Saturday, September 30, 2017

Run Like MADD 5K

This morning I volunteered for the Mercedes Benz Stadium 5K Walk Like Madd 5K Road Race, sponsored by the Falcons, United, and Atlanta Track Club. This meant arriving downtown on Peters Street SW at 6:15 am to pour thousands of water cups.
A group of kids from Decatur High School helped out. They didn't all know each other well, but it was heartwarming to see them all band together to work and have a good time. Even after the race they all pitched in to help clean up all the cups spread out over a city block.
While passing out water I kept an eye out for my coworker Jane, and luckily she spotted me. Deborah Light Painter also saw me, and stopped long enough to say hello. Also saw Falcons owner Arthur Blank shuffling along, not bad for a 75 year old. He smiled and waved when I shouted "Coach Blank!" Falcons President Rich McKay also passed by, at a much faster pace than Blank.
After the race I drove over to the stadium.
The last 50 yards of the race took place out on the field,
and many of the over 7000 runners were still there.
At the lower left the runners crowd up to exit up the aisle. 
The boxes were still stocked with beverages.
The view from a luxury box.
View from the Falcon logo at midfield.
I snuck off with some pieces of the field - the tiny chunks of ground up rubber laid out on the Field Turf for extra cushioning.
Hope I don't cause any knee injuries.
Arthur Blank's 49 year old wife Angela was the honorary chairman of the race, which benefitted Mothers Against Drunk Driving. There were many testimonials for students, adults, and police killed by drunk drivers.
Angela introduced a video by the Falcons long snapper,
who lost his friend Philip Lutzenkirchen,
the Lassiter High School and Auburn tight end who died driving drunk.
 Down in the east end zone, the O and N from the FALCONS.
 Looking up from the goalpost.
 Coke bottles on the mezzanine.
 The sound of jackhammers could be hear next door at the Georgia Dome.
If you look close you can see men on the roof,
in the spot where I saw the construction crane last month. 
 The Atlanta United Mercedes SUV looked better than the Falcons SUV. 
 Nice car. Ugly paint job.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Basketball Jones


College basketball: this morning on the way to work I was thinking about how I would have to read up on exactly what’s happening. I’ve heard a few headlines and heard bits and pieces, but not the whole story. Lots of coaches being fired as well as assistant athletic directors who took the bribes are quitting.
I am not a big Louisville fan. On the radio this morning they were wondering how long football coach Bobby Petrino will last since his buddy the AD has been fired. The new AD will be bought in to make sure the ship is clean. Petrino’s buyout clause is now reduced from $8 million to $4 million, making him a sitting duck. They’ll milk the Lamar Jackson cow another year. Petrino might have a year or two after that, but he’ll be on the hot seat.   

Makes you wonder if anything happened under the table to get Tech to sign with Adidas. Shows you just how little clout Tech’s deal with Russell Athletics had in the recruiting world. Hopefully the Jackets will show at least a slight improvement over the next few years. Goes to show you what a good coach Paul Johnson has been. Being able to remain in the upper half of such a competitive conference is more a tribute to his coaching ability and scheme than the quality of athletes he coaches.
Didn’t I tell you the whole “amateur” athletics world is soiled by grownups and corporations, from AAU basketball to Triple Crown baseball to the Little League World Series? East Cobb Baseball has contracts with Reebok and other manufacturers. Back in the day when I coached mighty mites at SPdL Don Head used to give me Cokes for free. Just kidding about that last part.

