It was the middle of Wednesday afternoon before the sun warmed my January garden to where a walk was actually enjoyable. Here is what I found among the shiny acorns and withered leaves:
A SHINY ACORN to the young couple in Andalusia, Ala., who just named their baby boy Krimson Tyde. Obviously University of Alabama fans, the boy’s mother (Summer Steele) told news outlets, “To people speaking negatively about us naming him Krimson, it's not their child nor family member so if they have nothing nice to say they don't need to say nothing at all.” (According to State of Alabama records, 25 girls born in 2012 were named Crimson and six more girls were named Auburn.)
A WITHERED LEAF for the tragic news and great sadness thousands of us feel as we learn Sis Morgan, wife of legendary wrestling coach Jim Morgan, died on New Year’s Eve. I remember when Jim, who was the wrestling coach at UTC during some of the best days I ever spent, was dating the pretty physical-education instructor and, when they got married, I told Jim it was his greatest victory in life. Several years ago one of their boys died, James David, so at least heaven’s reunion was sweet.
A SHINY ACORN to the football replay that confirmed the 7-yard completion from Peyton Manning to Eric Decker during Sunday’s 34-14 win over Oakland was legitimate. Peyton passed for 266 yards in the game, setting a single-season passing record with 5,477 -- one more yard than Drew Brees’ 2011 record. Manning sat on the bench during the second half after throwing 5 TDs and completing 25-of-28. Incidentally, 5,477 yards equals 3.28 miles.
A WITHERED LEAF for the uneasy feeling I got on New Year’s Days where I studied the University of Tennessee’s football schedule for 2014. The SEC games are: Sept. 27 - at Georgia; Oct. 4 – FLORIDA; Oct. 18 - at Ole Miss; Oct. 25 – ALABAMA; Nov. 1 - at South Carolina; Nov. 15 – KENTUCKY; Nov. 22 – MISSOURI; Nov. 29 - at Vanderbilt. (As Jay Greeson likes to bellow, “OUCH-standing!”)
A SHINY ACORN for the exemplary life of Freddie Lupton, a kind and gentle man who was the first heart transplant patient I ever knew after he received a female heart, of all things, back in 1990. An engineer by trade, he helped many thousands of people for decades through his philanthropic efforts. He lived a full 81 years, too, giving hope to so many transplant survivors, and what better way to embrace his memory than to sign the back of your driver’s license right now. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Rivermont Presbyterian Church.
A WITHERED LEAF to the University of Florida, which will hardly take the place of Dalvin Cook, a sensational high school running back from Miami who just bolted from the stunned Gators to Florida State. Cook, who will enroll at FSU next week, is one of 13 four-star prospects in the Seminoles’ 2014 recruiting class, now ranked sixth overall in the country.
A SHINY ACORN to the state of Hawaii for figuring out how to get a native woman’s name on her driver’s license. Really. Janice "Lokelani" Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has a surname that consists of 35 letters plus an okina, a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet. She is so happy but it would almost be worth it to see her sign a check. Oh, and if you see her on the street here’s how you pronounce her last name: “KAY'-ee-hah-nah-EE'-coo-COW'-ah-KAH'-hee-HOO'-lee-heh-eh-KAH'-how-NAH-eh-leh”
A WITHERED LEAF to the New York Daily News. In a promotion leading up to this year’s Super Bowl in East Rutherford, they have been touting the best players of all time by positions. Chattanooga native Reggie White is among ten defensive linemen picked as finalists but how they left New England’s John Hannah off the list of the best offensive linemen is incredible. Hannah attended Baylor School before becoming an All-American at Alabama.
A SHINY ACORN to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife for giving the largest donation to charity in 2013. According to Chronicle of Philanthropy, the 18 million shares of Facebook transferred to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation was a gift of $990 million. Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife were second with a $500 million pledge to the University of Oregon’s cancer research project.
A WITHERED LEAF, perhaps fitting, to Steve “Heyduke”Judish who plunked down $30 cash and walked out of a Colorado marijuana store yesterday with 1/8 ounce of Larry OG, a potent strain of pot that the “connoisseurs” prefer for its rush. Judish was among the first people in America to legally buy pot. “It’s cool to be part of history,” he smirked.