All Sports for the 1st Sunday of May.

The $100 Million Dollar Man.  No Mr. Ed.   The Sir Alex Ferguson.  Atlanta on Fire. The Cornhusker Roll.  

One of my first blog posts, almost two years ago, slammed Atlanta Falcons quaterback Matt Ryan for his indecisiveness and lack of mobility.   Yes, my assessment was totally incorrect as I had no clue how much work Ryan had done in that off season to improve his arm strength and overall physicality.  After I went off on him before that season he went on to be the league’s MVP.  When I am wrong, I am really wrong.  Now, two years later, he is thirty-three and gearing up for the 2018 NFL season.  MSN Sports ranks him the NFL’s fifth best quarterback, behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees – which you may or may not agree with.  With all of that said, the Atlanta Falcons extended Ryan’s contract, giving him $150m over 5 years, with $100 million of it guaranteed.   The five-year part of it, until Ryan is 38, is eyebrow-raising enough, but the $100m guaranteed contract sets a precedent that is not necessarily healthy for the NFL and other professional sports.  Yes, Tom Brady and Drew Brees may finally be near the end of their careers but the go-forward discussions with Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, based on Ryan’s new deal, should lead to some very interesting renegotiations.

How does Bob Baffert do it?  Five Kentucky Derby winners, including yesterday’s winner, Justify, in the 144th running of the Derby.

Prayers and thoughts to Sir Alex Ferguson and his family – the coaching icon underwent surgery yesterday and is hopefully recovering from a brain hemorrhage.

With last night’s road win for Atlanta United against Chicago, along with NYCFC’s loss to the Red Bulls, United is now on top of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.  Wednesday night’s match against Sporting KC, the Western Conference leaders, should be another sellout at Mercedes Benz Stadium.  A quick turnaround for both teams as Sporting KC beat Colorado last night.  Would Atlanta sports fans every think that three of their professional sports teams would be in the hunt to win championships?  United, the Falcons, and now the Braves seem to have something great going on.  Don’t discount the Hawks, who are undergoing a rebuilding process but with a positive draft, a couple of key trades, and a new head coach, will be competitive very soon.

It can be recreational in nature and includes words oil, spin, bed posts, cherry, kegler, and back up balls.  You can lay it down, split it and the sweet spot changes depending on location.  Now get your mind out of the gutter and realize that the activity is bowling – one of America’s pastimes with participants young and old.  I always have had the upmost respect for the sport – as someone who played many sports growing up, I have always had a very difficult time with bowling.  My respect for the sport has increased as last week I had the chance to catch HBO’s Real Sports program.  One of the segments was very well done as the piece covered the University of Nebraska women’s bowling team.  A team that recruits worldwide, trains at the football team’s athletic complex, and has won ten national championships. Their coach competed on the Professional Bowlers Association tour and at 6’5″ and 22o lbs, Coach Bill Straub commands the respect of his players with one consistent demand:  his entire team, no matter their previous success and pedigree, must throw every ball in the same precise manner.  Hundreds of training hours (or course within NCAA regulations) are focused on the arm swing, and any deviation is corrected immediately.  No one can argue with the ten national titles and 22 All-Americans at Nebraska, no longer just associated with being a college football powerhouse.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!





NFL Draft. Sanctions. Depth. A Very Long Term Loan.

Live TV and the NFL Draft.  North Korea.  Bend it Like Kratz.  We Can All Buy a Bugatti.  

I remain a big fan of the NFL, even with the kneeling down protests (though I still feel that Saturday is for football).  It still amazes me that two networks dedicated Thursday night to a live broadcast the ‘drama’ of the 1st round of the NFL draft.  While I was slightly interested in who the Cleveland Browns would pick at #1,  and who the Atlanta Falcons selected, it is remarkable that ESPN and Fox can justify the block of prime time advertising dollars dedicated to this draft.  While in some minds the NFL is no longer one of our passions, it is obvious the broadcast and cable networks feel differently.  There are some marketeers and former TV execs who read this blog so please enlighten us with Thursday night’s ratings and the continued power of the NFL.

The timing of Korean peninsula “peace talks” obviously correlates to the North Korean economy and its people.  After many years of economic sanctions imposed by the United States, Japan, Germany, and to a lesser degree China, is Kim Jong Un finally succumbing to the people of his country?  Time will tell.