Frank Deford on sportswriting: “In the hallowed past we were more engaged in trying to reveal human nature, but now, because all the games are on TV or online, there is a natural disposition to endlessly analyze, dissect, and predict, to enlarge minutiae. No wonder a whole profession didn’t detect steroids; we were too busy studying the animal entrails of drafts.”   
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver probably knows players are going to protest, so he’s sending an early message for several reasons: (1) let the players know what his position is, so they’ll have that in the back of their mind when they consider protesting (2) let the fans know what his (and the NBA’s) position is so they won’t be mad and not buy tickets, and (3) let the media know what his position is so that when players protest, the media will already know.
Some say there are polls showing the majority of the public is against the NFL anthem protests because that would be a win for Trump. Like Frank Deford said, the media has stopped reporting the news and instead give their own biased opinions, in an effort to change what people think.  
Wednesday: I worked till six last night. Ceil had driven to Augusta, so I took the long way home. Stopped by three stores. Bought a pair of shoes. Got home just before eight. Watched the Braves and Designated Survivor.
Thursday night I watched The Orville and several episodes of Seinfeld. Packaged three eBay shipments. M went out with friends.
Tomorrow morning I’m working a water station for the race downtown. The station isn’t in the best part of town, but I should be ok to hike down to the Falcons stadium afterwards, then across the street to the college football hall of fame. Then home for GT/UNC, GA/Tenn, and Clemson/Virginia Tech. For volunteering I get a ticket to Tuesday night’s Atlanta United soccer match.
With C out of town and not many leftovers in the fridge, I’ve had to plan ahead on my meals.
Wed lunch: grilled chicken
Wed supper: yogurt, corn salsa & chips, cinnamon bread
Thur breakfast: cereal and yogurt
Thur lunch: breaded chicken
Thur supper: Arbys turkey sandwich
Fri breakfast: Chickfila chicken biscuit
Fri lunch: Moes burrito
Fri supper: Arbys roast beef sandwich
Sat breakfast: Chickfila
Sat lunch: Arbys chicken sandwich
Sat supper: quesadillas, popcorn
Sun breakfast: cinnamon bread
Sun lunch: Arbys sandwich
Sun supper: Cuban restaurant with Matthew.
Growing up when I did, I had no idea what military service commitments were like. I knew that several years there might be a Braves player who had to miss a week or two during the summer to fulfill his military service.
Realized I own eight pairs of black and white sneakers. Gotta take a picture. Need to sell five of them.
Nike golf spikeless wingtips
Nike running shoes
Nike Huarache cross trainers
Reebok Furys (sell)
Reebok basketball shoes (sell)
Footjoy spikeless golf shoes (sell)
Adidas Sambas (Matthew’s to sell)
Crocs loafers (sell)
Continuing with the list theme, I think I have more UGA apparel than Tech. Maybe the same amount.
UGA red Nike long sleeve tee
UGA black Nike coach’s shirt
UGA red heavy jacket
UGA black baseball tee
GT navy Russell jacket
GT navy Russell t-shirt
GT yellow Russell cap
GT white/gold cap
Clemson orange Nike coach’s jacket
Clemson orange pullover
Clemson white t-shirt
Clemson orange cap

Darryl passed away about a month or two ago. Back in late January he was laid off. After that he drove for Lyft and loved it. He was on the kidney transplant list and took dialysis at home 4 or 5 days a week. He’d been fighting poor health for so long that he was pretty much worn out and too tired to keep fighting. In July he got a staph infection in his arm and was in the hospital for 2 weeks, then was released. A week later he wasn’t feeling good and went back to the hospital for another week. He lost consciousness and they had to revive him. The next time they weren’t able to revive him. Bill and I went downtown to the viewing, along with a few others.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Week 4 Total QB Rating

