Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the 20 things I've learned in May

Here are my top 20 thoughts from this May

20. Dancing with the Stars should be renamed Dancing with the People who are less famous than the Dancers they dance with or as Andrea put it "Dancing with the Stars on the D-List."

19. The Gibb family is the music version of the Kennedys.

18. This is the worst American Idol ever. I have watched very little this season. I've seen more talent on the Surreal Life.

17. How is The Office still on the air? The writing is terrible now.

16. The Hawks should move to Winnipeg with the Thrashers. The Hawks coach said that we would have played better in Game 2 if the Celtics had their all-star point guard available. This was right after we gave our head coach an extension on his deal. If this doesn't tell you why Atlanta fans hate supporting the Hawks, I don't know what will.

15. Watched the Billboard music awards the other night. Did you guys see what Miley Cyrus was wearing? I had 2 totally different thoughts. 1) What was Miley thinking wearing something so slutty? 2) Andy, what has happened to you that you're complaining about slutty clothing?

14. Why is Congress wasting our money by trying Roger Clemens for perjury? Who cares!

13. Brandon Beachy is showing how brilliant we were for bringing him out last year to Wish for Wendy. $37 for an autograph was a heck of a deal! ESPN rated him as the top candidate for the Cy Young Award yesterday. Go Brandon!

12. There is a man in our neighborhood who walks everyday from here to Gold's Gym without a shirt. Andrea though has never actually seen him at Gold's and we've never seen him go into a house. My question is "Are we imagining him?"

11. Israel is putting together an all-Jewish team for the World Baseball Classic. I'm available to be a batboy.

10. Is Spiderman really doing a re-make from a movie done less than a decade ago? Hollywood is officially out of ideas.

9. This preacher is an embarrassment to the human race.,8132375817,815064_1130357_1183_0,1_/xsxdata=1:93317819/bnum=81244917/optn=64?trg=;wi.300;hi.250;ai.266147001;ct.1/01

8. Concussions in football and suicides for retired players are very scary issues. I was very sad to hear about Junior Seau. Depression is a very serious matter.

7. I can now say I've met a winner from Dancing with the Stars. I met Donald Driver on a plane on my way to Biloxi about a decade ago and told him he was on my fantasy team (which he was). Sadly the conversation didn't go much further than that. I did meet Charles Barkley at Benihanna this weekend and talked to him for 2 minutes about sports which doubled my conversation with Driver. So what does that mean? Barkley should win Dancing with the Stars. That's genius, right?

6. Mark Zuckerberg is now in trouble because apparently the big investors knew more than the general public about the value of the stock. Just for that, I'm never seeing The Social Network again!

5. If a tree fell in the forest and there was no one around would Gloria Allred still represent the tree?

4. Canadian actress Holly Deveaux will play Casey Anthony in the Lifetime movie. You know what's really sad about all of this? I'll probably watch the entire movie while of course muting the advertisement "Lifetime: television for women" every time it comes on.

3. What's crazier? Greg Allman is getting married for the 7th time or that the girl is 40 years his junior? I'm sure the girl's parents are very proud. If she was my daughter, I'd throw away all of my "Allman Brothers" CD's. Oh wait, I don't have any but I'd go buy some and then destroy them to give it some effect.

2. Did you know that "The Real World" is still airing new episodes on MTV? I thought this show ended about a decade ago. So you're saying they actually did get my audition tape and didn't want me? Son of a Bitch!

1. Did you read the story about the 911 dispatcher who was snoring on the other end of the phone when a woman was reporting an emergency? If it were me, should I treat it like a call to AT&T? I can hear it right now.

Dispatcher: Sorry sir, didn't mean to fall asleep.
Me: I don't care. Let me talk to your manager.
Dispatcher: Sir, isn't it an emergency?
Me: I don't care if Jason Voorhies is after me. I want to get you fired.
Dispatcher's manger: Sir, I apologize. I fired him. What is your emergency?
Me: I can't mute "Lifetime: Television for Women" on my TV. Help!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On this Mother's Day, feel lucky...

