Let's get to it. From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...
Atlanta Braves' Dan Uggla connects for a three-run home run in the ninth inning of the Braves' 10-1 victory over the San Diego Padres in a baseball game on Saturday, June 25, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Braves pull defeat from jaws of victory
The Atlanta Braves lost 4-1 in San Diego on Sunday. It was a loss that the Braves have not witnessed this year — somebody roughing up relief ace Jonny Venters.
Venters surrendered four runs in the eighth. It matched the total number of runs he had allowed this season before Sunday. It more than doubled his ERA. It was as uncharacteristic as Fox News praising Presidential policies and the 5-at-10 writing about soccer. So it goes.
Three quick thoughts from the Braves this weekend (and let's try the three things in 10 words or less — the 3-in-10 by the 5-at-10, patent pending, of course):
— Offense still scuffling: Atlanta got two hits Sunday; that's pressure on your pitchers
— Take care of business: Braves have to improve vs. sub-.500 teams like San Diego
— Digging on the Padres outfits: Maybe we're strange (or a redneck) but camo uniforms rock
Kurt Busch celebrates in the winner's circle after his victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race Sunday, June 26, 2011, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
NASCAR's off week — at least in our eyes
We're going to be honest with you — we did not watch a lap of Sunday's NASCAR race. It was on a road course and if we wanted to watch folks drive in upper 80s-90s and handle hair-pin curves, we take a lawn chair, a cooler full of Bud Light and a police scanner to the 'S' curves on Hixson Pike and call it a day.
That's what the road courses are for us. It's not NASCAR; it's traffic — with really cool paint schemes. No thanks.
That said, it made us smile that first-class jackwagon Kurt Busch won. It was fitting — Busch winning in front of the wine-cheese Sonoma crowd.
As for the tempers and the emotions from the drivers Sunday, well they continue to be running at 9,000 RPMs. Hey, we're all for embracing the sport's energetic roots and allowing the drivers to police themselves with the "Boys be boys" policy. But that only works when all things are equal. And with drivers having different skill sets (Tony Stewart can calculate an exact measure of revenge at 180 mph; A.J. Almindinger is going to be a little less precise, meaning a 12-car pile-up rather than a spin out) and different stakes for each team, that's hardly justice. That's revenge, and while that's better than post-race penalties and behind-the-scenes scoldings in trailers, it's still short.
And it's dangerous — just like the 'S' curves.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens runs back to the line of scrimmage in the first quarter of the Hall of Fame NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
No LOL matter — TO suffers ACL, return not PDQ
Terrell Owens reportedly had surgery on a torn ACL. At 37, this could be a serious hurdle for the former UTC and current NFL star receiver. It could be career-ending, but Owens is in great shape and reports say it was a clean tear, which makes for an easy rehab process.
If this is the end of Owens' career — especially if the NFL lock out lasts into the season — what are your memories of the erratic and eccentric star?
Yes, T.O. has a way of dabbling in way too much. He has a way of coming across as a goofball. He has a way of saying close to the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. He has a way of being football's Allen Iverson, the one guy that is too blunt, too honest and too self-important for his own good. Example — if there was one player in the entire NFL that you could picture being in a feud with his team's other star, talking trade demands and then give interviews shirtless as he's doing crunches in his driveway, it'd be T.O.
That said, Owens also has a way of getting open, catching the football and scoring touchdowns. Did you know that Owens is second behind Jerry Rice in receiving yards and is third behind Rice and Randy Moss in receiving touchdowns? That's in NFL history folks. He's a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer looking at the stats, but there's more to the game than stats.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt looks on from the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009. LSU won 20-13. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
This and That
— Somebody wake us when we get to the finals of Wimbledon. Not for nothing, but Holy Can't Tell the Players Without a Program, the world of tennis is identifiable by three dominating guys, two Williams sisters and a world-wide potpourri of names that are as forgettable as they are difficult to pronounce. And this not the Family Circle Cup — this is Wimbledon, the best tennis tournament on the planet. So it goes.
— As our UGA football ace David Paschall informed our readers this morning, the Bulldogs lost another offensive lineman when Brent Benedict decided to leave the team for personal reasons. Not good. We've said it before and we'll say it again, there's no truer cliche than "No news is good news" for college football programs in May and June. In other UGA news, according to the Times Daily of Florence, Ala., former Bulldogs linebacker Marcus Dowtin has transfered to... wait for it... you know it's coming... North Alabama.
— The best-of-three College World Series starts tonight when Florida and South Carolina go at it. Wow, the SEC dominates baseball, too. Cool.
— Kentucky reportedly extended basketball coach John Calipari's contract for two years. Dude has put together a star-studded Wildcats team and he wins lots of games no doubt. Who knows, this may be the place that those wins actually remain after he leaves town.
— The NHL is realigning. Is this not the perfect sports philosophical parallel to a tree falling in the forrest and no one being there to hear it? Interesting.
In this photo, Los Angeles Lakers' Metta World Peace reacts after drawing a foul against the Sacramento Kings. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
Last week, Los Angeles Lakers player Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace. We did not make this up.
Yes, Artest was a key figure in the mega-brawl in Detroit a handful of years ago that became the worst players-fans fight on sports history. Today, he's known as Mr. World Peace. Literally.
If you could change the name of one of today's sports star, who would it be and what would you change it to? How about an all-time sports star? Discuss.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...
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