairs of an elderly relative in Florida. Another co-worker has to take dialysis every night. He’s on the list for a kidney transplant. His health is not good. And all I do is sit around not exercising.

Speaking of Steve Apollo, he had been very sick. He is retired and living down in Melbourne Beach Florida, surfing every day. Cancer had run in his family, and he came down with a cancer that attacked his immune system that put him in intensive care. He couldn’t receive visitors, which sucked because he’s such a people person. Finally he got well enough to go home.

A manager at work is having to pitch in with the clerical duties. It takes most of the morning for him to do one part and most of the afternoon to do the rest. That’s in addition to his regular 11 hour a day job. Other co-workers have it bad, being on the road plus more work than they can handle. At least I get paid overtime. Others co-workers also keep getting responsibilities heaped on their already overflowing plates. I rarely hear complaining, yet I complain all the time.

Climbing down the ladder: I used to be a manager with people reporting to me. Not any more. Down the road I could see me getting busted down to being a plant supervisor. Oh to be the beat writer for the Braves or Hawks or Falcons or Tech or Georgia. But those jobs require long hours and travel.  

At least I’m not one of those poor people in Paris.

Going to Chattanooga Monday morning. This morning I was checking on line to see where various restaurants are located near the plant and hotel. Where to stop on the way up and on the way back. Disappointed to learn the Dalton Fuddruckers has closed. Monday and Tuesday night I’ll probably have to eat out at a nice restaurant with several co-workers. Want to come?

Wednesday: The storm was passing over the office right at 6 pm when I was going to leave work. I wound up staying until 6:20. Traffic was so bad I stopped for gas to make sure I wouldn’t run out. Drove through Dunwoody to get home and made good time, though I was driving extra slow because of the rain and dark. Was turning right and waited to make sure a car with its left turn signal on actually made the left. It didn’t. Had I pulled out it would’ve creamed me.

Ceil cooked spaghetti and spinach. Watched Jeopardy and The Middle. For the second straight night I drove to Alpharetta to pick up Matthew. Tuesday was his Bible Study. Last night his school choir had sung downtown. Came home and watched Blackish and Seinfeld. We’re having a cleaning person come. I may have to take a vacation day to clear out all the junk so she can clean. Last night I discovered another hole cut in the wall – in the downstairs bedroom closet. The closets are empty and everything is out in the room. We have a bunch of Will’s stuff with nowhere to put it. Not sure how much he wants to keep. I doubt he’ll take everything to Oklahoma, so we’ll hang on to it until May.

After the Andrelton trade fans are madder than ever. You’d think they’d figure out the team is rebuilding like the Royals and Cubs and Astros did – playoff teams all. But most fans don’t read the articles. That would require effort. Much easier to complain on social media. The Cubs rebuilt, made the playoffs, and this week won manager of the year, rookie of the year, and the Cy Young Award. The Braves were never going to win the World Series with Uggla, BJ, Justin, Chris Johnson – even Andrelton and Gattis are one-dimensional.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Total QB Rating

Marquise Williams (above) continues to have a good senior season at UNC. He is the current ACC leader in touchdown passes and rush yards by a QB.

DeShone Kizer wanted to play quarterback at Clemson to be like DeShane Cameron, but Deshaun Watson was already there. Dabo is currently scouring the Southeast for any quarterbacks named Deshene, Deshine, or Deshune.
 
Ninety-third ranked Christian Hackenberg, hated by Penn State fans, is the 5th highest ranked NFL QB prospect.
 
Georgia’s Greyson Lambert is the fifth highest ranked SEC QB (second in the SEC East) – ahead of the starting QB’s at Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, South Carolina – as well as his replacement at Virginia.
 
Unless father and son play for the same team, I’ve decided to drop any silly “JR” or “II” or “III” that players have suddenly decided is cool. While I wouldn’t want my jersey to read “SR” it would be fun to have a jersey with a “I” after my name. Of course it would be more confusing than anything.   
 
For the Syracuse game Clemson designated long-snapper Jim Brown as team captain. Dabo told the press the significance was lost on the team, though center Brown understood and appreciated the gesture. Great Dabo article in Sports Illustrated. Someone commented Dabo > Richt. I wanted to respond SEC > ACC. Not sure Clemson can hang with Bama right now.  
 