I happened to be looking for my Nana's (my grandmother and my mom, Eva's, mom) zip code to send her a mother's day gift and found an article about my grandmother that my cousin Andrea had written about 3 years ago. I had never read the article. It was very beautifully written and really makes me shiver at the thought of what my Nana Rose (who is still alive) and my Grandpa Carl (who died several years ago) dealt with during the Holocaust. Please read and appreciate what you have in your life. It could be so much worse as you will soon see below.

A few months ago, I was looking through old family photographs. There was one of my grandmother and grandfather in Germany after the war; one of my grandfather standing in front of a displaced persons camp in Eschwege, outside of Berlin, pushing a pram holding my Aunt Eva; and one of my mother, around age one, in Jacksonville, Florida. Then I found a picture of my grandfather holding an unfamiliar little girl. Who was she?

My mother reminded me. My grandfather, Carl "Kisel" Goldberg, was married and had a three-year-old daughter before the war. My grandmother, Rose "Roza" Mibab Goldberg, was around fourteen, twelve years younger, and often played with his little girl since their family businesses, a clothing store and hat store, were next door to one another.

In 1939, when the Germans invaded my grandmother's Polish town, called Wladimir-Wolinsk by some or Ludmir by others, my grandfather's home was bombed while he was out working. His wife and daughter were killed--buried under the building's remains. He searched through the rubble for days until he found them to give them a proper burial.

In the fall of 1941, the Jews of Ludmir were sent to the ghetto--a small area in the commercial district bordered by a river on one side and surrounded by high barbed wire. My grandmother and grandfather were both "lucky" that their family businesses had been located in the ghetto, so each had a place to call their own--for my grandmother, one room shared by sixteen people sleeping on straw mattresses, and for my grandfather, a room where he lived with his father and three brothers. My grandmother was a strong woman and was of use to the Nazis digging up potatoes in frozen fields, cleaning the Germans' homes, and carrying human waste out of the ghetto. They took her out to work every day from early in the morning until late at night and, a few times, put a gun against her head to kill her but she escaped. The Nazis rewarded a full day's work with a cup of watery soup and, occasionally, a piece of bread. My grandfather was able to bring in a little bread by caring for the Germans' horses and by working as a translator (he spoke seven languages).

My grandfather was lonely. He had lost his wife and daughter. His mother had died, and his one sister had moved to Palestine. So he regularly visited my grandmother's family. Though my grandmother had many suitors closer to her age, her heart only danced for him. Her father would say to her, "Roza, why not find someone closer to your age?" My grandmother would answer, "What's the difference? We won't survive anyway."

In September of 1942, the Germans staged their first of three aktions, or systematic killing sprees, in the ghetto. My grandfather, grandmother, and her younger brother, Reuven, were hiding in an attic at the time. Throughout the aktion, my grandfather cried, saying he knew the Nazis must have killed his father and brothers. In an effort to comfort him, my grandmother risked her life, running to his room to find his family. My grandfather was correct. They were all dead. During this fist aktion, the Nazis also killed my grandmother's twenty-five-year-old brother, Bentzi, and her twenty-two-year-old sister, Ruchel. With the second aktion, in early 1943, my grandmother's oldest brother, Moishe, was shot and killed, leaving behind his wife, Yente, and their baby, Esther.

In December of 1943, the Germans decided that all of the Jews must die so their city would be Judenrein, free of Jewish presence. With great foresight, my grandmother's father had created a living grave in the ghetto and planned numerous hiding places outside the ghetto by paying off old work associates. Unfortunately, his foresight did not save his own life. He was killed during Judenrein as he prayed with a group of men in a hidden, makeshift synagogue along with his fourteen-year-old son Herschel.

When the Germans came to my grandmother's family's room to search it, they shot her sister-in-law but threw a straw mattress over my grandmother and did not see her. At this point, she stealthily moved toward the living grave but, on the way, found her eighteen-month-old niece, Esther, in the corner of a shack. Her sister-in-law had left her there, hoping a Polish person would pick her up. If Esther did not move, she would soon be found and killed, so my grandmother took her to hide.

