LEADOFF: Today’s early buzz in Atlanta sports


The numbers are in … on how a wild weekend of big games fared in the Atlanta TV ratings.

The top draw, by far, was the Falcons’ rousing victory over the Panthers. The game posted a 20.8 Nielsen rating in the Atlanta TV market Sunday afternoon. That means 20.8 percent of the homes in the market watched the game on average, translating to an audience of almost 500,000 households.

The next biggest draw was Georgia’s last-second loss to Tennessee. It posted a 16.0 rating in the Atlanta market Saturday, meaning roughly 382,000 households here watched on average. The rating spiked to 20.1 for the game’s crazy finish.

Georgia Tech’s loss to Miami and Mark Richt posted a 5.4 rating (129,000 homes) here, while the Braves’ Turner Field finale – although compelling and nostalgic — was no match for football’s TV viewership.

Sunday’s Braves-Tigers game garnered a 0.9 rating (22,000 homes) in the Atlanta TV market, while the 90-minute postgame show closing down Turner Field and transferring home plate to SunTrust Park drew a 1.5 rating (36,000 homes).

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Next Braves manager: While the Braves proceed to consider long-rumored candidate Bud Black and Ron Washington for their open manager’s job, it’s definitely worth noting this endorsement Brian Snitker got last week.

On a Fox Sports South telecast, Bobby Cox told Chip Caray and Joe Simpson that Snitker “knows baseball inside and out, knows it as well as I ever did, that’s for darn sure.” Cox added: “I would love to see him come back.”

Snitker very well may come back as the manager in SunTrust Park next season. But first the Braves will look around, which is the prudent thing to do, Mark Bradley writes.

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Schuerholz and Cooperstown: With Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Cox already representing the 1990s Braves in the Baseball Hall of Fame, it could be time for the architect of those teams to join them there. John Schuerholz is among 10 candidates who will be considered by a special committee — formerly known as the veterans committee – on Dec. 5. David O’Brien has the details.

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Noteworthy: You might be surprised to hear that Kirby Smart said “everybody on the field executed their job” on the Hail Mary pass that beat Georgia. … You won’t be surprised to hear that the Arizona Diamondbacks fired the general manager who thought it was a good idea to trade Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair to the Braves for Shelby Miller. … And Doug Roberson reports on an interesting conversation with Paul Johnson about commitment vs. expectations at Tech.

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Elsewhere: Baseball’s postseason begins tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Baltimore Orioles in the American League wild-card game (8 p.m. on TBS).

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Check back to Leadoff early tomorrow for news, notes and links in Atlanta sports.


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