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First game at #MBStadium – The Virtual reality tour

27 Aug

When you first walk into the stadium from the front landing with the massive Falcon sculpture you are overwhelmed by the visuals. Halo board, lower field electronic scoreboards, and colors so vivid and bright  it all seems surreal.

It’s as if you’re a character in the movie #Tron, or have donned a set of VR glasses. Being inside the stadium is like you have been dropped inside a giant video game.

Everything has taken to a new level. Fans enjoyed a Field Level Club area that allowed them to walk from inside a stylish restaurant/lounge, to a porch right behind the team bench on the field.

As for the game itself, the Falcons lost to the Arizona Cardinals 24-14. Matt Ryan was was not as sharp as 1st 2 games. Julio played a little as did Takk McKinley.

The Falcons  performance will raise some questions about the team, especially since they have not won a game this preseason. But that is for another story. Mercedes Benz stadium was the story tonight. There is more work remaining before it is totally finished. But early reviews from the fans are 5 star rated for excitement and entertainment.

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#Falcons final 2 practices at Flowery Branch before 1st game at MB Stadium

23 Aug

Dan Quinn Falcons Head Coach

The Falcons are back to the norm except for one change. Their Friday walk through will be at their brand new home – Mercedes Benz Stadium.

This season is unique as the Falcons are defending NFC for only the 2nd time AND heading into a brand new stadium that is a technological marvel.

How important is it to have this walk through on Saturday and 2 home games at the new stadium before playing regular season game there?

It will also give coaches the opportunity to evaluate players under pressure of not only making the team, but the excitement of a new stadium and a real regular season feel

Coach Dan Quinn in his daily press conference gave the media some key points to consider:

  • Linebackers look good. Rookie Due Riley’s initial impact may be biggest on special teams. Quinn loves the way he flies around.
  • De’Vondre Campbell has looked good at the Sam LB spot
  • DE Jack Crawford has quickness unusual for a man that size.
  • Coach Bryant Young has the ability to coach the D-Line with a hands on approach befitting a recently retired player

Running back, lineman, and defensive backs are areas that still have the most competition remaining in terms of the 53 man roster. Coach Quinn still deciding whether to have coordinators and ass’t coaches calling plays form on the field or in the press box.

Click Here for the VIDEO of the press conference.

@MBStadium – #Falcons and #ATLUTD new home a Temple of Sports Entertainment

17 Aug

From the outside it looms proudly over the Westside landscape. A menacing 50 ft high Falcon (the largest steel sculpture in the Unite States) greets you at the main entrance. At night the huge Mercedes Benz logo illuminates the sky like a beacon. It lets all who approach know that they are in the conundrum of Sports in the South and possibly the US.

The inside is so surreal it’s as if you are walking into a giant video game. From veteran sportscasters to rookie reporters fresh on the job, all the media was amazed by what we saw. It’s going to be the talk of the town, and the Sports world for years to come.

Click on the video above for a little peek.

Keeping Your Eyes On The Ball (@Lavarbigballer) – Egomaniac or good parenting?

29 May

LAVAR-BALL-20170527-USA-DJM-054-91257832

Is Lavar Ball following in the footsteps of Earl Woods and Richard Williams? Or is he an over the top version of a parent’s ego gone wild trying to grab glory through their child?

The Williams and Woods kids were good, really good. Child prodigies.  Each man had no problem letting you know it.  What we really didn’t understand is how these men were grooming their children to dominate their sports of tennis and golf. Places were African Americans had few champions

Richard Williams was ridiculed when he told the world that his two daughters who he raised in Compton playing on rough public courts nearby, would become the best female tennis players in the world. He was one of the few not surprised when BOTH of his daughters took the tough lessons they learned on those rough city courts and used them to help them become queens of the tennis world. Each taking turns being the dominate player I the sport before Serena’s physical and mental strength would launch her assault on the record books and conversation of being the GOAT.

Earl Woods introduced to his son Tiger to the world at just 3 years old on the Merv Griffin show. Even at that age we saw his ability to take command of the moment with the help of his dad.

Later while he was still an amateur there were bold prediction of PGA Tour greatness was there before he had won a PGA tournament. The marketing hype was there too. Remember the ‘Hello World” press conference?  He already had multiple endorsement deals in his pocket at time of arrival on the Tour much to the irritation of those who had labored for years already. We forget the bold statements of pride by Earl Woods because of his well-spoken demeanor and military background. Plus Tiger’s giant smile, and a confidence that grabbed you and made you a believer.

So is Lavar Ball really that much different than Williams and Woods? Maybe this whole way of acting is part of the plan. Ball knows like Richard Williams and Earl Woods that being great requires more mental toughness than physical talent. The ability to excel while under enormous pressure on the field/court, extreme scrutiny off it.  The huge amount of money and power giving to those that excel in sports is mind boggling. Maybe Lavar Ball is showing his son how to deal with some of these things.  In some ways he lso is acting as a shield for him. Much of the attention has been shifted to his father. No matter what happens now he wins in the public discourse. He doesn’t live up to hype? It’s because of his overbearing father. If he meets or exceeds expectations? Then he is applauded for being able to achieve this in spite of his crazy dad.

