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Latest from Jay Black

    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
  • ATLANTA – Two years ago in a building that’s now in ruins, Kirby Smart was the center of the Bulldog universe. While Alabama was getting to set win another SEC Championship, Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator was set to become the next head coach of the University of Georgia. It was the worst kept secret in the state. All that was left was for the Crimson Tide to finish their season, which they did in spectacular fashion. Less than 24 hours after it was over Kirby was to be anointed king of Bulldog Nation. Two years later, Smart has bestowed upon his subject the riches and glory they were dreaming about. The Georgia Bulldogs are SEC Champions. Two years ago, they were TaxSlayer Bowl Championship. I don’t think the latter trophy sits quite as prominently in the case inside the Larry Munson Trophy Room. “I’m so happy,” said Smart, dripping wet from his Gatorade shower, right after the 28-7 win over Auburn became official. “It’s awesome. For the Dawg Nation. For everybody.” It is the unbridled joy that Georgia Bulldogs fans were hoping for – and some expecting – on December 6 th 2015. But the reality sure does feel better than the dream doesn’t it? Yes it’s certainly not uncommon for a coach to walk out of Atlanta with the SEC hardware in his hand. Obviously UGA fans watched Mark Richt do the same thing in 2002. But the SEC of 15 years ago isn’t quite the same as it is now. Take nothing away from Richt, but 2002 Arkansas isn’t winning the SEC West anymore. And that’s been the problem. While this league has been the most dominant it’s ever been, Georgia was left behind. The teams that won the SEC went on to bigger and better things. Alabama won its national championships. Florida got a couple. LSU got theirs. So did the fighting Cam Newtons. Georgia was left with a few division titles, some bowl swag and a fan base wondering how it got left in the dust. Now the Dawgs have caught up and they’ve done it faster than I thought they would. I was clear that I thought Mark Richt deserved the chance to fix what was broken, but I never had any problem with Kirby Smart coming in if Richt didn’t get that opportunity. I am not surprised that he has pulled this off. I am surprised that he’s done it two years after I watched his Alabama defense leave Florida in the same shape the Georgia Dome is now (by the way, if you want to make yourself sad, walk by the implosion site next week). But after that day, it didn’t take his players long to realize that the right guy was leading them. “Yeah, I remember,” said Nick Chubb, with the 2017 SEC Championship hat on his head. “(I was) happy the first day he came and spoke to us. He was busy with Alabama winning the championship, and he came in, and he just looked exhausted. We’re like, man, what’s this man been up to?” Kirby Smart has been a man in a hurry ever since. “The first time he came up to the meeting and then especially like the first practice we had,” said Roquan Smith, the SEC Championship Game MVP. “Just knowing the way he carried himself, high energy, and just the things he says, and he actually backs it up with his actions. He’s an awesome guy.” Awesome is one way to describe it. It has been asked a lot this week if Kirby thought his team was ahead of schedule. He gets annoyed with questions pretty easy, but he’s really sick of this one. “There is no schedule to winning championships,” Smart kept saying over and over again. “There is no schedule. The only thing is what you have and what you do with what you have.” What Kirby Smart had in year one wasn’t much. You can certainly there was more to that team than 8-5, but it was not worthy of winning much more than the Liberty Bowl. After that regular season was over, it was looking like Georgia was going to lose even more. But it didn’t. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy all chose to stay. They obviously knew that something special could happen here. “This is why we came back,” said Sony Michel during the post game celebration. “To be back with my boys. Words can’t explain how I feel.” It doesn’t take a genius to know if those four players don’t come back, this day doesn’t happen. But they did and it has. Chubb has now rushed for more yards than everybody to ever play SEC football save one guy named Herschel. Michel will likely cross 1,000 yards in the bowl game. That duo would become the first at UGA to do that in one season. Carter, Bellamy and Smith have given UGA a linebacking core no one in the country can rival. But they still had to win. And this team still had so many questions marks when the season began. The offensive line wasn’t good enough. The secondary was thin. What about special teams? Then less than a quarter into the season, a freshman backup became the starting quarterback. Kirby Smart was not a happy guy when he found out he might have to play another season with an 18-year-old pulling the strings. That makes this even all the more impressive doesn’t it. Georgia is SEC Champions, doing it the hard way. “This is incredible,” said Fromm, moments after winning the title over Auburn 28-7. “It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog.” No kidding. For the first time since the National Championship season of 1980, Georgia has beaten every team it’s played. No the Dawgs are not unbeaten, but they got Auburn back in the game that matters most. Now for the first time ever, Georgia is going to the College Football Playoff. It could be a trip back to New Orelans or the Dawgs could be going to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 75 years. But that is for tomorrow. Tonight, the red and black flag flies first on the SEC banner. In two years, Kirby Smart has led his alma mater, the University of Georgia, to the SEC title. UGA wanted to become what Alabama is. A team that cracks your head open on defense and pounds it down your throat on offense. And a team that wears rings when it walks out the door. Check, check and check. Georgia is SEC Champions and not a moment too soon.    