1. 87.5 Seth Russell, Baylor (injured)
2. 86.1 Trevone Boykin, Texas Christian (injured)
3. 85.6 Deshaun Watson, Clemson
4. 85.0 Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
5. 84.6 Brandon Allen, Arkansas
6. 83.8 Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
7. 83.3 Kevin Hogan, Stanford
8. 82.6 Marquise Williams, North Carolina (above)
9. 82.5 DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
 
10. 82.0 Paxton Lynch, Memphis
11. 81.5 Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
12. 80.9 Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
16. 78.6 Greg Ward, Houston
17. 76.8 Jake Rudock, Michigan
18. 76.2 Connor Cook, Michigan State
20. 75.2 CJ Beathard, Iowa
23. 73.7 Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
 
24. 73.5 Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
25. 73.2 Cody Kessler, Southern Cal
26. 73.1 Vernon Adams, Oregon
31. 71.3 Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati
35. 70.0 Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
39. 68.4 Greyson Lambert, Georgia
41. 68.1 Brandon Harris, LSU
42. 68.0 Jacoby Brissett, NC State
44. 67.0 Lamar Jackson, Louisville
 
46. 66.2 Brad Kaaya, Miami
47. 66.2 Perry Orth, South Carolina
48. 66.1 Will Grier, Florida
51. 64.3 Jake Coker, Alabama
53. 62.4 Everett Golson, FSU (lost job)
54. 61.7 Matt Johns, Virginia
56. 61.2 Kyle Allen, Texas A&M (lost job)
57. 61.0 Eric Dungey, Syracuse
62. 59.6 Thomas Sirk, Duke
 
65. 57.5 Nick Arbuckle, Georgia State
69. 55.2 Patrick Towles, Kentucky
76. 54.5 Joe Hubener, Kennesaw State
83. 52.3 Cardale Jones, Ohio State (lost job)
93. 48.6 Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
97. 47.8 Brenden Motley, Virginia Tech
 
101. 45.4 John Wolford, Wake Forest
108. 40.0 Drew Lock, Missouri
109. 39.1 Johnny McCrary, Vanderbilt
110. 38.8 Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech: not the problem
113. 36.5 Kendall Hinton, Wake Forest
116. 33.0 Justin Holman, UCF: why O’Leary retired?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

SunTrust Park: What the AJC Leaves Out

The AJC continues to exclusively report only negative, even sensational, news and opinion about the new Braves stadium (and mostly favorable information about the Falcons new Dome). Yesterday the Atlanta Business Chronicle published two articles, one an interview with Terry McGuirk. It told what you’d never read in the AJC. A few quotes and tidbits:

In the first 9 months of 2015 the Braves had a $9 million increase in operating profit over the same period in 2014. Revenue fell but expenses fell more.

The payroll number is set by McGuirk alone. His team manages the Braves to break even. He sees Braves again becoming a top 10 payroll team with major bumps in payroll starting January 1, 2017. No plans to be like the Dodgers with a huge payroll. “The Dodgers operating theory is unsustainable. That’s what new owners do” (make mistakes).  “We don’t like to lose - period.” He’s never been in a better partnership than the one he has with Liberty. No, he doesn’t know how long Liberty will hold onto the team.

The Braves own 90 acres for future expansion. The team flattened the construction site. The Battery will have 550 apartments, a 9 story office building with a major tenant under contract (Comcast), a 260 room Omni hotel, and 20 restaurants. “We are going to be here for 30 years.” The mixed use component could produce $30 million per year in revenue, not including parking, sponsorships, advertising. The Cumberland commissioner has approved $1 billion in new building permits in the area. “We’re going to be able to spend more money on the ball team than people ever dreamed of.”

Opening night will be the most important MLB event in 2017. The Braves can pick their date – probably a weekend. Possibly the Sunday night national game on ESPN. “Parking will not be a problemwith 8000 – 10000 spaces.” (Turner Field has 8500 spaces).

Ticket sales – the Braves first started selling the higher-priced tickets. Turner Field has 400 premium seats. SunTrust will have 4000, and most have been sold. There will be plenty of relatively inexpensive seats, comparable to Turner Field.

