sports

Wikimedia jenaragon94 (Flickr)

It’s hard to imagine SEC football stadiums at full capacity this fall as the coronavirus pandemic breeds uncertainty about the future of large gatherings. Sports fans and college athletes are bracing for the heartbreak of potentially not having a season when classes resume later this year.


GHSA Approves June Restart For Football Activities

May 21, 2020
GHSA/Twitter

The Georgia High School Association has taken its first major step toward resuming athletics in the state.

The GHSA Board of Trustees voted late Thursday afternoon that football-related activities can restart June 8.

Riddell via AP

With an eye toward getting back on the field, the NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask. 

Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay says the issue came up about a month ago during a conference call with the league’s competition committee. Many players already wear visors to protect their eyes. McKay says the new mask would cover even more of the face.

GPB Sports

Football teams across the state are  preparing for the worst and praying the pandemic won’t lead to a season without games, Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines said. 

The GHSA still has two months before a final decision on the 2020 season needs to be made so he remains hopeful. 

“I hate to talk about it. I don’t want to add to the angst that’s already out there,” he said.

The Masters

The prestigious Masters golf tournament has been rescheduled for early November, the Augusta National Golf Club announced Monday. This year’s tournament, already once rescheduled for this week, was first postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Masters have taken place in Augusta every year since 1934, but as other sports events are postponed or canceled around the world, officials have put a hold on the popular golf tournament. In the 84 years of its existence,  the tournament has only been canceled during World War II. 

Student Baseball In The Time of Coronavirus

Apr 3, 2020
The Mill Creek Chronicle

Coach Doug Jones was mowing and trimming the Mill Creek High School baseball field when he got the bad news. His son Beau called to tell him Gov. Brian Kemp had just announced public schools would be closed for the rest of the academic year because of the  pandemic.

With that, Mill Creek’s season was officially over.

Vincent Hancock

Vincent Hancock, Georgia’s famed skeet shooting gold medalist, is still training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics even though the games have been postponed. The gold medalist told GPB News he has been smiling since qualifying for the Olympic team trials two weeks ago and isn’t worried about the changes to the competition.

Still, Hancock’s disappointed.

John Amis / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons have had a rough first half to the season. After a loss of 27 to 20 against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, speculation has been flying around whether Falcons owner Arthur Blank will fire coach Dan Quinn during the bye week.

Georgia sports fans are used to dashed hopes, but not all franchises based in Atlanta are suffering like the Falcons. The Atlanta Hawks have had a strong start to their season, and Atlanta United is looking hopeful for a chance to take the MLS Cup for the second year in a row.


Juan Karita / AP

Six historically black colleges and universities are adding a new sport during the 2020 – 2021 school year.  Morehouse College in Atlanta, Paine College in Augusta and Ft. Valley State University, as well as Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, are all adding men’s volleyball programs. The teams will play a regular season, with a year-end tournament in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference


NICK WASS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Atlanta's professional women's basketball team, the Atlanta Dream, is preparing for the upcoming season. It had a successful run last year and made it to the WNBA finals with Head coach Nicki Collen at the helm. She's been in the top spot since 2017. 

Collen stopped by On Second Thought to discuss her start playing tennis, her passion for the sport and her dreams of bringing a championship to Atlanta.


Courtesy of Happy Fish Productions

Professional wrestling boomed when cable hit in the late '70s and early '80s. Shows like Georgia Championship Wrestling and Mid-South Wrestling planted dreams of glory in the heads and hearts of muscular southern boys. Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Billy "Superstar" Graham all had important matches in Georgia. They are among dozens of stars who took hits outside the ring. 

The documentary film 350 Days looks into the hard knock lives of professional wrestlers in what's known as the golden age of wrestling.


AUGUSTA NATIONAL

The Masters begins tomorrow at the legendary Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. It's among professional golf's most prestigious tournaments, bringing in big names like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Last week, the golf course made history, hosting its first women's tournament: the Augusta National Women's Amateur. On Second Thought spoke with Bob Harig, senior golf writer for ESPN who joined the program from Augusta, about what it took to get women on the famous green. Anya Alvarez, former Ladies Professional Golf Association player and women's sports journalist, also joined the conversation from New York.


Courtesy of BlackGirlsGolf.net

When Althea Gibson became the first black woman to play in the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 1963, she defied discriminatory norms. Segregation at golf courses was common, and white men dominated the sport of golf. 

Today, 90 percent of golfers are still men, and most of them are white. That can have economic implications for minorities and women since golf courses are known as common places for networking and business deals. 


Georiga saw record turnout for the November midterms, but, as the state heads into runoff elections on Tuesday, early voting numbers are weak, especially among minorities.

“On Second Thought” invited Adrienne Jones to speak about the upcoming runoff election and voting issues. Jones is a political science assistant professor at Morehouse College. Ari Berman from Mother Jones also joined the conversation.

