Roy Exum: Pockets Full Of Notes

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

People who get to know me soon learn I horde notes in almost every pocket about stupid stuff that interests me and I can hardly wait to share with others. So as I sort through my khakis before wash-day arrives, here is some of the stuff that has caught my eye:

* * *

Out of Dallas comes word that the average price for a ticket from an online provider to this September’s college football game between Alabama and Texas A&M is now $696 each and – if you want to buy two in Mezzanine Level 215 in College Station – StubHub is offering a pair on Row 26 (seats 5 & 6) for $999,999.

The game, being played on Sept. 14, is easily the toughest college ticket of the summer and Texas A&M officials say they have never seen anything like the demand that will pit Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel against the defending national champions. Alabama is No. 1 in most preseason polls and Texas A&M is in the top five.

Other tickets hotter than the summer sun? These are average prices, according to Veritix, a company specializing in online ticket sales of other high-demand games this fall:

$636 -- LSU vs. Texas Christian in Cowboy Stadium on Aug. 31.

$614 – Southern Cal at Notre Dame on Oct. 19

$544 – Texas A&M at LSU on Nov. 23.

$434 – Ohio State at Michigan on Nov. 30

$428 – LSU at Georgia on Sept. 28.

* * *

I don’t put a whole lot of confidence in reader polls, but the Nashville Tennessean gave a “multiple choice”  to its customers the other day about just who they thought Eric Snowden was after he leaked National Security Agency documents and went on the lam. There were 43 percent who voted “a fugitive who jeopardized the nation’s security” but – get this – 32 percent believed he is “a hero who exposed the NSA.” Wow! Another 20 percent voted he “is a person whom I know too little about to make a judgment” and the remaining 3 percent felt “is a person I don’t care about.”

* * *

Put me down as “confused” after a Monday story written by me said Larry Wheelon, the horse trainer who is alleged to have sored horses, was going to trial in Maryville, Tenn., on Monday. Only until I searched for what happened did I realize my dates were mixed up and the arraignment is actually scheduled for today. I apologize for the mistake but not for the exposure that I believe should be shined on people who are charged with abusing horses.

* * *

Anyone who has enjoyed white-water rafting on the Ocoee River or other areas should watch the drama unfolding in Greenville, S.C., where a huge fight between the U.S. Forest Service and paddlers is about to go to the Court of Appeals and perhaps the Supreme Court.

The Forest Service prohibits access to the river’s headwaters for a good part of the year while kayakers and rafters say a 2012 management plan is unfair. The lower two sections of the river are open all year. A lawyer for the paddlers, Nathan Galbreath, wonders “Why has there been a dispute about this for over a decade when it was a complete non-issue?” The Chattooga River was where the film “Deliverance” was filmed in 1972 and, incidentally, a Florida man was killed while rafting last week near Long Creek.

* * *

Call me crazy but I believe Southern chef Paula Deen is getting a bad shake. I regret she said the N-word a long time ago, but I’ve got to admit, much to my shame, I probably said it, too,  when I was a little kid also growing up in the South.

It is something I have been ashamed of for well over 50 years, just like cussing, but no word assaults my senses like the N-word. That said, what about her freedom-of-speech rights under the First Amendment? From strictly a legal sense, wouldn’t the Constitution apply, just as it would to other slurs that plague our society?

Here is what the activist Rev. Al Sharpton just said: "A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago. I think she has a lawsuit now about activities now whether it was discriminatory. And whether or not she's engaged in things now. It's not about her past...

“She deserves what's fair, but that's based on what she's engaged in now,” he said. “You cannot deal with what is fair or not fair until we see an outcome of the present circumstances she is accused of, not something that happened 20 years ago." (I agree whole-heartedly.)

* * *

Mothers of teenagers everywhere better start saving up because on Aug. 1, the shoe giant adidas will introduce its new “Springblade” shoe just in time for school. The new shoe has been in the works for six years and the sole is made out of 16 “blades” of transparent, highly elastic polymer that – get this – returns energy forward with each step.