Lavar Ball may turn out to be crazy…like a fox

There must be something about Cali that produces these strong African American fathers who are brimming with confidence, and the ability teach their progeny to have it as well.  All this while helping them to understand the additional challenges of doing this while being Black in America.

By Minister Jonathan Simmons

 

#Falcons pick of #TakkaristMcKinley – hubris or just following their hunches?

28 Apr

Takkaist McKinley usa_today_10033656.1493351431
Photo from USA Today on BruinsNation.com

The  2017 NFL draft ‘needs list’ for the Falcons wasn’t too much different from 2015 or 2016. Get a good edge rusher, and shore up the offensive line with players who could play right away. In 2015 the pick was fairly obvious. Pundits and fans alike thought Vic Beasley the standout DE from Clemson had shown the speed and quickness to be a good NFL pass rusher.  Even though he was a bit undersized at only 235 pounds, Atlanta drafted him 6th overall.  He has become one of the NFL’s  best pass rushers , leading the league last year in sacks.

In 2016 however the Falcons started with picks that did not seem to address their needs at all.  1st round pick Keanu Neal was a SAFETY, not an edge rusher. 2nd round pick Deion Jones was fast but was a middle linebacker, and like Vic Beasley a little undersized.  Reaves turned out to be a ‘thumper’ who patrolled the Falcons back-end. and dished out punishment to opposing players at will. Deion was a tackling machine and rookie of the year finalist. Another slam dunk for the Falcons.

So here we are in 2017 and again Atlanta surprises us by picking outside linebacker Takkarist McKinley from UCLA.  McKinley appears to be another ‘DQ’ (Dan Quinn) guy. The All Pac 12 DE/OLB is described by NFL.com as “Relentless worker bee on the field” “…and is always charging towards the ball” However on the other side he is considered to be “raw” and a “little stiff in the lower body” He also is coming off shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.  He was slotted by some to be a 2nd round pick. Why did the Falcons traded a 3rd round and 7th rounder to move from 25th to 31st pick to get him. In a draft which is supposed to be one of the deepest in history it seems they could have stayed put and still got him. 1st round picks should be impact players on your team right away. The fact the Falcons selected a raw, injured, player with big potential, means  Falcons leadership is convinced they have the coaching system and team culture that allows them to get the most from the players they bring on board.

The rest of the Falcons draft has yet to unfold. But if McKinley plays the way last year’s draft group did, the Falcons could back in the Super Bowl again and got another rising star in Takkarist McKinley press conference bad language notwithstanding.

By Jonathan Simmons

#AtlHawks blow last minute lead, lose to #Pacers at home

6 Mar

The #AtlHawks looked like they were on their way to a hard fought victory over the Indiana Pacers. They had a 96-90 lead with less the 2 minutes to go, a 96-94 lead AND the ball with about 30 seconds. But it was all for nought as the Pacers Glenn Robinson III hit a 3 pointer with 0.6 seconds left to give them a stunning 97-96 victory over the Hawks.

This game marked the return of former Hawks PG Jeff Teaugue  for the first time since he had been traded to the Pacers for a second round pick after the 2016 season.

Atlanta took an early 30-19 lead, then Indiana’s All Star G Paul George took over. George scored 24 of his game high 34 in the 1st half to help the Pacers take the lead before Atlanta came back to tie the game at 50 to end the 1st half.

The Hawks continued to have problems with George until they placed Paul Millsap on him in 3rd quarter. He did not score after that. By that time however they had forged a 7 point lead going to the 4th quarter.

The Hawks defense, and the offensive punch by Tim Hardaway, Jr (THJ) finally allowed Atlanta to overtake the Pacers and take a 6 point lead in the clising minutes. That’s when things went horribly wrong.

Paul Millsap has been the Hawks best offensive player all year and over the last 2 months Tim Hardaway Jr has been right behind him. Last night was no different. Millsap had 24 to lead all Hawks, and THJ scored 10 of his 23 in the final period. But when the Hawks looked to seal the win late, both men came up short. AMillsap missed shot, then turnover on consecutive possesion allowed the Pacers to cut the lead to 96-94. Then an ill advised 3 pt attempt by Hardaway set the stage for Robinson’s game winner. (Click here to see video)

This has been a recurring theme for this team. An inability to get consistent clutch baskets/plays from their best players. Until this changes the Atlanta Hawks and their fans will continue to deal with more frustrating losses.

