Archive for Atlanta

New Talons for the Hot-Lanta Falcons…

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by sportsguru09

ATLANTA (Courtesy of the Associated Press) — The Atlanta Falcons boosted their hopes for another trip to the playoffs by acquiring tight end Tony Gonzalez from the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday for a draft pick next year.

The Chiefs insisted they also improved their chances for success in 2009 by making the trade.

The Falcons will send a second-round pick in 2010 to Kansas City in exchange for Gonzalez, the only tight end in NFL history selected to 10 Pro Bowls.tony-gonzalez-sportsroids-te-possible-trade

Gonzalez caught 96 passes for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2008. He owns NFL career records for tight ends with 916 receptions, 10,940 yards receiving, 76 TDs receiving and 26 100-yard receiving games.

One of the most popular athletes Kansas City has ever had in any sport, Gonzalez said leaving the town and its fans is not easy.

“I love Kansas City,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The fans have been unbelievable to me. I’m going to miss them. This is a happy day for me, but in many ways it’s a sad day, too. I’m going to miss running out that tunnel and seeing that sea of red in those stands.”

When he was drafted in the first round out of California, passing up his senior season, he had just turned 21.

“And now I’m leaving at 33. It’s been a huge part of my life,” he said. “When I retire, I’m going to retire a Chief. It’s been a beautiful, beautiful ride in Kansas City. I’m not selling my home there.”

He also plans to keep his window-cleaning business, Xtreme Clean 88, in Kansas City and be active in Shadow Buddies, a Kansas City-based charity which distributes kits and educational materials to kids and the elderly.

“Kansas City will always be a big part of my life,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t know how many years I have left to play. Now I’m looking forward to making a Super Bowl run in Atlanta. I hope the fans in Kansas City will understand.”

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said it wasn’t easy to trade the star, who played in 188 regular-season games for Kansas City.

“From an organizational as well as personal standpoint there are mixed emotions,” Pioli said. “I have the highest personal and professional respect for Tony and consider him to be a future Pro Football Hall of Famer.”

Pioli said the Chiefs, 2-14 in 2008, did not pursue a trade for Gonzalez, but agreed when the Falcons offered a second-round pick.

“This is something we really feel was a decision in the best short-term and long-term interest of the Chiefs,” Pioli said, adding the 2010 draft pick could be used in another deal to acquire more picks in this weekend’s draft.

“It may be that pick next year or it may be a pick this year or several picks,” Pioli said.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt called Gonzalez “one of the finest players in Chiefs history.”

Gonzalez will provide a dramatic new look for the Falcons, who were 11-5 last year with rookie quarterback Matt Ryan starting every game.

“Tony’s arrival will make an instant impact not only on the offensive side of the ball, but on the overall team in general,” said Ryan, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. “I feel privileged to be throwing the ball to a future Hall of Famer and I’m anxious to get on the field to start working with him.”

Ryan has a new target and the Falcons have a new leader, but what about newly acquired Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel? Pioli said there’s still plenty of time to bolster the Chiefs’ offense before the season.

“There’s a lot of time between now and then for us to continue to shape our roster,” Pioli said.

When asked how he would replace Gonzalez, new Chiefs coach Todd Haley said, “I don’t know I have a direct answer for that right now.

“This is what we felt was best for us right now all things considered,” Haley added. “We’re doing everything we can to give ourselves the best chance to win games in 2009 and that’s what we as a group felt was the best way to go.”

The 33-year-old Gonzalez, who has three years remaining on his contract, asked to be traded last October. But then-general manager Carl Peterson said no team Gonzalez was willing to go to made a good enough offer.

atlanta20falcons20logoThe trade addresses one of the Falcons’ top needs, freeing the organization to make defense the top priority in this weekend’s draft.

The Falcons expect to receive compensatory picks next year for losing several free agents, including cornerback Domonique Foxworth and linebackers Michael Boley and Keith Brooking, making it easier for the team to trade the second-round pick to the Chiefs.

