This week features the Braves fighting for survival (again), Michael Vick taking on his old team (again) and a Georgia football player getting arrested (again). Everything old is new again in this week's Too Busy To Hate.
Braves-Giants NLDS Game 4 – The Braves try to keep the series alive while trying to figure out a way to keep Brooks Conrad out of the building. If he’s starting at second base Monday, Braves fans have every right to get out of their seats and walk out of the stadium. It appears that playing Troy Glaus at third and Omar Infante at second is the defensive shift of choice.
But Diory Hernandez is an infielder who hasn’t played yet in this series. He’s on the playoff roster apparently only for emergencies. I’d love to hear Bobby Cox explain how Brooks Conrad’s complete defensive collapse doesn’t constitute an emergency. And I'd love to see Hernandez get a shot rather than replacing one defensive liability (Conrad) with another (Glaus).
NBA Preseason, Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons – This game isn’t on local TV, but judging from the first preseason game in which the Hawks blew a 26-point lead and rookie Jordan Crawford took the last shot to win it in overtime (and missed), there’s probably nothing you would want to see.
NBA Preseason, Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards – The Hawks get their first look at rookie point guard John Wall. Wall had 21 points and nine assists in his preseason debut against the Dallas Mavericks and is averaging 14 points and eight assists in three preseason games so far. He is also the subject of this picture, in which he's either preparing for a dramatic look-up into the camera or hoping they change his nickname to "Great John...son."
NHL, Atlanta Thrashers at Los Angeles Kings – The Thrashers begin a west coast swing in L.A. that also includes trips to Anaheim (Friday) and San Jose (Saturday). It's the only extended trip that they take out west all season.
Braves-Giants, NLDS Game 5 (if necessary) - If the Braves survive Monday's game and force a game 5, they'll play on Wednesday in San Francisco to decide the series. With a flash of Brooks Conrad's glove, Braves fans went from hoping that there wouldn't have to be a Game 5 to praying that their team makes it that far. The pitching matchup would likely be Tommy Hanson versus Tim Lincecum, which does not favor the Braves. But games 2 and 3 of this series have shown us that neither team can take anything for granted, no matter how it looks on paper.
Vanderbilt at Georgia - Georgia should be on a winning streak by the end of this game, but based on Georgia's performance in the SEC and on the legal front the past two seasons, nothing can be taken for granted. And let's not forget that Vanderbilt beat Georgia at Sanford Stadium in 2006. And Caleb King's arrest, combined with Washaun Ealey's fumble yips and Carlton Thomas's proclivity for tripping over yard lines, means that Georgia's running game could be in trouble.
Against Vanderbilt that shouldn't matter, but it shouldn't have mattered against Mississippi State or Colorado either.
Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech - Georgia Tech hosts the only team in FBS football with the word "Middle" in it. The school is in Murfreesboro, which means that "middle" is actually the best description of the school's location. It also describes their current standing in the Sun Belt Conference, which means that Tech should have no trouble taking care of business at home.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles - The Falcons have won four straight games for the first time since 2004, when Michael Vick led them to the division title and the NFC championship game. Ironically it could be Vick who will try to prevent the Falcons first five-game winning streak since the Dirty Birds won nine straight at the end of 1998 on their way to the Super Bowl.
Vick has been called a lot of things in his career, but "motivated" is not one of them. If he's in pain, he's not going to play. And that's a good thing for the Falcons. Last year these two teams met and in limited playing time Vick threw for a touchdown and rushed for another. He's hard to defend for 60 minutes, so the Falcons better hope they get Kevin Kolb instead.