Remember that Atlanta United went through hell in their inaugural season due to the delays of the opening Mercedes Benz stadium.  The delays led to Atlanta United playing on the road and a ridiculous, compressed schedule in late August and September.  Dovetail that with injuries and a lack of depth and United simply ran out of steam late in the season and in the 1st round of playoffs.  This year is different as their schedule is normalized with their home and away schedule, and more importantly United has added depth to their player pool.  Yesterday was a perfect example.  After Montreal scored to take a 1-0 lead, the Impact decided to ‘bunker down’ and get all their players behind the ball.  Tata Martino, United’s manager, countered with a substitution at halftime, taking off a midfielder and adding on an attacker.  Another substitute, midfielder Kevin Kratz, was also added into the mix to add to the attack.  #KevinKratz would start on most Major League Soccer teams and if you don’t know how he impacted yesterday’s 4-1 win, watch the game highlights.  Magical.

Automobiles are usually a depreciating asset at best unless you purchase a classic car that increases in value over time.  Yesterday I read an advertisement touting a 10-year auto loan which at a minimum allows some people to get in way over their heads by purchasing expensive cars.  This craziness is not the same as the home-loan debacle of yesteryear but it sure smells like we could be heading that way.  120-month auto loan – meh.

Carmel-by-the-Sea:  In one word – stunning.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!



Spring Season.

Short Takes for a Sunday Morning.

With all the talk and action by women for women, all women should look to Tammie Jo Shults as inspiration and motivation.  She served eights years as a Navy pilot in their Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron.  Now, as a commercial airline pilot, she follows in the footsteps of Captain Sullenberger (Sully) as she calmly and professionally landed a Southwest airliner with 144 passengers aboard –  after one of two engines blew apart at 30,000 feet.  Tammie Jo Shults = hero.

I won’t go politics here but it would it not be fun to be in the same room as Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump when they meet to discuss Trump’s demand that North Korea denuclearize?

A truck takes down a power line and the entire nation of Puerto Rico goes dark for 36 hours.  Hello, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and the year is 2018.

If you go to a Starbucks and you act badly you should be asked to leave.  If you go to a Starbucks and behave appropriately, and then you are asked to leave due to race, creed, or religion, you should find the best attorney available, who will take the case on contingency, and sue Starbucks and their CEO for every dime available.  This behavior in America must stop.

Last night, Atlanta United comes away with a 2-0 win against the Galaxy in Los Angeles.  Very well done, especially on the road.  Saturday’s match at home versus Montreal will surely sellout.

If you stuff 95 kilos of cocaine into your suitcases and bring it aboard a cruise ship, you are just stupid.  If you then brag about what you are doing on Instagram, you are just really stupid.

Cuba without a Castro at the helm.  Very strange.

To the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transport Authority (MARTA):  how about way-finding signage in your stations that clearly explain when trains run and where, especially late at night and on weekends?  Seriously, the lack of information, signage and non-functional LED signs is embarrassing for the City.  Do something about it MARTA.

A tough season for the Atlanta Hawks….but they have put themselves in a very good situation for next year with the draft.  Maybe add in a couple of free agent moves and the Hawks should be way better next season.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!











Sunday, April 8th – Top of Mind

Short Takes That You Will Not Necessarily Agree With…..

Syria is still a disaster in many ways – get it fixed or get the hell out. No grey area.

Celebrating MLK’s anniversary of his assassination (50 years ago) – let’s move a lot of that energy spent on the celebrating to generating greater paths to civil rights.

To Leandro Gonzalez Pirez – I was a bit harsh on you in last week’s post after your debacle in Minnesota.  Live and learn Leandro….and time to get yourself ready to get to the next level.

Alec Baldwin – nothing to do with your Saturday Night Live skits…but seeing you on the show last night reminded me of what a low life you really are.  Anyone want to question my POV?  Just ask me and I will give you some insight – and a discussion I had with him right after he publicly shamed his young daughter.

Bob Bradley – you were never known as a tactician and you proved it again last night.

The dichotomy of sports:  today’s final round duel at the Master’s between America’s Patrick Reed and Ireland’s superstar Rory McIlroy…….and then seeing Johnny Manziel at yet another NFL tryout.  Go away Johnny.

Snow in Chicago early this week and 100-degree temperatures in Palm Springs.  Damn, this is a big country.

The company name is Orion Span and they have developed concepts for the first space ‘hotel’.  I am very interested but I am not going first.  The #Jetson’s are becoming more and more a reality every day.

It was not a small fishing vessel or a 120′ yacht.  Went went missing, back on November 15, was the ARA San Juan, a German-built TR-1700 class submarine.  A six-month search off the coast of Argentina has turned up nothing. This submarine gone missing brings back memories of the Malaysian airliner, carrying 239 people, that vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing over four years ago.  I don’t get it.

Sports bars packed last last night to watch — UFC.  Who would have thought?

