Friday Flashback: Macon Knights

Jacques Rumph, Macon, GA, 2003As we get ready for football season, I take us back to the indoor version which played for six seasons from 2001-2006 in Macon, Georgia.  The Arena Football League (AFL) had created a second-tier league known as AF2 and put franchises in smaller markets to increase exposure of the sport.

I know of the Macon Knights personally because I attended many of their games.  I actually entered my submission in the name-the-team contest along with a logo design for my entry.  My submission was the “Macon Possums”.

The team decided upon the Knights and they began play in the spring of 2001.   They played their first game on April 7, 2001 against the Augusta Stallions.  Over 4,000 fans watched the Knights lose a thriller to the Stallions, 64-60.  The Knights were coached by former NFL player, Kevin Porter.  Porter had coached the Pensacola Barracudas the year before.  He was also a local as he had played high school in the area.  He led the Knights to a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance.

In 2002, the Knights dominated their division and had their best season at 13-3.  They were stunned by the Florida Firecats at home in the Conference Semifinals.

The Knights had their best season in 2003.  Although they were 10-6 in the regular season, they made an incredible playoff run.  The Knights knocked off the Firecats 42-35 in the wildcard game then won against Albany, NY (59-47) and Tennessee Valley (51-48) on the road to advance to the ArenaCup IV championship game.  Unfortunately, they fell behind early and was unable to catch the Tulsa Talons.

The wildcard game against the Firecats was probably the most exciting game I remember watching in person.  I had a prime seat directly behind the Firecats’ bench and the players heckled me all night.  It took a goal line stand by the Knights to hold on to win the game at the end.

In the offseason, Porter was promoted to the AFL with an assistant coaching position with the New Orleans VooDoo.  The Knights fell hard to a 3-13 record the next season.  They did not have another winning season.

The Knights played their last game on July 29, 2006.  After winning their previous four games, the lost to the Arkansas Twisters 53-33 to finish the season at 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

After the 2006 season, fans were shocked when the team announced they would be shutting down operations.   The team’s owner, Beverly Olson, cited that the team was losing too much money to stay in business.   Although the team averaged 3,161 per game, it just wasn’t enough to compete on a national scale.

The six summers of Knights’ football was an exciting time in Macon and it was sad to see it end.

Kevin Porter is now the head coach at Fort Valley State University in Ft. Valley, Georgia.

 

 

 

Driving 101:  Back It Up

Yesterday afternoon I had another near miss when a driver bolted backwards out of their parking spot and nearly caused me to hit them.  This was no slow back up.  The woman just cranked it up and backed it out of there.

This is not the first time. I am very anxious when I have to back out of a parking space or drive through a parking lot.  Once again the common problem seems to be impatience.  No one wants to wait or consider their surroundings.  Just put the vehicle in gear and out of there.

Here’s what you are supposed to do:

  • Look before backing up.  Use your head.  I mean turn your head to look.  Don’t depend solely on your mirrors or backup cameras.  It is easy to lose our depth perception just using mirrors or cameras.
  • Put vehicle in reverse and back out slowly.  Look in all directions for people walking as well as other vehicles.
  • Turn your steering wheel into the direction you want to back out.
  • Always be alert of the backup lights (white lights) of other vehicles.

Another part to this backup issue is for people who are walking in a parking lot.  Always be the better person in the situation where cars are backing up. You can see the situation much better than a driver can. Always be prepared to yield to the driver.  I know people have the “pedestrian having the right-of-way” mentality but an accident is going to hurt you a lot more than the car. I see too many people trying some power play with this and dare a car to hit them.  It isn’t a contest.  Most drivers aren’t trying to purposely hit you.

If you are driving through a parking lot, be alert to drivers who are backing up.  Don’t be a jerk and fly past them if they are already backing out.  I know.  None of us want to wait.  But really, how much time is it going to cost us.

Also, if you have passengers in the car with you, enlist their assistance when backing out.  It is always helpful having extra eyes being alert.

So I beg you, please, don’t just assume no one is behind you when you back up.  Back up slowly.  Tap the horn (Yes, it’s still okay to tap it instead of laying on it and using an obscene gesture) if there are people or other vehicles that are not aware of your intentions.