The entrance to the hiding place was made to look like a septic tank. When my grandmother tried to enter, there were numerous people already inside who did not want to let her in because they said Esther would get them all killed with her crying. My grandmother said, "If you do not let me in, we will all get killed," but she promised to leave come morning. Her ten-year-old brother, Reuven, and three-year-old cousin, Chaike, also made it to the hiding place. Her mother and eight-year-old brother, Peretz, were taken by the Germans, but Peretz pulled his mother into a shoemaker's shack where they could hide until they could escape.

The next day, my grandmother took Esther, Chaike, and Reuven to a non-Jewish woman who had worked for her father. She let them stay in the cellar, sitting on mounds of potatoes. Her mother and Peretz found them there.

The next night they left for another hiding place about six or seven miles away. My great-grandfather had prepared a living grave on a Christian man's property. Through streams of tears, my grandmother convinced the man to let them in. She promised she would take one person a night to the next hiding place, another six miles away, until they were all gone. The first night, my grandmother went by herself to make sure the next man, in Uzefin, would let them in. When she got there, she gave him everything she possessed and he let her in, allowing her to lie on his bread oven to warm her frostbitten body. Over a period of six nights, my grandmother went back and forth, taking one person at a time in the snow to the next hiding place. My grandfather, who recalled my grandmother's hiding plans, had escaped the ghetto as well and found his surrogate family in their hiding place a few days later.

They spent months living under the ground in the barn beneath the horses and cows. They had to use a bucket to relieve themselves. At night, they would open the entrance to get a little bit of oxygen. Once spring came, they used a small pipe to get air in the hole. They lived there for about a year, until the Germans and Poles (today Ukrainians in that region) began fighting and burned down the barn and the house of the man who kept them.

They wandered in the forest where they slept on the ground and subsisted on raw potatoes. Then my grandmother and grandfather were separated again. My grandfather joined the partisans to fight against the Germans.

My grandmother was the leader of the family, guiding her two little brothers, small cousin, niece, and mother through the forest. They reached the Russians near the end of 1944 in a town called Rogisht where they remained for a few months. My grandmother's skin was rotting from all she had been through. A pharmacist took pity on her and made a special cream. He also asked to marry her, but my grandmother was waiting to know if my grandfather was alive or dead. There were other offers as well, but she told them the same thing--she must wait to know about my grandfather.

Finally, she heard from a few people who passed though Rogisht that they had seen my grandfather alive. The news also reached my grandfather that my grandmother was in Rogisht. He left the Polish partisans to find her, which gave him the new dilemma of becoming a deserter whom the Polish would want to capture and kill. He was elated to find my grandmother and her family. However, since he was a deserter, he was forced to go into hiding until things calmed down.

After a month or two, they traveled back to their hometown of Ludmir, now occupied by the Russians. The Poles who had moved into my grandmother's house moved out and my grandmother and her family, including my grandfather, moved in. My grandmother and grandfather married in January of 1945. Of the twenty thousand Jewish people who had lived in Ludmir in 1939, fewer than one hundred survived. That meant nearly ten percent of the survivors--the seven of them--were from my grandmother's family.

They did not stay in Ludmir long, however. The place that had once been their bustling, lovely home was now empty to them. In July of 1945, they left everything and traveled to Berlin, hidden in the double walls of a Russian man's truck. In Germany, they lived in one room of a military camp in Eschwege by Kassel outside of Berlin, where they worked and waited for an opportunity to leave Germany.

In 1946, my grandmother gave birth to a baby girl, Eva. In 1949, my grandmother, grandfather, and three-year-old Eva came to the United States sponsored by the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, which placed them in Jacksonville, Florida. Living in a foreign land where they did not speak English and had no money, family, or friends was hard, but it was still a welcome relief for the years of hardship they had suffered. With the same bravery, fortitude, and providence that helped them live through the war, my grandparents built a life for themselves and their family. They had two more daughters, my mother Anita and my aunt Susie.

From this there are seven children and five great-grandchildren. I feel so lucky to still have my amazing grandmother by my side to teach my children and me at least a small part of the wisdom that she has learned through her extraordinarily difficult and courageous life. I feel it is my duty to make sure my children and grandchildren know her story as well as I do.

