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|Fall Preview: As LGBT leagues get underway, Atlanta’s pro teams press for playoffs|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|September 14, 2012 00:00|
The end of summer marks the start of the annual fall sports leagues. From softball to flag football, gay and lesbian sporting leagues offer a plethora of options for those seeking competitive fun this fall.
On the national stage, three of Atlanta’s professional teams look to shake the city’s reputation of being a “miserable sports town,” as stated by Forbes. The Braves, Falcons and Dream are all poised for post-season action in 2012.
The gay National Flag Football League of Atlanta will kick off its fall season with a day of pre-season games Sept. 16 followed by a shorter-than-normal five-week season schedule.
The Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club kicks off its fall season against the Nashville Grizzlies on Sept. 15. The boys in purple then have several matches against local teams, but the biggest event for the Bucks is the late-October HellFest Rugby Tournament in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 27.
Hotlanta Softball recently announced the cancellation of its Fall 2012 season due to low registration. Other leagues, like the Decatur Women’s Sports League and Southern Softpaw League, will look to fill the void left by Hotlanta’s cancellation.
The Decatur Women’s Sports League will play at Kelly Cofer Park on Friday evenings through Oct. 26; proceeds benefit The Health Initiative.
The Softpaw league benefits local animal nonprofits and charities. Games will be played on Saturdays at the Southside Softball Complex in Atlanta beginning Sept. 15.
Professional teams aim for post-season
The Atlanta Braves are in the heat of the action as the 2012 Major League Baseball season winds down. The Bravos are currently second in the National League East standings behind the Washington Nationals but are fighting for one of two “wild card” spots for the upcoming post-season.
The Braves missed the playoffs the last two years by the slimmest of margins, but the team hopes to make a push down the stretch that would see third baseman Chipper Jones reach the post-season in his final season before he retires.
The Atlanta Falcons hope to finally win a playoff game in the 2012/13 National Football League season under quarterback Matt Ryan. The team has put together four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in team history and has reached the playoffs three of the last four years.
The Falcons season kicked off Sept. 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs, winning the game handily 40-24. The Falcons will next play host to the Denver Broncos on Monday, Sept. 17.
U.S. Olympian and all-star Angel McCoughtry will look to lead the women of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream to a third consecutive Women’s National Basketball Association Eastern Conference title later this month. The Dream reached the finals the last two seasons but were swept each time in three games.
The WNBA playoffs kick off Sept. 27 with the finals culminating sometime in mid October.
Top photo: The ladies of the Atlanta Dream hope to repeat a WNBA finals appearance this October. (by Dyana Bagby)
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