The #18 Georgia Bulldogs kick off the season and the Kirby Smart coaching era on Saturday against the #22-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. BLeeve Blog summoned its first ever pigskin panel to forecast the Dawgs’ season.
Jim Powell, the Voice of the Braves, learned the radio ropes while at UGA.
“A couple of early road tests may prove problematic for the Dawgs, but once those hurdles are cleared I think the team will get better and better even though the opponents may be tougher. [Freshman QB Jacob] Eason will soon be on the field with the arm to spread the defense and a running game which will carry the day. Cross your fingers about the defensive line, which is very talented but extremely thin. I won’t be surprised if this team is in the SEC Championship Game.”
Before covering the New Orleans Saints, Bradley Handwerger reported on UGA athletics for the Red & Black, the student daily newspaper in Athens.
“There are too many question marks for the Bulldogs to legitimately pull off what Florida did a year ago and stun the SEC East in a new coach’s first season in charge. Who will the QB be and if it’s Jacob Eason, how long will it take to get acclimated? How far along is Nick Chubb truly in his rehabilitation and can he even possibly return to form within one year of a devastating physical injury? Will the defense take to Kirby Smart’s style in Year 1 and can it even do so in spite of returning fewer than 3 starters in the front 7? UGA will lose four games but will contend in all of them.”
Neal Freeman is head of LakePoint Sports, a 40-sport destination northwest of Atlanta that will welcome 6 million-plus annual visitors.
“I am going to stay conservative and predict 8-4. Although I am big supporter (yet loved Mark Richt), it is still tough to successfully implement new systems given the number of practices the NCAA has limited teams to these days. I went to the UGA Spring game and Eason looks like Stafford 2.0 already to me. Exciting future with Kirby leading the program.”
Brevity is the soul of wit, Shakespeare wrote. In more recent times, effective engagement has been about the KISS: keep it simple, stupid. Somebody please tell the writers of ‘listicles’:
The Capital of the South is teeming with tech. Check it out:
Atlanta is the No. 5 city in the nation for tech startups, according to Sungard Availability Services. The average cost per trip, average office price per square foot, tech occupation and startup density were favorable factors for the city.
Atlanta ranked 9th out of 50 markets in CBRE’s latest “Scoring Tech Talent” report on the strength of 46.7 percent growth in total tech occupations since 2010.
Thanks in large part to its tech momentum, Atlanta maintained the 15th spot nationally in the latest Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.
Atlanta led the nation in construction cost increases in the last year, according to CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (and my former employer). The city’s 3.8 percent spike more than doubled the national average.
Across the country, year-over-year construction spending during the first four months of 2016 increased 8.7 percent to $334.8 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce.
On the housing side of the equation, Atlanta magazine asked this week: “Can residential builders keep up with Atlanta’s fast-growing population?” In Brookhaven, with our neighbor’s current house expansion project, the contractor for which was my referral, 40 percent of the houses on our block have been totally redeveloped or expanded (18 and six, respectively) in the last nine years.
“There you go again,” both the Hollywood and political Reagan would say to the GOP.
In more sane times, we would sweep the real, live, actual news posts below into the ‘Goes Without Saying’ folder, assuming they’d even garner a second or two of our consideration. Yet, sadly this is today’s real world or at least the one in which my former party, its big-money interests and other supporters currently reside.
• GOP: ‘You can’t ban an entire race or religion from coming into the country’ (The Hill)
• New rules say that financial advisers should act in their clients’ best interests (New York Times)
• BREAKING: U.S. Senate Republican leader McConnell says it’s time for Trump to stop attacking various minority groups (Reuters)
• Trump, GOP lawmakers open door to restricting gun buys for those on terrorist watch list (Fox News)
It is the spring of my sporting discontent. The Atlanta Hawks got swept in the postseason for the second year in a row by LeBron & Company, and my rebuilding Braves are buried in last place. In fact, as mid-May approached the baseball club had the seventh most wins… ON ITS HOME FIELD!
To top off the sporting depression, my favorite player and fellow alum, Tim Duncan, may have just played the last game of his stellar 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs…
You might say that I’m carrying a lot of emotional sports baggage:
- My college football team hasn’t had a winning season since I became a father. (My oldest daughter turns 8 in the fall.)
- The Diamond Deacs, my alma mater’s baseball team, haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2007 despite our coach – no lie – donating a kidney to one of his players. Come on, karma!
- My basketball program, which produced the likes of Duncan and Chris Paul, has gone 75-115 (.395) since 2010 when it fired a coach with a .663 winning percentage.
Hmm, maybe this is the reason my wife let me get a kegerator?!?
I take solace in my daughters’ smiles, long walks (no, not on short piers!) and the occasional relaxed round of golf. And when things seem too bleak, I tell myself: At least I didn’t have a North Carolina Tar Heel April!
They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues.
— Steely Dan