4,000 Sq. Ft. No TV. C’mon USA! Orlando City.

The Star of Amazon?  Live From D.C.  Parisian Golf.  Not The Players.

A massive and ever-growing online universe with many other business units and many, many lines of businesses within those units.  Never mind the bricks and mortar strategy with the acquisition of 460 Whole Foods stores, Amazon on Wednesday introduced Amazon 4-star, a store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.  The store features top-selling and trending items rated four stars and above on Amazon.com, with popular products from categories that include devices, consumer electronics, kitchen, home, toys and books.  This store is Amazon’s flagship but they already have many pop-up stores and book stores.  Could this be a turn of fortune for the retail industry?  I doubt it as online shopping is still growing exponentially and some new retail ventures have failed miserably.  For example, Lowe’s new venture with Orchard Supply, a store smaller than a Lowe’s but with more merchandise than a hardware store, has decided to close all 90 stores by February.  On the surface, it seemed like a solid concept as a hybrid between big box Lowe’s and Ace Hardware, but the reality is that the big boxes, Ace Hardware and online shopping dominant this space.  What comes down the pipeline from a bricks and mortar perspective will be very interesting to watch over the next 18-24 months.

No religion and no politics.  That is what I try to stay with when writing content.  With that said, and not going the political route:  why do confirmation hearings for people nominated to our highest court need to be on national television? Does the live broadcast provide a platform of grandstanding for all involved?  Does the pressure of being watched by hundreds of millions alter the questions to the candidate and more importantly their answers?  I would enjoy reading your take on these questions.

I am up watching the #RyderCup.  It started at 6am EDT and hopefully will last all 12 singles matches.  The USA’s performance has been dismal through the first two days so maybe today will be different? Even if you are not a fan of golf, watching the USA versus Europe in any competition is good fun.

My take is my take so I will not shy away from my opinion.  Sometimes my content is taken too literal so I will clear something up from last week’s rant on the performance of the Orlando City.  In no way was I commenting on the performance of the players.  They are professionals and I have no doubt that they go out every game, especially against Atlanta United, and put in their best to earn a win and three points.  My POV targeted management and ownership who I do not feel has worked hard enough to give their manager the player pool to compete at the highest levels of Major League Soccer.  Do I have solutions for Orlando City?  You bet I do.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Short Takes. #ATLUTD Supporters.

My View.   A Tale of Two Clubs.   

The Debt – my daughter and I watched this movie the other night.  Great writing, great acting, and a very strong message.  It has been out a few years….you can find it on Netflix or Amazon.

Conor McGregor – you are a great example of what we, as parents, do not want our children to watch or witness. Yes, you signed a massive deal to fight but so what? Can you say trash?

Nordstrom – you are certainly taking advice from your vast resource of retail consultants.  Your merchandising scheme is bound to enhance your year-over-year sales selling used and taped-up sneakers for $530.00  Perfect.

To the man in France – if you live with 400 reptiles IN YOUR HOME, and allow a seven-foot alligator to sleep in your bed… Enough said.

Miley Cyrus’ sister – I  hope you cry all the way to the bank!

To the Waffle House robber – #WaffleHouse in Villa Rica, Georgia is not Nobu;  if you plan on robbing a Waffle House using a BB gun, don’t complain that you got shot by a customer with a .357 magnum.  Just cork your whine.

News outlets – Some of you actually reported on whether or not Bert and Ernie are gay.  People in North Carolina are suffering from severe flooding but Bert and Ernie made your news content list.   News directors are wondering why their ratings are diminishing.  You can’t fix stupid.

