Atlanta’s favorite past time is to complain about our sports teams. I love this town, it’s the #GOAT of cities in the world. But our fans (who, and I am one of those fans, deserve teams worthy of the town) who first instinct is to complain… I offer this.
Super Bowl, Final-4, #ATLUTD & New Stadiums. I know I harp on this but the new digs will be a big benefit. Especially the new Mercedes-Benz stadium downtown. The future is bright for this town. Atlanta is getting the CFB National title game and this month the NFL will give Atlanta a Super Bowl. Plus the MLS Atlanta United, The final-4 will be coming back and the SEC title game. This new place will be a marquee facility in a marquee town! Pretty sweet spot to be in!
UGA – Kirby, Jacob & a new era. Forget 93k, there were over 100K at G-Day. The reason for the excitement is simple, we can all see that there is a shot at very big thing, very soon. Go ahead Dawgs fans you can list ’em. SEC East title, SEC Championship, College Football Player and.. yes, National Championship. This season? Ummm… don’t automatically say no. Remember this is a new era, where all you need to do is make the playoff (and the SEC Champion will almost always make the playoff) to have a shot and UGA is capable of winning the East title this fall. Do that and… The point is the future is now in Athens.
Hawks – 108 regular season wins last two seasons, did you know that is the MOST wins in back-to-back seasons ever posted by the Hawks in Atlanta. There’s no question that, at times, Mike Budenholzer’s game plan has worked. And it’s pretty obvious what stands between this current team and a true title run. The odds they will get a superstar are slim, but get 2-3 better role players (a big, a shooter you can count on, an on-ball defender) and the Hawks could still make a big run next season. This will, again, be a playoff caliber 50+-win club.
Braves – The SunTrust Audition tour continues, but the early returns are positive! Mallex Smith can flat fly, we’ve seen quality young starting pitching and the news from the farm on Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson is better than good, it’s they could be the best middle infield combo in all of baseball, in short order. And there is more behind them. Promote and grow the farm system that’s been built and spend smartly on true free agent help (like a couple of real sluggers) and the Braves could be seriously competitive by the 2nd season of the new park. Yes, that’s ‘wait-until-the-year-after-next’ but at least there is a plan. This is what rock bottom looks like, so, all up from here!
Falcons – You can look at it two ways. This club blew a 5-0, 6-1 start and failed down the stretch and is a long way from being good or that they went 8-8, showed heart in the final couple of weeks, beat Carolina and will be even better in the 2nd year of Dan Quinn. I prefer the latter because I believe that the Birds will be better and that they are a team that can win the NFC South. I see pro-growth positive moves in Flowery Branch and that there are big things to come. Gripe to your hearts content but stand-by because this fall could be loads of fun!