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Latest from Jay Black

    I need a hug.  We all need a hug. Unfortunately, we can’t get a hug because that is now considered unnecessary roughness in a world that’s forced to bend the knee to COVID-19.  It was weird. It was strange. It’s a new normal.  We are still in the infancy of this pandemic, but the loss of our games is the most visible representation of what we are dealing with and what will most assuredly get worse. For the first time in my life, there was not a game to watch in this country. Unless you count watching me hack it around at my local golf course.  If we want to watch any competition, we will have to do it ourselves. We can’t count on the professionals for a while. So amateur golf and fishing, you’re up. Maybe tennis too.  I’ve been asked a lot lately, “Jay you’re the sports director, what are you going to do without sports?”  I have no idea. I still don’t  This weekend is one of the peaks of the sports calendar. This time of year is my time of year.  With conference tournaments and Braves’ spring training and Atlanta’s NASCAR race and The PLAYERS Championship and most importantly Selection Sunday to kickoff March Madness, this is a great time to be alive.  Except when it isn’t. It’s all gone.  Instead, I played a little golf. Did a lot of cleaning. Watched a lot of movies, which includes Frozen 2 (this is where we are at people. A single match watching Frozen. I have two unofficial nieces, so I figured it’s time to learn what they are excited about). I did squeeze in time to watch the only sport that was on TV. UFC. I knew the only way I’d be able to watch two women pounding each other’s head in was if it was the last sport on Earth.  Welp. Guess what I did for about 10 minutes. Those women leave a lot of blood on a mat.  I spent the first part of this great sports weekend telling everyone what’s not going to happen. There will be no March Madness. No Final Four in Atlanta. No MLB, no NBA, no MLS. No nothing.  Then at 10:04 am Friday I had to break in on the radio and report that mother of all spring events – the Masters – would not be played in April.  It was a sports fans knockout blow. Augusta National cedes its spring time authority to no man or beast. Just a disease.  For the first time since World War II, the only people who get to see the azaleas in bloom this year are the members.  Maybe they can tweet a picture. Or maybe not. It might hurt too much.  Opening day might not come until Memorial Day. Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.  And by the way, the NCAA tournament has never been cancelled. Not even for a war. Yet, this is sort of starting to feel like a war, isn’t it?  There are no games, people are scared, stores are rationing high demand items.  This is the first time my generation or the previous one (I’m sort of a millennial, I’ll turn 35 on April 9th. That would have been round one of the Masters. I still need a hug) has ever had to suffer or sacrifice like this. All the norms that have always been there aren’t now.  It will be a while before anyone goes back to school or work. The economy will take a massive hit.  Whether you believe the worst is yet to come or not, no doubt, we will know the struggles the greatest generation did. The only question is, how long will our day to day lives be thrown into turmoil.  As the internet meme goes, they were called to fight. We are called to sit.  Sports matter. They aren’t life or death, but they are close. When they are gone, it’s just wrong.  Cancelling everything was the right move. Maybe postponement would have been better, but I can’t criticize someone for doing the right thing. What do I know? I’m not a doctor, just a sports guy.  But it can always be worse.  I had to have a conversation with my parents this weekend. But me, my brother and my sister stood in the yard and made them stay on the porch. They are over 60 and considered very at risk to catch this thing.  For the first time in my life I was scared to go inside the home I grew up. That’s 100 times worse than no ball on TV.  What I will do this weekend? No clue. More golf I hope. But March Madness was supposed to start if you didn’t know.  Hopefully it’s just a strange couple of months and we can pick up where we left off.  Until then, excuse me if I sit in the corner and whimper just for a moment at noon on Thursday when the NCAA tournament should be on my TV.  All sports fans will still need a hug.
  • FIRST QUARTER          
  • Patrick Reed is your Masters champion, winning his first major by one shot over Rickie Fowler. From the back row of the Masters Press Building, the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and Steve Hummer join Jay Black from News 95.5 & AM-750 WSB to break down Reed’s victory. Among the topics in the podcast:  - Why Reed wasn’t the fan favorite and why he is ok with that. - What this means for Reed’s place in golf hierarchy? - What happened to Rory McIlroy? - What to make of Jordan Spieth’s near historic comeback?  - Why the Masters never disappoints on Sunday.
  • From the back row of the Masters Press Building in Augusta, the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and Steve Hummer join WSB Radio’s Jay Black to break down an exciting Saturday at the Masters and preview what’s to come on Sunday. The guys take a look at how Patrick Reed was able to answer every charge from Rory McIlroy on Saturday; why this isn’t going to be a direct comparison to Reed and Rory’s famous Ryder Cup duel two years ago; who will be the crowd favorite; why Patrick Reed isn’t exactly the hometown boy; the significance of McIlroy winning the career Grand Slam in the same place he fell apart in 2011. And finally, who wins the green jacket on Sunday.