We don’t know how good we have it as Atlanta United supporters.  Sometimes our level of expectation with our Club may exceed the realities of professional soccer in America.  A huge country to navigate away games, match congestion due to many factors, and the heat of the mostly summer schedule.  A leading-edge stadium, a president with the pedigree and commitment to establish a world-class club, and a owner and manager who know how most of the keys to success work.  So…we were exasperated late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning when United went down 3-1 to the lowly San Jose Earthquakes.  Yes, a miraculous comeback and another three points for United, but even if they had tied or lost to the Earthquakes, the scenario is 180 degrees from what is going on with Orlando City.   Let’s start off with the statement from Orlando’s manager……after he has been in charge for eleven games, after replacing a manager who has taken a team to the MLS championship game: “There’s other individuals that maybe believe that they’re trying, but I think overall, when you look at the commitment today, I think it leaves you with a lot of questions asking around the level of commitment, the level of motivation and the character of individuals.”  Wait, what?  You have been in charge for eleven games and you are just figuring out that most of your player pool is sub-standard? Since you have taken charge your team has a record of one win, eight losses and two ties.  Please stop with the cliches and give your ownership group an ultimatum:  start spending the money to source a competitive player pool….or do yourself a favor and go find a job with an ownership group who cares. Compare that statement and Orlando City’s performance (overall record is 7-18-3) to what you witnessed late Wednesday night, with an Atlanta United team down 3-1 in the second half.  They had already clinched a playoff spot and played their second road game in a row within four days. Atlanta’s players could have cashed it in but fought hard until the 96th minute and turned chicken crap into chicken salad by sheer effort and determination.  Be thankful, Atlanta United fans.  I live in Orlando and what is going on down here with their Major League Soccer team is in two words unacceptable and embarrassing.  

Is It Really Mid-September?

Fake Weather.   Does He Stay or Does He Go?  Ole Red.  Meltdown. Can You Say Punk?

With all due respect to the reporters who really do put their lives at stake trying to give us live updates on weather conditions, this type of reporting just needs to stop:    https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article218461770.html   Yes, it is quite funny to see the two people strolling behind the moron on-air talent, but come on, enough is enough with the sensationalism.

Arthur Blank and Darren Eales brought in their head coach/manager to kick start their new Major League Soccer (#MLS) franchise.  Why Gerardo Martino (Tata) actually accepted the Atlanta United job is still a bit of a mystery, after managing two national teams as well as a top club like Barcelona.  Tata taking the job sent a message to managers around the world that the MLS was indeed an option. Tata’s first year with the Club, with a few disruptions including the delay in opening Mercedes Benz stadium, was very successful.  This year is even better, with a good chance of Atlanta United earning the Supporter’s Shield and odds favoring the Club to get to the MLS Championship game.  Unfortunately, Tata’s initial contract is up at the end of the season and three prominent national team jobs are open, one being his native country of Argentina.  Obviously Tata is playing the cards out with rumors of Argentina’s interest in him coming back to Argentina to lead their national team.  I like the chances of Tata renewing his contract with Atlanta but if he does not, who takes over the manager job?  I say go big and that means two people who have the pedigree, the presence, and the system of high pressure similar to what Tata has installed.  Think Zinedine Zidane.  Think Diego Simeone. Why not?

Blake Shelton has a restaurant chain with locations in Tennessee and Oklahoma. He has announced plans to open another $15m “Ole Red” bar and restaurant in the incredibly saturated themed-restaurant area of Orlando, near Universal Studios on International Drive.  I am not the sharpest pencil in the stack but something tells me Shelton has missed the fandom of country music craziness by about four years. With that said, that area attracts millions of worldwide tourists…..so what do I know?

The Fall of 2008.  It was worldwide and wreaked havoc on global markets. The crisis wrecked the portfolios of private and institutional investors.  Housing starts and commercial construction came to a dead stop as banks, for the most part, quit lending money.  Amazing how ten years later the 2008 financial meltdown thankfully seems like the distant past.

What could be better than his majesty himself, Cam Newton, coming to the ATL to play against the Falcons?  Many things.

Thoughts, prayers and safety to all the people and businesses affected by Hurricane Florence. 

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!!

Short Takes.

Some Rants for the Second Sunday of September.

NASA wants to get back to the moon but at over $2 billion per launch look for Blue Origin and #SpaceX to play a huge role in future space exploration and space commerce.  That is if Elon Musk can ‘get out of the weeds’.

Let me get this straight – the U.S. Open tennis tournament lasts two weeks but the scheduling has one woman having to play a semi-final one day after the quarter-final, with her opponent getting a day of rest?  Stupid scheduling.

That military parade put on by North Korea was impressive.  They did not show off their #ICBM’s (that would be Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), thinking this would be their gesture of detente.  Can you say a regime gone way off the rails?

The University of Georgia football team is either really good or the University of South Carolina is really bad.  Or, maybe a combination of both?

If you live in the ATL you might want to Google what Steve Koonin and the Atlanta Hawks organization have planned for “The Gulch” area right next to State Farm Arena (formerly Philips Arena).  In a word: “Wow”.  