Gonzalez will join Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White to give the Falcons more passing balance.

“Anybody would be excited to be a part of that offense,” Gonzalez told the AP. “With Michael Turner, Matt Ryan and the other guys, we have a chance to be in the top five in the league in offense.”

Before making the trade, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said, “Every team in this league dreams of having Tony Gonzalez run out of the tunnel for them.”

After realizing that dream, Dimitroff said Gonzalez will add “a new dynamic to the Falcons’ offense.”

“His career numbers and records are top-notch and he will no doubt be an integral part of our offense,” Dimitroff said.

The Falcons said Gonzalez will be in Atlanta for a news conference on Friday.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Alpha Inventions

Advertisements

Deja Vu?!?…

Posted in Major League Baseball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2009 by sportsguru09

Well folks, yesterday I got my first real bittersweet taste of the Atlanta Braves bullpen. After Javier Vazquez went 6 innings and left with a 9-3 lead, the Braves’ bullpen proceeded to give up 8 runs in the next two innings in a mix of walks, singles, and hit batters causing Atlanta to drop their first game of the year 12-11 in Philadelphia against the defending champs. Unbelievable…I have nightmares about last year’s one run record and late inning collapses and it has already started…only 3 games into ’09! I mean, let’s be real, these guys are Major League pitchers, right (or so we think)? mlb_u_cox_275They should honestly be able to hit the strike zone more than 1 time out of 9. Good grief….Bobby Cox, why don’t you just give me a shot? At least if I’m getting shelled that means I’m throwing the ball over the plate. Shoot, by all means necessary, the Braves’ bullpen would have had a better shot lobbing the ball underhand to the plate in order to at least entice Philly’s hitters to swing and put the ball in play. At one point in the Phillies’ gift yesterday, Atlanta pitching ghastly walked FOUR STRAIGHT BATTERS WITH THE BASES LOADED (that means four free runs for those keeping score at home). That is a cardinal sin for pitchers because we all know, if you walk or hit a batter, the odds are better that he’s eventually going to come around and score. Unfortunately for the Braves’ sake, it was 8 times over. A good outing by Vazquez and an abundance of runs all went for not. For Bobby Cox and the rest of Atlanta’s coaching staff, it’s time to make some changes boys. You might as well let Jeff Franceour pitch, he’s a got a rifle for an arm. All he has to do is beat 1 outta 9…even a 5 year-old could do that.

If this is a sign as to what is to come for the Braves this season, Bobby may not survive that many heartattacks and my hair will be completely grey by the time September rolls around. So frustrating…

Let’s Buy Victories? Don’t Be Ridiculous New York…

Posted in Major League Baseball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by sportsguru09

Two contracts, $340M, and two previous all-stars. Where does that get you? A 10 to 5 loss on Opening Day 2009 to the up and coming Baltimore Orioles. Yesterday, the New York Yankees got to debut and hopefully show off (which they didn’t to the delight of O’s fans) two new mega-stars that they paid an arm, a leg, a retirement, a savings account, all your property, their soul, and more for…if you get my drift. oriolesAnd of course, to all the baseball world’s liking outside of New York, they fell flat on their face. Chubby Checker Sabathia and Mark “Don’t Throw Me A Curveball PLEASE!” Teixiera provided nothing to help New York in Baltimore. Teixiera went 0-for-4, leaving 5 men on base and CC got hammered by a young, energetic Orioles squad led by Brian Roberts and Adam “I’m Not Pacman” Jones. Who saw this coming? Well, most of us did. The O’s have recently had the Yanks’ number during the regular season. This is just more proof to the idea that money CAN’T win championships, even though the New York Yankees and the Steinbrenner family try to every year. All the pompous NYY management simply wants to do is flex their financial muscle and literally buy everyone and everything out. But as we saw last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you have. When you have talent and a team who WANTS to win and actually plays hard, things happen the way you want. However, this Yankee ball-club is full of overpaid, overpraised mediocrity (outside of Jeter and A-Rod – but he takes steroids so who knows) who is promoted by ridiculous New York devotees in a city that would boo the Easter Bunny this weekend if he showed up at the ballpark. All I have to say is, “Hey New York Yankee fans, hope the new stadium’s nice to ya”……

Yes, this is just one game. But for all of us Yankee haters, we hope this is more of a hilarious preview of the Yanks’ season to come. And this, of course, is yet another appropriate opportunity for a funny YouTube video ripping on the ‘Da Yanks’…..enjoy….