 

Georgia High School Football Season Kicks Off 2017 Season

ga state stadium
Georgia State football stadium (formerly Turner Field) to host Corky Kell Classic games this weekend

 

STARTING AT #1

It’s here.  The 2017 Georgia High School football season kicks off this weekend.  Here are teams starting out at the top of each classification:

  • 7A – Grayson
    • The Rams won the 7A title with a thrilling overtime win over Roswell.  Head Coach Jeff Heron is gone and several starters have been lost to graduation.  I don’t see them repeating in 7A but the so-called experts start them out at the top spot.  Grayson opens their season next week at home against Hoover (AL)
  • 6A – Valdosta
    • The Wildcats surprised everyone by winning the school’s first title since 1998.  The word is that another dynasty is in the making.  Valdosta will be tested from the first game as they face their crosstown rivals at Lowndes.
  • 5A – Buford
    • The Wolves always seem to get ranked higher than they should be and once again the experts put them in at #1 despite losing Head Coach Jess Simpson.  Buford opens at home against Hillgrove.
  • 4A – Cartersville
    • The Purple Hurricanes will have a chance for a three-peat and it is entirely possibly with the team returning all but one starter on the offensive line and, of course, the state’s best quarterback, Trevor Lawrence.  Cartersville won’t have an easy schedule as they play three powerhouses in their first three games.  They open at Allatoona.
  • 3A – Greater Atlanta Christian
    • I’m not sure why the Spartans are ranked #1 but they are certainly a contender for the 3A title this year.  If they can replace their starting quarterback from last season, Davis Mills, they should go a long way.  GAC opens their season at always tough Lovett.
  • 2A – Benedictine
    • The Cadets are looking to repeat and will be lead by senior quarterback Nick Iannone who threw for 1,850 yards and 24 touchdowns last season.  The Cadets open the season at Glynn Academy.
  • 1A (Public) – Macon County
    • The Bulldogs were a surprise last year but they shouldn’t sneak up on anyone this year.  They are loaded with talent but will have to replace K’hari Lane who was the Class A offensive player of the year.
  • 1A (Private) – Eagle’s Landing Christian
    • The Chargers will have a lot to do with who wins the 1A Private School title this season.  They are everyone’s favorite to repeat.  ELCA opens against Eagle’s Landing.  (No, not themselves but the public school version)

CORKY KELL CLASSIC KICKS OFF WITH 18 TEAMS

The Corky Kell Classic will showcase 18 teams to kick off the season.  The classic will be played on Thursday at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium and then Friday and Saturday at Georgia State’s Stadium which was formerly Turner Field.  Here’s the schedule for the games:

  • Thursday, August 17
    • Lee County vs. Mary Persons
    • Houston County vs. Jones County
  • Friday, August 18
    • South Forsyth vs. Roswell
    • Buford vs. Hillgrove
  • Saturday, August 19
    • Kell vs. Tucker
    • Archer vs. Brookwood
    • Colquitt County vs. Norcross
    • Mill Creek vs. McEachern
    • North Gwinnett vs. Walton

THE VOICE OF GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

If you are in the State of Georgia, you will want to tune into the Georgia High School Football Scoreboard show with the legendary Tommy Palmer.  Tommy is a seasoned voice of high school football and will give you information on the games played on Friday nights.

TEAMS OR GAMES I AM FOLLOWING

I have my own personal following of teams that I follow during the season.  Here are the games I will be following this week:

  • Warner Robins vs. Northside
    • It’s still very strange for this game to be the first game of the season.  For many years, it was the last game of the season until the schools moved to different classifications.  This will be the 60th meeting.  Warner Robins leads the series 34-25.  Northside has won the last three meetings.  Warner Robins last won 28-18 in 2013.
  • Villa Rica vs. Central-Carrollton
    • Villa Rica will have their fourth new coach in this decade.  The Wildcats opened last year with a 20-13 win over the Lions.  They have won nine straight in the series.
  • Clinch County at Bleckley County
    • Clinch County is playing only their second game ever against Bleckley County.  The Panthers trounced the Royals 47-7 last year in Homerville.

PREDICTIONS FOR 2017

Here are my predictions for 2017 state champions in each classification:

  • 7A – Roswell
    • Surprise Team:  Camden County
  • 6A – Dalton
    • Surprise Team:  Johns Creek
  • 5A – Kell
    • Surprise Team:  Warner Robins
  • 4A – Cartersville
    • Surprise Team:  Cairo
  • 3A – Peach County
    • Surprise Team:  Liberty County
  • 2A – Callaway
    • Surprise Team:  Thomasville
  • 1A (Public) – Clinch County
    • Surprise Team:  Charlton County
  • 1A (Private) – Prince Avenue Christian
    • Surprise Team:  Tattnall Square

The last school to do a “three-peat” was the Buford Wolves.  They won four straight titles from 2007-2010.

