Roy Exum: My Soggy September Garden

Sunday, September 01, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

As September’s sun begins to bless my garden, I find that my orchids are about to drown and my onion patch is mighty soggy. So far this year we have more than 21 inches of rain than is normal and a wet August – three inches more than normal –  didn’t help matters. But don’t worry … I still have enough to pass out on the first week of college football to those who I think deserve them:

AN ORCHID to Baker Mayfield, who just might have earned a scholarship after the true freshman threw four touchdown passes to lead Texas Tech to a 41-23 win over SMU Friday night. It is believed that Mayfield – who ran for another TD -- is the first non-scholarship freshman to ever start at quarterback in the first game during the BCS era. We already know his coach, Kliff Kingsbury, is the youngest head coach in the nation at 34. (Penn State started true freshman Christian Hackenberg against Syracuse on Saturday but Hackenburg – on scholarship since January – was one of the most widely-recruited high school players in the country last year.)

AN ONION to my Mocs football team for losing the season opener to a good UT-Martin team but it is believed a football team learns more between the first and second game than at any other point during the year. Let’s hope the Thursday night wake-up call will serve as an impetus for the rest of the season.

AN ORCHID to North Dakota State, last year’s FCS champion, for upsetting mighty Kansas State on Friday night. Kansas State, flirting for No. 1 in the late-season polls last year while winning a share of the Big 12 crown, had a measly 55 yards rushing in the humiliating 24-21 loss. (To further heighten the embarrassment, Kansas State unveiled a huge statue of head coach Bill Snyder on Friday.)

AN ONION to the New England Patriots for cutting former Heisman winner Tim Tebow. I would have kept him on the roster as a team leader. Owner Kraft felt the same way, saying earlier in the week, “I’m rooting for him big time,” Kraft said just before the Patriots’  annual kickoff gala. “I’m in his corner, but I have the privilege of letting (coach Bill Belichick) make those decisions. He has a pretty good record doing it.”

AN ORCHID to Alabama and Georgia, two SEC teams the bookies in Las Vegas say will be favored in every game this year. The oddsmakers say the same about Ohio State, Oregon and Louisville. For the record, Georgia will face four teams in the current Top 25 poll while Ohio State and Oregon will each play three teams now rated. Alabama will face two and Louisville has none. (Alabama is favored by 20 points in every game except the Texas A&M match-up on Sept. 14. The Tide is already a 7-point pick in that game.)

AN ONION to Florida Atlantic coach Carl Pellini, who was so addled in the closing minute of Miami’s 31-6 victory over the Owls he called for his quarterback to spike the ball on fourth down rather than try to make a meaningful play. He is dutifully embarrassed over the first-game gaffe.

AN ORCHID to the legions of hysterical Tweeters who alerted the nation Alabama ace quarterback A.J. McCarron was seen wearing a walking boot on his foot Friday night. The Crimson Tide faithful were calling for smelling salts until an exasperated Nick Saban finally cried, “The is the most famous case of ingrown toenail in history. Of course he’ll play!”

AN ONION to an undisciplined Florida team that had six players suspended for Saturday’s opener against Toledo. Two were scheduled to start but cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and backup wide receiver Latroy Pittman reportedly failed drug tests.The other suspended players are all backups: Defensive tackles Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick and offensive lineman Quinteze Williams. It had already been announced that starting linebacker Antonio Morrison is suspended for the first two games.

AN ORCHID to the growth of college football. Last year 49.7 million people attended games and today 51 of the 120 upper-echelon BCS universities are either upgrading their stadiums or building new ones. Eleven new stadiums will be ready for the 2014 season.

AN ONION to the torn meniscus suffered by Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche in the stirring 39-35 win over Vanderbilt Thursday night. Denzel’s brother, Robert, was the most highly recruited high school player in the nation and picked Ole Miss so he could play with Denzel. The injured player should be out for 5-6 weeks but another player, guard Aaron Morris, hurt his ACL and is out for the season.

royexum@aol.com


Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)

A Haven For Small Business Owners

With the latest incentive recently announced by the City of Chattanooga, the community is becoming a haven for small business owners and entrepreneurs.     The small business incentive program is a win-win for both business owners, while at the same time promoting an incentive for hiring full time employees. We all know that small businesses represent the primary ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Hixson Claims Top Spot In 6-AA With Win At Central

Hixson and Central entered their volleyball match on Tuesday tied for first place in District 6-AA as both were unbeaten in three matches. The Lady Wildcats have that top spot all to themselves after pinning a 3-1 defeat on the Lady Pounders in a match held at Brown Middle School's Carole Wilson Gymnasium. Hixson won the first set with ease by a score of 25-12 before winning ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Whips Silverdale, 3-0, In 5-A Volleyball

The effects of losing six straight matches – a league loss to Grace Baptist and five in the Tennessee Tandem tournament – were still bothering Silverdale Baptist Academy in a District 5-A volleyball match at Boyd-Buchanan. But not nearly as much as the Lady Bucs’ sterling play. Boyd-Buchanan (23-13, 5-1 District 5-A), which also lost to Grace last Thursday, gained momentum ... (click for more)