Video Courtesy of YouTube

Opening Night Under the Lights…

Posted in Major League Baseball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by sportsguru09

Sunday evening gave America its first glimpse into its national past-time in 2009. And for me, boy was it fun. Pomp and circumstance led the festivities as the Phillies raised their 2008 World Series banner…then they proceeded to get beat up on by my Atlanta Braves. The night was lit up by leather flying into the stands on cue as the Bravos torched Brett Myers (he should stick to bullpen work) for a trio of home runs in the first two innings, highlighted by “Young Thug” himself Jordan Schafer who hit a tater in his first Major League at-bat. Why is he Young Thug? Well, give the Mississippi police a call. bravesSchafer was booked for a 50 game suspension last season playing for the Braves’ AA organization. But you know what? This Atlanta team needs some guys who are rough around the edges. Shoot, they should’ve tried to get Sheff back. Anyways, after spoiling the night’s opening, the Braves, behind Derek Lowe, went 8 innings without any offensive activity from the Phils. With some false hope in the bottom of the 9th, the Braves took care of business and officially played spoiler. For me, the season couldn’t of started any better, knocking the defending champs off their pedestal in their own house. Man did I love to see the Philly fans sit in silence and watch the dominance take place…what a thrill…

For the Braves (and myself), hopefully this is a great sign towards the potential return to elite status among Major League Baseball. Stepping out of the spotlight for the past 3 years, the current roster is hungry and ready to take back what has been rightfully theirs for so long, an NL East title. As for the Phils, coming off a world championship, doom and gloom is (like recent history) on the way. Good luck Philadelphia fighting the post-title hex. We’ll be lucky to see you hanging around come October…but that’s ok, football season’s just around the corner…go Eagles?…

Glory Returns to Durham…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by sportsguru09

Alas! Your 2009 ACC Champions are the Duke University Blue Devils! Cameron Indoor’s pride and joy took it to Florida State today in the Georgia Dome and claimed yet another ACC Tournament Championship under Coach K. As a result, they ended up with a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will literally get a home game against Binghamton in Greensboro, N.C. which is just a few miles down the road from Durham. Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson proved once again today that they are among the elite players in the ACC and in the country. dm_090124_ncb_duke_marylandThe ACC Tournament MVP trophy was given to Mr. Scheyer for taking control of each of Duke’s 3 games during the weekend. Furthermore, it just added another trophy to Coach K’s trophy case back home. After UNC choked and bit the bullet against Florida State on Saturday, took full advantage by winning a close one against a fired-up Maryland team (who also got an at-large bid in the tourney…congrats) and coming out launching and knocking down 3’s all over the court this afternoon. All the while, Elliot Williams and Nolan Smith locked down arguably the ACC’s best player in Tony Douglas and refused to let him beat them by himself. aagp131duke-university-acc-logo-postersI must say, for us Duke fans it was a great sign that they won the battle of the boards against quite possibly the overall tallest team in the country in the Seminoles from Florida State. Hopefully the hot shooting and aggressive play will continue for the next couple of weeks and Duke can once again claim its dominance of College Basketball and tear down the Championship nets on April 6th.

And yes, for all of you who hate me for liking Duke or just hate Duke in general and say they “suck” just because you’re bitter or just plain ridiculous, the JOKE IS ON YOU TODAY. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS BABY AND THERE AIN’T NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT! GO BLUE DEVILS!