Tag Archive | "Matt Ryan"

Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez & Wife Naked in PETA Ad?


ATLANTA – Snatching catches from Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan isn’t the only endeavor NFL all-pro tight end Tony peta-adGonzalez has gotten involved in lately.

Gonzalez and his wife October may have posed nude for a PETA ad that promotes nudity over wearing fur.

“We should be protecting animals, not sacrificing their lives for the sake of fashion or luxury,” said Gonzalez in a recent interview. “October and I have changed many of our habits in light of the inhumane treatment of animals that occurs not only in the fur industry but also on factory farms.”

Maybe this gesture by the NFL superstar will be considered somewhat of a make-up and peace treaty to PETA.

The organization has shown bitterness and animosity toward the NFL after the league allowed Michael Vick to play after he was convicted and served time for running a dog-fighting ring.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year award


NEW YORK – Heading into Week 17 in the NFL, it’s time to give serious thought to who may be voted the AP NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year for 2008.

flacco-draft-dayLast year’s voting was cut and dry with Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson running away with the honors but this year’s rookie crop is overflowing with a smorgasbord of talent.

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan is drawing a lot of attention but there are some AP voters also keeping a close eye on Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco.

Both quarterbacks have started their NFL careers at a phenomenal winning pace, going 10-5.

The running back position is also stacked. Three rookies have already joined this year’s 1000-yard club.

Chris Johnson Titans (1,228 yds) , Steve Slaton Texans (1,190 yds) and Matt Forte Bears (1,115 yds) all deserve to be considered. In addition to leading the Bears in rushing yards, Forte also leads his team in receptions with 58 for 424 yards.

Another rookie offensive showcase can be found in the Rocky Mountains. In the first NFL game of his career, WR Eddie Royal of the Broncos came out of the gate with a vengeance, taking former Pro Bowler DB DeAngelo Hall to school much of the game.

Royal finished his inaugural game with 9 catches for 146 yards; a 16.2 yd. average. Royal’s stats have been steady since totaling 80 receptions for 904 yards.

Voting for the NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year will be a difficult task for the AP voters this season and it’s hard to predict who will be crowned the king of this year’s collection of rookies.

If I had to vote today, I would choose one of the quarterbacks since it is the hardest position to step into and the hardest to master.

So Matt Ryan is my choice because his QB rating is higher and some other important stats like his TD to INT ratio is better than Flacco’s.

Go vote on our Sports Climax poll located on our homepage. The ballot contains all 6 of these star players and last time I looked, there was a three-way tie for first.

It will be interesting to see how you sport junkies will stack up against the final tally of the Associated Press.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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Matt Ryan puts Falcons back on NFL map


ATLANTA – There’s a buzz around the city of Atlanta . . . the buzz?

The Atlanta Falcons have been put back on the NFL map.

The unexpected early success of the Falcons, (6-4 overall and 4-1 at the Georgia Dome) is lifting the fortitude of the city. Many predicted this young team with a rookie head coach to be a cellar-dweller.

That is certainly not the case and sports chatter is picking up steam at the local coffee houses and on the streets. The sports aura that hovered over the city had been depressing lately with the Falcons imploding.

Michael Vick was in shackles, the Falcon’s head coach Bobby Petrino like the ‘Cowardly Lion’ snuck out of town with his tail between his legs and many of the Falcons’ star players abandoned ship or were traded away for pennies on the dollar.

So much has changed in such a short time. The Falcons, under the leadership of rookie head coach Mike Smith and rookie-of-the-year candidate QB Matt Ryan continue to find ways to overcome the underdog role and win. In fact they have become favorites in some of their recent games.

The NFL has taken notice of the Falcons. The league pushed the November 23 Falcons/Panthers kickoff to 4:15 and upgraded the matchup to a national game.

Coach Smith commented on that compliment from the league, “It’s an honor for our football team for that to take place.”

Full story in The Sunday Paper-Atlanta

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Atlanta Sports Teams Creating Big Buzz


Previously published in The Sunday Paper – Atlanta November 16, 2008

ATLANTA, GA. – There’s a buzz around the ATL, and it’s gaining momentum by the minute. For some it’s a cure for the Matt Ryan Atlanta Falconsstress brought on by billion-dollar bailouts, drawn-out wars, historic home foreclosure rates, the threat of recession. This fix comes in the form of two birds: Hawks and Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons (4-0 at the Georgia Dome, 6-3 overall) and Atlanta Hawks (6-1 as The Sunday Paper went to press on Thursday) both sprinted out of the gate with ferocious starts in 2008, and are putting Atlanta back on the sports map. The Hawks are enjoying their best start since 1997.

And after underachieving seasons by both the Braves and Thrashers, the timing couldn’t be better.

For years, sports fans have leaned on their teams to provide an escape from the pressures of everyday life. When those teams are winning, it helps pull the city and fans out of their funks.

Detroit is a perfect example. The Motor City holds the crown for most troubling economy and severe collapse in real estate values. But when their Red Wings or Pistons take home a crown, millions take to the streets to celebrate, leaving their troubles locked up at home (if it hasn’t been taken by the bank yet).

That’s what Atlanta is experiencing right now. In the coffeehouses and on the streets of this city, sports chatter is picking up steam. Spirits are being lifted.

