Live from the Branch, and already there’s bad news

Flowery Branch – I’m beginnning to think it’s me. I show up and things go to Hades in a handbasket. I make my first pilgrimage of 2009 to (deep voice here) the Russell Atlanta Falcons Training Camp and I’m greeted by the news that Harry Douglas, who like my dad went to University of Louisville, is out for the season with a torn ACL.

You don’t ever want a guy to get hurt the first week of camp, but you especially don’t want it to be a guy who plays a position at which a Pro Bowler has gone missing. Roddy White, as you know, is holding out, and Douglas was seen as viable alternative should White get really ticked and decide to hold out into September. Now Brian Finneran, who has been here since Dan Reeves was coaching, suddenly becomes a key man.

And that, as you know, is the way it goes for Joe Btfsplk Bradley, who has become the world’s worst jinx. And to think: The original Joe Btfsplk, drawn by the great Al Capp, was only a cartoon. As best I can discern, I’m real. (Though sometimes that’s open to debate.)

Bear with me as I mosey out to practice and see if the Falcons still have a team left. And if I happen to meet Mr. Russell, I’ll say hello for you.

Update: Having watched a bit — but only a bit of practice — I can reliably inform you that the Falcons expect to have some news regarding their wide receiver position within the next couple of hours. (And no, it doesn’t involve Roddy White. It involves some free agents.)

Update No. 2: Talked to Tony Gonzalez. My first question: “How many points did you have against Villanova?” (Gonzalez was pressed into service on the Cal Bears’ basketball team in 1997 and was a key man in the upset of Villanova in Round 2.)

“Twenty-three,” Gonzalez said. (Not that big-time athletes ever remember their stats or anything.) “Tim Thomas had eight. We were guarding each other.”

I then, for the first time in my life, repeated a cheer. What can I say? The Cal cheerleaders kept chanting it at the end that Saturday in Winston-Salem, and obviously it left an impression. So here goes:

“You know it! You tell the story! You tell the whole damn world … ”

And Gonzalez finished it for me: “This is Bear territory!”

So now you’re up to date on this key development from a dozen years ago.

115 comments Add your comment

EW

August 6th, 2009
10:37 am

Stay the hell away from our teams MB.

EW

August 6th, 2009
10:38 am

And dear god don’t even LOOK at Matt Ryan

bigeasy830

August 6th, 2009
10:38 am

One minute from being FIRST, but oh well maybe I still have a shot at ‘SECOND”

bigeasy830

August 6th, 2009
10:42 am

You think that it is bad news now, wait till the season starts and those loses start to pile up. If you think it’s bad news now, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Falcons, 4-12 in 2009
Back To Life’ Back To Reality

Chris

August 6th, 2009
10:45 am

White just got a bit more leverage. But will the non-consecutive seasons curse strike someone else?

Matt

August 6th, 2009
10:45 am

Mark, you need to a take a bath in some Holy Water or have an exorcism performed. You, and you alone, are now going to be responsible for yet another non-consecutive winning season!

Billy Goat curse, Curse of the Bambino and now the Bradley curse.

Falcon 228

August 6th, 2009
10:45 am

Just don’t hire Fearless Fossdick as your constant bodyguard.

EW

August 6th, 2009
10:47 am

Can you follow MV7 around instead, at least ya’ll have the dark cloud over your head in common.

midnite

August 6th, 2009
10:49 am

MB you’ll have a hard time trying to bite DOLed’s style out at the Branch. I was out for the Tuesday a.m. practice and DOL was spruce. He looked like a guy on a beach vacation with a great hat. Too bad about Harry Douglas, I think that guy will be a star one day. He had a great impact last year. Enjoy yourself and enjoy that delicious free lunch.

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 6th, 2009
10:52 am

Can you stand across the street and ask people as they leave for the goings on, Jinxy?

