An Open Letter to Charlie Morton

As many of you are aware, the Atlanta Braves are in the World Series for the first time since 1999. To put that into perspective, most of this generation’s Braves fans weren’t even alive. As for me, I was alive, but barely.

I say that to say this, in my 23 and a half years of life, I’ve seen tons of baseball. I’ve seen many unprecedented moments in the sports.

Last night during Game one of the World Series was absolutely no exception. Jorge Soler became the first player in Major League Baseball history to homer in the first at-bat of Game one of the World Series and so much more.

But the thing that stood out to me the most was the guts and grit of Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton. In the second inning, he took a 103 mile-per-hour batted ball off the right leg.

He went on to finish the inning, in which he throw ten pitches and came out for the third inning and threw six pitches before exiting the game with a fractured right fibula. Meaning, he threw 16 pitches while pushing off on a broken leg. Tears filled his eyes as he was helped off the field out of the dugout.

You could tell that he wanted to be there for his teammates.

Dear Charlie Morton, you came through in the clutch for us all year long, especially in times when we needed it most. You gave us all something to be proud of. You gave us your all every time you stepped on the mound, no matter the situation and there’s nothing more that we as fans could ask of you.

We appreciate your toughness, resiliency, and drive to be the best version of yourself every day. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine. Take the time you need to heal up and come back stronger in 2022.

Thank you again, brother, We love you. We’ll take it from here man. We’ll make sure we pick up where you left off.

Thank you for everything this year, Charlie. See you in 2022 brother.

Keeping Composure: Tennessee Basketball Guard Josiah Jordan-James Picking Up Pieces after Losing Everything in Saturday Blaze


Josiah Jordan-James, a sophomore guard on the Tennessee men’s basketball team, played Wednesday evening’s game vs. Arkansas with a heavy heart and stirring emotions. The Charleston, South Carolina native lost all of his possessions back home, when flames engulfed his home, according to Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes. 

Following Tennessee’s 79-74 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-2, 1-2) on Wednesday evening, Barnes stated that Josiah’s mother called him and informed him of the heartbreaking news on Saturday after the Volunteers (8-1, 2-1) suffered their first loss of the season on their home court against Alabama (8-3, 3-0). 

James took the news from four days earlier, and turned it into motivation and inspiration to perform at his highest level against Eric Musselman’s Hogs from Fayetteville, Arkansas, when he shared the team-lead in points scored with teammate Victor Bailey, Jr., at 17 points. Coach Barnes stated that Jordan-James has “handled it well.” He also commended Josiah as a “mature young man.” He went on to say “His mother told us to watch him because he will hold things in.” 

He also led the Volunteers in minutes played with 36 minutes on the court, on 6 of 12 shooting (50%), 2 of 6 from beyond the arc, pulling down nine rebounds, and one assist. Together, Tennessee shot 27 of 60 from the field (45%) and 5 of 18 from deep (27.8%). The Volunteers hit 20 of 26 from the charity stripe (76.9%) and grabbed a total of 28 rebounds, six of which were offensive rebounds. 

Tennessee ended Wednesday’s victory with 13 assists, 10 steals, and nine blocks, while forcing the Hogs into 20 turnovers compared the Volunteers’ five. Arkansas committed 22 fouls while Tennessee committed 12 fouls. The Volunteers’ largest lead of the night was eight and the Razorbacks’ largest lead was seven. 

The Volunteers will now turn their focus toward the Texas A&M Aggies, whom they will face Saturday at 1 p.m. CT. This game will serve as the first of two straight road trips for the Tennessee men’s basketball program.

(Picture: 247 Sports).

Harsin Named 27th Head Coach in Auburn Football History

On Wednesday night, it was announced that Auburn University officials had finalized a deal which would bring Bryan Harsin, a Boise State University alum to the Plains.

This comes just nine days after former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was relieved of his duties on December 13. 2020, following a regular-season ending win over Mike Leach’s air-raid offense at Mississippi State.

He is 1999 graduate of Boise State University, where he was a three-year letterman with the Broncos from 1995-99.

Coach Harsin got his start as a football coach at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon, where he coach running backs and quarterbacks during the 2000 season.

In 2001, he returned to Boise, Idaho as a graduate assistant under first-year coach Dan Hawkins. He was hired as the Broncos tight ends coach in 2002 and remained in that position until 2005. During this period, the Broncos led the nation in scoring twice and remained in the top ten scoring offense all four years.

In 2005, four Broncos tight ends combined to catch 27 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. When Hawkins left for Colorado, offensive coordinator Chris Peterson was promoted to head coach for the 2006 season.