 


Atlanta United

Atlanta's pro soccer team hosts New York City Sunday Nov. 11 in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. Atlanta United beat New York City FC 1-0 Nov. 4 at Yankee Stadium. Whichever team scores the most goals over these two games advances to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

 

GPB Sports' Jon Nelson hosts the podcast "Soccer Down Here" about soccer in the South.  He spoke with "All Things Considered" Atlanta host Rickey Bevington about Atlanta’s successful second season. 

 

 

GPB Sports team

High school football season is just around the corner, and students are already on the field practicing. Before teams hit the gridiron, the GPB Sports team stopped by to talk about the upcoming season.


David Goldman / The Associated Press

Atlanta’s the college football center of the world on Monday night, as the University of Georgia Dawgs try to stem the University of Alabama’s Tide, in the National Championship game. A win for Georgia would be the first national championship victory for the team in more than 35 years.

GPB News / Emily Cureton

Many sports are all about teamwork. But underwater hockey takes this to new heights. Or depths, rather, since all the action in underwater hockey is at the bottom of a pool. And because players can’t hold their breath forever, hogging the puck isn’t an option. GPB’s Emily Cureton took a dip with Atlanta’s underwater hockey club, the Swordfish. She brought back an audio postcard from a recent practice.

Stephen Fowler

 

Atlanta’s professional soccer team plays its first ever playoff game tonight against the Columbus Crew at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

 

Atlanta United FC has enjoyed a stellar inaugural season, performing well on the field but even better in the stands.

On Second Thought For Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oct 17, 2017

A new novel by Atlanta-based author Nic Stone explores police violence against people of color through the eyes of a teenage boy. He tries to make sense of contemporary racism using the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., asking if those teachings still hold up. “Dear Martin” is out today, Oct. 17. The book launches with an event tonight at The National Center for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta. Author Nic Stone joins us live in the studio.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Over the last year, Atlanta’s soccer scene has blown up thanks to a new professional soccer club, Atlanta United FC. You can’t miss the black, red, and gold jerseys and flags that fans are sporting. In about three weeks, the team begins its next chapter when it plays at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Dikembe Mutombo is one of the most recognizable players in Atlanta Hawks history. Now retired, the seven-foot-two-inch center spent five seasons in Atlanta, and was a defensive powerhouse in the NBA for 18 seasons.

WIKIPEDIA

The NBA playoffs began this past weekend and it was a rough start for the Atlanta Hawks.

They lost on Sunday to the Washington Wizards, 114-107, in the first of a seven game series.

It's been an up and down season for Atlanta's basketball team. But will things change in time for the playoffs?

the Atlanta Braves

SunTrust Park opens with an exhibition game this Friday. The road to a new home for the Atlanta Braves has been a long and expensive one. The estimated cost of the project is now more than $1 billion. We talked about the massive undertaking with GPB senior sports correspondent Jon Nelson.

@ATLUTD

After securing their first win on the road last weekend, Atlanta United FC put together another signature performance to capture their first home win on Saturday.

Atlanta United (2-1) shut out the Chicago Fire (1-2) by a score of 4-0 in the afternoon contest.

: Taylor Gantt

The Harlem Globetrotters are one of the most storied basketball teams in history.

They have been combining athleticism, theater and comedy for over 90 years.

 

But they've also been responsible for promoting change in the sports world by way of their unique act on the basketball court.

We sit down with "Buckets Blakes" to talk about the legacy of the team and the changes they've experienced over the years.

The Globetrotters are headed to Atlanta this weekend for a pair of games on Saturday.

IMAGE SOURCE

Fans of the Atlanta Falcons are slowly working past a crushing defeat in the Super Bowl. The team gave up a 25 point lead and squandered away a game that was well in hand for the first three quarters.  

As the Falcons returned back to Atlanta on Monday, many fans took to the airwaves on sports radio shows to voice their disappointment. But psychology experts say if you hold on to negative emotions too long it could end up hurting you physically. 

One aspect of college football has received a significant deal of negative attention: “guarantee games.” These are matchups where a large school pays a smaller school a significant sum of money to schedule a matchup against them. Some claim that historically black colleges and universities are often forced to take guarantee games to help fund their struggling athletic departments, which puts players at risk against unfair competition.

As a result of Hurricane Matthew last week, more than 1.3 million gallons of partially treated wastewater was discharged into the Savannah River. Information about the spill was sent out to the public, but a recent story in Georgia Health News says many environmental spills in the state are left out of the public’s eye.  We’ll talk about transparency in environmental disasters with Georgia Health News editor Andy Miller and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth. 

NBA

The Center for Civil and Human Rights will present a new exhibit in Atlanta this month. It's called “Breaking Barriers” and will focus on historical moments when sports led to meaningful social change. Athletes and political leaders will be featured in the exhibit, including Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela. The Atlanta Hawks will host a preview of “Breaking Barriers” at Phillips Arena this month.

Political sportswriter Dave Zirin and ESPN’s Kevin Martinez join us to talk about the intersection of sports and social change. 

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