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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

The Falcons Hard Knock Life

In Atlanta Area Stuff, Football Stuff on June 18, 2014 at 4:34 am

Falcons Training

Fans of NFL Hard Knocks series on HBO finally found out who the crew was going to follow this season. For better or for worse the Atlanta Falcons will be followed by HBO cameras all the way to the end of training camp. I am not sure if the organization volunteered or the NFL realized that somebody had to do the series this year. Due to the level of distraction associated with the show a lot teams have opted not to participate. The Falcons are coming off their first losing season in five years and I am sure that has some fans worried.

The teams that have traditionally been on the Hard Knocks program have not done exceptionally well during that season. That all being said there is nothing that has proved that cameras have caused the problems that plagued the underachieving teams of the past. There have been teams that have had good seasons like the 2010 Jets and last year’s Cincinnati Bengals team both made the playoffs and were competitive. That being said no team has made it to the SuperBowl while doing Hard Knocks.

The NFL tries to navigate an interesting dynamic of trying to give fans all access but at the same time teams maintaining their competitive edge. I could see why some teams would be apprehensive in bringing in extra distractions to a camp where they are trying to get younger players acclimated to the NFL. The organizations will also want to avoid any controversy that can come from cameras catching something that the American public may not be ready to see. As we learned with the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito incident last year football culture differs vastly from how we interact in polite society.

The Falcons are in interesting choice for this show. What makes me think that the team will be able to handle the pressure of the extra coverage also is not generally what television producers think make good programming. The organization has strong level headed leadership and Head Coach Mike Smith is not the colorful personality that will provide a lot of one liners. The club’s quarterback situation is stable and there won’t be a lot of high profile position battles. Their rookies will not even bring that much drama. Their first round draft pick is an offensive lineman who kind of already knows the NFL culture. The Falcons wins and losses this year will only be a result of the hard knocks that they deliver or fail to deliver to their opponents.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Should The Braves Panic

In Atlanta Area Stuff on May 11, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Braves 2014

The Braves are less than one fourth of the way through the season and they have some issues. Now it may seem a little premature to start ringing the alarm this early but if this seems like a repeat of the end of last season. I am sure some of the fans out there would say “hey we are in 1st place”. Yes you are by a half a game in a mediocre at best division. The question is can you hold that spot for the entire season?

The biggest problem that is glaring at the Braves is their inability to find consistent hitting. When the long ball is hitting the Braves are fine but that only gets you by the Houston Astros of the world. Throughout all of the injuries Atlanta has found their way to some really good pitching so far but nothing else to support it. Right now the Braves are 29th in the league in runs. They have the 25th worst batting average and 27th worst on base percentage. Even if they do win the NL East this is a perfect recipe for being swept in the 1st round again.

A big part of their woes is the struggling of Dan Uggla and BJ Upton. These are two guys with monster contracts who are not producing up to the standards of their deals. Upton batting .202 and Uggla at .184 does not sound like everyday lineup material. Add Jason Heyward’s .204 as a leadoff hitter and you have a recipe for disaster. I am not saying that Frank Wren needs to explore some trades now but he and Fredi Gonzalez are going to have to look at some options. This team was expected to compete for the World Series this year. The Braves may not need to panic yet but they should keep their eyes open.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

The Braves Are Moving

In All Kinds of Sports, Atlanta Area Stuff on November 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Braves team

The breaking news in Atlanta sports today is all about the Braves. The Marietta Daily Journal rocked the metro area with the announcement of the city’s baseball franchise leaving the city limits. The teams lease runs out in 2016 at Turner Field and for the 2017 season they will move to Cobb County. Now some fans will have an issue with the club moving but from a business end this makes sense for the organization.

The new build will seat 41,000 fans and will be a multi-use facility. The team will not be seated at the I-75 / I-285 corridor. This will allow perfect access for fans that are from the Tennessee area and Alabama. The majority of the Braves fans who purchase tickets are not from the city of Atlanta. Not to mention there is a major traffic issue when fans are trying to reach the games at the current location. There will be a much easier commute to the facility. Now some people will say that there is not a public transportation option. Well guess what there is not a train headed to Turner Field either. Cobb County will have bus access just like Turner Field currently has.

Braves Season Ticket Holder Map

Braves Season Ticket holders

On the Braves official website they released the following statement…
Turner Field is a facility that was built for three weeks of use for the Olympics, but has now served us well for nearly 20 years. The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.

Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.

Those upgrades still wouldn’t address the logistical challenges outside the stadium – lack of consistent mass transit options, inadequate number of parking spaces and limited access to major highways.

The team is also looking at the before and after game fan experience that the area can provide. In the Cumberland area there are already two very good shopping facilities and a few restaurants that customers can frequent. Of course more things will be built around the facility. Currently the Turner Field surrounding area is not the friendliest place to be. There is nowhere to really go to do anything and no one in the city has tried to build up the area.
Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

Aaron Murray Stay Or Go

In Atlanta Area Stuff on January 8, 2013 at 2:58 am

Aaron Murray QB
This week Aaron Murray the quarterback of the University of Georgia made a lot fans happy. He decided to stay in school one more year and not go into the NFL draft. Prior to young Murray making this decision it was a hot topic on local sports talk radio. Should he stay or should he go? It seemed like most of the callers to these radio stations thought he should stay in school. That is mostly due to that they are fans of Georgia football and don’t want to be without the conference’s best quarterback.

I on the other hand say leave while the iron is hot. This year promises to be one the weaker quarterback classes in recent memory. Also the major critique of the Dawgs signal caller has to do with his height. Since he won’t grow three inches in a year he will probably not change his projection from being a 2nd or 3rd round choice. He has completed his degree and been a three year starter in Athens, GA. Not to mention the injury risk of coming back to play or having a bad season and possibly lowering his stock. Hey if you get hurt in the NFL at least it won’t be for free.

Now that I am done with highlighting the negative, glad the young man came to a decision that he is comfortable with. He should have fun in his last year and hopefully compete for a Heisman trophy.

Written By
Keith B. Holt