It wasn’t the greatest week in the history of local sports. The Braves, who hadn’t been swept in a series all season, got swept twice. The Falcons’ Super Bowl Express suffered a malfunction in Chi-town. Georgia fell to 0-2 for the first time since Jim Donnan was a rookie Bulldog coach. Which impels our Monday Heat Check to turn elsewhere for glad tidings.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets could always run, and now they can pass, too. (Wait a second. Is that newfangled forward pass legal?) The chief reason they fell from 11-3 (forfeit not included) in 2009 to 6-7 last season was that Demaryius Thomas wasn’t around to catch wobbly passes and give the spread option an aerial option. Now Stephen Hill is making like Bay-Bay and Tevin Washington is emulating Daryle Lamonica — did you know the Mad Bomber was a high school rival of the famous prep quarterback Bobby Cox? — and Tech has beaten two lesser opponents the way lesser opponents should be beaten. Heat Index: Behold the hottest football team in an 80-mile radius.
Georgia: His team is 0-2, and Mark Richt predicts greatness. Imagine if the Bulldogs had been 1-1. Would he have crowned this a dynasty? Heat Index: That seat of Richt’s? It’s not getting any cooler.
Georgia State: The Panthers lost to Old Dominion 40-17 before an announced attendance of 11,701, the smallest home crowd in school history. (Which, admittedly, isn’t exactly voluminous.) It was speculated that some students mightn’t have attended because sorority rush was ongoing. Heat Index: Guess we can’t yet call GSU a hot ticket.
The Falcons: Maybe you saw it coming. I didn’t. (Not even after that 0-4 preseason.) The offense didn’t muster a touchdown for the second consecutive season opener. The defense watched benignly as the offensively challenged Bears made big plays. Might want to wait a week before making those Super Bowl reservations, folks. Heat Index: I’m guessing Sunday’s prime-time game with Philadelphia will be a hot ticket.
The Dream: It has made the playoffs after a lousy start and is the third seed in the WNBA East. It will face the Connecticut Sun in Round 1, which is best-of-three. Heat Index: Pretty warm, by way of comparison. Let’s note that the Dream played for a championship last season, which is more than the Braves and the Falcons and the Hawks have done lately.
The Braves: On the morning after Labor Day, the Braves led the wild-card chase by 8 1/2 games. Today they’re 4 1/2 up. They got swept in St. Louis, which was the one place they couldn’t get swept. Craig Kimbrel blew his first save since June 8. Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are still on the DL. Martin Prado and Brian McCann aren’t hitting. Heat Index: It’ll be a long cold winter if they blow this now, and we’ll be calling their manager Fredi The Snowman.
By Mark Bradley