Monday, May 17, 2010

Georgia On My Mind

In approximately nine hours I will be airborne from Laguardia to Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport for my first trip to the state of Georgia. I have been there once before, a delightful two-hour sojourn as I switched planes on my way to Kansas City last October, but I've never actually been to Atlanta and left the airport.

This will be a new experience.

The reason for this trip? Well, if you've been reading here you already know, so, in all likelihood, you don't know, but if you know me you can probably guess. I'll be meeting up with a few friends, one of whom was my freshman year college roommate, as I see the Amazin just-got-swept-by-the-Marlins Mets visit the Atlanta Braves in their former house of horrors, Turner Field.

This will be team No. 32 for me, meaning I'm almost out of the 90s in that ever-shrinking category of "Teams remaining". I doubt I'll be attending any debutante balls or touring antebellum mansions, but I'm pretty excited for my first trip to the deep south -- assuming you don't count my trip to New Orleans nine years ago. I'm going to try my best to squeeze in a stop at the Coca-Cola Museum and/or the aquarium, but failing that the baseball will do just fine.

Rest assured, you will all have a full report at some point in the future.

Meanwhilst, the trip to Atlanta will provide me with a brief break from the Stanley Cup playoffs, which had one result expected and one result surprising in the first game of the Western and Eastern Conference Finals yesterday. While Chicago's victory in San Jose is not necessarily the assumed outcome, the hard-fought back-and-forth game put on by what very well may have been the two best teams in the League this year was just what a hockey fan would have imagined it to be.

Montrealers, however, might have to wait a little while before doing their best Philadelaphia Phillies impression after seeing the Habs drop Game 1 to the Flyers Sunday. A shutout could have been foreseen in Game 1, but Philly's little-played Michael Leighton pulling off the clean sheet and not Montreal's blazing hot Jaroslav Halak caused a bit of a double take, particularly considering Halak's disastrous showing. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Canadiens get back on track in Game 2, after all, the Flyers are supposed to defend their home ice. The Habs just need to win there once.

But more than anything else, Sunday may have showed that the more competitive, and better played game in the West, features this year's likely champ. Philadelphia and Montreal are both riding remarkable momentum, but neither stands a chance against a San Jose or Chicago team if its running on full cylinders.

That's all for today, kids. See you in the Peach State.

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