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NFL Super Bowl XLIX

super bowl preview myajc
Kevin C. Cox

LIVE: Join Jeff Schultz at the Super Bowl

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After two weeks of drivel, welcome to an actual football game.

The last game of the season takes place tonight when New England and Seattle meet in the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots will be trying to win their fourth Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era, but their first in 10 seasons (after winning three in four years: 2001-03-04). The Seahawks are seeking to become the first back-to-back champions since New England.

In the week leading up to my arrival in Arizona last Sunday night, I liked Seattle to win, for all of the usual reasons: defense, Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and their ability to pull out victories when nobody expected them to (see: NFC title win over Green Bay, which forced the Falcons to wait to hire Dan Quinn).

But I’ve changed my mind. I’m going with New England.

PERSONAL JOURNEYS

Shirley Session in France AJC
Picasa

The liberator's widow

You don’t meet many people as persistent as Shirley Sessions.

For decades, she pursued details of her husband’s time in World War II. AJC editor Kevin Riley joined the pursuit and wrote about it in 2013. When she finally got the story of Eddie’s service and survival in the war, she had less than a year with him until he died last March.

How did she handle her grief? She took a trip to Europe, so that she could see for herself the places where he fought. And the AJC went with her to pay an inspiring tribute to her husband. 

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TORPY AT LARGE

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
AJC FILE

Atlanta's last black mayor?

Is black political power waning in Atlanta? Will Atlanta's next mayor by white?

“This town is at a tipping point. Look at all those high-rises going up. Black folks aren’t going into those high-rises. It’s all changing. I’m not saying there won’t be another black mayor; but it’s going to be different. The housing projects are gone. Black churches don’t carry the same sway. Black neighborhoods are old and dying out," says Maynard Eaton, the longtime Atlanta journalist and political strategist.

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POLITICAL FUNDRAISING

Nathan Deal
KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

Deal can't run again, but he can raise funds

In the first two months after November’s election, the top statehouse fundraiser in Georgia was the one politician who can’t legally run for another term.

Gov. Nathan Deal, who handily won re-election Nov. 4, repeatedly called last year’s campaign his electoral farewell. Still, his campaign reported taking in almost $200,000 in November and December for the 2018 election cycle, even though he can’t run for re-election in 2018.

The money will go toward paying off left-over campaign expenses, and Deal staffers said the governor’s account will be shut down.

NEW COBB STADIUM

Braves stadium

Builder tallying Braves’ stadium cost

Strip away money for the lawyers, architects, land and other “soft” costs, and the new Atlanta Braves stadium is expected to cost between $476 million and $500 million — or about half that of the new Falcons facility, which is twice as large.

The cost of labor and materials for ballpark construction is called the Guaranteed Maximum Price, or the amount that contractor American Builders says will not be exceeded when building SunTrust Park.

» PHOTOS: New images of renderings, site

» Marietta studying trolley proposal

» PHOTOS: Bridge to new Braves stadium

PERIMETER

Perimeter

Boom brings traffic with it

Eight hundred to 1,000 Mercedes-Benz workers will soon stream into the office district near Perimeter Mall.

State Farm’s development team is busy building the first of a skyline-altering row of office towers near I-285 and Ga. 400 that will house thousands. Murmurs abound about a Boston development group dusting off plans for a nearby mini-city with office towers and 3,000 residences along Hammond Drive.

» Bright ideas sought at Tech Square

» Vision of airport 'Aerotropolis' gaining focus


YELLOW JACKETS

Tech keep word to injured signee

Tech keeps word to injured signee

When Wednesday comes for Jaylend Ratliffe, and he realizes a dream by pledging body and mind to Georgia Tech, he’ll have one more big decision to make.

Which hand to use when signing the letter of intent? After doctors last July cut out the tea-plate-sized piece of his skull to give his injured brain room to heal, Ratliffe’s penmanship took a big hit. A lefthander, he switched to rightie to compensate for damage to his muscle control. But now he feels the dexterity in his dominant hand slowly returning.


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