Glenn

August 6th, 2009
10:56 am

Roddy White will be break dancing all the way to the bank now . What a great move on his part to hold out . He gets additional leverage & most likely extra millions for taking an extended vacation . We should all be so lucky . Just another case of a young athlete going from the ghetto to the get-mo !

midnite

August 6th, 2009
10:56 am

bigeasy380-Thank you for your positive, uplifting, and inspiring approach. You really add an insightful cerebral voice to the blog. Your informative posts are a must read for any Falcons fan. The Falcons will be just fine in ‘09.

TampaGator

August 6th, 2009
11:04 am

Mark…I believe Doughlas was hurt yesterday and before you arrived. So cheer up. Anyway, the Falcons winning this year goes against Falcon tradition and history. Has a Falcon team ever had a winning season after having a winning season the previous year? They better get White in soon and sign another receiver who can play as well. But I think this will still be the year the Falcons break from their bad tradition and history….maybe even a Super Bowl appearance. Opps…I hope I didn’t “jinx” them.

Mark Bradley

August 6th, 2009
11:10 am

I know, I know. Douglas did get hurt yesterday. But I take credit — blame, more like it — for any and everything.

Typing a little update, which will be posted above.

"MR.Falcon"

August 6th, 2009
11:10 am

bigeasy380, you *&&*^(*&, How about we call you bighater000…

Bill in Dallas

August 6th, 2009
11:10 am

Any chance Marvin Harrison would come here for a reasonable price?

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

August 6th, 2009
11:10 am

Don’t stand scross the street, my kid plays baseball over there and broke his arm there last year. Hey where were you on the 5th of April 2009.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

August 6th, 2009
11:11 am

By the way, love the ad for Treadmill for Abs. Looks like a treadmill for chest to me.

t larry

August 6th, 2009
11:11 am

Negative negative negative, lets all focus on the positive. WHAT POSITIVE ?????????????????

"MR.Falcon"

August 6th, 2009
11:13 am

Mark, please quit with this jinx stuff. The Falcons are going to be good. Keep us up to date on the team activities.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

August 6th, 2009
11:14 am

Positive? Hmmmm. Got it, we are helping unemployment cause Troy B. may get a spot now. Somebody call Marvin.

Ya hear me what I say.....

August 6th, 2009
11:15 am

This aint lookin good for my main man Matty Ryans… Imagine a shell without a egg.

We need you back Roddy… Cant eat sugar without kool aid!!

Good luck Harry, get well… we see you next year after this season.

Wildebeast

August 6th, 2009
11:16 am

Yeah, get Marvin Harrison on board and ship Roddy to the New York football Giants for draft picks. Harrison, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Jenkins and Norwood drifting out to the flat. The opposing linebackers will go cross-eyed. Fuhhgettaboudit!

Hercule Poirot

August 6th, 2009
11:20 am

Trade him for Anquan Boldin. No, don’t. He’s not Larry Fitzgerald, either, but wants Fitzgerald money, too. Trade Roddy for Brandon Marshall.

Mark Bradley

August 6th, 2009
11:20 am

As now noted above, the Falcons are expected to have an announcement regarding their wide receivers in a a couple of hours. (And no, it doesn’t involve Roddy White or Harry Douglas.)

Mark Bradley

August 6th, 2009
11:22 am

Personal to Mr. Falcon: You asked yesterday about defensive tackle Trey Lewis, and I asked today: He’s practicing, but he’s not taking part in every practice. The Falcons are being cautious.

Blue Fender

August 6th, 2009
11:24 am

Hey, bigeasy, I read that your Aints had an injury or two…namely Reggie Bush. Is he distracted from loosing his “junk in the trunk” girlfriend, makes a bad cut, and prepares for his 6th knee surgery?

Bad News

August 6th, 2009
11:26 am

God don’t like ugly. The Falcons get what they deserve. Ray Lewis & Jamal Lewis had loyal management, who supported them through their problems with the justice system.

You fools want to say Roddy is not loyal – why should he be? Blank & you fools are getting everything you deserve.

