6th in the East: VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Vandy is coming off their best run in school history. Last season was historic for “The Dores” beating UGA, Florida, and Tennessee. On top of that, they’ve made it to more bowl games (4) since 2008 than they had been to total in school history leading up to that. Vandy fans should be offering up OTPHJ’s to James Frankin for what he did for that program. Yeah he’s gone but he left West End in a better place than they’ve ever been. I think new HC Derek Mason will be a good coach but I don’t see them having the year they had the previous few. They lost too many players and coaches from that regime. They do play 4 “High School” Teams though in Temple, UMass, Charleston Southern, and Old Dominion. With a win over Kentucky and one other and they are bowling again this season.Vandy has proved to be a team you can’t overlook anymore.
PREDICTION: 6-6 (2-6 in SEC)
6th in the West: MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS
Mississippi State are what they are. Mediocre at best. I personally wish we could replace Miss St with Central Florida or someone. At least no one would have to go to Starkville. I think this might be Dan Mullen’s last year as well. I know he’s got some serious SWAMP ASS going on from that hot as seat he’s been sitting on. Even in a season when the SEC West might be “down” they will still be one of the bottom 2. I just don’t see State competing in the SEC West, EVER, honestly. With the addition of A&M with LSU, Bama, Auburn, and Ole Miss?? Yeah, I’ve got a better shot of hitting the Power Ball.
PREDICTION: 6-6 (2-6 in SEC)
Atlanta was second to Seattle last year, but with the Seahawks demolishing the Broncos in the Superbowl, Forbes had little trouble putting the ATL atop this year’s list, just as it did in 2012.
As much as I hate to say it, this is spot on.
The greatest day of my life came in October of 1995. On the morning before game 6 of the World Series, a friend’s father, who was on call at the hospital in which he worked as a doctor, offered my dad 4 tickets to the game, provided that he took me and his son, along with another friend of our choice. Long story short, Tom Glavine pitched one of the greatest games in baseball history, Dave Justice hit a clutch home run in the 8th inning, and the Braves won 1-0 to close out the Series. The city went ballistic. I drank my first beer. MARTA was packed with folks of all races who hugged each other and did the Tomahawk Chop. Finally, a championship for my city. I was 14.
I’m now 32 and aside from the Falcons 1998 Superbowl appearance in which they got destroyed by John Elway, “we ain’t found shit.” Last year, when the Braves won the National League East and accordingly bowed out in the first round to the Dodgers, I made the following analogy:
Being an Atlanta sports fan is like getting a handjob (and only a handjob) every day for the rest of your life.
All of our teams are just good enough to make the playoffs (convincing a woman to touch our wiener), but can never, ever, go all the way and win a championship (intercourse).
It’s a brutal cycle. And Atlanta has great fans, despite what any outsider has to say. They see the empty seats on TV at the Ted and automatically think that people don’t give a shit. Hey asshole, you try to get to a game on a Thursday night after work. When the Hawks make the playoffs, something they’ve done for 7 consecutive years now, Philips Arena nearly explodes. The Dome is always packed for Falcons games. Hell, we threw a shitload of trash on the field when the umps shit the bed on a sack fly call in the playoffs!
We travel well too. I’ve have had the opportunity to see the Braves at Wrigley and in Milwaukee at Miller Park, and am convinced that there were more Braves fans in attendance than fans of the home teams. I saw the Falcons play the Steelers at Heinz Field and was quite impressed with the amount of our fans who made that trip for the 2010 season opener.
So yes, there are now three guarantees in life – death, taxes, and an Atlanta playoff loss – but I’ll be damned if anyone says we don’t care. It hurts man.