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Freezing Friday

January 7 — Chad, Collin, and Amy here with your weekend Draft. 

🥶 After a very cold morning (<30° as we hit send), it'll be partly sunny with a high of only 38° today.

💆 Mindbody's annual ranking of the 50 healthiest U.S. cities has Atlanta in 4th place, behind Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego. 

🌱 Celebrate this distinction by heading over to Mellow Mushroom, where it's "Veganuary"  and they are offering the “Miss Mushroom” and the "Greek Goddess" made with cheeses by plant-based foods outfit Follow Your Heart.

🎨 Tomorrow, the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art will host an opening reception for “Something to Declare,” a group exhibition featuring over 20 Latin-American artists from the eastern U.S.  The show runs through Mar. 20. 

🙌 The 12-sided chapel at the corner of Ralph McGill Blvd. and Piedmont Ave., formerly the headquarters of the North Georgia Methodist Conference, has been transformed into the Revival Lofts.


🍎 Atlanta Public Schools is preparing to reopen schools for in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 10, with new protocols to mitigate the COVID-19 surge.

🎥 Tyler Perry Studios is requiring vaccinations for casts and crews in Zone A — actors and those who come in close proximity to them.

⚖️ Today in Washington, a special session of the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about vaccine mandates. Via NPR, "All of this will play out in front of a Supreme Court with all the justices vaccinated and boosted, sitting in a near-empty chamber, with an audience limited to reporters, counsel and court staff, and in a building that is closed to the public to protect those who work there." 

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is  stories ➼

• A historic city council in Sandy Springs + political briefs
• A 'Red Rocket' film review

• My Top 5 Something: Jeff Dantzler
• Friday sports update

Have a great weekend and don't miss our Punk Foodie underground dining guide at the bottom of this email.
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1. Melody Kelley makes history 

🏛️ Sandy Springs’ first Black elected official was sworn into office Tuesday.

Dr. Melody Kelley, a chemistry professor and community advocate, took her oath of office on Jan. 4. She represents District 2 on the city council. 

“While the historic nature of this victory is not lost on me, I hope to contribute substantively as well as symbolically,” Kelley said. “To that end, I am committed to representing all of District 2. I enthusiastically await what lies ahead for our community.”


Melissa Mular joined Kelley as the other new face on the city council, taking the District 3 seat.

Mayor Rusty Paul began his third consecutive term as the city’s mayor. He’s only the second mayor in Sandy Springs’ history, following city founder Eva Galambos.

Incumbents John Paulson (District 1), Jody Reichel (District 4), Tibby DeJulio (District 5), and Andy Bauman (District 6) were also sworn into office for another four-year term.


✍️ Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that he supports a so-called “constitutional carry” bill that would allow eligible Georgians to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

➼ Yesterday, Kemp joined U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, and hundreds of other mourners at a memorial service for the late U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson

⏩ Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens' transition team will be led by Sharon Gay and Howard Franklin and includes former Mayor Sam Massell, APS Superintendent Lisa Herring, and others.
2. FILM REVIEW: 'Red Rocket'

📽️ Writer and director Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket” takes place in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, when Mikey Saber (Simon Rex), returns to his hometown of Texas City after a years-long stint in Los Angeles working as an adult film star. Down on his luck, he convinces his estranged wife Lexi (Bree Elrod) and mother-in-law Lil (Brenda Deiss) to take him in, promising protection and to help around the house. 

The film has that quintessential Baker feel, with lush cinematography from Drew Daniels finding the beauty in landscapes not typically thought of as beautiful. “Red Rocket” also reflects Baker’s signature sense of humor.

But the film’s contempt for its central character is framed by haphazard depictions of former President Donald Trump’s rise to power, turning Mikey into a parable that the audience can look down on rather than engage with as a real person. “Red Rocket” is a compelling story about one guy’s tendency to bulldoze through the lives of everyone around him. But dig a little deeper, and it becomes a hastily tacked together attempt at understanding Trump’s America.

