Saturday, September 19, 2009

virtual reality

Most people in Knoxville probably planned on staying inside today and watching the Tennessee at Florida game on CBS. A few people might switch over to NBC to see if former Knoxville Catholic star Harrison Smith makes some tackles for the Fighting Irish as they take on Webb Michigan State. My wife occasionally flipped over to ABC to see if the Nebraska band got any screen time while at Virginia Tech. A college classmate of hers directs the Marching Red.

Yesterday, I was told I had tested positive for flu. I feel like I only have a cold and fortunately haven't had a fever. That could be thanks to the Tamiflu or the Mucinex D or the ibuprofen I've been taking. The physician's assistant in training told me to get plenty of rest and fluids. As a result, I didn't go to any of the many things happening today.

Although I wouldn't have danced myself, I would have tried to watch some of the Rocky Top Dance Challenge at the downtown Marriott. I also had thought about dropping in on the Hola Festival at Market Square or maybe even Greekfest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. While sitting on my couch, I can revisit the events via my blog posts mentioning the Hola Festival in 2006 and Greekfest in 2005.

My illness has also caused me to cancel dinner plans for tomorrow night. My wife and I were invited to a friend's house. It's a shame because he's an excellent cook. It was again our responsibility to bring dessert and I had decided to try a slight variation of a recipe that intrigued me over a year ago. When we reschedule, I will finally get to taste some brownies with a swirl of Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce substituting for the same company's blackberry sauce.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

punt, pass & cake

Maybe Google Maps was in a playful mood the other day. All I wanted were the directions to Comcast's office on Asheville Highway. Google said I should take I-640. I wanted to see if it would be faster to go through downtown on I-40. I dragged the blue line from 640 to 40 but Google had me getting off the Interstate and taking surface streets. I dragged it back and Google reacted with yet another detour. It took me a moment to realize that the almighty Google doesn't know that SmartFIX40 has been completed since June 12th.

I had been invited to a press conference on the day that additions to Comcast's sports line up were activated. They now carry ESPNU on channel 735. Their high speed Internet customers now get access to at no additional charge. Locally, Comcast will televise seven high school football games. The last game of the season will be chosen by viewers' votes at If you don't have a dog in that fight, do me a favor and vote for Bearden at Catholic once the season starts.

The food at the press conference was themed like a tailgate party. They had mini corn dogs, chips, dip, sandwiches and a cake. The cake was actually two cakes. A football made of pound cake sat atop a field made of sheet cake. I wonder if they got the idea to use pound cake from watching "Cake Boss."

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

parable in progress

Do you believe in forgiving or forsaking? The reaction to the news that Daniel Hood has received a football scholarship from the University of Tennessee makes it clear that some are ready to forgive and many still want to forsake.

Hood was a star player and excellent student at Knoxville Catholic High School. He was admitted to KCHS after being in the custody of the Department of Children's Services and completing a rehabilitation program. At age 13, Hood was convicted for his role in a disgusting sexual assault upon his 14-year-old cousin by her 17-year-old boyfriend. He helped restrain the girl with duct tape, retrieved other objects and then stood by during the worst of the attack. He now wishes that he had stopped the older male. At the time he was afraid that the other man may have had gang affiliations and may have been armed.

Columnists and bloggers partial to other SEC teams were quick to write that the University of Tennessee had signed a convicted rapist to their football team. I wonder if their motivation is fueled more by a dislike of the Vols than by any compassion. One writer points out that Hood's age at the time of the offense is the only thing keeping him from wearing an orange jumpsuit instead of an orange jersey this fall. Even fans of the Vols have their doubts about Hood.

If your child got into serious trouble, how might you react? Would you send him to a military school or a parochial school to get straightened out? In the nearly six years since the assault, Hood has become someone that KCHS principal Dickie Sompayrac is proud of. Hood credits his Christian beliefs for making a different person out of him. Mr. Sompayrac says he is willing to stake the school's reputation on its recommendation of Hood. As a parent of two KCHS graduates, I know Mr. Sompayrac and trust his assessment.

The victim herself is for Hood's redemption, not for revenge. She wrote a letter to UT on her cousin's behalf. I guess it all comes down to whether or not you believe that someone can truly change for the better. We often hear about people who change for the worse. Why shouldn't it work the other way?

