Archive for February, 2010

5 tips to help you live without the NFL this weekend

Yard work is out of the question today. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Yard work is out of the question today. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

The dreaded first weekend without NFL football is upon us.

I knew most of the hardcore football folks would struggle. Normally, we’d at least have the Pro Bowl.  But was played before the Super Bowl this year.

There is not one football game on television this weekend. Not even one of those bad all-star games.

So here’s a survival plan. Five things to help you get through the weekend:

  1. Yard work is normally a winner, but thanks to the snow we can push it off for another week. (Yeah!!!)
  2. Do some NCAA basketball tournament scouting. Watch some of these mid-major games. (Remember, we dropped that hot Cleveland State first-round upset tip for your brackets last year.)
  3. At some point, try to slide your batmobile around to the nearest Mall or Wal-Mart to get the Valentine’s Day gift for your Queen or King. (Just take it real slow on the roads. Slow down, it’s not a NASCAR race.)
  4. Make the Blockbuster …

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Smith mum on whether Falcons will go after Peppers

The Vince Lombardi Trophy on display last Friday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

The Vince Lombardi Trophy on display at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center last Friday. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

RADIO ROW – After the Pro Football Writers of America meeting (yours truly is second vice president), I caught up with Falcons coach Mike Smith and owner Arthur Blank while they were working radio row. (Missed Thomas Dimitroff, who made his rounds on Thursday).

Smith talked with the local shows. He talked with Doc Walker and John Thompson from the D.C. station.

He spent some time with old friends in Baltimore and Jacksonville. He made several other stops. So  did Blank.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Fox Sports Laura Okmin. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Fox Sports Laura Okmin on radio row. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Tiki Barber interviewing Snoop Dogg. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Tiki Barber interviewing Snoop Dogg. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Smith was not distracted from his interview when Snoop Dogg and his entourage passed by on their way to an interview with Tiki Barber for Yahoo! Sports. Actors/Entertainers Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Kevin …

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Marty Lauzon replaces Medlin as Falcons’ trainer

tlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) heads for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

tlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) heads for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

BIRD LAND – The Falcons didn’t waste much time replacing longtime trainer Ron Medlin, who was recently terminated after 16 seasons with the team.

Marty Lauzon, who was out of the league last season after resigning as Cleveland’s head trainer in June, was named the team’s new athletic trainer, the team confirmed.

Lauzon cited family reasons for his resignation.

He been on the Cleveland staff, which had battled serious staph infections during this period, since 1999. He was the head athletic trainer the last four seasons.

The team also announced the hiring of assistant athletic trainers James Williams and Danny Long. Both come over from Cleveland.

Last season, several starters missed more than 40 games as the Falcons were beset with injuries. The most significant was a high right …

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Who watched The Vick Project on BET?

Michael Vick’s reality show – “The Michael Vick Project” — aired Tuesday night on BET.

AJC columnist Mark Bradley blogged about how Vick attempted to explain the double life he led while with the Falcons.

Just curious, what did you think of the show?

All I could think of was that attorney Billy Martin, who reportedly received a $1 million retainer fee, basically had to counsel Vick into taking the guilty plea.

Also, Vick mentioned that they were 24 people ready to testify against him. Covering the trial, I knew the federal case was strong, but not that strong. If he’d taking the plea earlier in the case and came clean, he likely could have avoided jail time.

The AJC’s Rodney Ho also previewed the first part of the 10-part show.

The appears to be part of Vick’s plan to soften his road back to becoming a starter next season.

After covering the trial and becoming a quasi-dogfighting  expert, my inclination was to pass on the show because none of it had much to do with …

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