 I love looking at these ratings every week, to see how the supposed golden boys are doing. Also the QB’s of upcoming opponents. It’s funny to hear announcers talk about how great a guy is when I know he’s ranked one hundredth in the nation.
Baker Mayfield (above) should win the Heisman. He’s been ranked near the top for the past three seasons. Mayfield makes football look easy. But he won’t win the Heisman. The media has already decided Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will win. Barkley is having a great year, though he hasn’t had the career Mayfield has had.
After a big game against Pitt, Georgia Tech’s Taquon Marshall cracked the top ten. Georgia’s Fromm and Tennessee’s Dormady are evenly ranked, though their teammates will decide Saturday’s game.
1. 93.2 Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
2. 89.1 Mason Rudolph, OK State
4. 85.9 Jalen Hurts, Alabama
5. 83.9 Ryan Finley, NC State: riding high after FSU win
8. 82.6 Will Grier, West Virginia: Florida could use him
9. 81.6 Stephen Johnson, Kentucky
10. 81.4 Taquon Marshall, Georgia Tech
11. 80.1 Kyle Shurmur, Vandy
16. 77.1 Lamar Jackson, Louisville
17. 77.0 Nick Fitzgerald, Miss State
19. 74.5 Jake Browning, Washington
21. 74.0 Sam Darnold, USC
22. 73.7 Kelly Bryant, Clemson
24. 73.3 Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech
26. 73.1 Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
27. 73.0 Jesse Ertz, Kennesaw
29. 72.1 Josh Rosen, UCLA
33. 71.0 JT Barrett, Ohio State
37. 70.6 John Wolford, Wake Forest
41. 69.6 Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame
42. 68.7 Malik Rosier, Miami
44. 67.5 Danny Etling, LSU
46. 66.7 Kurt Benkert, Virginia
52. 64.8 Trace McSorley, Penn State
53. 63.6 Jake Fromm, Georgia
54. 61.8 Quinten Dormady, Tennessee
56. 60.9 Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
58. 58.8 Shea Patterson, Ole Miss
62. 58.1 Jake Bentley, South Carolina
63. 58.0 Zach Smith, Baylor
64. 57.6 Sam Ehlinger, Texas
69. 53.4 Eric Dungey, Syracuse
71. 53.0 James Blackman, FSU
73. 51.9 Austin Allen, Arkansas
75. 51.3 Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
76. 50.3 Feleipe Franks, Florida
78. 49.7 Anthony Brown, Boston College
82. 48.0 Daniel Jones, Duke
84. 47.8 Conner Manning, Georgia State
97. 43.0 Drew Lock, Missouri
101. 42.0 Brett Rypien, Boise State
104. 37.5 Shane Buechele, Texas
109. 32.7 Wilton Speight, Michigan
115. 27.7 Max Browne, Pitt
126. 05.5 Shai Werts, Georgia Southern

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Gift of Music

My new Sunday School teacher’s lessons are simple and to the point, which is great.  We split up to pray in pairs, and later break up to discuss the verses in small groups as well. Like me, he doesn’t like to be around people in the service who aren’t singing.
Ephesians 5:19 …addressing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
Brian on music: “I believe the evil one has so greatly distorted the amazing gift of music, not only in the purpose of music (taking what was created as a means to glorify God and corrupting it into a means to glorify self), but also in believers' passivity in seeing music as entertainment. Music is not meant, firstly, to be for our entertainment. Primarily, music is a gift of God for our expression of praise and thanksgiving. We are meant to be active participants in music. Music is meant to draw our hearts to Christ and make them soar with delight in Him. It is also meant to build up one another and encourage one another through congregational singing.”
To me music is ok, and I enjoy singing along in the car, but if I had my pick I’d be listening to “talk” – a book on CD, sports talk, a baseball game, or a news station. At home I’d rather have the TV on, even if I’m in the kitchen or in and out cleaning up. My favorite part of the church service is the sermon. Worship music is ok, but I’d rather be in a traditional service singing hymns.
Another story from Brian. He’d been on a mission trip to a certain part of Africa. He said the best part was the worship. The men were big manly men, but during worship they sang loudly and worshipped without inhibition. Seems like if there are constraints on worship, then the worship wouldn’t be as rich and full of an experience as it should be.
My friend John just wrote about how sin used to be talking during worship, missing church, or not keeping the Sabbath holy. We’re just know peeling back the layers and acknowledging that not loving other races is sin, or not serving those in need.
The Johnson Ferry worship team released an album of original worship songs, so the Sunday services all revolved around that. Videos of the worship leaders hamming it up on one of their two semi-annual retreats. Instead of a sermon they sat on couches ala The Tonight Show while another staff member interviewed them. When it became clear what was going on a few people got up and left. But people come and go throughout every JFBC service, especially in the gym. Many people make no effort to enter the gym before the service has started. Some leave early, not caring that their shoes clomping on the temporary grandstand and wood floor is a huge distraction to others. 
North Point and Passion have been releasing CD’s of original worship music for years. They will publicize the music and perhaps make a big deal in the evening service, but they never go to the lengths JFBC did. North Point makes a priority of making the most of every worship service They never mail it in or take it easy. If Andy isn’t there they bring in someone just as good, or one of the associates preaches a message on the same sermon series topic.

