Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Thursday Atlanta Falcons Hoodie , Sept. 6 It’s here. It’s finally here. Like your tax refund or the food delivery guy to provide sustenance after a long night out. Like Diablo III or the afternoon you can finally go outside without being smothered by oppressive humidity. Yes, folks: It’s game day. Dust off whatever stress management device you prefer, put on your drinkin’ shoes, and gorge on the latest Falcoholinks before we take on the Eagles tonight. Eagles limping as Falcons stroll inThe Atlanta Falcons are in pretty good shape as they head to Lincoln Financial Field, while the Eagles are dealing with a multitude of injuries among key starters. Most noteworthy, of course, are Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery, which leaves the Eagles’ offensive potential as a question mark in this one.Both teams released their final injury reports, and while Ben Garland, Isaiah Oliver, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson will miss the opener, the Falcons are predominately healthy in all phases of the game.Bird Battle Point-CounterpointDave indulged his masochistic side and headed over to Bleeding Green Nation to providethree reasons why the Falcons will leave Philly angry and sad. It’s a bleak-yet-informative read, one we collectively hope doesn’t come to fruition. But that’s not all! Brandon Gowton of BGN joined us over here on friendlier territory and gave these three reasons the Eagles will lose tonight. They involve hangovers and Nick Foles, and as my hangover was a direct result of Nick Foles the last time these teams met, that seems to check out.Knapp time?Jeff Schultz over at The Athletic does yeoman’s work covering Atlanta sports, and his latest piece expounds on a thought we’ve entertained since the Falcons brought back Greg Knapp: that Knapp will have a heavy role in the offensive scheming. The Falcoholic’s Cory Woodroof explored this a bit more, and spelled out what it could mean for the coaching arrangement going forward.The Falcoholic Podcast Ep. 48This week DW and Jeanna Thomas were joined by honorary Falcoholic Michael Kelly, die-hard Birds fan and everyone’s favorite sociopathic fixer on Netflix’s House of Cards. Come for the banter, stay for the analysis, and let’s all agree that the Bucs Youth Customized Atlanta Falcons Jerseys , Panthers and Saints are all trash. This week’s topics include a preview of tonight’s game in Philly, a look at Atlanta’s defensive potential this season, and why this game will be won in the trenches. Be sure to give it a listen here, and thanks to Michael for joining the show! Welcome to Manager of the Year Day! Oh, what a day this is, every year. I know you’re probably getting ready for your Manager of the Year watch party, and you’re making a chips-and-dip platter in the shape of Bruce Bochy’s head. Expecting a lot of people, are you? Ha ha, just a little manager humor, folks, but, yes, the whole sports world is talking about the Manager of the Year Award!Which is to say, nobody is talking about the Manager of the Year Award. Take a list of preseason projections, match them up with the postseason teams, look for an outlier, and skip the voting. Save everybody some time. It’s the dumbest award. Matt Williams won it in 2014, a couple weeks after a poor decision ruined the Nationals’ postseason hopes, and a year before his final managerial season ever. Paul Molitor won it last year, and the Twins have already let him go. Once www.falconsauthorizedshops.com , I wrote a big, long article about a better way to determine the Manager of the Year Award, and it was so dumb that Google stopped indexing it, and now I can’t find it. It’s better this way. There is no fixing this award, so I would like to complain about it for awhile, just to get a few things off my chest. Here is the exact problem with the Manager of the Year Award, in two headers. 1. National writers have no business pretending like they know who deserves the awardUnlike MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year, the Manager of the Year should be awarded in great part because of what happens off the field. That is, the Manager of the Year should improve the morale of a team and have the ability to navigate a testosterone-filled minefield of exhausted millionaires, all of whom have spent their whole life not struggling at baseball before struggling for the first time. It’s one thing to chuckle and gurgle something out about baseball being a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s another to make decisions in a way that keeps the attention and faith of a disparate group of 25 different players (along with a taxi squad of scared, overwhelmed rookies who will float through for the first, and sometimes only, time of their major league career.)Great managers can do this. Average managers can look at a cheat sheet and determine which reliever to bring into a tight situation. Above-average managers can filter all of the data coming in from their coaches and players to figure out correctly which relievers should be available and which position players need a day off. Great managers are doing all of the above, but tying it all together with a rare brand of forward-thinking leadership that commands attention and respect. Like hell do I know if Craig Counsell does all of that better than Brian Snitker. But there are national writers who are far more connected, far more attuned to the scuttlebutt, who work tirelessly to take the pulse of all 15 teams in a given league. They at least have a hint about which teams are up Womens Jake Matthews Jersey , which teams are down, and which teams are overachieving because of the person in charge. Is this a list of those writers, though? No idea. But probably not. Not all of them, at least. A healthy chunk will look at preseason expectations vs. season record and go back to the job that pays them. And it’s a revolving group of writers who votes on the award, so even if you’re somehow lucky enough to get a group of writers who are entirely committed to the Manager of the Year one year, you might not get the same group the next year. It’s too much to cover. Even if there were a specific managers beat, where a writer spent all of his or her day, every day, detailing only the ins and outs of different managerial decisions and rumors, it would be a tough gig to wrangle. But that job description doesn’t exist, so it becomes an impossible task for the typical beat writer, even if they take it as seriously as possible. 2. Local beat writers have no business pretending like they know who deserves the awardThey’re too close, you see. It’s like when Baseball America releases their top-100 prospects list, and fans of different teams complain about the specific rankings of their organization’s prospects. They can’t comprehend the existence of 29 other farm systems because they’ve spent all of their effort focusing on one farm system. Which is normal. But it’s why fan-based top-100 lists aren’t a thing. Ranking the 50 best MLB free agents for the 2018-2019 offseasonThe Yankees are pretending they won’t make big free agency moves and it’s hilarious3 possible motivations behind the Nationals’ 10-year, $300 million offer to Bryce HarperYes, bad teams should sign Bryce Harper and Manny MachadoBeat writers who spend nearly 200 days with managers (spring training, included) are likely to have a fantastic handle about what is going on. They’ll know if a manager should have lost a clubhouse, but hasn’t, and they’ll know when the opposite is true. They’ll have a great idea of how a manager has set his team up for success, and they’ll be among the dozen or so most qualified people in the world to make that determination. Great. Now do it for the other 14 teams. It’s an unreasonable request http://www.falconsfootballauthentics.com/matt-ryan-jersey-authentic , of course, because there just isn’t that much time. But if we’re accepting that beat writers have a wealth of information about the qualifications of the manager they cover, we also have to accept they have a dearth of information about the other managers. They might hear things about managers in their own division, sure, and they’ll likely compare notes with fellow scribes. But to make a qualified determination about Manager X being better than Manager Y? They have far too much information in one column, and there’s no way they can make it up for the other column. The answer is probably something like this: Whittle down the candidates to the top three or five. Have the representative writers from each team get together and state their case. Debate. Discuss. Draw from the statistical and anecdotal, and if you believe that the manager you covered deserves the award, try to convince the other writer. Then, and maybe only then, would we get an award that better matches reality. After all that work, there would still be nobody who cared about the Manager of the Year Award. So the current system is probably the best system. There’s never going to be a great one. Task some writers who take the job seriously, and hope they get it right. Accept that they’re doing an awful lot of guesswork and speculation, and move on to the real awards. Welcome to Manager of the Year Day! It’s not that bad, really. I feel better. It’s not that bad once you get a few things off your chest, and I look forward to congratulating the managers who weren’t expect to do a bunch before this season started, only to have some success.