  • 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

  • The wedding band has been in his family for more than a hundred years. So, when he noticed it was no longer on his finger at Saturday's Georgia football game, Stuart Howell said his heart dropped.
  • Congratulations to Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña, Jr. on winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award! Acuña finished 2018 with 26 home runs, a .293 batting average and 64 runs batted in. Ronnie ROY. Your 2018 NL Rookie of the Year: @ronaldacunajr24. pic.twitter.com/7b6UX7EIR9 — MLB (@MLB) November 12, 2018 The 20-year-old beat out Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler. Acuña is the first Braves player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award award since Craig Kimbrel in 2011. Before that, Rafael Furcal won in 2000. 
  • A woman who owns land near where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California said Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sought access to her property just before the blaze started because the utility's power lines were causing sparks. It's still not clear what caused the massive fire that started Thursday, killing at least 29 people and destroying the Sierra Nevada foothill town of Paradise. PG&E has said it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the massive fire, minutes before the blaze broke out. The fire started on 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, owned by Betsy Ann Cowley. Cowley told The Associated Press she received an email from the utility on Wednesday telling her that crews needed to come to her property to work on the high-power lines because 'they were having problems with sparks.' PG&E declined to discuss the email when contacted by AP. Two days before the fire started, PG&E told customers in nine counties, including Butte County, that it might shut off their power Nov. 8 because of extreme fire danger. The fire started about 6:30 a.m. that morning. Later that day, PG&E said it had decided against a power cut because weather conditions did not warrant one.
  • The deadly wildfires whipping through California have killed more than 30 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Officials are calling the fires the worst in state history. >> Read more trending news  Celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, Martin Sheen, Gerard Butler and others, are not immune to the flames and have lost homes and property alongside average citizens.  One couple in particular, well-known car enthusiasts and collectors Gary and Diane Cerveny, reportedly lost an irreplaceable collection of classic and rare vehicles worth millions, according to Autoweek. Hotrod.com described the couple as “the best kind of car collectors” and called their collection “eclectic.”  There was a Ferrari Dino, a ’65 Pontiac GTO gasser, a ’66 Dodge Dart, a Marty Robbins NASCAR, a ’66 Dodge Charger, a ’71 Plymouth Barracuda, a ’97 Dodge Viper, a Studebaker kart hauler and perhaps the rarest car in the collection, the one-of-a-kind 1948 Norman Timbs Special. >> Related: Photos: California wildfires kill dozens, destroy entire town The dramatic streamliner was created in the 1940s by mechanical engineer Norman Timbs, according to Conceptcarz.com. The elegant, swooping custom car took over three years to build, then eventually disappeared. It was rediscovered in the desert in 2002 and restored. >> Related: Actor Martin Sheen flees Malibu wildfire; says little chance home survived The Cervenys kept their collection at a shop in Malibu, which has been ravaged by the wildfires.  
  • Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden told county election officials Monday to count absentee ballots even if they lack a voter’s date of birth, as long as the voter’s identity can be verified. Crittenden issued the instructions for county election officials as they face a Tuesday deadline to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election. [READ: Abrams sues for more time; Kemp's campaign says math is clear] Republican Brian Kemp holds the lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams in the race to become Georgia’s governor. Abrams would need to gain more than 20,000 votes to force the race into a runoff. Crittenden’s instructions could affect vote counting in Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 mailed absentee ballots. Gwinnett has the largest number of potential uncounted absentee ballots for Abrams in the state. Many of Gwinnett’s rejections were because absentee ballots contained incorrect birthdate information or insufficient information on the return envelope. [READ: Bourdeaux files motion to delay election certification in 7th District race] Crittenden sent the letter after the State Election Board voted unanimously Sunday night to issue guidance for how local election officials should proceed with their counts. Her letter is meant to reinforce state laws and provide clarification to county election officials, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Rules about vote counting haven’t changed. “What is required is the signature of the voter and any additional information needed for the county election official to verify the identity of the voter,” Crittenden wrote. “Therefore, an election official does not violate [state law] when they accept an absentee ballot despite the omission of a day and month of birth ... if the election official can verify the identity of the voter.” [RUNOFF: Everything you need to know about Secretary of State race] Gwinnett County accounted for 31 percent of all Georgia’s rejected absentee ballots, often because of discrepancies with birth dates, addresses, signatures and insufficient information. Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said she wasn’t surprised at the scrutiny Gwinnett has received because of “the role that both parties saw it playing in their success.” She defended the way the elections office has conducted its business. [READ: Kemp campaign calls Abrams' refusal to concede 'a disgrace to democracy'] “They always focus a lot on figuring out how to deal with the issues that arise,” Nash said last week, “and I have every expectation that they will do that this time around too.”  Gwinnett Elections Board Chairman Stephen Day, a Democrat, has also defended county staff. “There are definitely different political points of view [on the elections board], but we do agree that our staff has acted in the way that the law stated they should act,” Day said following Friday’s closed-door elections board meeting. “We do understand that there are different interpretations of that.”