Roy Exum: "Saint Nick" And Other Stuff

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

It took a mere two days after the national championship game for the frenzied among us to declare Alabama football coach Nick Saban the “best college coach of all time.” While it is true his Crimson Tide team won its third national title in just the past four years with Monday night’s 42-14 rout over previously unbeaten Notre Dame, I am solidly of the belief there is no such thing as “the best ever.”

To try to compare “Saint Nick” with Knute Rockne, Eddie Robinson, General Robert Neyland or any of the masterminds over the century is folly. While such a stance might spark a fistfight with another school’s loyalist in some shaggy bar, the fact is there have been far too many variables in each of the decades since Princeton played Rutgers in the first game ever back in 1869.

There are a surprising number who will always believe Saban is not even the best coach in Alabama’s storied history but my bet is the immortal Bear Bryant would adore Nick’s work ethic, his desire to help each athlete to be a better person, and the intensity that has become Saban’s trademark.

According to the seers, Alabama is poised to win another national championship when the Crimson Tide opens this year's season against Virginia Tech in Atlanta (Aug. 31). He has a roster chock full of great athletes but a wise man will remember Alabama lost one game in both 2011 and 2012 en route to those back-to-back titles and that the Southeastern Conference presents the most grueling gauntlet of a schedule year after year.

That said, here is what I find on other notes in my pocket.

* * *

The bullying by her classmates finally got so bad that school officials just called a 12-year-old’s parents to inform them the child was being ruthlessly taunted. The other kids said the girl was pregnant because her tummy kept expanding and the child’s mother administered several pregnancy tests despite the girl’s plea, “There is no way!”

Finally the exasperated mom took the child to the doctor and soon a 19-pound tumor was removed from her abdomen. The girl is now being carefully monitored for a recurrence of the cancer and she is seeing a therapist to overcome the stings and bruising the bullying left behind.

* * *

“This is 911 … how can we help?”

“I’m going to need help getting out before this becomes a medical emergency,” Father Tom Donovan said to the incredulous-sounding dispatcher.

“You’re stuck in a pair of handcuffs?” the dispatcher asked.

“(I was) playing with them and I need help getting out,” the priest of St. Aloysius Catholic Church said, despite a gag he was wearing when police arrived at the rectory in Springfield, Ohio.

Since then the church has made no further comments and Father Donovan is reportedly on sick leave.

* * *

NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett took “trash talking” to a new level during Monday night’s game between the Knicks and the Celtics. Carmelo is currently estranged from reality TV star La La Anthony and Kevin came up with a clever line when he told the fuming Carmelo, “Your wife tastes like Honey-Nut Cheerios.”

And that’s when the fight started. The two had to be separated during the game – each given a technical foul -- but after the Celtics won, 102-96, Carmelo raced to the Boston team bus where police and security agents defused what could have been a bad situation.

"It’s something you just don’t say to men, another man,” Anthony said. “My mindset and motive of going back there to see him at the locker room and seeing him at the bus, I wanted to have a one-on-one conversation with him and talk about it like two grown men.”

The next day Anthony apologized for his actions. “I lost my cool. It just was out of character,” he said. “I allowed some negativity to come into my circle. It’s over with me.”

That is, at least until Feb. 26, when the two teams meet again. And around the NBA Garnett is being called “a cereal offender!”

* * *

The American Academy of Neurology has just released a study that claims soda and fruit drinks – diet and regular – have an increased risk of depression but that coffee drinkers have a lower risk. The report did not mention Honey-Nut Cheerios. So there.

royexum@aol.com


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Roy Exum: Every Child Must Watch This

In the course of my day, I read different websites, am sent all kinds of neat videos and I love the jokes I get. But when I logged onto my ever-bulging email account Thursday morning, I happened across the scariest, most terrifying video I have ever watched. There is a website I check called “Atchuup” that boasts “cool stories daily.” Some are pretty good but this one nearly knocked ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Bounces Back By Whipping Chargers, 39-10

Needing a win after suffering an overtime loss to Tyner last week, Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish quickly found themselves trailing visiting Chattanooga Christian on Friday night at Jim Eberle Field. No sweat. The Irish simply cleaned up their act in the second half. As a result, Notre Dame wiped out a 10-7 deficit by scoring 32 straight points as senior quarterback ... (click for more)

Unbeaten East Ridge Stops Signal Mountain, 35-10

At least for one Friday night, it was shades of great East Ridge runners Charles White and Rodney Ballard. Current East Ridge junior Traneil Moore rushed for 132 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns to help the Pioneers rally for a 35-10 win against Signal Mountain in a high school football game Friday night at Baylor. Playing this home game off campus due to the home ... (click for more)