But JFBC has more of a “home church” feel, like SPdL did back in the day. Several of the worship leaders and many of the associate ministers are home grown. Services spotlight youth returning from choir tours and mission trips. We’re slowly getting more involved. Might be time soon to finally move our letter from SPdL. Not looking forward to taking the new members class.

JFBC is doing a great job serving refugees. They take in refugees coming into the country – this week they’re helping out natives of St. Croix who were displaced by the recent hurricanes.     

Every year Passion City Church puts on a weekend event for all their volunteers. Usually they hold it there at the church, but this year they had it at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium. PCC is a big customer of the Stadium Authority, since they’ve been renting out the Georgia Dome every year for their Passion Conferences. PCC usually brings in big time speakers, like Chickfila’s Dan Cathy. This year they brought in tennis legend Stan Smith to speak.
Anna’s friend’s father Gary works for Adidas in the tennis division, so he attends all the major tournaments. I’ve seen several photos of Gary with Stan Smith. Gary attends PCC, so I’m sure that’s how they got him to speak. Friday night while I was at the Braves game Ceil and Matthew ate at El Felix in Avalon. Gary was there eating with Stan Smith.

Charles Stanley recently turned 85.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Protest What?

Long Monday. Got hit late with a project to redo, so I stayed an extra 30 minutes. Ceil had gone out with her friends, so I made a couple of stops on the way. It was almost eight when I got home. Warmed up some leftovers and checked what was on TV. I didn’t want to watch the ESPN MNF pregame, but a few minutes later I realized the national anthem might be newsworthy. Both the Cardinals and Cowboys handled it admirably (compared to some other teams). 
The Cards had invited the Cowboys to join them locking arms with military veterans, but Dallas wanted to stick together as a team: players, coaches, front office personnel, and owner Jerry Jones. They all locked arms. Just before the anthem was played, all the Cowboys took a knee – Jones included. The crowd booed. Some of the players still had on their helmets, which I thought odd. Perhaps they didn't want to show their faces. Then after a couple of seconds, with arms still locked, they all stood up again. Helmets were removed, and the anthem was played. Then they played football.
Soon pictures of the Cowboys kneeling started popping up on the internet. As expected, they were taken out of context. “Jones and Cowboys kneel for anthem!” People were outraged – at fake news. I saw a headline earlier in the day saying head coach Mike Tomlin had bashed his offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva for being the only Steeler to come out for the national anthem – but nowhere in the article was the assertation justified (or even discussed). Just the media stirring up more strife. Now Villanueva has the top selling jersey. Good for him.
Yes, NFL owners could fire protesting players, but they won’t. The owners know that would only make things worse. A couple of weeks ago only one NFL player protested during the anthem. But after Trump’s comments the owners had no choice but to stand with their employees.
Like so many newsworthy topics these days: politics, terrorism, etc., protests by NFL players are creating division, rage, confusion, disunity, division, and strife. There’s an entire portion of the population (older whites) that have no idea what the protests are about. Others trying to correct the ignorant aren’t getting it right. I’m not so sure myself. Since these protests sprang from the race riots and protests, it’s not entirely farfetched to say these NFL protests trace back to billionaire George Soros’ plan to bring down the United States – a step toward the organization of a one world government.
Laugh if you will, but look around. White privilege has turned into white supremacy. History is being torn down. The goal? Tossing out the US Constitution. Hey, it was written by slaveowners. We can't have that!
There has never been so much division and strife in our country. While our taxes are used in relief around the globe, like so many Americans the rest of the world is growing ever more dependent on US dollars to stay afloat. Yet these same people hate everything the United States stands for, figuratively biting the hand that feeds them. The division and strife just grows and grows.
Maybe this what it was like back in the 60’s. Generations at odds with each other, not listening or understanding what the other has to say. Sure, the American flag and the national anthem deserve respect. So does the right to protest. So many war veterans understand that. Older fans have a right to boycott. Someone suggested the fans shouldn’t pay attention, and instead walk around the stadium. That happens already! Fans would have to quit watching and buying tickets, though season tickets and long-term TV contracts will make any immediate impact hard to feel. With paperless tickets, fantasy sports, and online wagering, the NFL has already moved on to the younger generation. And not just the NFL – there are 8-year old peewee teams protesting as well (wonder where they got the idea?).
Where does it end? Will the anthem stop being played before games? If so, the protesters win. Last year Sports Illustrated ran an article about when and why the anthem was played to begin with (to energize the crowd and stir patriotism).
In a related note, there was a good non-judgmental article in Sports Illustrated about the status of the read option in the NFL, the play that launched the NFL careers of Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, and Colin Kaepernick. All five came into the league after running more than passing in college. Four had won the Heisman, but none came with arms ready to be a drop back passer in the NFL. Their pro teams had to develop special plays to use the skills they had will the QB’s worked to become drop back passers. Tebow’s delivery was too slow. Young refused to run the option, but couldn’t pass. RGIII suffered injuries, so he could no longer run. Newton was big enough to take the pounding, and had the arm to become a serviceable NFL QB – but he still has his limits.
At first Kaepernick was surrounded by a strong O line, good running backs, and a stellar defense to hold leads so passing wouldn’t become necessary. His transcendent game came in the playoffs, vaulting the Niners into the Super Bowl. The next season he played ok, but the team was falling apart. Relying on his legs, Kaepernick never made the leap with his arm. Seventy yard runs became seven yard gains. Head coach Jim Harbaugh left, and the defenses were able to shut down Kaepernick and the weaker Niners. Of the five QB’s, only Newton remains in the league.
Russell Wilson came into the league with a pro arm. He was a passer first, running the read option just enough to keep the defense on its toes. Last year he played hurt, and only ran the option about once per game.

