Archive | SPORTS RSS feed for this section

GA Tech loses program game changer opportunity in loss to Tenn

6 Sep

Tech misses… Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

It was there for the taking. On center stage at the Chick Fil A Kickoff at Mercedes Benz Stadium, everything went the way Tech dreamed it could go.

Lose your best RB, (a preseason All ACC pick) because of disciplinary issues? No problem. His replacement KirVonte Benson rushes for 124  yards and a TD. Lose the best QB you have had since Hall of Famer Joe Hamilton to graduation and the NFL? No problem his replacement TaQuan Marshall accounts for over 350 of  offense by himself.  It was a game Tech dominated for most of the time. But in the end the Yellow Jackets found themselves stunned as Tenn came back from a 14 pt deficit in the 4th quarter to tie the game and win in 2 OT 42-41.

This was a game that could have gone a long way in changing the narrative of college football in GA and even nationwide. All the talk would have been on how exciting Tech new playmakers Marshall and Benson were. Paul Johnson’s offense which is often mocked being called boring and archaic, would be lauded as exciting and entertaining. Recruits in the talent rich Southeast and elsewhere would begin to put Ga Tech on it’s short list of schools to attend.

Instead Tech fans were left with a bitter defeat and thoughts of what could have been. The good news for Jacket fans is:

  • It’s the 1st game of the season
  • Tenn is a non conference opponent
  • Benson and Marshall appear to be breakout stars

It will once again take great coaching and team leadership to rebound from this brutal loss. But like last year when it looked the season was not going to end well Tech fans must remember the season has just begun and it’s still all in front of you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

#YellowJackets QB play and speed key for a #CFAKickoff win

4 Sep

DSCF3119

Georgia Tech finds themselves on their biggest stage since the 2014 Orange Bowl. In that game they also were up against a ranked SEC opponent. The Jackets were led by mercurial quarterback Justin Thomas. Thomas had one his best games a Tech uniform. He garnered MVP as he accounted for 4 TDs en route to a 49-34 Tech win.

This year there was no clear starter at QB even though Matthew Jordan was Thomas backup last year.  But after Jordan was injured the best option is last years 3rd stringer TaQuan Marshall, at 5’10 185 he is built and runs more like the elusive Thomas. Jordan at 6’2 and over 200 lbs was the better straight ahead runner, but look for Marshall to get some explosive plays before the night is done.

The other spot where Jackets have speed lurking is at running back.  As noted in the GT Football website local product  B-Back KirVonte Benson has outstanding speed. Qua Searcy at the A-back spot is always a threat on the jet sweep and dangerous as a receiver as well.

The Vols defense gave up over 200 yards per game rushing in 2016. Tech has averaged almost 260 yards and 5.5 per carry. If the Jackets can do that tonight thet ay have their 4th straight win over an SEC opponent. And we know how much Coach Paul Johnson would like that.

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.

#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.

Is @AtlantaFalcons Matt Ryan a future Hall of Famer?

22 Aug

cropped-dscf5811.jpgDSCF2103.jpg

Is Matt Ryan QB of the Atlanta Falcons a future Hall of Fame player? Many people both in and out of Atlanta are either #SMH or #ROTFL after reading this statement. But is it that far fetched? One Super Bowl winning season would make him a candidate at the very least. Here’s why.

  1. Impact on the teams you played on. Did you make them better and/or were an invaluable part of your teams overall success.-  For Ryan the answer is an overwhelming yes. When Matt Ryan arrived in Atlanta as the #3 overall pick in 2007 the franchise was in disarray after the Mike Vick situations. He stepped in as the starter won and led the Falcons to the playoffs. He then became the first Falcons QB to lead Atlanta to back to back winning seasons. He also has been durable missing only 2 games thus far
  2. Post season appearances -He has led Atlanta to the postseason 5 of his 1st 9 years, including 4 times in 5 years from 2008-2012. In his 2 NFC Championship games he has thrown for almost 400 yards in each one (392 in ’12, 396 in ’17)
  3. Personal awards –  Pro Bowl 4X, All Pro – 1X, NFL MVP – 1X,  2008 Offensive Rookie of the Year
  4. Overall Stats and Performance rank vs his peers – Top 5 among active QBs in Avg yards per game, Avg, Comp % per year. He is in the Top 10 in virtually every other measurable passing statistic among active players

A franchise changing career, league MVP, Super Bowl winner, and ranked  among the best statistically at his position during his playing days. Sounds like a pretty worthy resume…if the Super Bowl ring is won.

