Top Of Mind Things I Think.

  • Is anyone wondering how public and private entities are going to handle people who have and have not been vaccinated? I see all types of issues bubbling up.
  • What caused the very sad and alarming Covid-19 situation in India?
  • Other than a friend of mine who scrolls the Entertainment News ticker across his laptop screen, is anyone interested in Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriquez?
  • Ingress and egress. Two words never more important than Thursday night in northern Israel. Shame on the authorities who permitted this “festival.”
  • Orlando City – last night was a really nice night in a great stadium, and a great game at that. Orlando City scored 30 seconds into the game and never let up.
  • In my never-ending battle to understand lift, can someone please explain:
Any questions?
  • SpaceX is creating a crowd. Last Thursday’s launch from Kennedy Space Center marked the company’s 27th Starlink mission, which so far has deployed over 1,500 satellites into space. Strangely enough, Elon Musk is scheduled to host the next Saturday Night Live – no, not kidding.
  • Speaking of space, NASA’s ARTEMIS-1 mission is scheduled for early November. A huge step was the delivery of the Core Stage 1 booster rocket from the Huntsville, Alabama space exploration facility to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This early November launch will set the stage for the manned Artemis-3 mission, which will land on the moon in 2024.
The Core-Stage 1 – floating on a barge towards the Vehicle Assembly Building.
  • Speaking of taking a ride, the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Studios is set to open in early June. Some friends of mine who work at Universal have told me this experience will be “fantastic.” I guess “fantastic” is the operative word. Details:

Top Speed: 70 mph in 2.4 seconds.

360° barrel roll over a lagoon.

100’ first of its kind inverted stall (what the hell is an “inverted stall?”)

155’ top hat with 80° drop.

12 total seconds of airtime (I did not bother to ask what “airtime” really means?).

My level of interest with experiencing this ride: how about zero! No, and No.
  • An Early Season Take – Atlanta United.

After last Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League loss to Philadelphia, I heard from many friends asking for my thoughts, etc. Below is what I posted on Wednesday morning. Note: Atlanta United lost last night to New England and both Jurgen Damm and Ezequiel Barco left the game with hamstring injuries.

From an Atlanta United perspective, 50% of something is better than 0% of nothing. For the first 45 minutes, other than one of two big miscommunications that led to Philadelphia’s first goal, which was completely against the run of play, the Five Stripes looked very good. So good in fact, we did not get too upset with the lack of finishing passes or finishing in that first half. “Not too upset” other than that famous cliché “you get punished for not taking your chances.”

The amount of pressure and speed of play Atlanta exhibited in the first half became a false narrative. Maybe Philadelphia manager Jim Curtain’s tactic was the infamous “rope-a-dope” and a bit of luck as the Union were able to suck up Atlanta’s onslaught in the first 45 – and then purely out-managed Gabriel Heinze in the last 45. Yes, Curtain’s magic was also supported by Atlanta’s inability to serve a quality ball and finish, as well as their panic-stricken effort to get everyone forward in the second half. Was the Union’s counter attack that good or did Atlanta provide a path to numerical advantage?

No Atlanta supporter will be upset at Gabriel Heinze’s high-pressure, attacking style of play. What they might be upset with is what I will refer to as “two-leg maturity.” There is obviously a risk-reward factor to Atlanta’s get-forward mentality, and in a League match, to lose a game 3-0 due to that ethos is just part of a long season. To maintain that mentality in a two-game CCL quarterfinal is both short-sighted and ignorant. I won’t go into detail on possession, number of crosses, number of chances, and shots on goal, but it is a sure bet that Heinze will do so in videotape sessions.

Atlanta finds itself in a precarious short-term situation. A short rest and last night’s visit to Bruce Arena’s New England Revolution, and then the CCL quarterfinal return leg at Philadelphia three days later. Questions to ponder: is Jurgen Damm unlucky or is his speed his only real asset? Is the talented Marcelino Moreno best utilized on the flank? When do we see a match fit Josef Martinez…and if match fit, when will he get to impose his will? Did Gabriel Heinze learn some lessons last night? As I stated to various people leading up to last night’s match, did Curtain, and will subsequent managers, employ tactics to expose the Five Stripes on the counter-attack? Yes, and yes.

Adios, pay if forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!

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