Monday, September 25, 2017

College Football Roundup

Guy from Ceil's hometown got married this weekend. He's an interesting fellow to follow on social media. Works for his father's company. Serves as the company pilot, flying his father and other employees to meetings across the country. He's been known to fly to Myrtle Beach for dinner. Whenever he gets a new toy or takes a trip he posts it on social media. Has a red Camaro, a big pickup, one of those three-wheeled half motorcycle half convertible Spyder things, a new house with a gate and a recently sodded lawn. Added a home gym because his fiancé likes to work out. Has tripped to Disney, got engaged in Italy, got engagement photos taken on Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach, had his bachelor party in Vegas. Following him is like watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Saturday the guy got married. At 2 am Sunday morning the guy posted a picture taken from the back of the crowd, of the wedding party standing in front waiting on the bride to walk down the aisle. His comment: "Was a sold out show. Time of my life. Love you all." No picture or mention of his beloved bride. UPDATE: He posted plenty on their honeymoon.

Four of my nieces and nephews attended the wedding. They had to miss the Clemson Boston College game. One nephew hadn't missed a home game in years and years.

Coming off their emotional road win at Louisville, Clemson did well to pull away in the fourth quarter from BC. The Eagles always play hard, and had the score tied going into the fourth quarter. No shame in the 34-7 win. Some fans think their team should win every game 50-0, but that's just not possible.
Good experience for QB Kelly Bryant to face a strong pass rush, and have to overcome adversity. His two interceptions were both tipped. This week isn't any easier: Virginia Tech on the road. Clemson suffered a blow last week when their kicker went down with an injury. Saturday the backup missed an extra point. This could become the Tigers' Achilles heel.
A nice Saturday to bum out and watch football. Tech kicked off at 12:20, Clemson at 3:40, and Georgia at 7:30. C was worn out from the tight Clemson game, so we didn't go over to the Hall's to watch Georgia. After missing last week's game, Anna attended the Mississippi State game. We had leftover taco meat so I made myself quesadillas for lunch and supper.
Tech couldn't have had a worse start. Pitt took the kickoff and quickly drove the field to score. Tech got the ball and fumbled it away. Later Pitt scored on an uncontested 80 yard punt return. All the Tech players ran to the ball, instead of spreading out to cover the field. But the defense held after all four Tech turnovers. The offense ran off huge gains. Take away those early TD's and Tech wins 35-3. Won't be so easy Saturday against North Carolina.