@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.

#AtlantaFalcons Tales from the Trenches – D-Line best in the NFL?

11 Aug

DSCF5721.jpg

Breaking news from Flowery Branch. The Atlanta Falcons are DEEP at the defensive line spot. For years this position was he one called out as the teams weakest link.  But in just 2 years, things have changed. Atlanta, through shrewd drafting, coaching up current players and key free agent signings may have quietly assembled the best top to bottom D-Lines in the NFL.

Cat quick rookie DE Takk Mckinley from UCLA brings youthful energy and plenty of confidence, Grady Jarrett fresh off his record Super Bowl performance is becoming a quiet leader and poised to have a breakout year. Coveted free agent, massive Dontari Poe comes over from KC, and Jack Crawford from the Cowboys. Plus current players like Rashede Hageman, Derrick Shelby, and Adrian Clayborn all look fit and ready to take their games to the next level.

Atlanta’s offense may take a back seat to the Falcons defense in making the headlines in 2017. Stay tuned

#Falcons #InBrotherhood turns potential busts into ballers

25 Jul

DSCF5717.jpg

Teaching is a gift from God. . It is a tremendous skill to instruct someone on how to do something and do it well. So is knowing how to put people in the position to win. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn appears to be blessed with those gifts.  The Falcons defense  under his tutelage and a little help from veteran Dwight Freeney took major strides in the 2nd half of 2017.

Two players that benefited from greatly their teaching were Vic Beasley and Rashede Hageman. Many people questioned the Falcons’ drafting of both of them last year. Hageman was part of the last drat class of former coach Mike Smith. Hageman seemed sluggish and even confused at times his 1st 2 years. Rarely looking like the unblockable force seen in his college days at Minnesota.

Beasley was the 1st pick under the new regime of Dan Quinn. He too seemed overwhelmed and under performed most of his rookie year. (Some of this was due to an injury that was undisclosed until year end)

But Dan Quinn’s philosophy of playing fast and furious and putting people into winning positions paid bug dividends in 2017. Along with Freeney acting at times like a coach on the field, it help propel Beasly and Hageman to their best years so far. Beasley was moved to OLB and led  the league in sacks. Hageman in less time played increased his sack total and disruptive plays even though playing in fewer games. Look for more impact for both these players and the entire D as Dan Quinn and his staff continue to ‘coach ’em up.

#DwightHoward trade signals beginning of #Hawks2020

21 Jun

 

Atlanta has traded C Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets just 2 days before the 2017 NBA Draft. Click HERE for the ESPN story.  This means the Hawks are going to launch #Hawks2020 The goal – build a team that can realistically compete for an NBA title by 2020. The Hawks are looking to create a sustainable winner that creates real fan allegiance. They want to develop this a way like ATLUTD soccer and the Falcons.

Have a style of play that is both easy to watch and players easy to root for. The Hawks plan to control their brand from top to bottom.

They are using cutting edge fan engagement to keep fans connected and excited about the team. Great social media, in-game promotions and personalized VIP experience via the Hardwood Club draws upscale millennials and a diverse group of fans to buy in as they move into the future.    Atlanta also looks maximize control of all aspects of player training, development, and health. There is a  90,000 sq ft combined practice and sports science facility in partnership with Emory Healthcare. Soon there will be a brand new D league facility built in College Park less than 20 miles south of Atlanta.

Eventually there will be development of The Gulch area near Philips Arena into a work, live, play development similar to the area around the Battery adjacent to the Braves SunTrust Park.

The Hawks even offer special ticket packages to new Moms with Grady hospital. Pretty soon it might be engineering Hawks fans from birth, and players from High School to the NBA in the Hawks mold.

A kind of Sports genetic engineering. Hmm Atlanta Hawks the first GMO NBA franchise..

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

 

%d bloggers like this: