Falcons’ big sigh of relief

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Imagine that you're tooling along in your car heading to work and wham -- you're stuck in a fender bender. Sticking with the scenario, imagine still that when the people in the other vehicle step out to asses the damage, they are three hunky professional athletes. Ah, yes. The dream of many a gay sports fan.

It's also what happened to one (un)lucky driver on Thursday. After a collision, out stepped a trio of Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Ryan (left), Brian Finneran and D.J. Shockley. It seem they were driving to practice for a walk-through before the team's final preseason match against Baltimore. No one was hurt, though Arthur Blank and other front office staff at Falcons HQ did suffer from elevated heart beats and puckered butts when they first heard Ryan -- the face of the franchise who earlier this year signed a 6-year, $72-million contract -- was in a car crash.

Do you think Blank even asked about the other passengers?    READ MORE »

Robby Ginepri advances in U.S. Open

imageSexy local tennis pro Robby Ginepri made it through to the second round of the U.S. Open today, downing fellow American Amer Delic, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). Next up for Ginepri is 30th-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic.

Ginepri reached the semifinals here in 2005 before losing a heartbreaking five-setter to Andre Agassi. In the second round, he faces 30th-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic, a five-set winner over another Frenchman, Julien Benneteau.

"The semifinals will always be a memorable moment for me," said the 61st-ranked Ginepri, who represented the United States at the Olympics but lost in the first round to Djokovic. "I've had a lot of great success here. I'm always excited to play in front of the fans. It's a lot of energy out there on every match that I play in and I feed off that quite well."

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Hotlanta goes to Seattle: Day 2

Ten teams from the Hotlanta Softball League are competing in the Gay Softball World Series, which opened play Tuesday in Seattle. Art Davenport, HSL’s Open Division secretary, is blogging here throughout the Series. Go here for a list of HSL teams taking part.

More news from Seattle after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta Dream returns to the court

The Atlanta Dream, fresh from a three-week break like the rest of the WNBA, returns to the court tomorrow. They face the Connecticut Sun, which has twice beaten them this season.

But the return of the Dream fills a void -- the Olympics are over and the Braves have collapsed so there's not much happening with the local pro teams. Sure, the Falcons are warming up for the season, but they don't open until Sept. 7.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Phelps turns gold into, well, gold

imageMichael Phelps' bank account just got fatter.

The Olympian, fresh off his record-setting haul of eight gold medals in Beijing, inked a deal with the Free Press imprint of Simon & Schuster for a $1.6 million advance on a book to be called "Built to Succeed." And nearly as fast as Phelps himself, the book will hit stores in December. He's already picked up a $1 million bonus from Speedo and is expected to take about $10 million by year's end.

In the book, which is being called an "inspirational memoir," the publisher said that Phelps will reveal the secrets of his success, and give a behind-the-scenes look at his approach to training, competition and winning. The narrative thread is expected to be the eight final swims of the 2008 games.


The media juggernaut that is Phelps also appeared on the Aug. 25 issue of Sports Illustrated with his eight golds draped across his bare chest, a remake of the Mark Spitz cover in 1972. But true to form, Phelps has outdistanced Spitz there, too. He's snagged five SI covers to three for Spitz.
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Robby Ginepri has a sexy new partner

imageAh, the U.S. Open. The hotties in full force -- Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Robby Ginepri (photo).

But now our local hunk -- Ginepri -- has a sexy new partner, Travis Rettenmaier. a 25-year-old former UCLA player from California. No, no. Not partner like that. Partner as in double's partner. The pair hits the court today at 11 a.m. as the U.S. Open continues.

Check out Rettenmaier's photo and Nadal's new look after the jump.    READ MORE »

Junior Brave emerging from slump

imageI'm all for redemption and working past self-inflicted wounds. And that seems to be the case with Jordan "the Juice" Schafer, once a top prospect for the Atlanta Braves who was knocked off track this year with a 50-game HGH-related suspension.

He's playing again and has emerged from a prolonged slump that started when he returned from the suspension. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution featured a lengthy Q&A with Schafer over the weekend. But it sheds little light -- well, none -- on the suspension nor does Schafer provide an explanation about what happened.

He and his father have said it was all a misunderstanding in previous press reports. But Schafer still hasn't come clean. For that, I'll continue to hold a grudge against the sexy outfielder with the boyish good looks.

Q. What was it like when you came back from the suspension? What did you have to deal with?

A. It was a variety of things. I asked my teammates: 'I'm sorry guys, I wasn't here. I still followed you guys. I'd really like it if you guys would support me because I know I'm going to get a lot of stuff especially when we go on the road.' They were really good with that. The fans kill me all the time. That's to be expected. They're going to say what they want. Two nights ago I hit two home runs. In my fourth at-bat, I was on deck and the fans were still killing me.
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Matt Ryan the man for Falcons opener

imageThat's right. The six-year, $72 million stud rookie for the Atlanta Falcons -- thought a long-shot for the team's Sept. 7 opener -- will suit up and lead his new team.

Team officials said they expect Matt Ryan to start all 16 games and he will become the first QB in the NFL since 2002 to become a starter.

“Anything you get in this game is earned, whether it be a touchdown, a win, whatever it is you earn it in this game,” Ryan said. “In some sense it is satisfying in that light. But trust me, there’s a lot of work ahead. I know that probably just as much as everybody else around here.

“There’s going to be some ups and downs. You’ve got to try and stay mentally tough and try and grind through it.”


So much for hunky QB Joey Harrington.

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Gays, gold and the Olympics

image There's a new Gaytlsports.com in the 'hood. And it's on the juice.
Hotlanta Softball gets ready for the World Series.
Labor Day means it's time for tennis with a few hundred gay players.
Women's Outdoor Network prepares for charity golf tournament.
Matthew Mitcham (photo) fails in medal bid in the 3-meter competition, but becomes first openly gay male Olympian to grab gold.
David Beckham tells Olympic officials, "I want in."
Local tennis hottie Robby Ginepri tunes up before U.S. Open.
Rafael Nadal has a muscular butt. And he likes it to be ogled.
Georgia Tech struts their stuff in new uniforms.
You decide if sexy athletes are evil.

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Softball gets ready for the Bigs

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In baseball, making it to the pro ranks is often referred to as getting the call to the Bigs. For 10 teams in the Hotlanta Softball League, their phones are ringing.

Those teams head to the Gay Softball World Series in Seattle next week, getting their shot at winning a national title across eight divisions of men's and women's competition. For them, it's the Bigs.

“We fully expect to have our best showing,” said Jolly Bruce, coach of the Packers, who will be playing in his fifth World Series. “Our goal is to win and it always has been. But we also know realistically that we have a battle to do so.”


For more on the HSL teams heading to the Series, read the rest of my recent Southern Voice sports column.

And check back here next week. Beginning Monday, we'll have regular posts from an HSL official in Seattle throughout the competition.    READ MORE »

Welcome to the new Gaytlsports

Things are looking a little different around Gaytlsports these days.

Thanks to the success of this little gay sports blog that could -- that means you folks who come back day after day to catch up on what's making news in the local gay sports scene -- it's been developed and woven into a new web site called Project Q Atlanta. The new site underwent a soft or beta launch on Thursday, meaning you've probably been redirected fom gaytlsports.com/blog1 to this spot, its new home.    READ MORE »

Are sexy athletes evil?

Comedy Central has a funny video exploring why sexy athletes are evil. There’s Michael Phelps at No. 1 and David Beckham at No. 5, with this snarky comment: “What’s the point of David Beckham? To get more gay guys to watch soccer? There are already gay guys watching soccer — they’re called Europeans.”

(Hat tip to the Olympics 2008 blog at Outsports. It’s a great stop for finding the latest in gay angles on the Beijing Games — and photos of sexy athletes.)

Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Georgia Tech unveils new unis

imageJocks from the athletic teams of Georgia Tech worked the runway on Tuesday, showing off the school's new uniforms and a fat $20 million contract with Atlanta-based Russell Athletic. Who said there's not money in college athletics?

The deal is for 10 years and could be worth more than $20 million. The previous contract was for five years and $3 million. In addition, Tech will serve as a laboratory for new styles, designs and materials for Russell.

But this new deal goes way beyond apparel. It is in step with the exploding value of apparel sponsorships in college athletics, such as the new 10-year, $46 million deal between UConn and Nike.

Image matters more now, and selling stuff with a logo spreads the word.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution coverage includes a photo gallery of the new unis.    READ MORE »

Ginepri quietly competes in New Haven

imageLocal tennis stud Robby Ginepri, fresh from a first-round defeat at the Beijing Olympics, is in New Haven this week for the Pilot Pen. It’s the last stop before the U.S Open, which starts Aug. 25.

A little jet lag didn’t slow Ginepri, who lives in Kennesaw. He knocked off Luis Horna on Monday and plays again today.    READ MORE »

Charity golf tournament set for Sept.

Plans are continuing for the First Annual Best Ball Tournament from the Women’s Outdoor Network. The golf event is set for Sept. 20 and benefits WON, Pets Are Loving Support and the Women’s Health Center. There’s still room and registration fees are discounted until Sept. 10. And yes, the lesbians gave assurances that the tournament is safe for gay men, too.    READ MORE »

Animals, eye candy and the Olympics

image Hotlanta Softball closes out season (photo) while looking ahead to Fall Ball.
Hotlanta Volleyball's athletic eye candy.
Atlanta Bucks bring back Rugby 101, but it's not underwater.
Piedmont Park loosens its ban a little.
Elton John bringing gay to Kennesaw. Andy Roddick, too.
U.S. men's gymnastics team strikes a pose.
Michael Phelps dissected.
Olympic Village needs a little love.
Women's soccer coming (back) to Atlanta.
The G-Braves' whistlepig the woodchuck.
Porn-posing college jocks exposed, then dumped.
Who let the Dogs in?
ESPN delivers morning cup of sports.
Mike Piazza comes out -- of South Beach.

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Olympic Village lacking some loving

The only place where the action in Beijing seems to be lacking is the Olympic Village. The 10,500 athletes on hand for the Games aren't picking up free condoms that were all the rage in Sydney and Athens. I guess the Redeem Team and Kobe Bryant brought their own.

There's 100,000 free condoms up for grabs for the athletes and some two-thirds of them are going unused. Uh, the math on that means nearly 10 condoms per athlete for an event that lasts 17 days. In Vancouver in 2010, there will be 18 condoms for each of the 5,500 athletes. Even Kobe can't need that many.    READ MORE »

The physiology of Michael Phelps

Wondering how Michael Phelps does what he does so well? Bob Costas narrates an interesting look into the physiology of the most decorated Olympian ever in this video. As you ponder how he might capture his eighth medal of this Olympics tonight, the piece provides a few answers (and some nice shots of Phelps).

Costas’ conclusion? A mix of “superior genetics and immense dedication.” Seventeen races, two miles of laps and eight days of competition. Simply amazing.    READ MORE »

Rugby goes underwater

The Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club hit the pitch today for Rugby 101, their pre-season training session for newbies. They stayed on solid ground, unlike the players in this video, who put a decidedly wet approach to their match.

Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Softball looking for Fall Ball players

The Hotlanta Softball League wants to fill its rosters for Fall Ball, its shorter and more relaxed season that opens on Sept. 21. To help, the league is holding several registration events this month, including Saturday at the Starbucks in Ansley Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday at Woofs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Our Fall Ball is nowhere near as large as the regular season,” says Art Davenport, HSL’s Open Division secretary. “Fall Ball is there for us to have fun and it is more social than our regular season because we interact more.”

The season typically draws up to eight teams and about 130 players.    READ MORE »

 
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