On the 80 yard Pitt return big 6'1" 239 pound Pressley Harvin III looked like a punter trying to tackle the punt returner. No Billy Lothridge or Adam Vinateri is Harvin.
Georgia looked good again. Everything bounced their way, even when State tried to score as the clock ran out. Freshman sensation Jake Fromm went 8-8 in the first half and finished 9-12, with two drops and a throwaway. SEC expert Paul Feinbaum dubbed Georgia a team that could beat Bama. Let's hope they get the chance. Hopefully the Dawgs can continue their strong play in Knoxville, probably the national game on CBS. The Vols barely beat UMass, but they'll be hungry come Saturday.

Many wonder what will happen when Jacob Eason recovers from his sprained knee. My hope is that Kirby will be Saban-like in his decision. Where Richt might've given the job back to Eason, I think Kirby will stick with Fromm. Last year Eason barely beat Missouri. Saturday Auburn trounced them 50-something to nothing.
Nice to see kicker Ricardo Blankenship nail the 49 yard field goal with ease. Most of his kickoffs sailed deep into the end zone. He's always had the leg - perhaps this year (or this week) the coaches have decided to kick it deep. Something else fans don't know - sometimes coaches want their kicker to kick it short, for the chance to make the return man fumble.

Not a huge surprise the NC State beat FSU. The Noles almost came back. The Pack will be ready for Clemson to visit on November 4.

Florida got lucky again. Kentucky thought they had it won. Then the Cats twice failed to cover deep, and the Gators had two easy scores. Florida went to third-string QB Del Rio. Hopefully the lack of a consistent QB will finally do in Florida, and their luck will run out. Plenty of time for them to get the offense going before Jacksonville.

With the Winter Olympics being held in a few months, I wonder if American athletes will use the opportunity to protest. Could make for a dreary Olympiad.

Guy on the radio said Carmelo Anthony was a hall of famer. Do you agree?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

NFL: Keep Your Head in the Game

I am thankful for my job. Sometimes I forget that, and do things that maybe I shouldn't. But nothing like some of the things I'm seeing on NFL fields today.

Trump continues to speak his mind, something the Constitution gives him the right to do. Not that it's the best thing to do. He's making more and more people mad. This results in more protests. Which people have the right to do. But watching highlights of today's games, perhaps the players should spend less time protesting and more time concentrating on the game.
Several instances of a lack of hustle by handsomely-paid players, by a Bengal and Bear Marcus Cooper in particular. Cooper made a great play, running a blocked kickoff back. But as he neared the goal line he slowed to celebrate - and a Steeler prevented the touchdown by knocking the ball out of his hands. A shameful lack of effort.  
Lots of people picking Tampa as a playoff team. But if Winston keeps throwing interceptions, the Falcons won't have much to worry about.

Carolina's Cam Newton also threw several interceptions in the Panthers loss to division rival New Orleans. Then Newton showed up at the postgame press conference in a mad hatter outfit and sunglasses. perhaps not the best time to put on a show - he should've done that on the field. These days more and more media members are jumping off the Cam tram.

To comment on Trump's tweet downing NFL players, thoughtful Seahawks DB Richard Sherman re-tweeted a Trump tweet from months ago. Perhaps one of the best protests I saw all day.
Then Sherman went out and got called for three penalties - on one play. Later he was called for hitting Titans QB Marcus Mariota out of bounds (below). The Seahawks lost.
Rookie QB Deshone Kizer threw three interceptions in Cleveland's loss to the Colts, dropping the Browns to 0-3. Some questioned how much of the playbook he had mastered. In the postgame press conference Kizer (below)was asked about the protests, and his response had to be bleeped out.  
The Broncos' Von Miller drove Bills QB Tyrod Taylor into the ground, then was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for extending his hand to help up Taylor - before pulling it away at the last second. Tyrod laughed at the linebacker's joke, but the official didn't think it funny. Perhaps a little extreme.
In Washington DC the up-and-coming Oakland Raiders wanted to stay in the locker room during the anthem but couldn't, so many players sat on the bench with locked arms. QB Derek Carr's first pass was intercepted, and the Redskins promptly drove downfield to take the lead - on a botched defensive play by Oakland. In the second quarter a Kirk Cousins to Vernon Davis pass extended Washington's lead to 14-0, and the Skins went on to win the game.