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

some will win, some will lose

The Tennessee high school football world was rocked yesterday. A team that has dominated its division for the past several years did something they didn't do last year or the year before or the year before that. They won the state championship. Obviously I'm not talking about the end of Maryville's remarkable winning streak. Knoxville Catholic High School's Fighting Irish got the monkey off their back this year by making it to the Blue Cross Bowl and then winning it. With all the publicity for the football team, you might think that it was the first state championship in the 75 year history of KCHS. Actually, the school's first ever state championships came earlier this year with victories by the tennis and soccer teams.

The game was telecast on CSS. I watched the first half live and recorded the second half to watch after work. Some friends from church happened past my remote broadcast. As they got out of their car, they were bursting with the news that Catholic was winning. I put my hands over my ears and told them that I was TiVoing the game at home.

There was much to enjoy including a successful onside kick and an incredible deep pass by Catholic's quarterback Tyler Williamson. It was not all good news. An Irish field goal attempt was blocked and almost run back for a touchdown. Michael Bonfini and Evan Sanders both left the game with leg fractures. With only seconds to go and the game won, Catholic went into the "victory formation." As the quarterback took a knee, my wife and I noticed that Zach Vann was one of the players on the field. He had suffered a season-ending injury on the first play of this year's first game. Last week Vann dressed out for the coin toss. My wife and I especially liked seeing Mr. Football award winner Daniel Hood carrying the championship trophy over to the fans in the stands. WVLT had a reporter on the field after the game. WATE sent a reporter to interview the team as they got off the bus at KCHS. The players warbled "Don't Stop Believin'" for the camera.

It's not over for two of the Irish. Will Coulter and Jordan Howanitz, were selected to play in the Toyota East-West Football Classic this coming Saturday at Carson-Newman College.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

thankyou, thankyouverymuch

Does your Friday morning routine include a stop at a convenience store? Maybe you can pick up an extra copy of the News Sentinel for me. I want to send copies to my mother, my grandmother and some other relatives. Remember that local Pilot stores give away the paper for free on Fridays during high school football season. Although I'm sure they would enjoy reading a preview of the Catholic at Fulton game, I actually want Mom and Grandma to see Clay Owen's photo of yours truly that will be included with the results of the News Sentinel's annual readers poll.

If you voted for me in the East Tennessee's Best survey, I sincerely thank you. Your votes in the Best Local Blogger category were enough to give me the edge over hundreds of talented local bloggers including the next two top vote getters, Richard Allen and Dave Foulk.

A year ago, I was very surprised to make the top three. You may recall that I placed second, behind Barbie Cummings. "Local Blogger" was a new category last year and I thought that some of the other bloggers might rally their readers to vote in the new poll. I'm all the more complimented that I won without having to ask. The blurb that accompanies the results is really, really nice:
There isn’t much Frank Murphy hasn’t done. You’ve probably heard him on radio station Star 102.1 as one-third of the popular Marc & Kim and Frank Show. He and his wife have done radio commercials for LA Weight Loss. He’s a member of Einstein Simplified, a comedy improv group that performs weekly in Knoxville. He was a judge on “Warehouse Warriors” on the DIY Network. He also likes to nap. A lot.

When he’s not doing all that, Frank writes on his blog. He’s been doing so since August of 2005. He writes about life, love, the Tennessee Valley Fair, swimming, Knoxville-turned-Nashville band Jag Star, body farms, fireworks displays, going to the movies, his love of the world’s largest things, shopping for tuna and fat-free salad dressing at Food City, and the latest on his quest to visit all 50 states. You know, all your favorite stuff.

It’s rare if a day goes by when Frank doesn’t update his blog. It’s also rare if a day goes by when East Tennessee isn’t reading it.
It's appropriate to acknowledge Jack Lail for sending a lot of hits my way earlier this year by linking to my post about Coed Naked Bar Hopping. That entry also got several clicks from the gang at The Sunsphere is Not a Wigshop (who reviewed this week's Einstein Simplified show, by the way). The follow-up post was linked to by Michael Silence.

