Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Heat Check: Hot Braves, cold Honey Badger, a final #NBCfail

The Honey Badger will not be playing in the Dome on Dec. 1. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

The Honey Badger will not be playing in the Dome on Dec. 1. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Our weekly Heat Check begins with baseball’s hottest team, and no, I don’t mean the Mets.

BRAVES: On July 5, the day the season’s second half officially began, manager Fredi Gonzalez assessed his team’s first half as “just OK.” They’re 24-9 since. They went 4-2 last week but managed to slide 4 1/2 games behind Washington, which went 6-1. Which leads us to say: No big deal.

There are two wild cards this season. Even if there were only one, the Braves are two games ahead of Pittsburgh, and the Pirates probably won’t hold up much longer. Baseball Prospectus gives the Braves only a 17.1 percent chance of winning the National League East but a 91.1 percent chance of making the playoffs.

The rest of August will be intriguing. Over the next 2 1/2 weeks, the Braves will play three games in Washington, three here against the Dodgers, four against the Giants and seven (four here, three there) …

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Atlanta’s Olympic legacy: It’s there, even if not always obvious

OK, so it wasn't all so great. We still haven't gotten over Izzy. (AJC photo by Joey Ivansco)

OK, so not everything about our Olympics was splendiferous. In 16 years, we still haven't gotten over Izzy. (AJC photo by Joey Ivansco)

Sixteen summers ago, we were London. The eyes of the world — and not just that segment of the population that cares about sports — were on Atlanta. Some critics found us wanting. Juan Antonio Samaranch, the head of the International Olympic Committee, denied the Atlanta Games his customary “best ever” benediction. No matter.

We had the Olympics. Big things happened. Michael Johnson ran really fast. Kerri Strug made her valorous vault. The U.S. men and women won in basketball, and the U.S. women won in soccer. And there was, sad to say, a bomb explosion in Centennial Olympic Park that killed a woman named Alice Hawthorne.

We, meaning all of us Atlantans, have an Olympic legacy. But there are times when you have to look hard to see it. “Usually the icon for the Olympics is the Olympic Stadium,” said Bob Hope, an Atlanta public relations …

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#NBCfail? If everyone hates the Olympics, why do we watch?

Some of these people are live. Others are on tape. (AP photo)

Some of these smiling Americans are coming to us live. Others are on tape. (AP photo)

It does seem silly: A sporting event occurs before noon (our time) and the American television rights-holder waits until 10 p.m. (again, our time) to air it. If you prefer not to know who won before actually seeing who wins — my lovely wife is such a person — you have to cover one eye before clicking on the Internet.

Also silly is the Internet-fueled outcry toward NBC, which holds the American broadcasting rights to these Olympics. (Twitter hashtag: #NBCfail.) At a time when everything is available via the aforementioned click, why can’t the network give us everything as it happens?

Allow me to introduce myself: I have come to dislike TV immensely. I watch less of it than anyone I know. When duty calls and I’m compelled to monitor a sporting event, I often mute the sound. (Twitter hashtag: #McCarverEffect.) Ordinarily I’m greatly amused by any hint of TV-bashing, but here I have to say …

I …

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