Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not
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Michael Sam not being viewed as just player

  • 4:54 pm Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Michael Sam had three sacks in preseason but no team has signed him to its practice squad. (AP photo)

The NFL, like any sports league, would like you to believe it’s not exclusionary. The problem with that expectation is a league can’t speak or act for individual team builders. That’s why Michael Sam is out of a job today — and for anybody who believes Sam’s sexuality has nothing to do with him being out of work today, keep reading.

The St. Louis Rams released the former Missouri defensive lineman, who became the first athlete in history to disclose publicly before the start of his career that he was homosexual. The Rams don’t deserve criticism for cutting Sam because they [More]

Short takes: Georgia 45, Clemson 21

  • 11:00 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia running back Todd Gurley should be considered leading Heisman candidate. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Here’s my short takes on Georgia’s 45-21 win over Clemson Saturday night in Athens. My full column on the game can be found by clicking here.

1. Todd Gurley, Heisman favorite: I know this was only one game. I know he’s not a quarterback and he doesn’t play for a team that anybody was talking about as being a national championship contender. But how could anybody not consider Gurley as a Heisman favorite after his opening season performance against a pretty good team? The junior rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a [More]

LIVE BLOG: Expect Georgia to open with win

  • 2:49 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The only certainty about Georgia's secondary: Champ Bailey won't start.

ATHENS — Hello. It’s hot. As I type this it’s 90 degrees in Athens but it feels like a 137 with the humidity. It’s days like this when I think a beer, ice bucket and deodorant concession stand would do quite well.

Anyway, onto the game of the day: Georgia vs. Clemson. I sat in the Clemson press box a year ago at this time expecting the Bulldogs to open with a defeat. The Bulldogs’ defense was missing Josh Harvey-Clemons and several other players because of either injury or suspensions. The Tigers had some of the nation’s best talent on offense, [More]

Cantor’s magic tallis has cure to Braves’ problems

  • 11:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Cantor Bruce Braves Tallit

This has been a Braves’ season in which not nearly enough has gone right, but there’s a cantor in New Jersey who apparently has the answer to all of their problems. At least one night a week.

“The Braves are 10-0 when I wear it,” cantor Bruce Rockman of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in North Brunswick, N.J., said. “But we’re taking a big risk by making this public.”

To the Old Testament miracles of locusts, boils and the parting of the Red Sea, we add: The Undefeated Tallis.

Rockman has a unique, Braves-inspired prayer shawl he wears in services on Friday nights, the beginning [More]

Predictions (no lies): Dogs over Clemson

  • 2:15 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
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Against the backdrop of a USC player making up a story about jumping out of a window to save his drowning cousin (a Bobby Petrino starter kit), four North Carolina players suspended for undisclosed reasons (oh look, a teammate was beaten senseless. How’d that happen?) and the Heisman Trophy winner shoplifting crab legs because, well, THESE SCHOLARSHIP ATHLETES ARE STARVING!!! ….

Hello. I am back.

You know how this works. Every week, I give you the winners. It’s your job to find them.

If I went 17-0 every week, it would make it too easy for competing investment services like Charles Schwab, Morgan [More]

Predicting all four teams in Georgia (almost guaranteed)

  • 1:13 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia's hopes of flying this season hinge partly on Todd Gurley. (AP photo)

The college football season begins this week. You might’ve heard something about it. The first episode of Weekend Predictions will be online Thursday and in print (old school) Friday, and there’s still time to register for the annual “Sack Schultz” contest, where you have a chance to outpick me in a set of 15 games every game. (Hah. Just kidding. It’ll never happen. But click here for details if you want to give it a try for some fabulous prizes.) Until the games start, here are some odds and a few thoughts on the four FBS teams in the [More]

It’s ‘Sack Schultz’ time — how good are you?

  • 11:48 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Mark Richt and Paul Johnson discuss their strategy for "Sack Schultz" contest. (AJC)

Hello again. It’s almost time for college football season, and that means it’s almost time for the “Sack Schultz” contest, and that also means it’s almost time for Weekend Predictions, so let me start with an off-the-books wager (not to be confused with an off-the-books attorney hire, because Cobb County, it seems, has cornered the market on those).

Bobby Petrino vs. Todd Grantham: boom.

Now, back to football.

Weekend Predictions returns next week. The “Sack Schultz” contest returns now. You can register beginning Sunday at AJC.com/go/sackschultz2014.

This contest provides you with the opportunity to pick the outcomes of games better than me, [More]

On Braves, McGuirk and repairing baseball

  • 9:19 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Three members of the Braves' hierarchy (from left): Terry McGuirk, John Schuerholz, Frank Wren. (AJC photo)

Should Pete Rose be allowed back into baseball, and therefore become eligible for the Hall of Fame? (Yes.)

Does baseball, which is losing a generation of fans and is suffering from long games in the regular season and late starts in its signature event, the World Series, need to make significant changes to improve the product? (Yes.)

Should the 162-game season be preserved? (No.)

Those are some of the issues (and my answers) I’ve addressed in a MyAJC column that you can read here. Commissioner Bud Selig is retiring and Rob Manfred will replace him, so this is a prime opportunity for [More]

Braves find a groove — but so do Nationals

  • 9:21 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Braves have won five straight but remain six games behind Washington. (AP photo)

Six days ago, on the eve of the Braves’ “Zombie Night” promotion at Turner Field, I wrote a column on the Braves’ seeming march into the regular season afterlife and the reasons manager Fredi Gonzalez needed to bench the struggling B.J Upton. At that point, they had lost 12 of 15 games and 17 of 26 since the All-Star break.

A follow-up blog and cartoon posed the question to you, “Is the fat lady singing” on their season?” Most readers believed yes. I certainly believed yes. When it comes to the division race, I still think yes. But it [More]

Report: Petrino, Grantham already feuding (updated)

  • 10:20 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
S.I. reports Bobby Petrino and Todd Grantham are already feuding. Surprise!. (AP photo)

When “reformed” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino hired former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, it seemed like a perfect marriage — if one were to assume a petroleum truck parking in a warehouse full of plutonium is a perfect marriage.

So maybe this won’t come as a surprise:

According to SI.com, Petrino has “feuded often” with Grantham since hiring him in January. The relationship between the two is so bad, one unidentified source told S.I., that Petrino would have fired Grantham by now if he had not given him a five-year contract worth nearly $1 million annually (which, by the way, wasn’t [More]

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