login | Register

Swampland Sports Six-Pack for the week ending 7/30/07

Posted: Aug 01, 2007

Your weekly filter for the top sports stories around the South

1. One of the biggest connection points for fans of the NFL is having trust in their starting quarterback. This is a key area where the three Florida teams have struggled during the last few seasons. Miami and Tampa Bay have chosen to go with experience this year as they’ll both start signal callers over 35 years old. Meanwhile, the Jaguars will give oft-injured QB Byron Leftwich one more season to prove he can lead the squad. While each of these teams has a solid defense, their respective decisions on what direction to go at quarterback will be huge for the near future both on the field and with the perception of management in each community.

2. The connection of a fan base to its signal caller also applies at the college level. Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal has a great piece on a tale of two SEC quarterbacks. It details how former Vol teammates Erik Ainge and Brent Schaeffer have taken different paths since sharing the starting QB role their freshman year in Knoxville. Ainge has grown up and accepted coaching while Schaeffer has strayed from authority. There is no doubt that a coach’s future and a fan bases’ perception of its program can be dramatically affected by the decision on its leader at the quarterback position. While Ainge will compete for SEC Player of the Year, Tony Barnhart of the AJC has a note (#3) that Schaeffer will not even be a starter this year.

3. What a smart move by the Braves to get former Georgia Tech great Mark Teixeira back in the city of Atlanta. Once again, General Manager John Schuerholz pleases the fan base by obtaining a quality player who also has local ties. As the Braves continue to operate on a seemingly tighter budget each season, the Teixeira acquisition makes a ton of sense. The thought being that a power-hitting corner infielder, who is also a Gold Glover, will be much easier to sign long-term if he is already in town and likes the environment. Additionally, the Braves’ fans have to feel that management is doing everything it can to keep their decade-and-a-half run atop the NL East going full steam ahead.

4. Not everything is positive on Peachtree Street. As the Michael Vick saga continues, the interesting question arises of how the Atlanta market will respond to the non-#7 led Falcons. Terence Moore of the AJC believes that no matter what the Falcons’ players say, the team’s whole image IS wrapped up in one player. Despite what you may think of Vick personally, there is no doubt that his athleticism and play-making ability woke up a traditionally moribund fan base and sold tickets in record numbers. What had always been (and still is) a college football haven was suddenly a pro football hotbed when Mike Vick arrived from Virginia Tech. It definitely bears watching how the fans react this season to Bobby Petrino’s offense led by Joey Harrington.

5. Things always seem to be a little bigger in Texas, and that notion applies to the Cowboy’s spending on their defense this season. In Dallas, you need to be doing it bigger and better than the next guy, and that is one of the reasons why Cowboy fans have come to appreciate their owner, Jerry Jones. The Dallas defense has a ton of talent even though they struggled down the stretch last year. Jones made sure the talented group stayed together and brought in one of the top defensive minds in the game in Wade Phillips to coach the team. Fans on Dallas want a good show, and Jones is going to make sure his team’s aggressive defense gives them all they want.

6. Speaking of quality leadership, the University of Miami has turned to one of its former players to get the Hurricanes back on top. Randy Shannon has instilled a sense of discipline back into the Miami program, and the fans seem excited. I believe the ‘Canes will get back to the top of the ACC standings over the next couple of years with a quality coach like Shannon leading the way.

- Patrick Snow

related tags


Wireless from AT&T


Please login or you can to leave a comment.

If you aren't registered, Register Now to start leaving comments.

Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.