 

Could #Hawks #TimHardawayJr be the next great #NBA Sixth man

4 Mar

The #AtlHawks may have in #TimHardawayJr , the next great #NBA Sixth man. His improved play has been outstading the last two months  He’s been red hot in the Hawks last 10 games, averaging over 17 Pts per contest. This includes 33 in a big road win vs the Rockets and 36 in a tough loss at home to the Cavs. His recent stats compare favorably to 3 time 6th man of the year Jamal Crawford of the Clippers in the years he won. In fact hs current pace of 19 pts per 36 minutes is the same as Crawford when he won last season.

Unfortunately for Atlanta there are 2 problems.

  1. Hardaway wants to start. He mentioned in a Detroit Free Press  article ‘he hopes to become a full time starter’ The numbers seem to agree according to ESPN.com In the 17 games he started he’s averaging 17.2 points per game. In the 42 coming off the bench he has averaged 11.8 . In fairness, this is due more to minutes played per game. 33 per as starter, 22 per coming in off the bench. For Hardaway and the Hawks he is at his best when he plays between 30-36 minutes a game. This year he sits at a bifty 19 pts per 36 minutes played That is the same as the teams leading scorer Paul Millsap He also averages 3 more points per game than starter Kent Bazemore who the Hawks just signed to big deal after last season
  2. MONEY. Hardaway will bcome a restricted free agent next year. His vastly improved play surely has caught the eye of several teams around the league. Hawks mangement may have erred in not signing him to an extension when they had chance earlier in year. Although the team has right to match any offer, Atlanta faces the prospect of paying a lot more for his sevices. This may pur him above the threshold of what Atlanta wants to pay to keep him especialy with having All Star Paul Millsap contract also coming due for a hefty increase

Several years ago the Hawks had an exciting player coming off the bench.  and a multi time All Star on the team becoming free agents. They said they could only pay out one big contract not two. They resigned their All Star guard at the time Joe Johnson, the other player was allowed to be a free agent and he signed with the LA Clippers. That player was Jamal Crawford. He has gone on to win 2 of his 3 Sixth Man of the Year awards since his time there. He won his 1st one in Atlanta the year before he left in free agency.

Being in just his 3rd year, and 24 years old it seems like the career of Tim Hardaway, Jr  is certainly on the rise. Hopefully Atlanta will find a way to keep him here.

#Celtics Al Horford returns to #Atlanta and leaves with win over #Hawks

14 Jan

#Celtics Al Horford returns to #Atlanta and leaves with win over #Hawks 103-101. Horford did not have his best night stat wise. He had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. But teammates Kely Olynyk and Isaiah Thomas had 26 and 28 points respectively. Thomas getting his last with 2.4 seconds left to get the win.

The Hawks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Paul Milsap each with 23 points. Malcolm Delaney came off the bench with 17 points. Newest Hawk Mike Dunleavy, Jr had 2 big 2nd half 3 pointers in his debut.

Click above to watch Al Horford interview. For more Atlanta Sporrts coverage go to ur website www.realtalksports.net. Follow us on all Social Media platforms @realtalksports7

#Clemson wins #CFBChampionship in #Epic Game – Repost from @CFTalk

10 Jan

 

In order to be the champions, you had to beat the champions. Mission accomplished for Clemson. A historic rematch for the ages lived up to the hype thanks to a wild and career-defining fourth quarter that saw the Tigers win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game in dramatic fashion 35-31 over Alabama. The two…

via Rematch revenge! Clemson knocks off Alabama to win the 2017 National Championship Game — CollegeFootballTalk

In battle of the ‘Birds #Falcons resilience shows in win over #Cardinals

28 Nov

In #ARIvsATL #Falcons  RiseUp for 38-19 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals.  They looked rested and relaxed in front of a late arriving crowd at the Georgia Dome.

This game between Dirty Birds and Desert Birds, pitted Arizona’s top ranked defense vs Atlanta’s top ranked offense. Falcons were good on both.  The defense limited star Cardinals star running back David Johnson to 58 yards rushing. They turned their attention to QB Carson Palmer who was sacked and intercepted as Arizona only scored 6 points in the 2nd half.

Offensively it was more outstanding play. Once again the Falcons used their ‘Pick your Poison’ approach as Matt Ryan spread the ball around to 8 different receivers. Ryan was 26-34, 269 yards 2 TDs 1 INT, and WR Taylor Gabriel racked up 102 total yards and 2 TDs. The biggest key to the win for the Falcons was the resiliency they showed in responding when the momentum started to shift to the Cardinals.

Arizona cut the Falcon lead to 17-13 right before the half getting a last second FG after set up by an interception when Julio Jones bobbled into air a Matt Ryan pass. They then sacked Matt Ryan 3 times in 6 Atlanta plays to force a punt. However Atlanta forced a 3 and out, then had a 13 play 77 yard TD drive to make the score 24-13. They never looked back after that. That kind of toughness was lacking in last years team. The growing confidence in the Quinn/Shanahan scheme and themselves make this team a playoff contender, and a treat to beat any team they face.

For more Sports coverage check out our website at www.realtalksports.net 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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