Speaking of Michael's excellent blog, I got a laugh when the newspaper's photo department emailed me to arrange a meeting, they wrote:
Hey Frank,
KNS readers have voted you ET's Best blogger. Michael Silence was robbed. Can we get a photo of you in action sometime soon?
I think I just might celebrate my victory with a Graceland cupcake. The peanut butter icing and banana cake treat is the featured flavor this week at The Cupcakery.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

replay booth

A packed agenda kept me from watching all the sporting events I wanted to see this weekend, although Friday night's game was only on the radio. My wife and I heard a post-game interview with Luke Smith of Knoxville Catholic High School as we drove home from a dinner party. The description of their game against Baylor and the overtime period made me wish that the contest had been covered by Wazoo Sports. Wazoo offers a live video stream of a high school game each week on their site, which is also picked up by Next Friday they will cover the KCHS at Anderson County matchup. I couldn't get it to work tonight but in the past, I've been able to click on an archived game to see some of Catholic's victory over Austin-East.

I was at work on Saturday and saw none of the Mets game. I caught a little bit of college football. I'm glad Notre Dame won and Florida lost but I feel bad for all the UT fans. The Vols should have won their game against Auburn.

Today I had a work thing downtown at the same time as the Mets game. I recorded the pregame show on TBS, hoping to see some of the "Shea Goodbye" festivities. Thanks to a brief rain delay, I saw none of it. I found out later that most of the stuff I wanted to see happened after the game. The Mets blew the opportunity to make the playoffs and ended their season today.

I've only just now finished watching the Redskins upset victory over the Cowboys. I had to record the game while I went to a table reading for the independent film I'll be in next weekend. I didn't know the score but had a hint that the Redskins had won from my wife's tone of voice. Meanwhile, I found out that the filmmakers still need a few extras for a party scene on Saturday. Send your headshot to

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Friday, September 12, 2008

it swings, it jives

The "canned food curse" almost struck again. For the past several years, Webb School of Knoxville collected more donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank but lost the annual football game to archrival Knoxville Catholic High School. At halftime of tonight's game, Lori Tucker and I announced that Catholic had finally won the High School Football Challenge. Moments earlier, Webb kicked a field goal as time ran out in the first half to take a 9-7 lead. They went up 16-7 in the third quarter. Several people in the stands worried aloud about Catholic's chances. However the Fighting Irish came back to win 20-16.

Lori and I were chatting about our respective kids as we waited for halftime. We each have a college freshman this year. While we were standing there, blogger Missybw of The House of Flying Monkeys came up and introduced herself to us. It was nice to finally meet her after all the nice comments she has posted on my site.

As riveting as our check presentation must have been, the true highlight of halftime was a performance by majorette Sarah Harris. Normally I don't care for baton twirling but Sarah won me over with her musical choice and excellent skills. She performed to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" as covered by Michael Bublé. I know purists will find it ridiculous that "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is my favorite Queen song, yet it is.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

son of glitch

Here's a suggestion for the NFL and DirecTV. Next year, add some preseason games to your fabulous NFL Sunday Ticket subscription package. It's not that I particularly need to see second and third-string squads battling for a place on the roster. Every year the first Sunday of the football season means that it's time to work out some technical problems before being able to watch a game. Why not let us fans get our bugs fixed during the preseason?

The DirecTV Supercast came in handy last year. I often watched games online while at work on Sundays. My first several attempts to log in today failed. The error message told me that the Supercast was only available between noon and 8:15 p.m. There was no way for me to tell it to check its watch and see that it was just after 1:00 p.m. This year, the Supercast uses its own streaming video player powered by Adobe AIR technology. They say it's still possible to watch the feed through a web browser with the latest version of Macromedia Adobe Flash. Unfortunately the computers at work don't have the right software and I don't have the administrative privileges to do anything about it. Once I got home from work today, I gave the Supercast player a test drive and was duly impressed. There was no delay between the video on my television and the video on my computer. The picture quality was very good in the small player, not so much when expanded to full screen. I could easily click between games and the Red Zone Channel. At least next week my son will be able to use my password to watch the Redskins game in his dorm room. During our practice run today, neither he nor I had any trouble viewing the games that were also being shown on broadcast TV in our respective areas.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football Extra" player was less impressive. The bells and whistles are a great idea. It's cool to be able to switch camera angles at will. However the stream was choppy and the picture was a little blurry. During commercial breaks, the NBC feed was replaced with other game highlights presented by studio hosts from the NFL Network. Those hosts and highlights had a much better picture quality than the live game. After a while, the video player tried to cut me off. I had to click "yes" to continue watching. On top of all that, the Internet feed was sometimes delayed from the broadcast by up to ten seconds. I was hoping that NBC would give us picture quality as good as we saw online during the Olympics. Instead I was left wondering if some network executive gave the order to keep the online stream inferior for fear of losing his television viewers to the Internet.

