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myAJC Voices


From our columnists

Bill Torpy: How an armed rocker rolled through Atlanta TSA

Rock and roller Rick Derringer was at the federal courthouse in Atlanta to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trying to bring a loaded gun through airport security. According to Derringer, it was far from the first time he'd done so.
Braves’ Ron Washington making most of chance after life nearly derailed

Braves’ Ron Washington making most of chance after life nearly derailed

His feet hit the floor at 4:15 every morning. He is out of the front door by 4:45, at the Braves’ complex by 5, walking his customary 10 laps around the stadium soon after. “Takes me 38 minutes,” Ron Washington said. “Burn 390-some categories. Lift some weights, shower, get some breakfast. Before I do anything else, I have to take care of Ron Washington.” He will turn...
Reality of managing job still sinking in for Brian Snitker

Reality of managing job still sinking in for Brian Snitker

All this talk about the Braves just “getting better” isn’t playing well with the new manager. It’s like a financial planner telling a retiree over the early-bird special at Denny’s, “So if you put away $50 a week for the next 30 years, you’ll have yourself a nice little nest egg one day.” Brian Snitker laughed that Wilford Brimley-kind-of-laugh as he...
Aaron Blair’s first outing: bad starts, good finishes — so that’s progress

Aaron Blair’s first outing: bad starts, good finishes — so that’s progress

Braves pitcher Aaron Blair struggled in his first two innings of spring training Sunday but twice pitched out of jams, limiting Houston to one run.
Can NASCAR get its groove back?

Can NASCAR get its groove back?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back to racing for now – very good news for a sport in need of more. (Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
Hoochie Koo! How an armed rocker often rolled through TSA | Bill Torpy

Hoochie Koo! How an armed rocker often rolled through TSA | Bill Torpy

Rock ’n’ roller Rick Derringer is 40-some years past his 1970s’ All American Boy phase. His flowing golden locks and shiny silver jacket is replaced by a short-cropped cut and a conservative business suit. Derringer was dressed like that last week because he was appearing at the federal courthouse in Atlanta to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trying to bring a loaded gun...
Atlantan not a movie guy, but now has Oscar connection

Atlantan not a movie guy, but now has Oscar connection

Nelson Burke is more surprised than anybody that he has ties to a production up for an Oscar on Sunday. But he often gets a worrisome twinge. It’s not his back; it’s Georgia legislators.
Halle Berry’s Oscar hairdo was life imitating art

Halle Berry’s Oscar hairdo was life imitating art

In one of those strange life imitating art sort of moments, Halle Berry’s hairdo took on a starring role at the Oscars on Sunday.

Mary Norwood burnishes her credentials at the DNC meeting in Atlanta

Back in 2009, Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed were locked in a tight runoff to become the next mayor of Atlanta. In the final ballot round, Norwood trailed Reed by a mere 700 votes. One of the reasons: The Georgia Democratic party had weighed in on Reed’s side, spending at least $165,000 attacking Norwood as a closet Republican. The Atlanta city councilwoman is determined that the same label won&rsquo...
Bradley: Not so early to rate UGA and Tech

Bradley: Not so early to rate UGA and Tech

Rankings such as this are invariably described as Way Too Early. This one isn’t quite. (That can happen when two weeks of the College Football Playoff are followed by a month of an NFL postseason.) But I can’t say this Top 25 looks different from one that might have arrived six weeks ago. How hard is it to say, “Alabama’s No. 1 again”? 1. Alabama. The Crimson Tide are...
Ex-pro ball player creates movement to promote racial harmony

Ex-pro ball player creates movement to promote racial harmony

I think often of a little boy from my hometown named Danny, wondering whatever became of him. He was of mixed heritage — half white, half black — cute as could be and just as sad. Not only did white children reject him, so did black ones.
FanGraphs: Braves will win 73 games

FanGraphs: Braves will win 73 games

Julio Teheran anchors what FanGraphs predicts will be an improved Braves pitching staff. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.
Atlanta’s Club Fed: ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ meets Roman orgy | Bill Torpy

Atlanta’s Club Fed: ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ meets Roman orgy | Bill Torpy

I’ve been debating with a fellow AJC reporter how to describe the atmosphere at the federal prison camp here in Atlanta, the place where inmates have lived a bacchanal of drugs, booze and heaps of rich, delicious food. I have likened the atmosphere to the prison scene in “Goodfellas,” where Paulie and his crew of well-connected mobsters gorge themselves on a feast of epic proportions...
Hawks’ play will have to scream loud to get anybody’s attention

Hawks’ play will have to scream loud to get anybody’s attention

The Hawks aren’t oblivious to their standing in this perpetually humbled sports market. Two years ago at this time, they were everybody’s darling. Today, they have all the allure of a $1 scratch-off lottery ticket. The pro football team is coming off a Super Bowl. The pro baseball team has modest expectations for this season but at least has tangible reasons to believe things are ascending...
The Hawks need a big-picture guy, and that’s not Budenholzer

The Hawks need a big-picture guy, and that’s not Budenholzer

Most every NBA watcher agrees: The Hawks need to be sellers at this trade deadline. Trouble is, the Hawks have declared that they’re not selling the player who’d attract the greatest return, meaning Paul Millsap. Having said that, you’ve essentially said, “We are not — repeat, are not — in rebuild mode.” So here’s what they are: A team with the fifth-best...
Torpy: Smartphones, stupid drivers and the carnage that results

