Reporters’ notebook: Where to put a third national championship tattoo?

Georgia’s Zion Logue has tattoo of trophy



The following, a new weekly feature of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, allows our reporters to open their notebooks and provide even more information from our local teams that we cover daily. We think you’ll find in informative, insightful and fun.

Georgia senior defensive tackle Zion Logue was being interviewed after the Bulldogs’ second practice of the spring when a reporter noticed he had a new tattoo of the national championship trophy on his right forearm. Logue was asked if the tattoo was representative of this year’s title or both the 2021 and 2022 championships.

“This is the one from last year, from Alabama,” Logue said, holding his arm so everyone could see. “I haven’t gotten the newer one yet. I was waiting to go back in May to get it put on (the left) arm. That way you’ll be able to see both. I’m planning on that in May.”

Asked what he might do in the case of Georgia winning an unprecedented third title, Logue has a tentative plan for that, too.

“Possibly on my leg,” he said with a grin. “That’d probably be the next spot.”

No clue about wine

Georgia star tight end Brock Bowers hails from the Napa Valley region of northern California, an area known throughout the world as “wine country” because there are more than 400 wineries within its borders and thousands of acres of vineyards covering its hillsides.

But apparently that doesn’t make Bowers any more of a sommelier than anybody else.

“I actually have no clue,” Bowers admitted when asked this week what he knows about wine. “I know people, but I don’t know wine that good.”

Oh, hello

After a recent spring game in Fort Myers, Florida, Braves manager Brian Snitker was standing outside the visiting clubhouse talking to reporters. As Snitker talked, a player from the opposing team approached the scrum, then greeted Snitker.

It was Carlos Correa.

The superstar shortstop – who technically signed with the Giants and Mets before finally ending up back with the Twins – wanted to say hello.

Snitker, who has been in the game for his entire adult life, garners tons of respect from people from all corners of baseball.

‘Holy crap, I can do this’

Michael Soroka’s Grapefruit League debut this year provided him with a fun memory to recall.

Soroka told the story: In 2018, his first big-league camp, he faced Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera, one of the best hitters of his generation. Soroka threw a hard four-seam fastball as his 2-2 pitch, and it barely missed. (It might’ve been a strike, Soroka said, but in spring training, veterans get the close calls). Soroka then threw a backdoor sinker to strike out Cabrera.

Cabrera gave Soroka a nod.

“That was kind of the start for me to say, ‘Holy crap, I can do this,’” Soroka said.

In one inning of his outing this time around, Soroka got Cabrera to fly out.

D’Arnaud the manager

On a recent day, Snitker was talking about Travis d’Arnaud and how impactful he is in what the Braves do.

It prompted the question: Would d’Arnaud make a good manager?

“I think Travis would be an excellent manager. Absolutely,” Snitker said. “No doubt in my mind that he could do that if he chose or wanted to do that. Thing is, probably about the time he’s done playing, his kids are going to be in an age where they want him around a little more than what you are in this job, (but) I think he would be awesome at that.”

Paid: Country-club membership fees

While the biggest detail in new Georgia Tech athletic director J Batt’s contract was the annual pay – $750,000 – over five years, there were others that will help the Batts make ends meet during his time leading the athletic department. Beyond his salary, Batt will receive a few perks, as specified in the contract received by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an open-records request.

They include a new leased car – to be used for commuting to and from work and for job-related travel – with the athletic department also covering registration, tag, sales tax and insurance. If the department can’t provide such a vehicle, Batt will be given an annual car allowance of $15,600. The department also will cover the cost of a phone and accompanying charges, eight tickets for home and away football games (and a bowl), six home tickets for men’s basketball and another six for the ACC Tournament, a suite for home football games, membership at a country club and $40,000 in moving expenses. Coverage of costs for a car and phone and tickets are typical benefits for Tech head coaches, while the department covers country-club fees for its higher-profile head coaches.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Tyler Pilgrim

Credit: Photo courtesy of Tyler Pilgrim

Gotta be the shoes

Thiago Almada has scored three world-class goals in Atlanta United’s first four games. The most recent was a 35-yard free kick for the Five Stripes’ second goal in a 5-1 result against Portland on March 18.

After the game, Almada changed shoes.

One thing is for certain: There is no way he could have hit the free kick with the sneakers he changed into. They looked relatively normal. Solid white body. White laces. Except, in addition to the traditional laces, these shoes also had big, white, yarn-like laces that took Almada slightly longer to tie as journalists gathered around his cubicle to ask about the free kick.

We’re waiting on Mars Blackmon’s opinion.

Not a fair question

A reporter asked Joey Logano, who had been racing since he was 4 years old, when he first knew he could make a living at the sport. The winner of NASCAR’s Ambetter 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday had an interesting answer.

“It’s not a fair question for me to answer,” Logano said. “If you asked me that as a kid at 9 years old, when we first moved down there, yeah, I’m going to be a race-car driver when I grow up. When you are 9 years old, that’s a very achievable thing. There is nothing in your way. You don’t see how it can’t happen. You are so naïve as a kid. When you ask the question when did you think you could make it, well, I always thought I could. I didn’t know any better. For me, I just kept being able to live out my dream. Win the right races, get the right opportunities, and keep the dream alive for so many years.”

How about those Owls?

It was a tough loss. Kennesaw State couldn’t hold a 13-point lead with 10 minutes remaining an NCAA Tournament first-round game against favored Xavier on March 17. Hold the lead, and the Owls would have advanced as a No. 14 seed, the biggest win in program history.

Yet, following the loss, Kennesaw State coach Amir Abdur-Rahim opened his postgame press conference with a smile. “Well, first thing I’m going to say is this: How about them Kennesaw State Fighting Owls? I am so proud of this group, what they’ve become, what they’re about, but more importantly, how they respond to adversity. And even how they respond to success. It gets no better than that.

“Like I told the guys in the locker room, man, I’m not going to sit up here and let them feel sorry for themselves because we’ve said it all year, we’re not going to let what people on the outside of our circle say what success may be. We’re not going to let anybody define success to us. These guys are successful. They’re winners because they decided to love on another and commit to a common goal.”

They said it

“He sucked at baseball and basketball.” — Tom Logano, Joey’s father, on why the NASCAR driver chose to pursue racing

-Staff writers Chip Towers, Ken Sugiura, Justin Toscano, Doug Roberson and Chris Vivlamore contributed to this article.