One of the league's highest-paid wide receivers is Odell Beckham. Today the LSU product showed his worth, catching two touchdown passes from Eli Manning. After his first TD, Beckham voiced his displeasure test by shamefully acting like a dog taking a whizz "cuz I'm a dog" reasoned Beckham (he should've used the goalpost like a tree).
His second touchdown celebration evoked Olympian John Carlos' protest in Mexico City.
But the Eagles had the last laugh: their rookie kicker Jake Elliott nailed a 61-yard game-winning field goal to beat Beckham and New York.
Contrastingly, a Chiefs rookie raced for a long touchdown. Instead of celebrating he turned and pointed to his teammates, for without their key blocks he wouldn't have scored. Similarly, the Falcons Taylor Gabriel also skipped his TD celebration to credit teammates.
The good: players and owners and coaches joined together in unity against the president's unjustified comments. Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin had perhaps the most impassioned postgame speech, reminding us winning teams are made up of players of different races, backgrounds, and religions coming together to overcome adversity, like Trump's slurs and the anthem protests. Tomlin said his team would not be divided. In Chicago his Steelers were one of three teams who stayed in the locker room during the anthem - with the exception of one player: a decorated Army Ranger veteran.  
As usual, NBC's Football Night in America's crack crew covered the issues of the day with clarity and precision. Tony Dungy may be the conscious of the NFL, and he did not disappoint. But unlike many of the players, Dungy did not go overboard with his disapproval, nor did he lower himself to Trump's level. As usual, Dungy's strong words were a model for us all: players and fans, liberals and conservatives: "My father always asked me how I would make the situation better." 

Old "over-the-hill" Tom Brady threw five TD passes. His fifth came with the clock ticking down, overcoming several poor plays to drive down for the winning TD pass. The Texans tried to come back, but rookie Deshaun Watson's final Hail Mary pass was intercepted in the end zone - one of two picks thrown by the former Clemson standout.
The Falcons, including owner Arthur Blank, locked arms for the anthem. Matt Ryan threw his first interception since week 13 of last year. His second pick wasn't his fault, but it was almost a game-changer: instead of putting the game out of reach, the pick gave the Lions a chance to move down the field for a last-second game-winning touchdown. But in an incredible ending, Matt Stafford's touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining was overturned by replay - taking victory away from Detroit and handing it back to Atlanta.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tough Row to Hoe