Read Sammie’s full review here.
3. Go Dawgs with Jeff Dantzler

🏈 As noted below, college football takes center stage again in Monday night’s National Championship game. It’s a rematch of the SEC Championship game that Alabama won decisively on December 5. 

Since then, however, Georgia has regained momentum, easily dispatching of previously ascendent Michigan at the Orange Bowl last weekend. For Dawg fans, that was a hopeful sign that Kirby Smart’s team has what it takes to capture Georgia’s first national championship since 1980. 

Jeff Dantzler is no ordinary Georgia fan. A native of Statesboro, Dantzler has been working in and around Georgia sports since 1991. These days, he’s a member of the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network team, where he hosts a post-game show with Hall of Fame kicker, Kevin Butler. Dantzler also writes a regular column for our friends at Bulldawg Illustrated

We asked him for his Top 5 Georgia Football memories of the year.  Connect with Jeff and tell him what you think via @JeffDantzlerTV.

The blocked punt by Dan Jackson which was recovered by Zamir White for a touchdown against Arkansas. That was a top-ten matchup and an enormous play. The stadium was absolutely electric, as loud as I’ve heard it in a long time. It was a high point in an incredible season.

Chris Smith’s interception return for a touchdown against Clemson was the most important play of the year. It made the difference in a 10-3 victory over the Tigers that gave Georgia a jump start to the season. When Georgia emerged victorious, I think we all felt that something special was possible. 

Nakobe Dean’s interception return for a touchdown against Florida was a sparkling moment in the season. It was a tight game. The Bulldogs forced two turnovers to increase the lead to 17-0, and then Dean stepped in and made the play of the day, electrifying Georgia fans. 

Brock Bowers catch and run against the Yellow Jackets, when he outraced three defenders to give Georgia a 24-0 lead, was sweet. He made so many great plays throughout the year, and this was at the top of the list. It’s the most important game of the year to me, and this was my top moment the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The Orange Bowl victory over Michigan was awesome. It had been so long since Georgia had been to Miami or played the Wolverines, and the 34-11 triumph was spectacular. The halfback pass for a touchdown from Kenny McIntosh to A.D. Mitchell was the play of the day in a memorable triumph.
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4. The Sports Section

Friday is sports day. Not ESPN-level sports, but enough sports to help you feel like you can sound interesting at work. 

🏈 All eyes are on Indianapolis where the Georgia Bulldogs, the nation's top-ranked team for most of the season, face the Alabama Crimson Tide, the nation's current top-ranked team, in the National Championship game. 8 p.m. (TV: ESPN) 

🇦🇺 No vax, Novak.

Defending Australian Open champion, and 20-time Grand Slam winner, Novak Djokovic, was denied entry into Australia because he is unvaccinated. Djokovic's visa was canceled and he is currently detained in an immigration detention hotel. A decision on the next steps has been punted to Monday. Overnight, Renata Voracova joined Djokovic as the second professional tennis player in the same situation.

Australia's Prime Minister said, "There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever." 

🏀 The Hawks' Trae Young seems to have recovered from his recent bout with COVID. Young scored a career-high 56 points on Tuesday night against Portland. Atlanta lost that game but rebounded and beat Sacramento on Wednesday.

They are in Los Angles tonight against the Lakers at 10 p.m. (TV: ESPN)  Young, above via @Hawks Instagram, is third among guards in the first All-Star fan voting. 

⚜️The Falcons have been eliminated from the playoffs, but they can play spoiler this weekend when they face archrival New Orleans at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Sunday, 4:25 p.m. (TV: FOX)  

⚽ Three Atlanta United defenders have been called to the U.S. men's national team's training camp in Phoenix. Miles Robinson, George Bello, and Brooks Lennon will train with the national team as it prepares for World Cup qualifying at the end of January.
Eat well this weekend.

Our partner Punk Foodie has the lowdown on the underground dining scene. We've got our eye on the Haitian BBQ at @scofflawbeer today and the banana pudding in Adair Park tomorrow afternoon @metatl.
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