Cobb County Braves

Turner Field

I don’t think when I posted a spiel about Braves baseball at the beginning of this past season that they would have an offseason like this. I’m amazed that all of this happened so quietly, not a peep was given in the press, and everyone seemed surprised. The Atlanta Braves are now moving to a new stadium 10 miles away from my house. I’m conflicted.

On one hand, I’m one of those people. The very people that ITP’ers sneer at and the very people that the Braves want in their games. I live in the northern suburbs and I have no interest in driving downtown on a weeknight to go to a Braves game. I’m one of the people in the dark red part of this map that shows a red dot for every Braves ticket purchased last year. I wouldn’t go downtown for a Tuesday night game, but Cumberland? Well, that’s a different story, I can be there in 20 minutes and home from a game before 11:00 PM. I’ve read some complaints about how the Braves are leaving a stadium only 17 years old, but this isn’t about the stadium, this is all about where it is located.

On the other hand, I’m not sure how a congested area is going to handle additional traffic. Atlanta has terrible public transportation, the reasons are many and varied, and it was terrible at Turner Field and it will be terrible at the new location in Cumberland. I don’t understand how it’s going to be easy to get to or get out of a game. I also don’t know how a feel about pulling part of the soul of the city out of downtown and moving it out. Yes, it’s only 13 miles up I-75, but there was something special about that view looking out on the skyline from behind home plate. At the new stadium? Maybe you’ll see the skyline off in the distance? I am very concerned about the area around Turner Field, which was pretty impoverished already. I assume they will tear down Turner Field, which is useless now, but what fills the vacuum in an area that no one already wants to go to?

Objectively, the whole thing makes a lot of sense for the Atlanta Braves. Baseball has, for better or worse, become an increasingly suburban sport so it makes sense to go to the suburbs where the fans are. The Braves are leaving a lot of money on the table when they have a nearly empty stadium on a Tuesday night in August. Also, for the large part of the Braves fanbase, nothing really changes. For the people that live all across the southeast and come to one game a year I don’t know that it makes much of a difference if they travel to Cumberland or Midtown. Despite all of this though, I can’t shake the feeling that it is going to be an awful experience traveling on I-285 during rush hour on a Tuesday night in August (it’s already terrible.)

A couple things I do know for sure. One, I’ve been saying for a couple years that we need to take the girls to a game at Turner Field and now I absolutely must do it before time runs out. Two, you can bet that I’ll check out a game at this new stadium. This whole thing is ridiculous, but sports are as a whole ridiculous. I’m just along for the ride. Along with the ridiculous stadium that the Atlanta Falcons are getting, why not add a ridiculous stadium for the Braves? We don’t really do “old”, “historic”, or “traditions” here anyways.

Happy 39

Tech Tower

I’ve developed a habit of having some pretty awesome, amazing, epic birthday weekends and they are almost always unplanned, they just seem to happen. This year was no different. The week started off a little stressful with a work deadline to meet but Halloween night, while the girls were out trick-or treating I was handing out candy at the door and wrapping things up. That cleared the decks for the weekend so I didn’t have any work issues to worry about.

Adriene left on Friday to drive up to North Carolina to meet some of her friends for a weekend to celebrate our friend’s last chemo and radiation treatment. We are so excited for her that she has fought a hard fight this year and it looks like she is emerging the victor. However, that meant I was on my own for my birthday. Adriene even protested a little when invited for the weekend, “but that’s Jeff’s birthday” and Alisa replied, “tell Jeff I had cancer.” Well then. No matter, my girls and I went out for dinner (they insisted on something “fancy” for my birthday and I suppose Macaroni Grill counts as fancy, at least in their minds) and then on Saturday we drove out to visit my parents. I left the girls with my parents and went downtown for Homecoming at Georgia Tech. I’m glad I arrived early as I had time to visit with old friends, some I hadn’t seen in several years, and also wander around campus to take photos of all of buildings that have changed so much since I was in school. The game was pretty exciting as well as Tech won a hard fought game over Pitt. Sunday was fun as well as we visited my parents’ church and enjoyed a potluck lunch that reminded me of so many lunches at church during my childhood. Also, the girls spent large amounts of time outside in the incredible weather, which makes everybody happy. They even slept in to a decent time when we fell back an hour thanks to Daylight Savings Time. If that isn’t a birthday gift right there, I don’t know what is.

So, here we are a year short of 40. My mom insists the forties are much better than the thirties and I’m inclined to believe her. I used to post a lot about how difficult life had become during the first years of having babies and then toddlers, but the last couple years I can definitely feel the slow easing off of difficulty as they get older. I had the girls to myself for the last two weekends and it is noticeably less tiring than two or three years ago and there are so many more laughs and jokes now.

I love these epic birthdays and I love that they seem to come out of nowhere. I also love how they set up Thanksgiving and Christmas as the year begins to wrap up. The 40th birthday has a lot of work to do to live up to these last few birthdays.

My photos from Homecoming and the football game are on Flickr for your perusal.