Torpy: Smartphones, stupid drivers and the carnage that results

Phones have gotten smart. Drivers? Not so much. Our yearning to stay connected with the world at all times has made Georgia’s roads an increasingly dangerous place to be.
For first time, Mark Fox’s job should be questioned

For first time, Mark Fox’s job should be questioned

It has been a bad season for Georgia basketball — not bad in the historical sense, because this is a program that constantly seems stuck in that dream when you can’t run because your legs are rubbery and your shoes stick to the ground, but certainly bad when measured against expectations. Because of that, there is a question being asked that never has been asked to this extent before by...
Tech’s NCAA tournament case isn’t closed; Georgia’s is

Tech’s NCAA tournament case isn’t closed; Georgia’s is

A team from this state was playing under a new coach and wasn’t expected to do much. It surprised us. It beat the best team in its conference. It beat a team ranked No. 3 in the land. As Selection Sunday neared, that local crew became a national Talking Point: Would the earnest overachiever be granted an NCAA at-large bid? Yes, this description could describe Georgia Tech in the year 2017, but...
Tech scores another upset, and tournament chances are real

Tech scores another upset, and tournament chances are real

The loud party sounds that have surrounded Georgia Tech’s basketball team for several weeks now have been a welcome contrast to the dirge that followed the program for the better part of a decade. It’s like Josh Pastner walked into an junkyard, turned the key on an old rusted Chevy and it started. “I really think we can get back to where we were, knocking on the door every year as...
A great effort by UGA and Frazier goes for naught

A great effort by UGA and Frazier goes for naught

In a game Georgia absolutely had to win, its best player was lost to a knee injury after 95 seconds. Oh, and Georgia was facing Kentucky. This would seem to meet every definition of “worst-case scenario.” But the Bulldogs nearly won the thing, and no, this isn’t the equivalent of saying the Falcons nearly won the Super Bowl. Georgia fought a superior team to a standstill without...
Keeping these Hawks together at deadline makes little sense

Keeping these Hawks together at deadline makes little sense

Here is the optimistic viewpoint of the Hawks at the All-Star break: Despite letting Al Horford go, despite replacing him with Dwight Howard, despite dealing Kyle Korver last month, despite fielding a team considered so uninteresting that average home (announced) attendance has dropped by 1,000 from last season and 1,500 from two years ago, they are on pace to finish with about the same regular-season...
‘Lost Boy’ now a man on Thin Blue Line | Bill Torpy

‘Lost Boy’ now a man on Thin Blue Line | Bill Torpy

If ever there was a guy you’d want to root for, it’s Jacob Mach, ardent survivor, eternal optimist, rookie cop. Mach was one of the refugees known as the Lost Boys of Sudan, the band of perhaps 20,000 boys and young men who were displaced or orphaned in the late 1980s and endured untold horror and hardship as they wandered the harsh plains of Africa. His back story is legend — surviving...
This Braves’ season will be a bridge to the breakthrough

This Braves’ season will be a bridge to the breakthrough

It has been so long since we could feel anything approaching enthusiasm about the Braves’ major-league product that I almost feel bad saying what I’m about to say: This doesn’t figure to be the year they get good again. This should be the year they go from bad to fair-to-middling. After last season’s rousing finish, the Braves proclaimed their remake Ahead Of Schedule...
Bill Torpy at Large: CNN lawsuit shocker — There’s cursing in newsrooms!

Bill Torpy at Large: CNN lawsuit shocker — There’s cursing in newsrooms!

The lawsuit filed by a former employee against CNN is pretty much a routine racial discrimination claim. Omar Butcher, a black man who worked as an associate producer, says he was passed over several times by less-experienced white employees. CNN repeatedly used the term “denied” in its legal response. I don’t know why Butcher’s talents and ambitions went unrequited...
Roddy White sounds off on Super Bowl and lost Las Vegas weekend

Roddy White sounds off on Super Bowl and lost Las Vegas weekend

As historically miserable moments for teams go, the Falcons established a new Atlanta sports low at the recent Super Bowl. As historically miserable moments for fans go, Roddy White also reached a new bottom the same weekend. The team’s former All-Pro wide receiver and recent NFL retiree traveled from his Atlanta area home to Las Vegas for what would be the start of a dream weekend: Living large...
6 semi-hidden keys to the Falcons’ Super collapse

6 semi-hidden keys to the Falcons’ Super collapse

This concerns the Falcons losing the Super Bowl, about which some of you have read too much and might well be saying, “Would you please move on?” Maybe someday I will. But this was a collapse the likes of which the NFL had never seen perpetrated by the team based in our city, and it happened only nine days ago. And I have, I confess, lain awake every night since asking myself, “How...
Bill Torpy at Large: DeKalb scandal ends with a whimper — and a check

Bill Torpy at Large: DeKalb scandal ends with a whimper — and a check

With a quick hearing before a judge Friday morning, DeKalb County quietly wrote a check for tree trimmer Paul Champion to go away and take his allegations with him. And with that move, a long-bubbling scandal that started in a grease trap probably fizzles to an end. It was a scandal that sent county CEO Burrell Ellis to prison, made the county shorthand for corruption and dysfunction, and brought...
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