Doctors, health consultants, trainers, physio’s, nutritionists and just about everyone telling us to cut sugars out of our diet.  In one word:  Not.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!!!!





Wrong Ted. Zlatan. Grow Up LGP.

Silver Bullet Bullshit.  20 Minutes to Remember.  Tactical Awareness.  

He has produced 34 albums and sold over 30 million records.  He has rocked audiences worldwide over 6,000 times and before leading his Silver Bullet Band he cut his teeth with the Amboy Dukes.  I won’t position him a hypocrite as Ted Nugent (think “Cat Scratch Fever”) has always been an activist on issues including the 2nd Amendment and is a NRA Board member.  So while the Right to Free Speech is a cornerstone of country why would Nugent dip so low to use the media, the same media that he calls out for ‘false news’, to attack the young kids who participated in last weekend’s “March For Our Lives”?  As previously mentioned I won’t comment on the politics of gun control but I will comment on a washed up rock star using the media to blatantly disrespect the high school kids who took the time and effort to make their feelings known to the world.  Here is what Nugent told the media:  “To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul… These children can’t be critical of any of the propaganda that they’re fed and that’s just sad….they are mushy-brained children.” Really Ted, are you now beating your chest for telling children, who experienced terror that we can never imagine,  that they ‘have no soul’?   You should be ashamed.

He is 36 years-old and many call him way over-the-hill.  Journalists deemed his transfer to the L.A. Galaxy of Major League Soccer as a way to continue his career in a league sub par to the big leagues of Europe.  Maybe some of that is true as the man’s ego is a perfect fit with Tinsel Town.  Then you watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic come into yesterday’s match between the two L.A. teams and remarkably turn a game on a dime.  After Thursday night’s ten-hour flight to L.A. and a mere 48 hours after arriving, the L.A. Galaxy manager, losing 3-0 in the 70th minute, decided to put Ibrahimovic into the game.  Go to YouTube, watch what happens, and only hope the man called “Zlatan” has something better to do when the Galaxy host Atlanta United on April 21st.

Let’s be very clear:  I am a big supporter of Atlanta United defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (LGP).  I have told many that with some refinement he could be an excellent defender, maybe with a future with a club in Europe.  Last year, in Atlanta United’s inaugural year, LGP, while a big part of Atlanta United’s success, behaved at times like a rookie with unnecessary fouling, playing bad balls out of the defending third, and getting cautioned for silly reasons.  You would expect that after a year with the Club, his maturity would increase as well as his tactical awareness – the ability to understand the circumstances of the match at any one time.  Nope, as LGP once again has shown us (and more importantly Tata Martino), that while he may be a strong and a physical presence that is needed on the field, he ability to manage the game is nominal.  Last night, in an ugly but remarkable win at Minnesota United, LGP showed all of us why he has a long way to go with being a perennial defender in Major League Soccer.  Last night United is playing away in bitterly cold Minnesota with three of their key players unavailable to injury or illness.  Atlanta takes the lead early on but LGP had already been issued a caution in the 1st minute of the game.  So, with a 1-0 lead, three key players unavailable, and temperatures hovering around 20 degrees you would think LGP would defend with caution?  No, not exactly as in the 38th minute, for no apparent reason, he elects to go in on a hard tackle on a Minnesota player who is on the touch line (the sideline).  A ridiculous and stupid decision that we thought he had matured from – instead Atlanta is forced to play a man down for the balance of the match.  This stupidity cannot go on any longer.  Has Tata not convinced LGP to change his ways, play smart, and manage the game?  L.A. FC comes to Atlanta next Saturday and now LGP is suspended for the match. Let’s hope our sick and wounded recover quickly.   To LGP:  it is time to grow up young man.

It is Easter Sunday – enjoy the day and have a great week!


“Enough is Enough”. Random Takes.

The March for Our Lives.  Top of Mind Things I Think.

Let there be no misunderstanding.  I am proud of all the people worldwide, especially the children, who gathered yesterday to make their voices heard regarding gun control.  I just wonder if their efforts are misguided?  As I stated in my February 18th post:  “I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system.  What I will comment on is school security.  Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place.”  My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place.  I only wish that the protest would have been more focused on school safety than gun control.  With respect to the 2nd Amendment it is time for more controls to be put in place when purchasing a gun, but what would have been the difference if the sick 19 year-old had walked into Stoneman Douglas High School with a shotgun instead of an AR-15?  The importance of security and locking down our schools is still way more important than gun control.

Today is Palm Sunday.  Just as a reminder, Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.  I know all of you knew that.