Let’s see if the golden boy Matty Lice can earn that 72-million and take the team to the superbowl. He still has Brian Finneran :)

Hooff Hearted

August 6th, 2009
11:29 am

Norwood can fill in for Douglas. Roddy will also play this year. His leverage is still nothing. He wants 4 year/40mm w/ 25 mm guaranteed…He can take 5 year 45mm with 20mm guaranteed. Otherwise, he can play for $2mm this year (or not at all…I am sure other teams will love to sign a season hold out) and likely the same next since their is not uncapped year and he would cost someone a first round pick, and then wait until 2011 season to test the open market. he has the wrong agent trying to pull off the grand hustle. Only Rosenhaus can pull that crap.

Mitun

August 6th, 2009
11:31 am

I believe that they should give Roddy White the extension now cause a whole lot of team will go after him in next year free agent market.

hugheswb

August 6th, 2009
11:32 am

Since I can’t tell you thanks via Twitter today – I appreciate you taking the blame on this one… I emailed my buddy yesterday before this news broke that maybe Roddy’s holdout was a good thing for Harry Douglas… the more reps Harry gets with the first team and if he possibly gets to go head to head with a #1 corner in the first pre-season game, it will only make him better when he is covered by a Nickel Back in a 3WR set… so – I really appreciate you taking this burden off my shoulders. I was considering not following the Falcons at all this season just so they’d make it through…

Chris Broe

August 6th, 2009
11:33 am

Didn’t Superman have a Mr. Kzyptfxk too? The trick was to get him to say his name backwards and he’d disappear. KRAM!!!

Marvin Harrison

August 6th, 2009
11:35 am

After what you idiots did to Mike Vick, D Hall, Roddy White, Joe Horn and even Prime Time – you must be crazy.

I would retire before I go to that loser city – I might have to shoot a lot of you fools!

Archie

August 6th, 2009
11:35 am

Where, oh where, are we going to replace 328 receiving yards and 1 touchdown? His 69 rushing yards and a touchdown is a devastating loss! Not to mention his 200 return yards and 1 touchdown, I can’t imagine where we can find a guy capable of those numbers.

You don’t typically see tight ends and slot receivers on the field at the field at the same. With Tony G on the team now, his playing time would be split anyway. With Thomas Brown healthy now, he will likely split time returning kicks. Yes, it is still a big loss because we expected him to get much better in year 2, but we’re not all that much worse without him.

Mark Bradley

August 6th, 2009
11:35 am

Mr. Mxyzptlk, actually. Don’t ask me how I know such stuff. (Because the answer is fairly obvious. I’m a nerd.)

43 Years Of Failure

August 6th, 2009
11:40 am

Right on schedule!

rduck

August 6th, 2009
11:41 am

Please stay away from any GT reporting. Shouldn’t be hard, being how much time you guys spend on that bunch of mutts from Athens.

Art Vandelay

August 6th, 2009
11:42 am

So, Bad News…you apparently still believe the Falcons should’ve supported Vick to the bitter end, despite the fact that he lied directly to Blank’s face multiple times and sold his team down the river in the name of killing dogs?

Why on earth should the team continue to back him when he is solely responsible for the disaster that we had to deal with two years ago? His “problems with the justice system,” as you so eloquently describe the situation, are of his own doing. Nobody forced him to murder those dogs, and nobody forced him to lie repeatedly when confronted about it. It’s called taking responsibility for one’s actions. Vick has served his time and deserves to play in the NFL again, but you can take that “betrayal” nonsense and shove it up your self-righteous butt.

Ray Lewis slithered his way out of a murder charge and pled guilty to obstructing justice; Jamal Lewis pled guilty to a felony charge of arranging a massive cocaine deal. You call the Ravens “loyal,” and I call them “pathetic” for choosing talent over character.

mountain_jim

August 6th, 2009
11:49 am

So you must have seen who the FA receivers being worked out this morning were, eh Mark? Scoop now?

SirReal

August 6th, 2009
11:52 am

White needs to get in camp. Lets be honest, he didnt start earning his money until a couple seasons again. I still remember VIVIDLY how many drops this guy had. He goes to the Pro Bowl once and now he thinks he’s Fitz? Roddy, you’re good but you are not one of the GREAT ones…it takes at least 3-4 of CONSISTENT play to even began to be mentioned with that label. Oh well, more time for Ryan and Gonzales to hook up.