I'd like to echo the sentiments of my cousin. I have included pictures of my Nana and Grandpa as well as a picture of my grandfather with my mom as a young child. I feel lucky to live in the United States with freedom of speech and religion. I also feel lucky to have an amazingly strong grandmother in my Nana Rose, an amazing mom in my mom Eva and an amazing wife who is a terrific mother Andrea. These women in my life are strong and brave and have all had to deal with tough issues in their lives and yet they have all persevered. Thank God my grandmother made it here and gave so many of us a chance to live good lives. Nana, we love you. And to you and all of the other mothers out there, may I say Happy Mother's Day!

Live your dreams and love your life.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our New CF Video

Here is my new video to help raise awareness for cystic fibrosis. Please pass it on as we continue to try and find a cure for this disease.



Monday, May 7, 2012

I have finally completed P90X

I finished P90X officially this morning. 90 days of extreme performance. I'm happy with the results. I did not use the after-shake just because with CF, I'm hestitant to use anything with creatine. I have been drinking whey shakes here and there. My weight has gone from 187 pounds at the start to 174 pounds in 90 days. I've also really improved my blood pressure in the 3 to 4 months that I've been doing the routines.

What's next? I have no idea. I'm taking a break from these crazy workouts and will go back to my normal routine. I know there's now a second P90X video out there as well as Insanity.

Thanks everyone for your support.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The life of an Atlanta sports fan by an Atlanta sports fan

Last night was the epitome of what it's like to be an Atlanta sports fan. We had a 1-0 lead on the Celtics and an 11-point lead in the 3rd quarter. At the same time, our Braves were tied with the Philadelphia Phillies, our archrival, at 2-2 with a chance to take sole possession of first place in the National League East. Both of these games were at home - merely miles apart. What happens? The Hawks implode against a Celtics team that was old and missing two of their best players and lost. The Braves lost 4-2 even though in one of the latter innings they had 2 hits and a walk but still could not score. This is what it's like to be an Atlanta sports fan. And this blog entry is going to prove to you that Atlanta sports fans aren't bad; it's the teams that are!

When did I learn how bad it was to be an Atlanta sports fan?

My first taste of being a sports fan in this town was when I was about 9 years old and the 1982 Braves started 13-0 (Attached the SI cover from that season). I remember my dad and I were walking out of the A&P grocery store when he and several other people there jumped up and down when they found out that the Braves had come back to beat the Cincinnati Reds for the best start in MLB history. It was then that I had contracted the disease of being an Atlanta sports fan. Thanks A&P. I'll never shop there again. Then again, I think these stores are all gone now. The Braves won the division for the first time in many years that same year. We (Notice I said "We", yep, I'm addicted) played the St. Louis Cardinals and were swept in three games. Welcome to being an Atlanta sports fan, Andy Lipman.

The Atlanta Braves

In 1991, after several really awful seasons, the Braves went from worst to first and were about to win game 7 of the World Series when Lonnie Smith had a brain fart late in the game and could not score from 2nd base on a double as Chuck Knoblauch tricked him into staying on 2nd and then only advancing to third and the Braves lost in one of the most agonizing defeats ever 1-0 in 10 innings. Damn Jack Morris! The Braves would lose the World Series the following year too and then be ousted in the playoffs in 1993. The strike ended the season early in 1994 and the season started late in 1995. So of course in the strike-short season of 1995, the Braves won their first (and only) title in Atlanta. The only sports championship this town has won in 45 plus seasons. Of course the next season, they were up 2-0 on the Yankees with 3 games at home and lost all 3 including a heart-breaking loss in game 4 when Mark Wohlers gave up a 3-run homer to journeyman and future criminal Jim Leyritz. Ask any Braves fan who they hate the most and Leyritz is up there followed by Jack Morris, Gene Larkin, Roberto know what? There are too many to count. We won 14 straight division titles and only won ONE championship. We haven't won a playoff series since 2001. The last 2 seasons were the epitome of what it's like to be a Braves fan. In 2010, the Braves were tied 1-1 with the Giants and lead in the late innings. Bobby Cox characteristically had Brooks Conrad's back (Yes, I said "characteristically") and left him in the game despite his defensive meltdown in the postseason. Brooks thanked Bobby by making the big error at second base that gave the Giants the win and essentially ended the Braves postseason hopes. Oh by the way, the Giants won the World Series that year. The following year, the Braves led by 9 games in September and somehow choked it all away and lost on the final day to the Philadelphia Phillies and most of their backups. The team that pulled ahead of them was the St. Louis Cardinals and who you guessed it won the World Series.