The NCAA tournament committee:  nice job seeding Loyola-Chicago 11th.  The Ramblers destroyed Kansas State last night and go on to next weekend’s Final Four.  Yes, the 11th seed.

Juventus, who has won the Italian League (Serie A) a whopping 33 times, will play at  Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz stadium on August 1st.  That will be one hell of a summer party.

Ponce Inlet, located just south of Daytona Beach – one of the better beaches I have been on.  Relatively quiet, flat, and of course a beach bar or two.

Not that I have a deep understanding of basketball strategy, but what the heck was Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton thinking in the last two minutes of last night’s NCAA Elite Eight knockout game?  Weird tactics.

Next weekend: the Final Four, baseball season opens, Major League Soccer in full force and Easter Sunday.  Welcome to Spring.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!


Miami Sad. Etc.

A Bridge Too Far.  Random Thoughts for Mid-March.

Growing up in a middle-class neighborhood of Miami, with the southwest section surrounded by Coral Gables to the east, Calle Ocho to the north, the Everglades to the west and Kendall to the south, my friends and I were able to use Tamiami Park and the brand new Florida International University (FIU) soccer fields to tone our skills.  FIU has grown to be a massive University, with world-class educational facilities supported by both private and public funds.  The school has helped the “Miami turnaround”, from the dark days of the “cocaine cowboys” to what is now one of the most vibrant metropolitan areas in the world.  Massive construction, new developments, and leading edge design have put Miami back in the media spotlight.  Unfortunately, the lack of due diligence, responsibility, testing, and oversight has again brought negative attention to South Florida.  On the heels of the Parkland tragedy, a pedestrian bridge, designed for rapid fabrication and installation, crashed onto a busy street last week killing six people and injuring many.  950 tons of steel and concrete crushing cars below as the ‘engineers’ were adjusting tension cables that support the bridge.  One engineer’s phone call to the State Authority mentioned cracks at one end of the bridge but stated that ‘no danger was imminent’ with adjusting the cables.  Sad, unfortunate and more importantly unnecessary sadness around the FIU campus and the Miami area for all the wrong reasons.  Was it too much pressure to get the bridge built, the lack of engineering, or the tactic of fabricating the bridge in one piece and ‘swinging into position”?  More importantly, when adjusting the cable tension of a new bridge, why was the road below not shut down for the hour or so when these adjustments were taking place?  Miami will overcome this tragedy – one that was senseless and avoidable.

The season started off with a bit of an alarming loss, but Atlanta United, led by manager Tata Martino’s shift in formation (or shape), has dominated their last two opponents in two easy wins.

One person in Pennsylvania is very happy this morning.  $457 million happy.

The NCAA tournament got off to the usual crazy start with Virginia, the #1 seed, crashing out to minnow UMBC.  March Madness true to the word.

Speaking of madness, are we already done with 2.5 months of 2018?

I thought most sectors of retail were stabilized and in some cases making a bit of a comeback?  Not so much.  Goodbye Toys “R” Us.

Pets on planes arriving in the wrong continent – so wrong.

86 degrees today in Orlando.  Summer has started.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!



I Have One Word.

Call It What You Want.

Trump & Kim Jong-Un:  Megalomaniacs

The 2nd Amendment: Confusing

Elon Musk:  Ballsy

March Madness:  Fun

BitCoins: Confusing

Putin: Shrewd

Syria: Hell

Chicago: Crime

Silicon Valley: Done

Stormy Daniels & Donald Trump:  Meh

Alexa: Obedient

Puerto Rico:  Forgotten

Atlanta United: Win

Daylight Savings Time: Thankful

Odell Beckham:  Bizarre

Spring Training Baseball:  Interesting

Regular Season Baseball:  Dull

Atlanta:  Traffic

Atlanta Hawks: Rebuild

Traffic:  I-4

Stock Market:  Uncertainty

International Women’s Day:  Passion

Canine Companions for Independence:  Amazing

Salvatore:  Entertaining

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!




Short Takes for the First Sunday of March.

Just My Take.

Assault rifles are now coming out of the racks and cases at many retailers.  I support the Constitution including the 2nd Amendment but why did it take the tragedy in South Florida for these retailers to take action?

Major League Soccer, opening up it’s 23rd season today, has come a very long way.  Twenty-three years ago, USSF President Alan Rothenberg sat in my living room in Atlanta watching the inaugural MLS match on TV as his Atlanta hotel did not receive Univision.  The league has come a very long way.

A “Nor’easter” creating havoc this weekend in the New England area.  People killed and over a million people without power.  Thoughts and prayers for all of you dealing with this storm.

