Inspiration. Autonomous. Got My Driver’s License. Dope. Barco.

The Blog.  Look Mom, No Hands.  Saudi Drivers.  Portugal’s Leap of Faith.  He Is Really Good.

I have had inquiries from people I don’t know about how and why I started this weekly blog.  It is not very complicated as I like to challenge myself with things that are out of my comfort zone.  So I got a bit of advice from Doug Roberson and Jeff Schultz, both excellent journalists with the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, and looked to journalists who have inspired me over the years:  Peter King, Sports Illustrated; Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated; Dave Barry, Miami Herald; and Hunter Thompson, Rolling Stone.  I have no ulterior motives with the blog other than to write content and stay away from religion and politics.  It is not easy for me but I enjoy the challenge.

Robot taxis. I want to know the first people who, in a major city, decide it is OK to get into an autonomous automobile and sit comfortably while the car, with no steering wheel, takes you to your destination.  It seems that General Motors has decided to enter this market of autonomous automobiles in a big way and they are all good with the no driver and no steering wheel concept.  I know that it is inevitable that driver-less cars will dominate our highways and roads sooner than I think, but my vision of these types of cars in downtown LA, Charlotte, Atlanta, or Orlando only leads me to believe that big time issues will occur.  But then again, no one even knew what an automobile was 120 years ago.

Saudi Arabia.  Progressive in many ways including petrochemicals and oil, and at the same time so 17th century with it’s behavior toward women.  I won’t bore you with all the archaic rules that govern a Saudi woman’s behavior in public but no one could ever understand why Saudi Arabia prohibited women from obtaining a driver’s license.  Maybe a devout Muslim would understand why not, but most people are clueless about Sharia Law.  I won’t go down the path of religion but Saudi Arabia ranks 141 out 144 countries in gender parity and much of that ranking is tied to Sharia Law.   I am not sure if things are changing in Saudi Arabia, but it was announced last week that Saudi Arabian women, for the first time, will be able to apply for a driver’s license.  To keep it all in perspective, it was not until 2011 when women in Saudi Arabia were finally allowed to vote.  Meh.

It’s climate mimics California with it’s beautiful coastal cities and towns, and it’s hilly and mountainous countryside.  Portugal now has become a mecca for marijuana production focused on producing medical marijuana similar to many areas of the United States.  One major difference: Unlike the United States, drug overdose is almost unheard of in Portugal.  The main reason: 16 years ago, Portugal took a risk and decriminalized the possession of all drugs — everything from marijuana to heroin. By most measures, the move has paid off. Today, Portuguese authorities don’t arrest anyone found holding what’s considered less than a 10-day supply of an illicit drug.  I will never condone the use of drugs but what Portugal has done makes you think that there are other answers to the massive U.S. drug problem.

With the signing of Ezequiel Barco, Atlanta United’s starting eleven for this upcoming season is crazy good. Barco is just 18 years-old and is considered one of the world’s top young midfielders. Just as important, United’s bench is much stronger than last year allowing them to rest players at opportune times (note:  unlike last year’s ridiculous September schedule due the Mercedes Benz stadium delay, this year’s schedule is in relative balance). Darren Eales, Carlos Bocanegra, and Tata Martino continue to set a standard that most clubs can only dream about.

Eight weeks to daylight savings time.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday.   


It is a New Year.

What We All Look Forward To As We Head Into 2018.

For those of us still watching the NFL, an interesting playoff scenario. Can the Falcons win at Philadelphia?

Tomorrow night’s College Football Championship Game.  Can the Dawgs take down Saban?

A new tax plan – if our favorite CPA can figure it out.

Getting rid of this weather and temperatures that align more with Siberia.

A very special wedding.

The Middle East and detente.  Probably not.

A World Cup summer (unfortunately without the U.S.A.)  – We should all support Iceland, a country of 320,000, and our neighbor, Mexico.

Easter, The Master’s, and Passover, which means we finally get into Spring.

Winter Park & Hannibal Square, downtown Alpharetta, downtown St. Pete, and Delray Beach.

Making Iran and North Korea behave.  Doubtful but hopeful.

The Winter Olympics in South Korea.  At least the ski jumping competition.

Figuring out the South Sudan where 7.7 million people depend on aid from all of us to survive.

The start of Atlanta United’s season – and the long-term contract Miguel Almiron will sign.  Doubtful.

