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!!






It Could Have Been Anywhere. Gainesville’s Finest. To Russia With Love.

A Weapon of Mass Destruction.  He Was Different.  Atlanta, a Football Town.

Originally designed to allow the disabled to fire weapons with little effort, the “bump-fire stock” became a weapon of mass destruction last Sunday night.  We can talk about the Constitution and gun control from now until eternity but the reality of Sunday night dictates that some higher level of regulation is needed, and needed now.  While I am in full support of our right to bear arms, the ability to acquire weapons or accessories to turn firearms into automatic weapons needs to be controlled by federal and state authorities.  I realize that sick human beings cannot be stopped from doing deadly damage but why give them relatively easy ways to fire automatic weapons?  I don’t have the answers but some type of regulation can only help to stop these sad events from happening.  It just so happened that after taking a look at other concert venues Stephen Paddock selected the annual country music festival that sets up behind the MGM Grand hotel.  His motive was to kill as many people as possible, using various high-powered rifles with the “bump-fire stock” accessory allowing him to spray the crowd with continuous and automatic rapid fire.  Though he selected Las Vegas, this tragedy could have happened anywhere.

He was not a mainstream musician nor was he a pretty-boy, hairband superstar.  He was a talented musician who brought a different but very consistent sound to worldwide audiences.  Tom Petty passing away last week was unfortunately swept under the media rug due to the Las Vegas tragedy, but all of us salute a man whose music was clearly unique, yielding admiration from most of his peers.  Voted into the Music Hall of Fame in 2002, Tom Petty and his various bands will be missed.  While a good bit of music can be replicated, it will be extremely difficult for anyone to match up to the various musical talents of Tom Petty.  RIP.

Atlanta, in the past, has been called a disenfranchised city, divided by the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy.  There seems to be a sentiment of division, with the allusion of “being north of I-20 or south of I-20”.  There are the Buckhead and Alpharetta elite, the bedroom communities of Milton and East Cobb, and the blight in some areas of southwest and southeast Atlanta.  The millennials have quickly amassed in the corridors of Midtown, Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs due to the incredible amount of job opportunities provided by startups and technology positions from companies including NCR.  Sports in Atlanta have never had the grassroots followers of franchises like the Packers, Islanders, Phillies and Celtics, with the media often alluding to Atlanta’s ‘fair-weather fans’.   Along comes Atlanta United, a Major League Soccer franchise with no pedigree or legacy of a fan base.  The process started with an incredible amount of hard work to research prospective fan bases and the effort to engage the millennials via social media and promotion. With the owner, Mr. Blank, provided the funding to support the required infrastructure, staff and player pool, Atlanta United has, for many reasons, become a thread of convergence for all communities of Atlanta.  The sport, the event, and the team has “gone viral” and has quickly become a discussion not only with Atlanta’s media, but with worldwide news and sports outlets. Atlanta United announced that the October 22 match against league-leading Toronto will be sold out at with a Major League Soccer record attendance of 73,000.  United’s combined home attendance, near 750,000, will top those for every National Football League team (note:  NFL teams, to be clear, play half the number of home games).  To put it in another perspective, United’s home attendance will exceed those of more than half the NBA and NHL teams.  I have spoken to many people, many first-timers to watch Atlanta United and everyone has commented about the fun experience, the emotional tie-in to this team, and the many friends they have made at the game.  Jersey sales lead the MLS and whoever thought wearing scarves in the warm weather of Atlanta was ridiculous was 100% wrong.  From the head coach, who is a very tough, demanding manager, to the mix of players who quickly realized that if they didn’t work hard they would not play, to the fan experience staff who puts in long hours to ensure everyone has fun, this franchise has now turned the heads of the City and it’s media. Darren Eales and his staff are the sports executives of the year with every professional soccer club trying to figure out their business model that has led to United’s unprecedented success. Atlanta is now a football town – both footballs.  Best case scenario for Atlanta sports fans: United makes it to the MLS final in early December….the Falcons get the Super Bowl in early February….and then we only have to wait a few weeks before the 2018 MLS season kicks off.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!


It Is NOT Ok.

What Can We Do About the NFL?

We can stop watching for one.  We can also stop buying the products and services from companies who support the National Football League through sponsorship and advertising.  We can turn to the NBA or Major League Soccer, where the players, many of them not from the United States, stand at midcourt or midfield before every game while the National Anthem is performed – and stand WITH respect.

There are a number of ways to tell NFL players that they are wrong to disrespect the National Anthem and our Flag.  I find it humiliating and embarrassing that grown men (well, at least age-wise) cannot reconcile that disrespecting the National Anthem and Flag sends a really bad message to most Americans, nonetheless our youth who for some reason look up to a lot of these players.  As I have stated in previous posts, the right to express your opinion and the freedom of speech are some of the cornerstones of being an American, but just like protests that get out of hand, the disrespectful displays at most NFL venues we have witnessed over the last few weeks needs to stop, and stop now.

I am proud of the number of people I have talked to in the last two weeks who have told me they are done watching the NFL, at least in the short term.  A friend of mine explained it to me this way: “why should I spend 3 1/2 hours on a Sunday watching football played by people who disrespect America when I can support teams like Atlanta United? “Besides, Saturday’s are for football.”

I am not a hypocrite. I was raised supporting the Miami Dolphins of the NFL.  I spent many years in the Atlanta area and I have been and I still am a big supporter of the Atlanta Falcons.  What I am now realizing is that the NFL and most of their players don’t care about the people who have protected our country and served in the military.  Their path of protest is demeaning and unjustified. Seriously, did one of more talented wide receivers in the NFL, after scoring a touchdown, get on all fours and lift his leg? Who, in their right mind, would take the time to watch players behave like morons?  (As a side note, the NFL fined the player a grand total of $12,000…..a player whose annual salary this year $1.8m and is guaranteed $8.2m next year).

I would love to hear from some of the NFL players of the past, the men who through blood, sweat and tears (and little pay) made the NFL a thread of American life.  It would be great for Ray Nitschke, Dick Butkus, Willie Lanier, and Mean Joe Greene to bust down a locker room door before a game a send a message to these spoiled, low-life brats.  A message, I would assume, that today’s players would never forget.

It is a new month and hopefully some this nonsense stops soon.  Adios and have a Funday Sunday.