LAWRENCE LEADS LIST OF TOP PLAYERS IN GEORGIA

Here are the top five players in Georgia:

  1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Cartersville (Sr)
  2. Justin Fields, QB, Harrison (Sr)
  3. Michael Barrett, QB, Lowndes (Sr)
  4. Adam Anderson, DL, Rome (Sr)
  5. Brenton Cox, DL, Stockbridge (Sr)

GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK:

  • Carrollton at Newnan
  • Mary Persons at Lee County
  • Benedictine at Glynn Academy
  • Cartersville at Allatoona
  • Greater Atlanta Christian at Lovett
  • Northside Warner Robins at Warner Robins
  • Stephenson at Cedar Grove
  • Valdosta at Lowndes
  • Norcross at Colquitt County
  • Tucker at Kell

 

 

Obscure Sports News

GDFL
Thunder Tops Crescent City for Impact Conference title 

 

Oklahoma Thunder To Meet Chattanooga Eagles In Gridiron Bowl 8

The two teams to battle in Gridiron Bowl 8 are set in the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL).  The defending champion, Oklahoma Thunder, dismantled the Crescent City Kings 48-0 to win the Impact Conference.   The Chattanooga Eagles denied the Georgia Crush with a 22-16 win in the Xtreme Conference.  Oklahoma and Chattanooga will meet for the title on August 28th in Memphis, Tennessee.

Philadelphia Soul Seeks ArenaBowl Repeat

The Philadelphia Soul (14-1) and Tampa Bay Storm (11-4) will meet in ArenaBowl XXX in Philadelphia on August 26th.  Philadelphia defeated the Baltimore Brigade 69-54 while Tampa Bay eliminated the Cleveland Gladiators 73-59 in the Arena Football League (AFL) semifinals.  Philadelphia is looking to repeat as ArenaBowl champions and making their fourth appearance in the past six seasons.   Tampa Bay is playing in their 10th ArenaBowl which ties them with the Arizona Rattlers.

AT&T Stadium To Host 2017 WDFL National Championship

The World Developmental Football League (WDFL) will play on a huge stage for its national championship game.  The game is scheduled to be played at the home of the Dallas Cowboys on November 6th as the East Coast and West Coast Division winners will meet for the title.   The Georgia Cardinals (3-0) currently lead the East Coast Division.  Only three teams (California Sharks, Los Angeles Scorpions and Southern California Coyotes) comprise the West Coast Division and have not begun play at this time.

Orange County Breakers Defeat San Diego Aviators for WTT Title

Teymuraz Gabashvili closed things out with a 5-4 win in the men’s singles match to help the Breakers to a 22-18 victory for their first World Team Tennis King Trophy since 2004.  The Breakers finally broke through after losing the previous two championship games in 2015 & 2016.  Gabashvili was named the Mylan WTT Male MVP.  Yanina Wickmayer, who was named the WTT’s Female Rookie of the Year, started things out with a 5-2 win for the Breakers.

Austin Outlaws Claim Professional Quidditch Title

The Austin Outlaws defeated the Indianapolis Intensity 150-90 to claim the Major League Quidditch (MLQ) title.   (Sorry, no details on this game from the league’s website but you can watch the game on YouTube)

Toronto, San Francisco, Dallas and Madison Advance To AUDL Finals

rush

The 2017 American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) championship weekend in Montreal is set with the four teams who clinched their division titles last weekend.

West Division:  San Francisco FlameThrowers 33, Los Angeles Aviators 22

The FlameThrowers clinched a bid in their first AUDL Championship Weekend with a win over the Los Angeles Aviators.  Joel Schlacht lead the FlameThrowers with eight goals and four assists.  The FlameThrowers fell short in the Division Finals last season when they lost to the Seattle Cascades.

East Division:  Toronto Rush 29, DC Breeze 26

The Rush once again held off the Breeze in the East to advance to their 5th straight AUDL Championship Weekend.  Mark Lloyd lead the Rush with three goals and four assists and two blocks.   The Rush edged the Breeze 23-21 in overtime last season.

Midwest Division:  Madison Radicals 27, Pittsburgh Thunderbirds 22

The Radicals and Thunderbirds are no strangers in the postseason as the Radicals won their third straight meeting to advance to their 5th straight AUDL Championship Weekend.  Peter Graffy had four goals and four blocks in the game.