While Atlanta United has already clinched a Major League Soccer playoff spot, their rival Orlando City continues to implode after one poor decision after another.  A great stadium, a great fan base, and a very good fan experience is totally overshadowed by the lack of leadership in the Club’s management and ownership.  Corporate America, when suffering poor results, calls in consultants such as Bain or McKinsey.  With 7 wins, 17 losses and 3 ties, along with three coaches since 2015,  it is time for #OCSC to completely change their culture.  Maybe start with bringing back in Jason Kreis?

If you reside or plan on visiting the coast between Savannah and Southern Virginia, all the best dealing with hurricane Florence.  Hopefully Florence stalls and the Gulf Stream and winds help turn this storm due north.  As a heads up, keep Hurricane Isaac in view.  I don’t like the path this storm is taking.  Not at all.

Naomi Osaka.  20 years-old and plays her heart out to beat Serena Williams in yesterday’s U.S. Open final.  It is too bad that the match was overshadowed with the verbal battle between Serena and the dumb ass chair umpire.  Umpires, referees, and judges of sport have difficult jobs but there is time for discretion in every scenario.  That includes Serena’s emotion on the court, especially when the match is the Final of a major tournament.

Enjoyed him or not, Burt Reynolds was American icon.  The former Florida State University football player was underrated as an actor. He had great range, able to play a basic moron in “Smokey and the Bandit” and sociopath in that very unnerving “Deliverance” classic.  RIP Burt Reynolds.

As the chant goes: “It’s Great To Be a Florida Gator”.   NOT after yesterday.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Takes For The First Sunday in September.

Length Does Matter.  DNA This.  Coaching Changes.  Space Race. Matty Ice Better Get Hot.

I get it. Obviously the longer the television broadcast the greater amount of opportunity for commercial and promotional spots. The money derived from sponsors provides the networks with the necessary dollars to bid on broadcast properties.  As someone who watches college and NFL football, as well as the MLS and Premier League, I appreciate the opportunity to tune into the many live sporting events.  Yesterday, we were privy to three Premier League matches and up to 22 college football broadcasts, allowing for a day of TV watching that will continue into the new year.  The issue that I have is the length of college football games.  It is what it is with numerous stoppages in play due to penalties, injuries, time outs, and breaks at each quarter and halftime.  The games simply take way too long even if you are at a beach bar on the coast of Florida…taking in all the sights and sounds (can you say New Smyrna Beach?).  While the NCAA has opened their eyes to this problem, even changing some rules regarding the play clock, nothing about yesterday’s games were different from 2016, when the AVERAGE game took 3 hours, 24 minutes.  Yesterday’s Wisconsin – Auburn game started at 3:30 pm and did not end for another 3 hours, 25 minutes.  An insane amount of time that included a 20-minute halftime.  Can someone explain to me why college football players need a third of an hour between halves?  To the pleasure of a few of my readers, I will not pull out the soccer comparison card.  The games and the dynamics are different, but I will say it is refreshing to watch a game that starts and ends within two hours. Tonight’s college game between Miami and LSU starts at 7:30pm.  Any bet on the game finishing before 11pm?

23 and Me.  What a concept.  Pay a fee, receive a tube to spit in, send it back, and receive ‘scientific data’ that lays out your heritage.  Wait, what? Yes, I paid the fee, spit into the tube and just can’t wait to see the ‘scientific data’….

After he departs from Manchester United, can someone enlighten me on the club/owner who hires Jose Mourinho to manage their team?  And where does David Moyes get off announcing his ‘interest’ in managing Atlanta United when Tata departs?  David, you had a hard enough time filling Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes…….do you really think that you will be a fit for #ATLUTD after Tata’s magic?  Now, with that said, everything Darren Eales has touched has turned to gold (and red and black), so if the Scot is his choice – all good!

39B.  It is not a class room or a part of a question on an exam.  It is a launch pad. When you visit central Florida, make your way over the the Visitor Center at #KennedySpaceCenter.  The displays, exhibits, and theaters reveal the background information and technology that in a word is amazing.  To see the real Space Shuttle is actually surreal – and a bit mind-boggling imaging this ship working through deep space, breaking back through the atmosphere and landing on a very long runway.  If you have a chance take the time and go visit.

It is Thursday Night Football opening up the NFL season.  For the Atlanta Falcons, here is to hoping that there is a inverse-relationship between the preseason and regular season.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!