The Atlanta Falcons

Speaking of teams beating an Atlanta team and winning it all: Let's welcome the Atlanta Falcons who had not had consecutive winning seasons until 2008. The Falcons have been here since 1965! They have been to the Super Bowl 1998. On the day before Super Bowl XXXIII, Eugene Robinson, our terrific safety, was awarded the Bart Starr Award from the Christian group Athletes in Action for his "high moral character". However, that very same night he was arrested for offering an undercover female police officer posing as a prostitute $40 for oral sex. First off, $40? Never mind. Game over! Denver crushed us the next day. We couldn't even enjoy that moment! Here is how our last 3 playoff runs have gone. They didn't actually. First we lost to the Arizona Cardinals who made it all the way to the Super Bowl before losing a heartbreaker to Pittsburgh. Then the last 2 years, we were throttled in the first round, both times by teams (the Packers and the Giants) who would go on to win the Super Bowl. But of course they did. In 2001, we drafted Michael Vick who increased attendance from near the bottom to near the top of the league. Then in a 2003 preseason game, he tore up his knee and didn't return till the end of the season. Still, he got us to an NFC Championship in 2004 before a tough loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. We were becoming Super Bowl favorities. It looked like the sports curse was over. Vick was on the cover of several video games and Sports Illustrated editions. All looked rosy until 2007 when the Atlanta curse continued. Vick was arrested on dog fighting charges and would later serve two years in jail before the Falcons released him while of course recovering very little of his HUGE contract (10 years, 130 million) which was the biggest NFL contract at the time.

The Atlanta Hawks

Now onto basketball. The Hawks won an NBA 1958. That was their last one and they were the St. Louis Hawks when they won. I wasn't even in the womb yet. My father and mother were teenagers. The Hawks have the 2nd longest run without an NBA title behind the Sacramento Kings. The Hawks have not won 2 consecutive series since they were the St. Louis Hawks...and the Hawks have been in Atlanta since 1968! In the eighties, we lost time and again to the Celtics and Pistons including a game 7 showdown where Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins went toe-to-toe for 4 quarters in what is considered one of the greatest one-on-one match-ups ever. We lost of course but that's how it works in this town. In 1994, the Hawks had the best record in the East and were cruising so what did then GM Pete Babcock do? He traded away their best player Dominique Wilkins who was a fan favorite and future Hall of Famer. The Hawks went on to lose in the 2nd round. The Hawks were bought by the Atlanta Spirit in 2005 (they bought the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers too). Talk about an awful organization. There were about 10 people who held a majority share and the same year they bought both franchises the Hawks moved to trade for Joe Johnson of Phoenix. Everyone agreed with the deal except Steve Belkin who thought they were giving up too much. The fight led to a fight in the courtroom that took 5 years to untangle before finally the Hawks ownership bought out Belkin's shares. By the way, Joe Johnson has been a good player but not worth the first contract and the even larger 2nd contract that they gave him. It was prior to the second contract (after another woeful playoff performance) that Joe told the Atlanta fans that he didn't care for them. So how did the Spirit punish him? They gave him the biggest NBA contract that offseason. That'll win fans over. Joe Johnson has been one of the worst big-game playoff performers in NBA history. It was under the Atlanta Spirit's control that they sold the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg in 2011. They later admitted that once they bought the Thrashers they started looking for new ownership to take them. Great move, gentlemen. Back to the Hawks, if you're an NBA fan, you always hear how the Trailblazers got Sam Bowie instead of taking Michael Jordan. Remember though, Portland had a player just like MJ. Clyde "The Glide" Drexler who turned out to be a terrific player was already on their roster so they needed a big so they drafted Bowie. No one outside of Atlanta talks about how the Hawks needed a Point Guard and had a chance at Chris Paul but instead took UNC 6th man Marvin Williams. I drank the Kool-Aid myself. I heard that Marvin was outstanding and so young. He was going to be a stud. We took him. He is now maybe 7th or 8th off our bench. I think the Hawks kept him hoping he would get better. He hasn't. Chris Paul, on the other hand, is a future Hall of Famer and considered one of the best point guards in history. The next year the Hawks told everyone before the draft they were taking Shelden Williams who wasn't even supposed to be a lottery pick. Everyone thought it was just Hawks GM Billy Knight bluffing but with the 6th pick in the NBA Draft the Atlanta Hawks selected Shelden Williams even though there were several good point guards available. Instead we took Speedy Claxton out of free agency, gave him a lot of money and he was injured for almost his entire contract. Go Hawks...and take the Thrashers with you! Well, at least the latter happened.

