Monday, March 31, 2008

And Who is YOUR Travel Agent?

Do you think this scheduling just might have an effect on the cost of a ticket? The Atlanta Braves closed out spring training by breaking camp in Florida and coming to Atlanta to play 2 exhibition games against the Cleveland Indians. O.K., a dress rehearsal at Turner Field before the 'real' season begins. But check this out, the Braves fly to Washington for a 1 game 'series' to open the season with the Nationals on Sunday night. ONE GAME - Come on Major League Baseball. Now the Braves fly back to Atlanta for a 3 game set with Pittsburgh followed by 3 games with the Mets. Tuesday is an off day. Why not play at least 2 in Washington and not have an off day on Tuesday (it would only be the 3rd day of the season)? Better yet, why did the Braves even open in D.C.? Why not the team that follows us in there be the opening opponent? I know there is a logical explanation for all of this by the MLB front office, but it would really have to be solid to convince me. Perhaps the cost of jet fuel hasn't escalated at the same rate as gas for our autos? Perhaps MLB has 'classified' info from the Weather Channel that rain outs for these two teams are in their future? Or, perhaps costs are no big deal to MLB because of are willingness to pay escalating ticket prices? Let me know what you figure out, and remember MLB: Delta is ready when you are!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rah, Rah, Rah!

The NCAA Basketball Tournament heads into its last week expecting 4 great teams to make up this years Final Four from this weekends slate of Sweet 16 teams. Around the country, most colleges and universities are preparing to finish up spring football practices in the next week or so. Also, college spring sports are in full gear. After those, we all count the days untl kickoff! O.K., O.K., too forward, too fast. I agree. After all, the MLB season is absolutely upon us, and 'hope springs eternal' for all of us as our teams start out dead even. I do look forward to the season, as well as a trip or two to Turner Field. Go Braves! But the point I'm dancing aroud here is: Only college athletics can capture the excitement, pagentry, loyalty and passion of sports and its fans. I know, pro sports are exciting and most of us have loyalty to certain teams, but only the college game has that "X Factor". I'm talking about the way we're stirred when "our team" wins or loses. There's nothing else like it! And guess what? It's coming to a college campus near you!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When More is Les!

Let me see if I have this correct: In Les Miles' LSU contract, it states that he must make at least $1,000 more than the highest paid coach at a public university in the SEC. (Public because salaries cannot be verified at private universities). This says he must always be the highest paid coach in the conference. Now was this just great work on Miles' agent's part, or just plain out arrogance on the part of LSU? So, even if Miles can't wish for his counterparts to have success on the gridiron, he can at least be cheering for them in the negotiations department. Hey, if you get a raise, I get a raise! Talk about "Tiger Rag" - Give me a break! I guess they don't call him "Lucky Les" for nothing. Those Wolverine quick-steps turned into big raise bucks back in Tiger Town. If the Mojo comes from the eye of the tiger, then the 'Mobucks 'come from the strut of the tigers! You know what they say, nothin' like being a Tiger in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night. Yea right - whatever...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Long Live Wrigley!

I recently read that the "new" Yankee Stadium will be ready for the 2009 MLB season. My initial thought was "another one bites the dust". My next thought was "thank goodness for Wrigley"!

Yesterday I posted an opinion about Top 10 events we love to see come around every year. Today I'm thinking of those classic venues of sports, and in particular Wrigley Field. Being a guy from the South, it is a huge deal for me to say that I have had the opportunity to take in the experience of a day at Wrigley (and there's a lot to take in)! Most importantly, you gotta "root,root,root, for the Cubbies"! There's the total atmosphere of Wrigleyville, the shops, the Harry statue, the 3 piece band out front, the famous facade, the crowd, the bleachers, and of course "The Ivy" (am I gushing yet?)! It is no cliche when you hear "there's no place like Wrigley Field". And where else can you sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and get chill bumps? Awesome! If you love America's game and the rich tradition of the sport, you just have to get to Wrigley! While you're there, have a "brock" and a beer for me!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And Batting Third, #10 Chipper Jones!

As MLB prepares to open its 2008 campaign, and being the Southern Atlanta Braves Fan that I am, I thought it only right to relegate this space to #10, Chipper Jones. Chip is one of those "non-flashy" old school ballplayers who just goes about his business putting up steady, above average numbers each season (and he's pretty solid with the leather also). The Braves are simply not as good when he is out of the line-up. And that brings us to the only rap on Chip: Injury Prone! I suppose to a degree that's justified, but you have to admit, the guy plays hard and some of his injuries have been a little on the "freakish" side. Nevertheless, Chipper is still closing in on Hall of Fame career numbers (he even admits the numbers aren't there YET), and here's hoping he wears that #10 Braves jersey several more years! When the time does come for him to hang 'em up, I really think we'll look back and realize we didn't appreciate him enough. As Bobby Cox would say, "Atta Boy, Chip!).

