RANDOM THOUGHTS 05/08/17

TODAY: THE DANSBY MICROSCOPE IS QUITE LARGE, JUST “COACH BUD” AGAIN LIKE IT ALWAYS SHOULD HAVE BEEN, and BULLDOGS’ OPPONENTS APP STATE + NOTRE DAME.

 

THE DANSBY MICROSCOPE IS QUITE LARGE

Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

When Matt Ryan came to Atlanta as the Falcons new QB you had to watch a game to know what he looked like. The organization kept him off the marketing campaign and relatively sheltered until he learned the ropes. Only after an 11-5 rookie season and a playoff berth did he truly become the face of the franchise.

The Braves have taken a different approach with Dansby Swanson. It is an approach they took previously with local budding stars like Jeff Francoeur and Jason Heyward. They were promoted out front and early. The resumes were not built and they were featured as marketing darlings. We know how both of those stories ended. I’m hoping for better for Swanson.

HE IS JUST “COACH BUD” AGAIN, LIKE IT ALWAYS SHOULD HAVE BEEN

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer, right, with Dennis Schröder. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Before his tenure as Hawks Coach ever began, Mike Budenholzer engaged in behavior that would have led to any other CEO without a track record being fired. He wasn’t. The Hawks organization let him stay, tried to keep the story as quiet as possible and moved on. If he worked out as a solid Coach, nobody would care. He turned out to be very good and his legal issues are still more classified than documents surrounding General Flynn.

Then the “Community Leaders” got involved. The Danny Ferry leaked audio as he read from a scouting report he didn’t write was inflammatory. The organization abandoned him amidst a shake down of behind the scenes proportions we will never know. The results were a new statue, new management titles and jobs created and the community leaders got the most important pound of flesh, Danny Ferry’s job. The cheapest solution to remedy not having a GM was to give an unproven Coach control of the wheel. It failed. In fact, the car is in the bushes.

A shiny 60 win team that advanced further than any Hawks team before it is now a shadow of that in just 2 seasons. 60 wins became 48. The sweep came a series earlier in 2016 and then in 2017 we get 43 wins and a no series advancement. Bud took your 401K and you are all going to work until you are 80!

Bud never deserved that title and control. He failed. I still support him as a Coach but have to wonder if the new GM will want him if next season goes even further into decline. The Budenholzer era started with great questions about his judgment and unfortunately they continue even today.

APP STATE AND NOTRE DAME

We discussed this at length last week. I’m reading all about the “challenging start” of the season for the Georgia Bulldogs. I wonder if people don’t have Google.

Truth is that APP STATE usually wilts quite easily vs. top competition. You will hear the Tennessee game of last season referenced as the rule for why you should be cautiously optimistic. That game said more about the Volunteers than it did APP STATE. We should have known from the start that Tennessee struggling like that at home meant they weren’t ready for prime time. By the way, about a week later Mark Richt took Miami to APP STATE and won by 5 touchdowns.

Notre Dame is not the storied program of the history books anymore. They were 4-8 last year and had a huge house cleaning. Not quite the scary road trip imagined when this game was scheduled.

My thoughts? If the first 2 games are a struggle, I would have grave concerns about seeing improvement in SEC play vs. more comparable talented programs.

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