Harrison was moved up to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and guided the Broncos offense to an undefeated season. Running back Ian Johnson rushed for 1,713 yards and led the nation in rushing touchdowns.

From 2011 to 2012, Harsin served in Austin, Texas as the Texas Longhorns co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2013, he moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas to take over the Arkansas State Red Wolves football program and from 2014 to December 22, 2020, he served as the Boise State Broncos head coach.

During those six seasons as the head man in Boise, Idaho, Bryan Harsin owned a record of (69-19). Overall his head coaching record is (76-24) and his teams are (3-2) in bowl game appearances.

During his career, he has won one Sun Belt Conference Title (2013), three Mountain West Conference Titles (2014, 2017, 2019) and five Mountain Division crowns (2014, 2016-2019). He was also a 2009 Broyles Award finalist.

Welcome home, Coach Harsin!

(Picture: AuburnTigers.com)

‘If You’re Gonna Play the Game Boy, You Gotta Learn to Play it Right’ Saying See You Later to The Gambler

Saturday morning, I received the notification that “The Gambler” Kenny Rogers had passed on to Heaven at the age of 81.

Rogers, a Houston, Texas native pumped out hit-after-hit during his 60-year career as a country music singer.

A few of those hits were “The Gambler”, “Islands in the Stream”, a duet with Dolly Parton, “Coward of The County”, “Golden Years” and so many more.

Kenny was active as a country music singer from 1957 to 2017. Throughout his career he shared stages with some of country music’s biggest names.

See you later Gambler, you will definitely be missed but never forgotten.

Picture: Rifnote

Braves Part Ways With On-Field Reporter, Kelsey Wingert

After four full seasons as a Braves reporter, Kelsey Wingert will not return for the 2020 season.

The 27-year-old Sugar Land, Texas native has been on the field bringing Braves fans like myself the latest injury news and much more.

Wingert attended Stephen F. Austin University and Louisiana State University for college.

Thursday, the reporter posted a statement regarding her departure on her Twitter account.

Wingert started reporting for the Braves in 2016.

Kelsey, thank you for the memories, your constant updates, your love for the game and so much more.

You will be terribly missed in the dugout. I believe I speak for all of us when I say, we love you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you for your willingness to work with Atlanta for the past four seasons. Braves Country won’t be the same without you.

In closing I say, you will always be welcomed to Atlanta with open arms.

Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Chop On forever.

Kelsey Wingert’s statement regarding her departure which was posted to Twitter Thursday afternoon. Source: Twitter.
Source: The Athletic.

If the Heisman Trophy was Awarded to the Most Courageous Player, Jalen Hurts Would Win by Unanimous Decision

Jalen Hurts, what a story, what a season, what a man. Some people still don’t understand why Jalen left Tuscaloosa, Alabama for Norman, Oklahoma.

He didn’t leave because of a coach, a teammate, or a circumstance, Jalen Hurts, the Oklahoma Sooners’ graduate- transfer-quarterback by way of the University of Alabama, who hails from Houston, Texas, left because he saw a better opportunity in Norman under Lincoln Riley’s direction.

Now, we all knew early on that LSU’s Joe Burrow, a transfer-quarterback by way of Ohio State University, was going to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.

But if the most-prestigious award in college football was awarded to the most-courageous player in college football, Jalen Hurts would’ve won by unanimous decision.

Why, you ask? Well, you see, when Tua Tagovailoa beat out Jalen Hurts for the starting quarterback position in 2017, Jalen could’ve decided to transfer.

When Nick Saban pulled him out of the national title game in favor of Tua in 2017, Jalen could’ve throw in the proverbial towel, but yet he decided to stay.

Not because of Coach Saban or himself, but for his teammates. To show them that even though life may not always go as you plan, you can weather the storm and be rewarded in the end.

As was the case, when Saban pulled an injured Tua Tagovailoa out in favor of Jalen Hurts to win the 2018 SEC Championship.

Jalen Hurts is man of inexplainable character and courage. If only the Heisman Trophy went to college football’s most courageous player.

Tigers Take Down Longhorns in Austin, 45-38

Saturday night’s game between LSU and Texas was set up to a be a show. And it definitely lived up to its billing. LSU’s Joe Burrow went 31-for-39 through the air for 471 yards, an average pass of 12.1 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Clyde Edwards-Helaire touched the ball 15 times for 87 yards, an average carry of 5.8 yards, one touchdown and a long run of 24 yards. Defensively the Tigers were led by Michael Divinity Jr., who had 20 tackles before the game ended. Texas was led quarterback, Sam Elingher in Saturday’s primetime showdown with LSU but was unable to pull it out.