The Atlanta Flames/The Atlanta Thrashers

Onto hockey, where it may seem impossible, but it gets more embarrassing. In 1968, the Atlanta Flames came to town. Ah, the Atlanta Flames. They sucked. In 1980, they moved to Calgary and strangely enough they reached the postseason 6 of the next 8 seasons and made the Stanley Cup Finals in 1986 and eventually won it in 1989. Then in 1999, we got the Atlanta Trashers, I mean Thrashers. The Thrashers were here from 1999 to 2011 and in 13 seasons, can you guess how many playoff games they won? Not series won but games won. You can count them on no hands. NOT ONE WIN. NOT ONE GAME WON! Only 4 playoff games played. In that same duration, the Philadelphia Flyers won 62 playoff games. The Thrashers were sold to Winnipeg in 2011 and Atlanta remains the only city who has gained and lost 2 NHL franchises. A lot to be proud of.

The Atlanta Beat

The team began play in 2001 in the WUSA. They advanced to the Founders Cup in both 2001 and 2003, losing on both occasions...of course. At least we have Heather Mitts.

The Georgia Force

The Arena Football team started in 2001. They got to Arena Bowl XIX in 2005 before losing to the Colorado Crush 51-48. Of course, the Force was favored. But at least the Beat has Heather Mitts.

What's wrong, Andy? You didn't have your Wheaties this morning?

I know what all of you are saying. You're a motivational speaker. There must be something postive. Just wait...the Atlanta Chiefs, Atlanta's pro soccer team in the 60's and 70's won a title in 1968...amazingly, right after that season ended, 10 teams folded from the league. Hey, but I'm going to count it! Wahoo!

This and That

Here are some other Atlanta failures. The Atlanta Dream, our WNBA franchise, has been to the WNBA finals the last 2 years and was swept both times. I'm not willing to research it but I'm betting that's happened to no one else.

When we had the Olympics in 1996, there was a bomb that killed a woman and caused another person to die of a heart attack. All of the vendors got pissed because they got sold a bad bill of goods from our mayor. Speaking of our mayor, he went to prison on tax evasion and racketeering charges several years later. At the closing ceremony, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said in his closing speech, "Well done, Atlanta" and simply called the Games "most exceptional." This broke precedent for Samaranch, who had traditionally labeled each Games "the best Olympics ever" at each closing ceremony, a practice he resumed at the subsequent Games in Sydney in 2000. The mascot for the Olympiad was an abstract, animated character named Izzy. In contrast to the standing tradition of mascots of national or regional significance in the city hosting the Olympiad, Izzy was an amorphous, fantasy figure. In weightlifting, Naim Süleymanoğlu became the first weightlifter ever to lose his pants. Awesome! I wonder if he knows Eugene Robinson.

So let me sum up the teams this way:

The Thrashers or Trashers as they're known here. No playoff wins. Pathetic! Thanks Atlanta Spirit!
The Hawks - never been to the Eastern Conference Finals
The Falcons - no Super Bowl victories - didn't have back-to-back winning seasons until 2008
The Braves - 14 consecutive division titles - 1 freakin' championship!
The Dream, The Force, The Beat - It's not your fault. It's the curse!