Space Tourism.  Think SpaceX.

Daylight savings time – nine weeks and counting.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday! 







A Year in Review.

I am ‘on Holiday’ for the next two Holiday weekends.  Here is to remembering and saluting some of the people we lost in 2017:

First and foremost, our Veterans and our Armed Forces personnel.

Don Rickles – he made fun of everyone all the time and everyone laughed.

Gomer Pyle – a.k.a. Jim Nabors

David Cassidy – he made women melt.

Della Reese – talent at its best.

Roy Halladay – one of baseball’s better pitchers – ever.

Fats Domino- if only today’s so-called talent could mimic him.

Robert “Benson” Guillaume – he helped provide a path for African American TV actors

Y.A. Tittle – epitome of competiveness

Tom Petty – his music was a cross-over of everything.

Monty Hall – Everyone watched him host “Let’s Make a Deal”

Hugh Hefner – what is the one word you think of when someone mentions his name?

Jake LaMotta – the boxer portrayed by Robert De Niro in “Raging Bull”

Jerry Lewis – how could someone so goofy be so talented?

Dick Gregory – controversial, spirited and maybe a bit misguided

Glen Campbell – country before country got cool.

Sam Shepard – an incredibly talented playwright and actor

John Heard – the dad in “Home Alone”.

Martin Landau – the intelligent one in the original “Mission Impossible” TV series.

Stephen Furst – remember ‘Flounder’ in “Animal House”?

Adam West – he IS Batman.

Frank Deford – distinguished journalist helped make sports writing an art

Gregg Allman – a pioneer and a legend

Jim Bunning – elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame and a U.S. Congressman

Roger Moore – was he the best ‘James Bond’?

Chris Cornell – one of the many talented musicians/singers we have lost over the years.  His voice made “Soundgarden”.  Gone at 52.

There are many more we lost in 2017.  Live strong everyday and do what you can do while you can do it.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday, Happy Holidays, and all the best for a great 2018!  I will be back on January 7.




Cryptocurrency. Heisman. Leveraging the Arena. ATL UTD. Scum.

Derivatives.  Grow Up.  Capturing the Fans $$.  Let’s Get the Silverware.  Franken This.

Will someone a bit more intelligent than I (that is all of you) please enlighten me on the what, why, and how the bitcoin is now top of mind?  I read the words ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘digital money’ and understand that a Chicago-based exchange is opting to trade bitcoin futures.  Wait, what?  This is a currency without the backing of a government or central bank and has risen in value 1,500% since January 1st….85% in the last two weeks! Is it real, a financial flavor of the month, or just an anti-establishment currency tracking the path of the digital world?

To Baker Mayfield: you are more cocky than skillful and you just won the Heisman Trophy.  You have a bit of Johnny Manziel in you and you have an arrest record.  Enjoy your Heisman trophy and try not to follow many Heisman winners who had little to no NFL success:  Tim Tebow, RGIII, Matt Leinart, Danny Wuerffel, Andre Ware..and there are many others.  In short, wake up and grow up.

Downtown Atlanta is about to blow up again.  The Atlanta Hawks and Steve Koonin are developing what is going to be an awesome entertainment complex right next to Philips Arena.  Once the Hawks get through this tough rebuilding year, their team and the Philips Arena area will be a great night out.  The same is happening in Orlando with the Magic, who are developing a mixed use complex next to Amway Center.  These developments will far exceed L.A. Live next to Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

As all of you know I am a big supporter of Atlanta United, who in their inaugural season, achieved tremendous success on and off the field.  I hope Toronto F.C.’s performance last night only provides more motivation for Darren Eales, Carlos Bocanegra , and Tata Martino to build a player pool that gets Atlanta a championship.  It looks like it may have started this week with the signing of 22 year-old Franco Escobar from Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys.  Escobar is young, experienced and great on the ball out of the back.  I am sure there are many more moves coming in the next few weeks especially if a big European club comes up with the big money to buy Miguel Almiron.

To Al Franken:  crawl up in a hole and don’t come out.  Ever. (Did I just stray from my mantra of no politics/no religion?)

Adios and have a Sunday Funday!   

Short Takes for the 1st Sunday in December.

28 Days to 2018.

Really, we are in the last month of 2017.  How fast did this year go?

