One day late — hey, Monday was a holiday, though not for me — we offer our weekly Heat Check of the local sporting entities. Given that two of our professional teams are locked out, maybe we should rename this feature Slim Pickin’s. (Not to be confused with the gifted thespian Slim Pickens. Definitely to be confused with former Falcons No. 1 pick Bruce Pickens, who was much less gifted than Slim.)
The Braves: They’ve won six of seven, and they should have won seven of seven. The Sunday loss to Baltimore was a case of bad luck, iffy umpiring and one lousy pitch from Scott Proctor. They’re still not hitting for average (.237), but they’re pitching like champs (ERA of 3.04, best in the business). Imagine if they’d hit just .250, which really wouldn’t be asking so much. The National League average is .251. Heat Index: Not quite scorching, but temperatures are definitely above average.
The Atlanta Track Club: Another beautifully organized AJC Peachtree Road Race has come and gone, and here I offer the following suggestion. Replace the Georgia Department of Transportation with Atlanta Track Club volunteers. I guarantee road conditions will improve. Heat Index: A sweatier-than-usual Fourth yielded the by-now-expected smooth-running event.
The Falcons and Hawks: Both are locked out, which means one of them won’t be trading Josh Smith or re-signing Jamal Crawford anytime soon. Heat Index: Like Saskatchewan in the summer, whatever that means.
The Dream: They played once this past week. They won to improve to 3-7. They’ve re-activated forward Sancho Lyttle, who was off playing for the Spanish women’s team in EuroBasket 2011, an Olympics qualifying tournament. Heat Index: Warmer, but not nearly warm.
The Georgia Bulldogs: Here we knock on wood, but the Bulldogs managed to get through the Fourth of July without having their athletic director resign, which wasn’t the case in 2010. Heat Index: It has been a cool summer, figuratively speaking, in Athens. And that’s a good thing.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The Institute offered reporters a tour of of its not-quite-finished Brock Indoor Football Practice Facility. It will eventually cost $9 million. Included is a 280,000-gallon rainwater-collecting cistern, which I feel sure when will be a great aid to Paul Johnson’s stylized offense. Heat Index: We’re talking about cisterns, so there must not be much going on.
By Mark Bradley