Georgia has it tough the rest of the way, with only one or two relatively “easy” games remaining. Some complain about the schedule, but the SEC is tough. Mississippi State just beat LSU. Hopefully the Dawgs can catch MSU thinking too highly of themselves. Tennessee on the road. That little number 4 is good. Vandy on the road. No slouch. Missouri. The only breather the rest of the way, though they’ve played UGA tough. At Florida. Gators may be weak on offense but they play UGA tough. South Carolina. No slouch. Muschamp will have the Cocks ready. At Auburn. Tigers just played Clemson tough. Kentucky just beat South Carolina. At Tech. Jackets will be gunning for the Dogs. SEC Championship game vs Bama. 
Eating out: I hate it when I go out to somewhere I don’t like. It’s like a wasted trip. C gets bored with the same old dishes and restaurants. She’s always buying exotic meats and cheeses and types of lettuce. Ground beef is either low fat or with turkey or with sausage. Last night’s dish was a chicken and bean soup with rice pilaf. A little on the spicy side.
Last Saturday night I made popcorn for the first time in a long time.
Sunday night I went to bed well before the end of the Falcon game. For supper C cooked grits and scrambled eggs. I made mine into eggs quesadillas on the panini press.
Lunch meeting Tuesday was wraps from Atlanta Bread Company. Renee knows what we like and just orders. Mine was chicken salad, very good. Worked till 6:30 and could’ve gone longer. Drove straight home. M was home for a change, but later he went to a friend’s house. It was almost nine when I finished washing the dishes. Watched the same episode of The Orville that I saw on Sunday night. Also some of the Braves.
Wednesday the daily customer order came at 5:30 (three hours late), so it was lucky I was still at work to enter it. Hadn’t planned on working super late but the order kept me working until 6:45.
Met C at Moxie Burger. Split a chicken sandwich and order of fries. Didn’t get home until 8:30. Watched some Braves and Last Man Standing.
Worked til almost 7:30 Thursday night, waiting to meet with a coworker. C grilled chicken and baked potato slices. Watched The Orville, Only took that new sci fi show three episodes to get political – address the controversial issues of the day. In this case gender altering surgery. Were they commenting on transsexuals, or how Muslims treat women? I think I know that answer. Not exactly good old fashioned entertainment.
Word of the day: ameliorate: make something bad or unsatisfactory) better. Heard it in the Carole King book that I’m reading. King was a songwriting machine, content on staying in the background until James Taylor pushed her into performing and recording. King sure went through husbands, admitting to looking before leaping and not always making the best choices. So far in the book she’s had four husbands and three divorces. Got married at eighteen. Collaborated with her first husband over the years to write some of the most famous songs in music history. Her worst husband (#3) died of an overdose before she could divorce him. Then she hung out with a much younger guy for six years, then the director of Field of Dreams for a few more years. Lucky in life, unlucky in love, I guess.
Will spent August working in a family practice in Augusta. In September he’s been in the emergency room. In October he’s working the surgical unit in Cartersville.
We have a Wii, and the simple golf game is fun. You gotta factor distance, wind, topography, and other factors. Then I was given the Tiger Woods golf Masters Edition, where you can play Augusta National. But all the little tricks are so hard to perform and remember, considering how I don’t play that much.
I know most RedBox movies have closed captions. Not sure to activate I didn’t think. Not so sure about Netflix. Our Apple TV went out so I can’t play with Netflix or Hulu to see. Then every remote seems different as well. I don’t mind closed cations, and sometimes they’re helpful and fun.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bobby Cox Statue Night

Left work early to attend my final Braves game of the year.
Met LJ, then Kevin and Bobby to trade bobbles.
I nabbed a Martin Prado and the UGA Miller twins.
Brick of the week: my old Cubs Fantasy Camp buddy. RIP Geno.
Oliver with the Braves.
Before the game the Freeze's wife was hugging on some other guy.
I love going to the game and looking at people, sneakers, and fan apparel.
Saw a Kruk jersey and a Phillies t-shirt that just had the third, fourth, and fifth letters of the team name in the familiar script: ILL.
Below: a bunch of Bobby boxes all stacked up. Kevin was buying Bobbys for five bucks when an aggressive cop made him stop. Saw another guy ask three ladies for theirs. After they handed them over I asked one of them how much he paid. "Nothing, we gave them to him." Later Bobby said that guy was always asking for free tickets.
Tonight's prize: the Bobby Cox statue.
Perhaps next year they'll give out the Neikro and Spahn statues.
A stack of Bobbys.
Got one going in, and Kevin and Miss Martha both gave me one.
Sold all three before getting back to my car, to Mobile, Queens, & Hull GA.
 Watched the first few innings from the 400 level.
Obligatory bullpen shots. First the Phils.
The Braves: I caught three high fives.
Pano. Cute kids in front of us.
The tweens behind us squealed at every Dansby mention.
Good view of the TV's for the seats behind the plate.
Later we moved to the 300 level on the third base side.
Stayed long enough to see the always entertaining Home Depot Tool Race.
I wonder if the pink visitor's bullpen was a psychological ploy.
The Freeze wasn't taking any chances tonight, cruising to an easy win. Looking forward to Sunday's match race:
The Freeze vs. former Brave Paul Byrd.
Fun evening. Also saw Johnny and old Hugh, Johnny's grandson, coworker Ginger, the Coach, Bobby's mom, Crazy Darryl, Norman, Michael, James, and others. Missed on the Chief and my old usher friend.