April 8, 2012
Was your house like mine at Easter? Twenty-plus members of my family crowded around TVs, rooting hard for Bubba Watson to win the Masters.
Watson delivered with his first major championship, giving us all something to celebrate sports-wise this weekend. And we definitely needed it.
Outside of the former University of Georgia golfer's victory in Augusta, it was a rough sports weekend for local sports fans. Consider the following:
• Braves' awful start So much for shaking off last year's September skid. The Braves continued slumping with three rough losses to the New York Mets, who suddenly are bolstered with loads of momentum. Meanwhile, Atlanta is off to its worst start in years with a still pitiful offense.
• G-Braves not much better Atlanta's Class AAA franchise nearly matched the big-league club's miserable start. The Gwinnett Braves managed to win just one of four games with rival Durham in the season-opening series. Not a great start for a team that's made the playoffs just once since moving to Gwinnett from Richmond.
• Gladiators ousted Though the result matched that of other local teams — the Gwinnett Gladiators were eliminated in the ECHL playoffs — the county's pro hockey team at least showed a bunch of heart over the weekend. Two painful losses at home in Games 3 and 4 were difficult to take, particularly when the first came in quadruple overtime and the second happened in double overtime. That's a fine line between still being alive and hanging it up for the season.
• Force's futility Of all the weekend misery, the Georgia Force put on the worst display of anyone. Five turnovers led to a dreadful 92-42 loss to the Philadelphia Soul. Losing by 50 points is pretty bad, even worse when you allow a franchise-record 92 points. Credit head coach Dean Cokinos for his honesty: "That's about as poor of a performance as you can have."
Now the question is where do we go from here? At least it can't get any worse.
I hate to say it, but I don't have a lot of faith in the Atlanta Braves in the loaded National League East this season. I hope I'm wrong on that one.
As for the G-Braves, I'm still positive about their chances. Hopefully they'll finish this road trip with a little momentum heading into Thursday's home opener.
Unfortunately, the Gladiators and their fans will have to stew for an entire offseason over their tough losses.
Despite Saturday night's debacle, all isn't lost for the Force. The team has a 2-2 mark, with plenty of football left to play. As long as it isn't played as poorly as it was this weekend.