ROB: I saw that interview in the Atl BC as well.  That was really good stuff.  I don't think they will trade Teheran or Freeman.  Hopefully we don't have to hear about that much longer.  Simmons is probably the greatest SS we have seen (since or before Ozzie).  However, due to his inability to hit or run very well, I don't think they are losing as much value as many fans think.

I saw a tweet today where Fredi was on MLB radio saying Olivera would play both LF and 3B.  I hope not.  My biggest complaint with Fredi is he gets carried away with this mixing and matching nonsense.  Put Olivera in one spot and let him get comfortable there.

ME: At Gwinnett Olivera had a strong arm but slung the ball from three quarters, making me fearful of wild throws. I chalked that up to poor mechanics/poor coaching from playing in Cuba. Andrelton might can get away with that, but not many others. The hard ground balls were eating him up at third. At second base he probably had more time to react, and make up for slow reaction with quickness and speed. I’m with you, leave him in one spot.

All last year the fans complained that Markakis wasn’t hitting many home runs. Now the same fans complain when someone on Twitter starts a rumor he might be traded. Jeff Schultz just adds fuel to the fire.

REID (on GT/Tenn): Tech lucky to have won. Some good things, shots that couldn't be made last year were made this year. Jacobs looked good, as well as Mitchell at times. However, two uncontested layups were missed badly, and Jorgensen was no help at all. Should not have been in the game at the end. I think he played the last 5 min when he definitely should not have been in the game.  Tech was favored by 4 and won by 2.  A W is a W !!!!  

Last year Tech had trouble making shots (3's, 2's, and 1's). Last night, I saw shots falling. However, they did miss 5 consecutive free throws near the end. Jorgensen couldn't shoot last year, and he couldn't make a basket last night. Missed 2 free throws near the end. He's so short on defense, they were shooting over him easily. Still can't understand why he was in the game at the end.

ME: I listened to a little of the game on the way home. Seemed like a case of GT only playing to the level of the opponent, swapping baskets instead of playing to the best of their own ability. All these players have been in games where they dominated their opponent. Seems like it’s those times when they play hard and go for the jugular. Then they get in real competitive games and they play more timidly. It’s the Jordans and Kobes who go out and dominate that win championships. Seems to be lacking during the current GT coach’s regime. As usual I say this knowing just a tiny bit of information.

I just hope those shots will keep falling when they’re playing ACC games. Last week I watched a short video of a team shooting nothing but threes. You don’t know if it was late in the game or what, but the team kept missing threes, getting the rebound, and passing out for another three pointer. They’d rather take an off-balance, contested three that pass inside to and open man inside the arc. Shots weren’t even coming close – some were hitting off the top of the backboard. After almost ten misses the other team finally got the rebound. With so many teams it seems like that’s what basketball has become. All guys practice is their dunks.

MONDAY: worked until six. When I left the office I called Ceil. She was out running errands. I swung by Perimeter Mall on the way home to drop off an employment application for Anna at Madewell, a clothing store she frequents. Also stopped by three Goodwill’s, Wendy’s for a snack, the library, and the bank. At the library I was just going to renew the Ken Follett book but someone had placed a hold on it, so I had to turn it in. Instead I checked out three more books, including a Johnny Carson biography. Didn’t get home until eight.

Sunday after church Ceil suggested we use a Pollo Tropical “two can eat for $9.99” coupon. I wasn’t crazy about the idea so I counter offered El Porton, where we could also eat for ten bucks. She took me up on my offer but added we should take Matthew as well. So much for a ten dollar meal. Then Monday night I arrive home at eight. I had grabbed a snack at Wendy’s so I wasn’t starving. I noticed no supper on the stove. Then I noticed two bags – Ceil had cashed in the Pollo Tropical coupon. I passed on the chicken but tasted the rice and black beans. Nothing to write home about.

At least three people here at work are coughing coughing coughing.

The UGA Health Center’s Student Health Advisory Committee launched a mental health campaign to provide students with free resources to help deal with stress. Their survey showed students felt stressed, anxious, tired, unmotivated, overwhelmed, unfocused, and unhappy. Sounds like adults, huh?  The committee conducted a free yoga session on the lawn. Doesn’t prayer help combat all those issues?