  • Patrick Reed has a two-shot lead after the second round of the 82nd Masters. The American moves to 9-under-par after shooting 66 on Friday. From the back row of the Masters Press Building in Augusta, the AJC’s Steve Hummer and Jeff Schultz break down the second round with WSB Radio’s Jay Black and preview the play on Saturday. Among the topics: How Patrick Reed was able to post his best score, by far, at the Masters. Why he may not be fully embraced by the golf community and his relationship with Augusta. Plus, why we didn’t spend much time talking about Marc Leishman and which of the former major champions will be  in the final group come Sunday (weather permitting).
  • The first round of the 82nd Masters is in the books with Jordan Spieth holding a two shot lead over Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau.  WSB’s Radio Jay Black is joined by AJC columnist Jeff Schultz and reporter Chris Vivlamore to break down the day’s play and preview Friday’s second round. Among the topics - Can Spieth hold his lead? - The constant battle trying to follow Tiger Woods - Is Tiger out of it? - Sergio Garcia’s historic meltdown at the 15th hole - Our picks for the second round leader. 
  • The 82nd Masters begins Thursday morning in Augusta.  WSB Radio sports director Jay Black and Steve Hummer with the AJC preview the tournament. Topics include Tiger Woods return (duh). Can Phil Mickelson become the oldest winner in Masters history at age 47? Plus what about world number one Dustin Johnson and one of the hottest players on tour Justin Thomas.
  • WSB Sports Director Jay Black blogging live from the UGA Radio Booth at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. So check back often for news and notes during the National Championship Game.  
  • WSB Sports Director Jay Black blogs live from the Rose Bowl, so check back often with news and notes from the UGA Radio Booth. FIRST QUARTER  
  • TAILGATE SHOW: 1 p.m. on News 95.5 & AM-750 WSB KICKOFF: 5 p.m. LOCATION: Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, Ca.  TV: ESPN  2017 RECORDS & SCHEDULE: Georgia (12-1, 8-1 SEC) | Oklahoma (12-1, 8-1 Big XII) LINE: Georgia by 1.5 SERIES HISTORY: First meeting  PLAYOFF NOTES:  The winner faces the winner of the Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Clemson in the National Championship Game in Atlanta on January 8th. This is Georgia’s first appearance in the college football playoff Oklahoma has been in the playoff once, losing to Clemson in 2015. The Sooners played for the national championship four in the BCS era, going 1-3. OU beat FSU to win its last national title in 2000. The Sooners lost in 2003, 2004 and 2008
  • Jay Black

    Sports Director

    Jay Black is the sports director of News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB and is the statistican for the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network. He is also the technical director of Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade. Jay is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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News

  • A recently released study by the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan suggests that the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine helps lower the death rate in hospitalized coronavirus patients. An analysis of 2,541 patients hospitalized with coronavirus between March 10 and May 2, 2020, found that 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died as compared to 26% who died that did not receive the drug, according to The Detroit News. The mortality rate for hospitalized patients ranges from 10% to 30% globally, while the overall in-hospital mortality for the study was 18.1%. The study, which was conducted at six hospitals within The Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan, was published Thursday in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. “The findings have been highly analyzed and peer-reviewed,” said Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of Infectious Disease for Henry Ford Health System, who co-authored the study with Henry Ford epidemiologist Dr. Samia Arshad. “We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring. Our dosing also differed from other studies not showing a benefit of the drug. And other studies are either not peer reviewed, have limited numbers of patients, different patient populations or other differences from our patients. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration said the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs’ unproven benefits “do not outweigh the known and potential risks.” In a separate announcement, the FDA also warned doctors against prescribing the drugs in combination with remdesivir, the lone drug currently shown to help patients with COVID-19. The FDA said the anti-malaria drugs can reduce the effectiveness of remdesivir, which FDA cleared for emergency use in May. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are frequently prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and can cause heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure and muscle or nerve damage. The agency reported in June that it had received nearly 390 reports of complications with the drugs, including more than 100 involving serious heart problems. Read more about the study here and here. https://www.henryford.com/news/2020/07/hydro-treatment-study https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30534-8/fulltext The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • There are new rules in place for the holiday weekend if you plan to rent an Airbnb. The company says guests under 25 years old with fewer than three positive reviews will not be able to book an entire home close to where they live Airbnb didn’t reveal how it defines what is “close.” Airbnb said it wants to weed out any potential problems, specifically unauthorized house parties and feels this is the best way to do so. The company says it’s a nationwide policy, but it is most relevant for a handful of cities. The company says its technologies would block that guest from booking. “No one policy is going to stop all unauthorized parties. We’re also conscious that just because you’re 25 or older doesn’t mean that every single person in that group is booking for the right reasons too,” spokesperson Ben Breit told WSB-TV. Guests under 25 with at least three positive Airbnb reviews and no negative reviews won’t be subject to the restrictions. Airbnb began stepping up efforts to ban “party houses” last November after five people were shot and killed during an unauthorized party at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California. At the time, Airbnb set up a rapid response team to deal with complaints from neighbors and started screening “high risk” bookings, such as reservations at a large home for one night. In a message to hosts, the company said reducing unauthorized parties is even more of a priority right now as states try to avoid coronavirus outbreaks. “With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States,” the company said. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were charged Thursday with felonious assault after pulling a gun out on a Black mother and her children when a confrontation escalated outside a Chipotle in Michigan. Each of them had a loaded firearm and concealed pistol licenses. Deputies seized the two handguns, Sheriff Mike Bouchard said. On Thursday, the couple was arraigned and were given a $50,000 personal bond.  “As part of the bond conditions, they must turn over all firearms, not engage in any assaultive behavior, and may not leave the state,” sheriff’s officials told The Detroit News. The Detroit News first reported on the three-minute video posted online that shows part of the interaction. Takelia Hill, who is Black, told the newspaper that it happened after the white woman bumped into Hill’s teenage daughter as they were entering the fast food restaurant. The video footage [WARNING: Contains graphic language] starts after that, in the parking lot. A woman since identified as Jillian Wuestenberg is heard arguing with Hill and her daughters. Wuestenberg climbs into the vehicle, rolls down the window and says, “White people aren’t racist,” and, “I care about you,” before the vehicle she was in starts to back away. Her husband, who had led his wife to the vehicle, turns to the camera and asks, “Who ... do you think you guys are?,” using an expletive. Then, as someone is standing behind the vehicle, Jillian Wuestenberg jumps out and points a handgun in the direction of a person who’s recording. She screams at people to get away from her and her vehicle. A woman shouts, “She’s got a gun on me!” and urges someone in the parking lot to call the police. Wuestenberg then lowers the gun, climbs into the passenger seat and the vehicle drives off. Cooper, the prosecutor, told The Associated Press that her office viewed the available video and looked at the facts before filing charges. “It is an unfortunate set of circumstances that tempers run high over, basically, not much of an incident,” she said of the initial alleged spark that caused the confrontation. Bouchard said people are “picking sides” and that threatening calls were made to the sheriff’s office dispatch center after the videos were posted online. “We don’t see sides. We see facts,” he said. “There’s a lot of tension in our society, a lot of tension among folks and people with each other. I would just say this, we are asking and expect our police — and rightfully so — to deescalate every situation they possibly can, and we should be doing that. But I would say that needs to happen with us individually in our own lives and situations, that we interact with each other and deescalate those moments.” The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • The United States Geological Survey reported that a 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck this morning near Puerto Rico around 9:55 a.m. EDT. The quake was felt across the U.S. territory and is the latest in a series of tremors that began in late December and have damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Ángel Vázquez, who oversees the emergency management agency in Ponce, said a house collapsed in the town of Lajas. The house was empty and slated for demolition, according to Kiara Hernández, spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Security. Víctor Huérfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told The Associated Press that the tremor is an aftershock related to the 6.4-magnitude quake that struck in early January, killing at least one person and causing millions of dollars in damage. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • With The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race postponed this year, the Atlanta Police Department warned people against running or walking the course on the Fourth of July. APD noted in a tweet Friday that the course will not be closed to car traffic on Independence Day. With hashtags including #MyPersonalPeachtree and #APDCares, the police department said in the tweet that people should avoid running or walking the course on Saturday for safety reasons. >>Read MORE on AJC.com. [Summary]
  • The Washington Redskins issued a statement that they will “undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” “This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Majority owner Daniel Snyder said in the the statement. Snyder had previously shown no indication he would change the name since buying the team in 1999, but was quoted in the release. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he supports “this step.” The title sponsor of the Washington Redskins’ stadium, FedEx asked the NFL team to change its name in a statement Thursday. The company paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Amid the national debate over race, pressure has been mounting on the organization to abandon the name called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates. Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo and other sponsors asking them to request a change. FedEx is believed to be the first to take action. Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store Thursday evening according to The Associated Press. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for “Redskins” came up with no results. The team last week removed the name of racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame at FedEx Field, and a monument to him was removed from the site of the old RFK Stadium. Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser also said the name was an “obstacle” to the team returning to the District. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and it is still talking to Washington, Virginia and Maryland about building a new stadium. The Associated Press contributed to this story.