Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Musings

Before I progress toward the more pressing sports issues of the first day of May, I thought I'd reflect on what I thought was the ideal choice for the first ever blog on this site. One of the all-time classic Nature Boy rants, and from the looks of things, also possibly one of the earliest recorded stand-alone interviews for Space Mountain. How, one might ask, can a person tell how old Ric Flair is just by looking at a picture? Like the rings inside of an century-old tree, one need look no further than the scars on the Nature Boy's forehead. Granted, the large band-aid above the right eye covers up a good bit, but without researching further I'd say (by reading the scars) that this particular video is circa 1983, just before the first incarnation of the Horseman in the old NWA days. Pro wrestling back then was as much a part of the landscape of legitimate sport in the mid-80s Southeastern U.S., as the Braves and Falcons were. (Actually I'd have to give the NWA the slight edge given the collective state of those 2 franchises back then.)
A couple more things about Naitch before moving on. At about the 1:10 mark of that video, he starts into what is one of the staples of any good Flair interview, the precession of naming enemies, in other words everybody in wrestling that day who he wants a piece of. This particular one begins with Luger, and onto Dusty Rhodes, Koloff, Ricky Morton, Steve Williams. Of course, along the way, Flair just decides he'll just throw Ted Turner's name in there for the hell of it, since Ted just so happens to be signing Ric's paycheck. Classic Flair. Hall of Famer.

On to current events.....

I know I am in the minority, but I thought the Hawks put up a spirited effort last night. Cutting it to 6 in the 3rd given everything that had taken place to that point was pretty strong in my opinion. Fact is, no way was the NBA going to allow the Hawks to bring this series back to Atlanta with a chance to close it out. Combine that with the fact that Allen and Cassell hit pretty much every shot I remember them taking, two early fouls from Joe Johnson, and another terrible game for both Marvin and Bibby, and you have about what you'd expect. What will be interesting is to see how a potential Game 7 would be officiated. As much as I know David Stern wants a Celtics-Lakers final, an Atlanta win in this series would also clear an easier path for a LeBron-Kobe final, at least in the perception of the league office. One thing is for sure, Friday night in Philips is going to be off the charts. As much crap as we get from the rest of the country, when Atlanta fans show up (see Braves in 91, 92, and 95; Falcons in '98; and the last 2 Hawks' games at Philips), we can get as fired up as anybody else, with the lone exception of maybe a European soccer crowd.

At the current rate, the Braves look ready to clear the slate early and let UGA football have the stage to themselves this summer. (To be completely honest, there probably wasn't enough room for a Braves pennant race and a potential preseason Top 2 UGA anyway.) In all seriousness, what is killing the Bravos right now isn't the fragile rotation or the early bullpen problems, nor is it Bobby Cox (contrary to what my Dad thinks.) Lack of offense from what is supposed to be an offensive team, particularly in late innings, has been the problem. You don't go 0 for 9 in 1-run games by coincidence. McCann and Franceour particularly need to get things going more consistently. We'll have to see how a potential Smoltz move to the bullpen affects things in the long run. Again, it doesn't matter who's starting the game, the Braves seem to always find a way to keep it just close enough to lose it at the end. I'd rather shore up the bullpen in any way possible, even if it means you sacrifice your ace. Then, I'll just keep my fingers crossed that this "vaunted" lineup finds a way to quit throwing up on itself every other night.

This weekend:
Big series for the Diamond Dawgs against a pretty good Ole Miss squad this weekend at Foley. Should also be a decent PGA Tour stop in Charlotte for your viewing pleasure, albeit sans Eldrick. Anyone looking for me Saturday afternoon can find me at a ballet recital (two of them, in fact) somewhere north of Atlanta.

I plan to focus on some UGA football and basketball recruiting in my next blog. Those are 2 topics from which you'd be hard-pressed to draw a negative lately. Have a jolly Thursday.

2 comments:

Bop said...

I hadn't even picked up on the Ted Turner comment. Classic! Diamonds are forever...

As for the Braves problems, I made a bet on Braves vs Cubs regular season record. Not only did I screw the Braves, I'm afraid I have put the Cubs in the WS. If the goat curse ends this year I won't take it too well.

Otto said...

The Bravos downfall started when they let WILLIE go.......