The Russians and FIFA at it again…..Russia somehow drawn into the weakest group for World Cup 2018.  Yes, the host country is Russia.

Capital punishment can get very political…which I stay away from….but, the guy who killed four people in the Tampa Bay area.  Enough said.

Yesterday’s win against Auburn puts the University of Georgia in the bowl championship’s final four.  While Ohio State supporters are very disappointed, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama should make for a fun final four.

I have previously ranted about individuals accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.  I am sure someone else will hire him for the shock ratings but how toxic is Matt Lauer?

Gulf of Mexico beaches.  In one word:  awesome.

I still have a hard time understanding how, in 2017, a submarine can disappear off the coast of Argentina and  multi-national search crews have no idea where the submarine sits?  Then again, a passenger plane that went missing years ago has never been found.

Is the shine off for February’s Winter Olympics?  Interest seems to be lacking…maybe due to the time difference U.S.A. viewers will experience with the Games being held in South Korea.

Hopefully you had the chance to see the University of Central Florida’s double overtime win in the AAC championship game.  UCF ends up the regular season undefeated and while their schedule is not as tough as most D1 schools, I doubt there is any football coach who would want their team to take on UCF right now.

I-4 from Orlando to Tampa- another example of the U.S.A.’s unfortunate miss with the world of high speed trains.

Adios and have a Great Week!



No Longer the Status Quo.

Money Talks But PPV Speaks Louder.

I guess we take for granted watching live broadcasts of sporting events, especially college football.  In 1951, a mere 66-years ago, NBC broadcast the first live, nationwide coverage of a live sporting event.  That day it was a college football game between Duke and Pitt.  For perspective, there were 133 college football games broadcast live on TV or steamed online on the opening weekend of college football back in September.  That’s right, 133 games in one weekend.

Yes, we all know that this live broadcast frenzy is fueled by the networks who bid for college football’s broadcast rights.  Many years ago this bidding was enhanced when the FCC abolished the NCAA rights and allowed individual conferences to bid out their conference schedule broadcast rights.  The numbers the networks pay are incredible but they are betting on big paybacks from advertisers who love the gigantic ratings.  It sounds like a plan until you find out that ESPN alone, in 2012, agreed to a 12-year, $5.64 billion dollar contract for the rights to the college football playoffs and the six associated bowl games.  $471m a year in a socio-economic atmosphere of cord-cutting and rampant pirating of broadcasts from numerous dubious sources.  ESPN has made such bad deals that they are now going through their second set of headcount cuts to minimize their cost structure.   This is ESPN’s scenario – CBS and Fox are basically in the same predicament due to the contracts they signed for rights to broadcast the Big Ten, ACC, Pac-10 and SEC conferences.  This take is focused on college football but for perspective ESPN has announced that they are doing a deep-dive study on whether they can afford to keep producing and broadcasting Monday Night Football.

There is not a clear cut answer to the financial dilemma but get familiar with the acronym PPV because it is coming fast.  We pay way too much for cable television but I guess we rationalize the money spent every month on the amazing amount (not necessarily quality) of content. PPV, Pay-for-View, is the model that most European broadcasters have gone to – including the ability to watch live sports that once were part of a subscriber’s monthly package.  Get ready U.S.A. because that SEC and Big Ten ‘free’ football we watch during the Fall is about to change dramatically.  The go forward reality is PPV.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!!!!

November 23. Give Thanks.

Just My Take:  A List of Things We Really Should Be Thankful For…..

  • Families, friends, associates, and partners
  • Advantages provided by living in a democratic society
  • Siri
  • Tax cuts (whenever that may really happen)
  • Beer
  • Technology – because as much as we may complain about it – it could be tough to live without a mobile phone, Google maps, and
  • Wine
  • A dishwasher
  • Arthur Blank, Jim Smith & Darren Eales – for the hard work many years ago that has now made Atlanta United top of mind
  • Bourbon
  • Celebrating children – no matter what
  • Mortgage interest tax deduction (for the time being)
  • Peter King’s blog:  Monday Morning Quarterback
  • A really good hug
  • Professors and teachers who really care
  • Healthcare professionals who are not self-serving
  • No clouds and 77
  • Health, because without it, none of the above really matters


Honor. Viva Italia. Gameday Saturday. It’s Dark. Hans Solo.

Don’t Dare Take A Knee This Weekend (Or Ever).  Don’t Let the Swedes Ruin Next Summer.  Really Hope?  Saturday is for Football.