The crap our fans have taken is undeserved

So now let's get to the fans.

This is from Michael Wilbon of ESPN on his Twitter Page last night...

Where r all those sorry ATL Hawks fans who were talking trash before the game, blah blah, blah. Lose like chumps to the Celtics w/out Rondo!

We get a lot of crap for being a terrible sports town. Can you blame us? We have won ONE LOUSY CHAMPIONSHIP in 154 seasons! That's hard to fathom. Michael Wilbon, come on! We talked trash because how often do we get the chance...I'll tell you how often...once in 154 seasons. You would think we'd get lucky somehow but to be honest, other than the Braves, we haven't been that close. Yes, the Falcons got there in 1998 before Eugene Robinson decided to go Miami Vice on the team. From 2001 to 2011, we were ranked in the middle of the pack in attendance by MLB (Braves) and we have always been middle of attendance in the NFL as well. In basketball, we're always around 20 of 30 teams which isn't great but it's not the bottom. We were towards the bottom in hockey but the team never won a playoff game so I'm not blaming the fans there. Heck, the Atlanta Spirit wanted to sell the Thrashers upon buying them. As far as basketball goes, we've been to the Western Conference Finals more than the Eastern Conference Finals. We moved to the Eastern Conference in 1970 incidentally and have NEVER been to the Eastern Conference Finals much less the NBA Finals! Many people in our town are transients. We have tons of people from NY, Boston, Chicago and St. Louis here. Our subway system is awful. MARTA doesn't even have a train that comes close to Turner Field. You have to take a bus. And let me go back to something I just said, ONE CHAMPIONSHIP in 154 SEASONS. Michael Wilbon, you are a Cubs fan. You should understand but then again you had the Bulls and Michael Jordan. We had the Hawks and Speedy Claxton. We never win anything!!! In other words, we know we're going to lose so why not do it in our own homes so we can cry in our own pillows instead of turning over cars downtown. At least we're civil. Did you see what happened in Vancouver last year when they lost the Stanley Cup? At least we save our tax payers money by having very few parades.

In closing, I'm proud to be a native Atlantan. I'm always going to be a huge fan of Dale Murphy, Dominique Wilkins and the entire starting pitching staff from the nineties. Still it is not easy to be a fan in this town. I can say I was at Fulton County Stadium on October 28, 1995 when this city experienced their only sports championship. I thought there would be so many more. I hear the sob stories in Boston yet their Red Sox have 2 World Series titles, their Celtics 1 NBA Title, their Patriots 3 Super Bowl Titles and their Bruins 1 Stanley Cup in the last decade. Boo Hoo! I hear the Cubs fans with their 100+ years of not winning a World Series but they have the Bulls (6 titles), the Blackhawks (1 title) and the Bears (1 title) in the last 3 decades.

Cleveland, I understand your problem.

I think Cleveland is most like Atlanta. Lebron James is their Michael Vick. The Braves are the Indians, and coincidentally it was the Braves who beat the Indians for their only title. The Browns are definitely like the Flames in that they left for Baltimore and then won a title (See Calgary for the Flames). They don't have a hockey team but then again we don't either anymore (again). I would feel for San Diego fans but at least they have beautiful weather and only have to worry about the Padres and Chargers. At least someone else in their state (the Lakers and Dodgers) are good at winning titles and they just have an hour drive to check out those teams. I feel for Buffalo because they haven't won anything but at least they only have 2 sports franchises (the Bills and the Sabres). They can at least pull for the Mets or Yankees who both have titles in the last 3 decades.


So let me conclude with this. It sucks to be a fan of our teams but it's like a disease. I will always put my heart out there to be broken because like it or not I will always have the disease of being an Atlanta sports fan. There are some days it's worse than my cystic fibrosis. At least with CF, I can take antibiotics and I feel somewhat better. With my sports teams, I can only take Tylenol and it sadly wears off.

I have the worst disease of all: AtlantaSportsfailatosus.

The cure is for one of my 3 teams to win something!

And that should probably happen about the same time that we get another hockey team.