Michael Boylan's blog
Last week, the Atlanta Falcons stormed out to an early lead on Seattle and barely hung on for the win. Yesterday, they stormed out to a big lead on San Francisco and then let their chance for an appearance in the Super Bowl slip away. I love the fast starts but this team needs to find a way to keep up the intensity and stop opposing teams momentum.
I don’t know what will happen next Sunday, or Super Bowl Sunday if they make it that far, but I can tell you this about the Falcons - it’s never going to be easy.
Sunday’s game against the surging, red-hot Seahawks appeared to be a laugher. All week long the pundits were discounting the achievements of the 13-3, top seeded Falcons and anointing Seattle’s young upstarts as the team to beat. The Falcons built a sizable lead against the Seahawks and looked dominant. The crow sandwiches the pundits were looking at around halftime must have looked very unappealing.
Two weekends ago, I decided to take my son to see the Atlanta Braves take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The next day was my son’s 7th birthday, so I thought I’d surprise him with a night out at the park.
I don’t know how Tiger Woods’ father did it. Or Chipper Jones’ dad. My dad. Any father really who volunteered or dedicated their free time to teaching and assisting their children’s athletic goals. I understand the motivation behind it. I would give anything for my children’s happiness and success in whatever they have a passion for but I was not a great coach when I helmed a U6 soccer team in the spring of 2010. Now my son is dabbling in running and I’m trying to be a better parent/coach. I’m afraid that I’m going to fall into similar pitfalls this time around, if not the exact same ones.
I don’t really have one great idea for a column this week, so I think I’ll weigh in on a number of things going on in the sports world this week instead.
I have been reporting on sports in the area for the better part of 13 years. I’ve seen a lot of talented athletes and amazing games and I’m sure to see a lot more, especially now that the beast that is The Citizen Sports Weekly must be fed.
Today, I am going to discuss what I think is great about all of the sports I cover and what is not so great about them.
I hate losing. I’ll bet most of you do, too, but I’ll also wager that the majority of readers out there handle it better than I have in my past.
When I was playing organized sports growing up, I wasn’t too bad. I didn’t spit on my hand during post-game handshakes and I only said “bad game” to the opponents a time or two. I like to think this is because I was a highly-evolved human being at the time - what 11 year-old isn’t? - but it probably had more to do with the fact that the team I played on at the time didn’t lose very often. It is very easy to be a good sport when you are winning.
The first sport I played as a kid was t-ball. I played because my friends played and I don’t remember much else about it. When I was older my parents would recall how long and boring the games were. I didn’t clamor to play again though and eventually played soccer for the Typhoons. Our jerseys were long sleeve and light blue. I remember that only because I recently found a picture of that team. It was a co-ed team and we played Under-8 ball.
They say that a team’s record in the preseason is meaningless. They point to the Detroit Lions who went 4-0 in their preseason a few years ago and then didn’t win a game during the regular season. Maybe they are right. I hope so because the Braves spring training has been wretched and it points to some big areas of concern for a team that closed poorly last year and has been behind the division-winning Phillies for several years now.
The first rule of creating the winning bracket in your office’s NCAA Men’s basketball bracket pool is that there are no rules. You can be as haphazard or meticulous as you like. If you have ever filled out a bracket before, you likely know that it doesn’t matter how you do it, your bracket will end up busted anyway. That’s half the fun of the tournament. You may not win the pool, but you had a good time watching some great college basketball. Congratulations, your focus on the upcoming baseball season and the NFL Draft has been successfully diverted for a few short weeks.