South Division:  Dallas Roughnecks 27, Raleigh Flyers 24

The Roughnecks earned a repeat trip to the AUDL Championship Weekend with their win over the Flyers.   The Roughnecks will be looking to repeat as AUDL champions.

The semifinals games will be played on Saturday, August 26th with Madison facing San Francisco.  Dallas will play Toronto in the other semifinal.

I apologize for the lack of detail in the game reports as the league website and Facebook sites do not do a good job with that.  The league needs to do a better.

The Universal God

Friday night we went to a local observatory with hopes of looking at the stars through the giant telescope.  Unfortunately, it was a cloudy night and we were unable to do so. We were able to look at some amazing photos that had been taken by the Hubble telescope.  It totally blew my mind at the number of galaxies it had captured.  The astronomer said that scientists are STILL counting them because there are so many.  

That led me to two thoughts.  There has GOT to be a God (not that I doubted but it reinforced it) and that there has to be life on other planets.  

Unless the universe is some kind of cosmic screensaver, isn’t it entirely possible that God has created other planets and other life forms?   Perhaps He created them with no intention of having our worlds meet.  It is beyond what our minds could understand.  I know people will think that God only made this Earth and us alone but I have to think it is possible.  

Hebrews 11:3 says something strange in that “through faith we understand that the WORLDS were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which of things which do appear.”

Some would debate that the word “worlds” is a translation thing and doesn’t mean what it implies but maybe folks should stop trying to find reasons against things outside of their comfort zones.  

Since God is the one who made the universe, it can scarcely be big to Him. We struggle with this because our knowledge is limited to the created time/space dimensions within which we exist.

The vastness of the universe is a tremendous expression of God’s might and power. God is greater than we could ever imagine, even greater that His spectacular creation, the universe.  

Yes, it can make your head hurt to think about this possiblility of other worlds and beings God could have created.  We simply don’t know.  The only thing we do know is that God is amazing.  

One day I hope to actually look into a giant telescope for the first time.  I know that it will only amplify to me how amazing God is.

What’s The Excuse For Making Excuses?

excuse

I probably shouldn’t post a blog when I’m livid.  That’s where I am right now.

I can’t get into specifics but the general issue is people who get away with crap and are never called out on it.  Somehow there is a double-standard somewhere for certain people to act however they want to act and they are excused for it.

Seriously, I want to sign up for those benefits.

It happens on our jobs, in our families, in our church and just about anywhere you have a group of dysfunctional people gathered.

And the one excuse that makes me lose my mind is when someone is excused of their bad behavior because “that’s how they are” or “that’s how they were raised”.   Well, I’m sorry about that but the person doesn’t get a free pass for that reason.  If so, does that make it okay for me to just be ugly to someone and then say “oh, it’s because of how I am.  My bad.”?

No, not going to fly with me.

People who work in retail see folks who act however they want but because of that stupid “the customer is always right” motto then they think they can do anything then play that card when they are called out on it.  No, I’m sorry, the customer is NOT always right.

Bad behavior should not be excused.  It should be dealt with and corrected.  Whether it means counseling, medication or a good old fashioned spanking.   (Okay, I’m kidding about the spanking.)  Honestly though, people are getting away with bad behavior and when you honk your horn or say something they cuss YOU out or flip YOU off when THEY were in the wrong.   What’s is wrong with people?   Oh wait…don’t tell them or they will get mad – or worse – they will shoot you for calling them out.

If you work a job, you are responsible for you.  Too many times the good employees with an ounce of integrity are taken advantage of by the slackers who violate all kinds of office policies yet not a darn thing is done to them.  They aren’t reprimanded or written up.  And if they are everyone’s buddy or the party person, they get the free pass for being a slacker.  Yet, if the good employee makes a mistake or snaps one day they are ran up the flag pole for it.  The slacker is usually the one holding the rope on that flag pole.

Truth and integrity are hard to find now.  I know of a business that has gone through a handful of employees in one year because the people they hired stole, were totally obnoxious or tried to take over the business from the first day they walked in the door.  Meanwhile, you can’t hire people and the good ones are having to pick up the slack and are overworked because of it.

It also drives me nutso to deal with people who re-write history in their own minds.  They don’t remember things quite the way it actually happened.  I mean, you can have it on paper and signed by them and they will have the nerve to deny it.   No, that’s not the way it happened.  It made them look bad or that’s not the way that WANT to remember something.

And you wonder why I am not welcomed at church or family reunions?

I have been too quiet for too long because – you know – that’s how I am.