Mikal Peveto, director of running at adidasAmerica, said the new shoe causes two reactions, “The first is ‘Holy cow!’ except no one really says ‘cow.’ Then, because it’s so visually striking, the natural human reaction is, ‘Can this possibly work?’” The shoes are expected to retail for $180.

* * *

Radford University, which graduated 1,300 scholars last month, is recognized as one of the top schools on the Eastern Seaboard so let’s blame the “spell-checker” for the fact the third “i” in Virginia was missing on the diplomas that were handed out.

* * *

According to the Pew Research Center, a recent survey found that one-word descriptions are often used to rate the popularity of President Barak Obama. A news release included this paragraph: “The survey finds that the one-word impressions people have of Obama have changed a great deal throughout his presidency. Terms like ‘incompetent’ and ‘liar’ now are among the most frequently used words to describe Obama. In April 2009, when his job approval was at 63 percent, these words were rare.” (Just so you’ll know.)

* * *

After a day of delays, mechanical failures, re-routings and cancellations on her way from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta, a lady named Jesse Frank was giving up hope in her efforts to collect her daughter from “Camp Kudzu,” a special camp for children with Type-1 diabetes “where they feel normal for five days a year.” She was eighth on the stand-by list.

But – wait – a man came forward to give her his seat and help her with her bag. He made sure she was comfortable and then went inside the cockpit to lower a jump-seat and ride with the pilots. Only when the plane landed did a flight attendant announce they had a special guest aboard and did Jesse Frank learn the identity of her shining knight.

By now thousands have read a letter Mrs. Frank posted on her Facebook account that read, in part, “You, Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta, did all that for me, just an average, middle-aged, woman with, as far as anyone at Delta knew, no special reason to get home." Mrs. Frank pledged allegiance to Delta for life, while Anderson preferred not to comment.

royexum@aol.com

Adidas To Launch New Springblade Shoe
Adidas To Launch New Springblade Shoe
- Photo2 by Adidas

Roy Exum: Not Many Know This

The best story of the summer – by far – came out of Panama City over the Fourth of July weekend when over 80 total strangers on a Panama City beach responded to screams. Two boys, ages 14 and 11, were caught in a rip tide and all of these “angels” quickly formed a human chain -- over 80 people with their arms locked -- to stretch out in the water, reach those kids and tug them out ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Jake

Two weeks ago four of us piled in a car to go down to Canton, Ga., so we could tell Jake Butcher goodbye. Bob McKamey, former mayor Ron Littlefield, a dazzling guy named Steve Wilson, and myself. This would be the last time any of us would see Jake. It was a spectacular day and anyone who doesn’t believe in such goodbyes is missing out on the greatest moment in their life. It is ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council Votes 4-2 To Pass A 46-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Cleveland City Council, with scant public notice, voted 4-2 on first reading on Monday afternoon to approve one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. Richard Banks, Bill Estes, Tom Cassada and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson voted for a 46-cent property tax boost. Opposed were Charlie McKenzie and David May. Dale Hughes and Mayor Tom Rowland were absent ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Team Wins 17U Division I AAU National Championship

Team NLP(TN) from Chattanooga won the 17U Division I AAU National Championship on Sunday with a 61-56 victory over the Miami Runnin' Rebels. The game was televised on ESPN. Team NLP(TN) program is coached by Brainerd High School Assistant Coach, Steve Cook Jr (Chattanooga Christian High School graduate), while E'Jay Ward (Brainerd High School graduate) serves as his assistant ... (click for more)

Lookouts Rally Falls Short In Sunday's 6-4 Loss At Mobile

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Sherman Johnson hit a two-run double in the second inning, and Alberto Triunfel singled three times as the Mobile BayBears topped the Chattanooga Lookouts 6-4 on Sunday.  Trailing 6-1, the Lookouts rallied for three runs in the eighth inning but that would be all for the night. Lookouts starting pitcher Felix Jorge (8-2) was shelled for the second ... (click for more)