Tonight is the 90th Academy Awards.  Here is hoping that the Academy Award winners only thank the people who helped them and then get off the stage without political rants that dominated last year’s ceremony.   Maybe this time Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty can open the envelope and announce the real winner for best motion picture.  Meh.

Another March Madness and the NCAA basketball tournament – so fun to follow and watch the minnows upset the giants of college basketball.

Just when you think that our entire world has been discovered, a satellite has uncovered a “colony” of penguins living on an island located on the north side of Antarctica.  Maybe the word colony is the understatement of the year.  Scientists, who visited the remote island after the satellite’s discovery, found an estimated 1.5 million penguins enjoying the frozen tundra.  Sounds like this “colony” has found their paradise.

You would think Arsene Wegner, who has been Arsenal’s manager for 23 years, would like to leave his long tenure with the Club with dignity. Not that I really care about Arsenal but it is bit painful to see this man crashing out without significance.

The decision to “cord-cut” has now become mainstream.  In one of my earlier posts I had mentioned that cable operators were in disarray dealing with the number of monthly cancellations for cable service.  The more I talk with people, especially the under-40 crowd, the more I learn that services like YouTube TV,  Hulu and Netflix are becoming the go-to way to watch television content.  This practice will undoubtedly grow over time once fiber is installed nationwide.

Atlanta United:  the second season started similar to the inaugural season, with a loss at Houston.  Not much to discuss here but there is a silver lining to the 4-0 loss.  Thirty-three more games to go and yesterday’s game was a wake up call,  making the departures of Carlos Carmona and Yamil Asad a serious issue.  Focused training and NO more ball-watching will be a good start to correcting some of yesterday’s issues.

Trade wars and tariffs.  Per my no politics mantra, I will not go there……

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday! 






Gymnastics & Shuffleboard – On Ice. ATL UTD. Let It Be Light.

They Make It Look So Easy.  The Second Season.  Daylight Savings Time.

The “men of machismo” don’t always put men’s figure skating in the best light.  Maybe it is the costumes or the elegant flair that must be shown to differentiate your performance from others.  Maybe it is just the fact that the men are ‘simply’ ice skating and not competing in ski jumping, the luge, or on a 2-man bobsled team.  Though my baseline is zero as I have no clue how to even stand up on skates, I am one to hold these athletes in high regard.  Similar to gymnastics, the training begins early on and continues for many years.  Due to the lack of available ice time,  their first training session begins before dawn with the day ending in another late evening session.  The competition is fierce and culminates with the U.S. National Championships which is the qualification competition to make the Olympic Team.  One miscalculation, one chip in the ice that leads to a stumble, and after ten years of training, your chances of success go right down the drain.  They perform the infamous triple Salchow and the triple Axle….on ice.  I would enjoy seeing our infamous NBA, NFL, and MLB players trying these moves on a hard surface.  Maybe then the sport would receive the respect it deserves.  Scott Hamilton, a former gold medal-winning figure skater, who has survived four battles with cancer, estimates he fell over 4,000 times between training and his many years of competition.  He jumped back up 4,000 times.  Just for reference, here is the description of the Salchow move, named after figure skater Ulrich Salchow:  The Salchow is a figure skating jump with a takeoff from a back inside edge of one foot. The rotation in the air is made in the direction of the curve of the take-off edge. The landing is made on the back outside edge of the foot opposite the one used for take-off.  Really?  No thanks.

Speaking of lack of respect, I have heard many over the last two weeks crap all over the sport of curling.  “Shuffleboard on ice”, “stupid sport” and “what a joke” are some of the blurbs I have heard.  I will go down the same path as figure skating though the physicality necessary to figure skate and ‘curl’ are way different.  The technical aspects of curling are mind-boggling.  The ‘rock’ or ‘stone’ is sent down the ice with the designated pace and spin along with ‘sweepers’ warming the ice to move the stone down the targeted path. The objective is relatively simple: you want your stones to come closer to a bulls eye than your opponent when all the stones are thrown.  It sounds simple until you realize that the stone weighs 44 pounds and you must send it 150 feet down the ice to hopefully circumvent your opponents stones, or hit them out of the way to leave your stone closer to the bulls eye.  A bit weird to watch but it looks like a lot of fun to play.  That is, if you can stand and balance yourself on ice.

Atlanta United opens up their second season next Saturday afternoon at Houston.  Some new additions will add some additional fire power along with Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron.  Watch for the pace when the counter-attack is on with newbies Darlington Nagbe, Ezequiel Barco and Franco Escobar. This should be a lot of fun to watch.

DST alert:  two weeks from today!

Have a Funday Sunday!