Paul H

August 6th, 2009
11:54 am

This is so typical. Every time the falcons are poised for a great season they have a preseason injury to a key player. Maybe we ARE cursed!!!!

Gatorzone

August 6th, 2009
11:54 am

To Roddy white:
Gatorzone

These tactics will not play well with our front office. Look for white to sit out all year before they cave to him, just to set a precedent. White is writing his ticket out of town in the near future. Flacons are tired of premadonna malcontents and you are showing your true colors.
YOU SUCK!!!!!

T-Town Dawg

August 6th, 2009
11:55 am

So, does anyone know who the big free agent wr’s are that we can take a look at. Harrison and who else?

Gatorzone

August 6th, 2009
11:56 am

BigEasy… SUCK IT!!!!

Glenn, It is sickening that you are pleased by this. No real fan of the Birds is happy with the current WR situation. Quit the victim mentality already!

Saint Simons

August 6th, 2009
11:59 am

((((((45-42))))))) hahahahahahaha… oh, sorry. Dang!

bigeasy830

August 6th, 2009
12:08 pm

Saint Simons you are so funny man. I look forward to you posting that on every bulldog blog and I am a Bulldog myself. You were 1st at 2:30 in the morning the other day, you must have an alert or something to let you when they post a new UGA blog.(LOL)

But anyway……..
43 years of failure…”Right on schedule”, that is another a classic.

Falcons, 4-12 in 2009
“Back To Life, Back To Reality”

FALCONS SORRY

August 6th, 2009
12:11 pm

TONY GONZOLEEZ! ARE YOU REGRETTING COMING HERE YET TO THIS SNAKE BIT FRANCHISE YET! ALL AROUND YOU ARE OUT OF CONDITION PLAYERS DROPPING LIKE FLYS BECAUSE THIS TEAM NO LONGER HAS ANY ON FIELD LEADERSHIP OR INSPIRATION! OUR PREVIOUS QUARTERBACK OUR REAL QUARTERBACK INSPIRED PEOPLE BOTH FANS AND PLAYERS ALIKE WITH HIS GREATNESS HIS LEADERSHIP AND THIS ATHLETICISM! ALL WE HAVE KNOW TO LEAD THIS TEAM IS A WET NOSED LITTLE PUNK WITH A WEAK ARM THAT WILL GET SNAPPED IN HALF AND CRY LIKE A LITTLE GIRL ONCE RAY LEWIS OR MICHAEL STRAHAN GET HOLD OF HIM! BEFORE LONG YOU WILL BE WISHING YOU WERE BACK WITH THE CHEIFS WHERE THEY ARE ACTUALLY PROFESSIONAL AND TREAT MINORITIES LIKE YOU GOOD IF YOU DONT FEEL THAT WAY ALREADY! WATCH OUT FOR REPORTERS LIKE THIS MARK BRADLY BECAUSE HE WILL BUILD YOU UP REAL JUST TO TEAR YOU DOWN WHEN YOU SLIP UP THE LEAST LITTLE BIT! WATCH OUT FOR THAT SORRY BLANK TOO BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW HE TREATED THE LAST REAL SUPPER STAR THE FALCONS EVER HAD! IT WILL TAKE EVERY BIT OF TALENT YOU HAVE IN YOUR BODY TO WIN WITH THIS SORRY TEAM TONY! MAKE SURE YOUR LIFE INSURANCE IS PAID UP TONY!

Supper Star

August 6th, 2009
12:17 pm

Falcons Sorry – you are my supper star! hahahahahahaha…idiot!

me

August 6th, 2009
12:19 pm

Everyone plz ignore the postings from the “you know who’s”.. Ignoring them and not responding to them will be the best way to get this to be a pure football blog.

Facts

August 6th, 2009
12:24 pm

Can anyone translate that nonsensical gibberish that ‘Falcons Sorry’ wrote above. Falcons Sorry has to be the biggest brain dead idiot on this blog, and that is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself. However, if anyone out there can translate his ebonics, please do so.