Falcons plan to open roof for home opener if weather cooperates, Offenses looked bad across the NFL on Sunday, NFL Fights Back, Appeals Ezekiel Elliott Injunction, Kevin Sumlin to take legal action against sender of threatening letter, Dennis Schröder represents Atlanta Hawks on Sports Illustrated’s list of top 100 NBA players, and Lonzo Ball Drops 1st Rap Single claiming Melo’s the Greatest 16-Year-Old Alive!
Falcons plan to open roof for home opener if weather cooperates
The Falcons plan to open the retractable roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium for next Sunday night’s home opener against the Green Bay Packers if weather conditions are favorable.
It would be the first time an event is held in the new $1.5 billion stadium with the roof open – and the first open-air Falcons game in Atlanta since Dec. 15, 1991, the team’s final game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
The Falcons played their home games indoors at the Georgia Dome from 1992 through last season.
While work on the roof is expected to continue through the fall, enough progress has been made for the Falcons to decide to open it, weather permitting, for their nationally televised home opener against the Packers on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
The Falcons haven’t specified the weather parameters for opening the roof, but both the chances of rain and the temperature will be considered.
The Falcons-Packers game is an 8:30 p.m. start.
The roof will remain closed for Atlanta United home matches Wednesday and Saturday this week.
Offenses looked bad across the NFL on Sunday
If you thought the offenses looked bad across the NFL on Sunday, you were correct.
Yesterday’s 12 NFL games averaged just 37 points and 593 yards of total offense. That’s a far cry from what fans came to expect in 2016, when the average NFL game had 46 points and 701 yard of offense.
Offenses were down both passing (an average of 420 yards yesterday, compared to 483 yards last season) and rushing (173 yards per game yesterday, compared to 218 yards last season).
The Bengals were shut out in their loss to the Ravens, while the Giants and 49ers scored just three points each. In the NFL last year there were only three shutouts all season, and only seven games in which a team was held to just a field goal.
NFL Fights Back, Appeals Ezekiel Elliott Injunction
The NFL isn’t giving up in the fight to punish Ezekiel Elliott — the league has filed court docs to appeal the preliminary injunction that had been awarded to the Dallas Cowboys running back last week.
The point of filing the appeal … the league wants to enforce the 6-game suspension as soon as possible, ideally this season — and the appeal is the best way to try and get that result.
So, what’s next? The NFL will file more papers detailing why they think the judge who handed out the preliminary injunction got it wrong. Elliott will then respond to those arguments.
Eventually, a 3 judge panel will likely hear the appeal. The panel could reverse the decision which would give the NFL the power to enforce the suspension ASAP.
According to our lawyer (hey, he went to Harvard), it’s possible the decision could be reached by the end of the season.
Rams announce paid attendance of 60,128 but far fewer show up
If the Rams win a game and no one is there to see it, does it make a sound?
The Rams announced a paid attendance of 60,128, but judging by the pictures on social media, far fewer people than that showed up. The Coliseum seats 90,000, and it looked less than half full.
That’s with tickets going for as low as $6.
But if the Rams keep playing like they did in Sunday’s 46-9 victory over the Colts, their crowds are sure to grow.
Notes to fans in L.A.: Good seats are still available.
Kevin Sumlin to take legal action against sender of threatening letter
Kevin Sumlin and his family intend to take legal action against the sender of the threatening letter they received last week, his wife said on Twitter Sunday.
Last week, Sumlin’s Texas A&M Aggies blew a 44-10 lead at UCLA in their season opener and lost 45-44. Days later, Sumlin’s wife Charlene posted on Twitter a photo of a letter she says their family received at their home. The letter contained a racist word and threat.
The letter is below, but beware: it has offensive content.
Three days after posting the photo of the letter, Charlene shared a follow-up on Twitter. In her note, which Charlene appears to have originally posted on Facebook, Mrs. Sumlin says part of her mission to posting the letter online was to receive help in trying to track down the sender. She said they contacted local police, but they hit a “dead end,” leading her to post on Twitter. The result was people providing help in how they could track down the sender. She says they want to press charges against the sender to make an example of them.
On the field, Sumlin’s Aggies faced a tougher than expected game and beat Nicholls State 24-14 on Saturday. After the game, the coach commented on the letter, saying the open-ended threat crossed the line.
“The racial (aspect) is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end, (sent) to my house … I’ve got to draw the line there,” Sumlin said, via the Houston Chronicle. “(Charlene) didn’t like it, she didn’t feel safe about it, my kids didn’t feel safe about it. Beyond that, I want to thank the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office for what they’re doing right now, and I want to thank all the people who sent me notes and text messages and calls and things like that. That’s important, too.
“When you cross a line like that with people who have nothing to do with decisions that are made when it comes to my job, that’s not OK.”
The Sumlins have received the support of many since publicizing the letter, including from Texas A&M’s president.
Dennis Schröder represents Atlanta Hawks on Sports Illustrated’s list of top 100 NBA players
Dennis Schröder was the only member of the Hawks to make the cut but he comes in at No. 76 overall. Rob Mahoney of SI had this to say:
It’s reasonable to wonder, however, just how much further Schröder (17.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.3 APG) can go within this sort of role. His credentials off the dribble speak for themselves; only Isaiah Thomas averaged more drives to the basket, per NBA.com, and yet Schröder still converted 50.4% of his shots off those drives. What’s off is his sense of timing.
Schröder is a reasonably effective playmaker who tends to irk his teammates by when he chooses to pass and when he does not. Lobs are sometimes thrown a beat too late. Shooters who were open just a moment previously find themselves covered once Schröder finally decides to send the ball their way. Schröder just isn’t a natural playmaker. Passing is a part of his game born of expectation rather than instinct. Other players have forged fine careers playing that way, though it does curb Schröder’s ability to actually lift an offense with his play.
Lonzo: Melo's the Greatest 16-Year-Old Alive!
Lonzo Ball has finally released his first rap single — and it’s a 2-and-a-half minute tribute to his 16-year-old brother, Melo.
It’s called “Melo Ball 1” — portions of the song were used in the first promo spot for LaMelo Ball’s new $395 shoes … but now, the Lakers star has dropped the entire track.
He brags about how his family’s “ready for war,” how Melo is the youngest person on the planet to have his own signature shoe … and how it’s all part of his father’s genius vision.
Here are some of the lyrics …
“See my lil brother, he just doin’ him. You can check the ‘gram, he got a million fans. Got his brothers, he don’t need no friends. He swagged out, he a walking gem.”
“On the ball, that’s just what it is. I’m a king, lil bro a prince. Throwin’ racks and you throwin’ fits. How you hatin’ and you bangin’ this?”
“Melo Ball 1, youngest in the game. Only 16 in the Lam’ and he switchin’ lanes.”
By the way, Zo has another brother … LiAngelo … just in case he forgot.