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.

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

The Message Of The GOP Is Hate And Division

Maybe it is me.  Maybe it is me that thinks the likes of Donald Trump or Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and some of the others represent the voting public.  I noticed and watched, again, with horror, that another shooting and killing happened in Colorado yesterday.  Couple that with some of the hysterical rhetoric of the Republican Party and wonder, or I do, just what is happening ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At McKee Bakery Plant 2; Damages Listed At $15,000; Propane Tanks Were Near Blaze

Fire broke out at a McKee Food plant at Collegedale on Saturday night. At 6:45 p.m. , an employee at McKee Foods called 911 call reporting a fire at McKee Foods Plant 2 located at 10260 McKee Dr. Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting flames 15 feet high at one end of the building of Plant 2. According to fire officials, ... (click for more)

Woman Shot Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

A woman was shot while driving on Saturday night. Just after  9 p.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the face. The victim was driving a vehicle when the vehicle was struck by gunfire. She  ... (click for more)

UTC Defeats Fordham, 50-20, in FCS First Round Game

 "UTC has one of the best defensive lines we have played against all season ... character guys and no trash talking." -- Fordham Quarterback Kevin Anderson in post game comments    Senior quarterback Jacob Huesman threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 154 yards to lead UTC to a 50-20 victory against visiting Fordham ... (click for more)

Red Bank Comeback Trips Hixson In Vandergriff Duals

The last time Red Bank's wrestling Lions faced the Hixson Wildcats in the Hixson gym, Hixson won a close match to earn a spot in the State Duals. These same two teams squared off at Hixson Saturday afternoon in the championship match of the Vandergriff Duals, but the results were different as the Lions rallied for a 34-31 win. Red Bank had won its pool at Hixson Middle ... (click for more)