April 1, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – The Final Four is all set and it’s been two weeks since our ninth seeded Yellow Jackets fell in the First Round of the NCAA Men’s basketball Tournament to eighth seeded Loyola Chicago. Despite the loss, we all felt pretty good about things on The Flats and about Coach Josh Pastner. It was our first trip to the Big Dance in over a decade so naturally the whole “just happy to be here” feeling carried the day….until now.
While enjoying March Madness this weekend it really hit me that we should have expected more from these Jackets. This year’s tournament has been slammed with upsets and lower seeds beating higher seeds and big boys falling by the wayside. I understand Tech was without Moses Wright, but does that mean it was an automatic L? Lesser teams with lesser talent are winning games and unknown coaches are outcoaching established brands. Why couldn’t have Georgia Tech been one of those teams? I’m pondering this very question.
Phoenix. Los Angeles. Tampa. Houston. Dallas. These are five cities that are NOT hosting Opening Day baseball as Major League Baseball begins it’s 2021 campaign. Oh, and throw in Atlanta! This is nothing new but I continue to ask why? Why are we opening in NY, Boston, Washington DC, Detroit and Philly? Don’t give me tradition or any of that crap! Who wants to watch games in the cold, gray, and sometimes snowy conditions that usually happen in those Northern cities as Winter hangs on into April? Between California, Texas, Arizona, Florida & Georgia, we have enough warm weather climates to handle baseball’s opening week or two. Makes too much sense, I guess.
Speaking of Opening Day, great news out of Texas as Charlie Culberson made the Rangers roster! An Atlanta Braves fan favorite, I know everyone in Braves Country is happy for this North Georgia native and terrific guy! I love, absolutely love Alex Anthopoulos, but I do wish we had kept Charlie on our bench. To win a World Series you need a moment or two from a clutch veteran like Culberson. Good luck Charlie!
NASCAR ran its first Cup Series dirt track race in 50 years on Monday afternoon and the only thing more unique than that was the fact Joey Logano won, making him the seventh different winner in the first seven weeks of the NASCAR season. It hasn’t been the who’s who winning either. Three of the seven are nobodies and the other four still aren’t considered NASCAR royalty. The dirt track idea was a good one, except for the rain issues, and I commend the racing circuit for their attempts at mixing it up.
Final note here. ESPN, the biggest brand in the world of sports, just made a brilliant decision in extending the contract of Dick Vitale. When many of sour us on the likes of Chris Berman, Jim Nantz and Alex Rodriguez, Dickie V continues to amaze with his passion, energy & knowledge of college hoops! And how terrific was it to see his genuine love of Tampa sports with the Rays run to the World Series and the Buccaneers Super Bowl win. I’ve been lucky enough to talk & text with Mr. Vitale over my twenty-five-year sports radio producing career and he’s always been first class! Bravo to he & the four-letter network!