Just Can't Miss These "10"

Think about sport's "Hardest Tickets", or perhaps call them your "Favs", or just the biggest sports events to you. For example, take a look at my "Top 10", in no particular order:

1.) The Masters, 2.) The Kentucky Derby, 3.) The World Series, 4.) The Super Bowl, 5.) The Indy 500, 6.) The Daytona 500, 7.) NCAA Men's Final 4, 8.) ACC Basketball Tourney Final, 9.) Wimbledon, 10.) Georgia vs. Ga. Tech Football!

What a year for a sports enthusiast if you attented all 10 in a single year! (Maybe in another lifetime!) Maybe I'll just strive for all 10 in this entire lifetime. Just think, I only have 7 more to go! Check out your Top 10 and make those travel plans NOW!

Monday, March 24, 2008

When More is Better!

While enjoying the North Carolina - Arkansas tournament game yesterday only to see CBS divert the telecast to partial coverage of at least 2 other games, I thought it sure would be nice if CBS could "spread the joy around" a little. You know, in layman's terms. "sub-contract" out a couple of games to other networks or stations. Not to worry CBS, the Final Four would still be all yours! I suppose I want to be able to select the games I want to see, not necessarily those the network selects for me. After all, The NCAA Basketball Tourney is a big deal. It only happens once a year. Let's make it as accessible as possible. Allow SEC guys to see SEC teams, ACC fans to view ACC games, or better yet, let me "Cherry Pick" the best game going on at that time! I s that too much to ask? I just want my cake and be able to eat it too! By the way, would you like ice cream with your cake?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cooper River Bridge Run

The 31st Annual Cooper River Bridge Run is coming up the first weekend of April. What an event for runners: all ages, all capabilities, from all over the U.S. , as well as international participants. The last couple of years have seen an average of around 30,000 finishers! The event is also hosted by a special city, Charleston, S.C. Who wouldn't want to spend a weekend in Charleston? You don't even have to be a runner to sign up for that! You know, check out the market and shops, have a "Grouper on a Hoogie with a Blond Ale" at Southend Brewery, and just soak up that authentic "Charleston Flavor"! Have a great time, and here's hoping a certain Georgia State student and runner posts a lower time in 2008 than in 2007!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sights & Sounds of Sports That Stay With You

Classic Scenes and Sounds of Sports:
1. Joe Namath's Raised Finger After the Jets Super Bowl Victory
2. Carlton Fisk of the Red Sox Frantically Urging His Homerun to Stay Fair
3. The Most Famous Words in Motor Sports: " Gentlemen, start your engines!"
4. Al Michaels During The U.S. Hockey Team Olympic Victory: "Do you believe in miracles?"
5. The Raised Putter of Jack Nicklaus at Augusta on #17 During His Final Masters Victory
6. Michael Jordan's Prolonged Follow-Through After His Championship Winning Jumper
7. The Unique Fist-Pump of Kirk Gibson as He Approaches 2nd Base After His Famous Homer
8. Brent Musburger's Classic Opening: "You are looking live "
9. Harry Caray: "ah one, anna two, take me out to the ball game..."
10. Larry Munson, famous voice of the UGA Bulldogs: "Get the picture!"

These are just a few of so many of the great scenes and sounds of the wonderful world of sports!
What ranks high on your list?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Homerun Shutdown

I don't find it suprising at all that Home Run King Barry Bonds has no offers from big league clubs even though opening day is less than 2 weeks away. Obviously, the Player's Union is surprised by this because they want this "looked into further". I certainly don't suspect collusion in any fashion!!!! How about you? It could be 1) his negative clubhouse presence, 2) his huge baggage i.e. salary, 3) age, 4) diminishing skills, 5) all of the above. Barry says he's only 2 weeks away from being game ready; you know "see the ball, hit the ball". If all else fails B-Squared, you can always get a kayak and do McCovey Cove!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When "50" is Like "47"!

North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough plays basketball like former UGA gridiron great David Pollack played football. From never giving up on a play, to making a big play when your team has to have one, to making everyone around you a better player, he is definitely cut out of a DP mold. Now we know what David would have been like on the Hardwood! All the media guys say TH will not be a great pro player. I respond with "Who Cares"? He's what college sports are all about! Hang around Chapel Hill one more year Tyler! You only get one run at college ball.