Bo Nix Leads Auburn to Dramatic Win Over Oregon in Arlington

Saturday night’s season opener in Arlington, Texas definitely lived up to the hype. What looked to be a blowout win for the Oregon Ducks (0-1), turned out to be an instant classic for the Auburn Tigers (1-0). Despite going 13-for-31 through the air for 177 yards, two touchdowns and interceptions, Nix came through in the clutch just when it looked like the Tigers had ran out of gas. JaTarvious Whitlow, a sophomore running back from Lafayette, Alabama led Auburn’s rushing attack with 110 yards on 24 carries with a long of 31 yards. Defensively, Jeremiah Dinson paced the Tigers with 13 tackles, eight solo tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. I’ve heard some people say Bo Nix isn’t as good as the preseason hype suggested but I tend to think the true freshman from Pinson, Alabama, will be fine if we allow him some time after all this was his firs-ever game in the college ranks and it came against a top 15 program in the Oregon Ducks. Give him time to work out the kinks and he will be fine. But one thing is for sure, Bo Nix is clutch.

What’s next:

Oregon (0-1) will head back home to Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon to take on the Nevada Wolfpack (1-0) at 6:30 p.m. September 7th, 2019.

Auburn (1-0) will head back to The Plains to take on the Tulane Green Wave (1-0) Jordan-Hare Stadium at 6:30 p.m. September 7th, 2019 on ESPN2.

Willie Nelson: The Only True Outlaw Left in Country Music

It has been debated for years, just how many true outlaws are left in Country music and it’s without a doubt that when discussing this topic you’re going to mention an 86-year-old with long, braided, silver, silky hair from Abbott, Texas, named Willie Nelson. There’s a strong possibility that he just might be the only true outlaw left in the country music genre. You see, the rest of these people, mainly the newer self proclaimed ‘artists’ think they are outlaws and love to sing songs written and performed by people way before their time. But with Willie Nelson, he is an outlaw. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. Some of these new people write songs about stuff that didn’t actually live through or witness. With Nelson, there’s no doubt that he’s actually lived through or witnessed the things that he has written about in songs. Willie has lived through the Great Depression, both World Wars, the Vietnam War, Korean War and so much more. In fact, Willie Nelson served this country out of high school and then attended Baylor University after his time in the armed forces. I can’t even begin to imagine all of the things that Willie has seen over the past 86 years. When the news broke early Thursday morning of Willie Nelson cancelling all of his 2019 tour dates because of a breathing problem. I was literally speechless. It got me to thinking ‘Just how much more can this man take?’ How many outlaws are left in country music?’ Willie has had his fair share of health problems in the past, including pneumonia, a few years back. People these days don’t take time to think about those who made country music what it used to be, what many people, like myself still consider real country music, like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck and so many more people. What this generation considers ‘country’ isn’t country at all. Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Florida-Georgia Line etc. are more of pop artists than country. You can get mad if you want, because I really don’t care what you think. That’s not what people like Willie intended it to be. You can say ‘Luke Bryan, Florida-Georgia Line, Luke Combs etc. are country’ all you want. But I along with so many others will quickly tell that it most definitely is not country music. It’s time we start paying attention to folks like Willie and appreciate their music like y’all do these pop artists that consider themselves ‘country artists’. We need to buy the old timers’ music, listen to it and appreciate it because we won’t have them much longer. I never have understood why people start buying the old music long after the artists have passed on. Why can’t we buy it while they’re still alive? Because as Willie says ‘the best I can tell the world’s gone to Hell.’ Folks, whether you like it or not, Willie Nelson really is the only true outlaw left in country music.

Gone too Soon: Major-Leaguer Tyler Skaggs Found Dead in Texas Hotel Room

Monday seemed like an ordinary Monday for the Los Angeles Angels at first. The team was getting ready to face the Texas Rangers in a 7:05 p.m. CT first pitch. All of that took a sudden turn for the worst at 2:10 p.m. CT when Southlake Police Department personnel found former Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs unconscious and unresponsive in a Southlake, Texas hotel room after responding to a call of an unconscious male, Skaggs was just 27-years-old. Reports say that foul play is not suspected and neither is suicide. It seems the Angels can’t catch a break, they lost former teammate and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson in 2015. As well as 22-year-old Nick Adenhart in 2009 shortly after making his MLB debut. Tyler began his major league career in 2012 with Arizona. In his 5-year major league career, Skaggs pitched in 96 games, going 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in 520.2 innings pitched. He struck out a total of 476 batters over his career. He married Carli Skaggs in October 2018. Skaggs was set to turn 28 on July 13th. Rest In Peace Tyler, you will be missed.