After World War I ended, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day.  In 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a peace treaty was finally signed ending the “War of All Wars”.  Unfortunately, the wars never ended and President Eisenhower signed a bill changing the name from Armistice Day to a more inclusive Veteran’s Day.  A national holiday thanking and saluting all of those who have served and thoughts and prayers to all of those who fell.  With today being Veteran’s Day, here’s hope that all of us salute and respect the flag – flown at a parade or presented by a Color Guard, you better not take a knee.

Italian National Team – wake up dammit.  The thought of not having Italy at next summer’s World Cup is horrible.  Yesterday, Sweden took a 1-0 win into Monday’s second leg.  With the U.S.A. failing to qualify, the Italians give us some hope as we head into next summer.

Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter – a match made in heaven.

With the issues surrounding the National Football League, many people are restating that Saturday is for football.  This statement definitely resonates today with many important games including Georgia – Auburn and Miami- Notre Dame.  The NFL is a massive business with a lot of very smart people in their management ranks.  They will figure it out but until then we can take in both types of ‘football’ on Saturdays – all morning, day and evening.

Have I mentioned that I dislike daylight savings time ending?

Adios, have a great weekend and a Funday Sunday!



Short Takes for the 1st Sunday in November.

Man Up.  Sophia.  Tata.  Way Too Long.  Good to Bad.  Take a Knee.  The Dark of the Sun.

People working with people.  Business travel with a mix of women and men.  The pressure, anxiety, and sometimes isolation of being on the road away from home.  Management that provides for an atmosphere of bad behavior.  People parlaying their position of power into solicitation.  All of this happens on a regular basis, day in and day out.  Any and all of this has been prevalent and is unfortunately top of mind due to the alleged actions of  Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey.  I am sure that some of the many allegations socialized through the media have no substantiation but even if 1% of the many allegations are true some type of severe ramifications need to happen, and happen fast.

There is a recent photo of Sophia Loren on social media channels.  She is still beautiful and stunning……at 77 years-old.  Wish she could tell us how.

It looks like Tata Martino, Atlanta United’s manager, has turned down an approach by U.S. Soccer to be their next manager.  Bad for U.S. Soccer and very good for Atlanta United.

Other than money derived from commercial breaks, is there any reason Major League Baseball should not reduce the number of innings from 9 to 7?

In one day Houston’s sports fans go from exhilaration with their World Series win to tears with the ACL injury to the Texans starting quarterback, DeShaun Watson.

The National Football League reports that their season-to-date attendance and TV ratings are slightly off plan from a year ago……really NFL?

Hoping that everyone remembers (except Arizona and Hawaii) to set their clocks back one hour late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning.  Does the 5:45pm darkness bother anyone else?  Cannot wait for the 1st Sunday in March.

Adios and have a great Saturday & Funday Sunday!!!


Quick Takes for Mid-October.

Views from Central Florida.

I have pledged to stay away from religion and politics….but really, leadership and twitter do not resonate with anyone.

If you cannot take a point or three from Trinidad & Tobago in a knockout game to reach the World Cup your program needs to be overhauled.  From the people at the top to the players to the youth development system…change it all up.

Urban planners who were paid to PLAN the future infrastructure of fast-growing southeastern cities did not plan at all.  Drive through Charlotte, Atlanta or Orlando.

Everyone keeps saying that Roger Federer, the 19-time Grand Slam winner, is ready to retire after 94 career wins.  Nope.  Last night he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the Shanghai Open.  Federer = wine.

Innocent until proven guilty.  With that said if it looks like and duck and walks like a duck…..Harvey Weinstein.

Sirius/XM has added a ‘Tom Petty’ channel. Smart move.

North Korea is very lucky that they are not a parking lot.

The Atlanta Hawks are in a rebuilding mode – they have a great front office so count on them turning it around quickly.  Still good fun to check them out and what Steve Koonin has planned for the Philips Arena area is going to be top class.

O.J. released from prison and autograph dealers lined up to pay for helmets he autographed last weekend.  I know the world is weird but how can there be a market for anything signed O.J.?

Please, no more hurricanes in 2017.  Devastating.

Baseball = boring, with postseason games lasting an average of 3 hours, 41 minutes.  Ridiculous.

Orlando getting ready for winter.  Not so much.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!!