As I catch my breath on this last Saturday in February and wonder is it yet safe to declare we’ve enjoyed a mild winter, allow me to empty my pockets and find what intrigues me.
I AM A HUGE ADMIRER of Tim Tebow and I’ve no doubt the First Baptist Church of Dallas has been a living testament to Jesus Christ down through the years. So imagine how saddened I am by the news the NFL quarterback is cancelling a talk that was planned at the Texas church in April because it is a no-win situation for Christians everywhere.
“While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church in Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance,” the star quarterback said in a statement.
“I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all your love and support. God Bless!”
Apparently the church’s outspoken and sometimes controversial pastor, Robert Jeffress, scared Tebow away with his very rigid views that some Christian congregations are destined for hell, along with Jews, Muslims and Mormons. Jeffress is free to worship as he believes, but Tebow has avoided controversy in his more forgiving stance and, apparently, the former Florida star became uncomfortable with his commitment.
FORBES MAGAZINE HAS just listed America’s “Most Miserable Cities” and Detroit has been chosen the dubious winner. Next were Flint, Mich., Rockford, Ill., Chicago and Modesto, Calif. Detroit was characterized by its high crime rate, unemployment, financial crisis and rapidly declining population
Other places you don’t want to vacation are the next five – Vallejo, Calif, Warren, Mich., Stockton, Calif., Lake County, Ill., and New York City. The only Southern city mentioned was Atlanta – No. 16 – while Miami, last year’s No. 1, didn’t make the Top 20.
IF YOU ARE ONE of those who think defamed Lance Armstrong did the right thing with his “tell all” on the Oprah Winfrey “spectacular,” you might remember the sage advice, “You can never be quoted on what you do not say.” Because of what Armstrong did indeed say, former cycling teammate Floyd Landis sued Armstrong in a “whistle-blower” action this week and yesterday the U.S. Department of Justice pounced by announcing it would join Landis’ case.
FORMER McCALLIE SCHOOL boarding student Teddy Turner, who is running for Congress in South Carolina, has gone on record as saying when his famous father married Jane Fonda, she turned Ted Sr., also a McCallie boarder years ago, into a liberal.
“I was raised in a different time in the Turner household,” said Teddy, still a conservative. “It was a very conservative household with capitalism and all that kind of stuff. Incidentally, Teddy is running against former Governor Mark Sanford in the primary, who you’ll remember ran aground in the sea of scandal a few years back with an Argentine lover.
And here’s one: Of all the boys who have been boarding students at McCallie, only one was ever allowed to enter in the seventh grade – that would be Ted Turner Sr. who credits men like the late John Strang and Houston Patterson for forming his life, albeit before he … er, met Jane.
A PREACHER in Pigeon Forge, Joel Arwood, has bragged to his congregation at the Family Chapel Church of God he was exorcising a demon when he “punched the devil and knocked the devil’s tooth out.” But now the guy who was having the demon cast out has filed a $3.7 lawsuit in Sevier County. Andrew Byrd says the pastor and other jumped him, knocking out the tooth and damaging other teeth in the process.
TEXAS INMATE CARL Blue was executed this week after sitting on Death Row for 18 years. He received the death penalty after he dosed his former girlfriend with gasoline and ignited it. His last words were “Cowboy Up! I’m fixin’ to ride and Jesus is my vehicle.”
THE ALABAMA SENATE voted 29-0 on Thursday to give the state’s Pardons and Parole Board permission to issue posthumous pardons for the famed “Scottsboro Boys,” nine blacks who were believed to be tried unfairly in the rape of a woman in 1931. Mike Hubbard, the Speaker of the state House, expects the bill to pass easily and finally correct what some historians feel is one of the greatest travesties on record in the state. Eight of the nine were sentenced to death, which was later commuted but ruined the lives of all nine.
FINALLY, I WAS reminded yesterday that Feb. 22 was the 33rd anniversary of what I consider one of the most thrilling sports events these eyes have ever seen – the “Miracle on Ice” where the USA hockey team won the gold with a 4-3 upset over Russia at Lake Placid. I still don’t understand hockey, but that night I knew exactly what it meant. Wow … 33 years!