“The sports bars have been packed with local fans,” says Vinings resident Megan Harpring. Megan is no stranger to sports-she played basketball at Georgia Tech, and her brother plays for the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

“It’s filling everyone’s lives with something positive, something exciting,” she continues. “The success of the Falcons-it’s a motivator. We’re getting excited about the next game, the next weekend.”

Lawrenceville resident Derek Wheeler, another avid sports fan who played baseball for UGA, attended the Falcons’ miraculous last-second comeback against the Bears this year at the Dome and the Hawks’ Game 6 win against the Celtics last season. He is thrilled with his local teams. “It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” he says. “I never would have thought the Falcons would have a year like this. And the Hawks-last year wasn’t a fluke at all.”

DOOM AND GLOOM

This aura of excitement stands in sharp relief to the dark clouds that have hovered over the city in the recent past.

When Atlanta’s All-Pro quarterback Michael Vick was sent off to live behind bars, doom and gloom set in for the city’s sports fans. And it only got worse. Their star player in shackles, their team a laughingstock, their head coach Bobby Petrino snuck out of town in the dead of night with his tail between his legs. Many of the Falcons’ star players abandoned ship or were traded away for pennies on the dollar.

A lot has changed since then. The Falcons, under the leadership of rookie general manager Thomas Dimitroff, rookie head coach Mike Smith and rookie-of-the-year candidate Matt Ryan at quarterback, continue to find ways to overcome their underdog status and win games.

No longer are fans wondering whether the Falcons have what it takes. The new questions on the street are: “Michael who?” “Bobby who?”

The NFL is certainly taking notice of the new Falcons. The league pushed the Nov. 23 Falcons/Panthers kickoff to 4:15 p.m. and upgraded the matchup to a national game. “I think that … is confirmation that we are doing things right,” Coach Smith said during a press conference last week.

The 23-year-old Ryan, fresh out of Boston College, has replaced Vick in the hearts and minds of Falcon fans and the general public. Vick is still listed as “suspended” on the Falcons’ team roster, but most expect him to be officially released soon after he swaps his prison garb for civilian clothes sometime next year.

At the Falcons’ side are the overachieving Atlanta Hawks, led by All-Star Joe Johnson, who always manages to shine while coasting under the NBA radar.

The Hawks’ performance in last year’s NBA playoff series against the heavily favored Boston Celtics brought life back to the lackluster franchise. Those young, inexperienced Hawks were expected to be swept off the planet in four merciless games. But they refused to go down without a fight, taking the Celtics (who eventually took the championship) to seven games.

Seven games into the 2008-09 season (at press time), the Hawks are continuing where they left off. Before Wednesday’s loss to the Celtics, they were the only unbeaten team in the entire Eastern Conference-that’s right, a hotter start than the Celtics, Pistons or Cavaliers. The 2009 NBA All-Star ballot includes five Hawks: Johnson, Josh Smith, Mike Bibby, Al Horford and Marvin Williams.

HOMETOWN HEROES

Local sports-talk radio programs have been bombarded with excited callers, heaping praise on the Hawks with comments like “They’re playing with passion” and “it’s awesome to watch.”

As Christopher Rude, co-host of the “Rude Awakening” morning show on 680 the Fan, put it: “Sports fans in Atlanta are guardedly optimistic.”

Marc Stein’s Week Two NBA power rankings on ESPN.com had the Hawks ranked fifth out of 30 teams in the league. “Atlanta has deservedly gate-crashed the top five with its first 5-0 start in a decade,” Stein wrote last week.

Considering that both teams’ rosters were recently stuffed with unknowns and rookies who were considered fortunate to be wearing pro uniforms, the fact that they’ve both stepped up and are quickly making names for themselves while returning a sense of pride to Atlanta fans seems nothing less than incredible.

I was at Ryan’s first game against the Detroit Lions, and witnessed his first NFL pass in front of his new hometown fans. The ball was snatched up by Michael Jenkins, who galloped 62 yards into the end zone. Last weekend against the New Orleans Saints, 22-year-old rookie Chevis Jackson intercepted a Drew Brees pass and raced 95 yards for a TD with 1:17 left to play, sealing another victory for the Falcons at the Dome.

Plays like these are like paper shredders, taking the heart-wrenching negative headlines we’ve been force-fed all week and slicing them to ribbons-at least for a moment.

We all need heroes. The larger-than-life champions in summer action films sweep us away from the doldrums of our current realities. And young, enthusiastic athletes like Matt Ryan and Al Horford, and men like Joe Johnson and John Abraham-guys who show up every day and play their hearts out, determined to overcome adversity-are doing the same.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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Michael Vick to change plea on Dogfighting Charges


ATLANTA – Former Atlanta Falcon QB Michael Vick plans to change his plea next week on state dog-fighting charges in Virginia.

Vick initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but according to sources, will change his plea in a deal that would include a suspended sentence and one additional year of probation. 

Vick is currently serving a 23-month sentence in the Leavenworth, Kansas federal prison.

According to Surry County administrator, Sally Neblett, a court date and hearing for the state charges is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Vick’s attorneys made a motion to present the plea and it will be done via video camera from the Kansas facility.

The strategy by Vick and his legal team is to plea out on these state charges then hope to get an early release from the current 23-month sentence in return.

Vick’s former team, the NFL Falcons, is currently 4-2 and making giant strides with their rookie sensation and No. 3 overall draft pick, quarterback Matt Ryan.

Prior to his arrest and conviction, Vick was the highest paid player in the NFL after signing a contract said to be worth the neighborhood of $100 million.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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