An online promo for Notre Dame football reminded me of something I heard during yesterday's NBC telecast from South Bend. Knoxville Catholic High School standout Harrison Smith is a red-shirt freshman for the Irish. You might remember reading my blog entry when he was being recruited by both Charlie Weis and Philip Fulmer two years ago. When Harrison made a good tackle in yesterday's game, the announcers revealed that the other players call him "Hayseed."

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

achieving critical mass

Don Dare and I were talking as we waited to do a halftime presentation at the Maryville vs. Alcoa game on Friday night. Because Don used to live and work in Missouri, the conversation eventually turned to my recent trip to Branson. Don and I were wondering why Branson has so many more well-known performers than Pigeon Forge.

There are many similarities between the two vacation destinations. Both have plenty of restaurants, hotels, miniature golf courses and other tourist attractions. I noticed a place in Branson offering helicopter tours of the Ozarks, which reminded me of Scenic Helicopter Tours in Pigeon Forge. I took one of their flights when I did a brief schedule of endorsement commercials for them about two years ago. By the way, company president Dan Haynes is offering free helicopter rides this coming Saturday. If you possibly can, make plans to take advantage of this. It's an outstanding way to see the natural beauty of the Smokies.

As I talked with Don, I thought it might just be that Pigeon Forge is now at the stage Branson was twenty years ago and that it would eventually catch up. After giving it some further thought today, I wonder if the answer also lies in the difference between pop and country music. Someone who has lived in Tennessee longer than me would know better but the only big-name theatres I can recall in Pigeon Forge featured country performers like Alabama, Louise Mandrell and Lee Greenwood. Obviously Dollywood sets the tone for the area. As popular as country music is in Tennessee, it may not be enough to pull in tourists from Michigan, Ohio and elsewhere.

I'm not saying there aren't country performers in Branson. Obviously there are. But the big names are Andy Williams, Yakov Smirnoff, Lawrence Welk and Shoji Tabuchi. Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater is populated with oldies acts from the pop charts. Sure Jim Stafford had some success on the country charts but his Branson show is mainstream all the way. Even country acts like The Duttons mix in some classical violin. Branson thrives not because of any one of its performers but because of all of them. Visitors can see a show in the morning, a different show in the afternoon and a third show at night.

One Branson place that appears to be all country is the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum. I took a picture of it because I couldn't believe they chose to erect a statue of Trigger that was so close to being anatomically correct.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

monkey, meet back

The high school football season ended tonight. Well, maybe not for everybody but it did for me. After getting chilled to the core in the stands tonight, my schedule is suddenly free next Friday. Knoxville Catholic High School, favorites to win the state championship, lost in the playoffs again this year. Four of their past five regular seasons have been perfect. Over the last five years, their regular season record is an incredible 49-1. Yet each year a playoff loss keeps them from reaching the championship game and winning the title they deserve.

I thought Jeffrey Faris would confuse the TV sportscasters by wearing Zach "Mini" Vann's jersey in a tribute to the injured player. WATE and WVLT were not fooled. Only WBIR misidentified Faris as Vann.

I agreed with the fans who were very vocal in their criticism of the referees. Maybe Saturday's newspaper will be able to explain what I thought were questionable calls against Catholic. The Irish scored four touchdowns but made only one extra point. Austin-East also scored four touchdowns but made two of their extra points. As a result, Catholic lost 26-25.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

goodbye to you

Terry Morrow wanted to know if I would cancel whatever plans I may have had for last night. He had finagled an invitation to Abby Ham's goodbye party and was bringing me as his guest. Abby and her friends were going to see The Breakfast Club, an '80s cover band. Before the concert we gathered at Patrick Sullivan's. A few WBIR folk were already there including the general manager and the news director.

Abby arrived straight from the airport. She had been on the air in Cleveland only two days so far. As usual, the Knoxville Trivia Blog was on top of it, posting links on Thursday to video clips of her debut that morning. Having seen the link, I knew that WKYC broadcasts the news in HD. Abby said she hasn't watched herself in high definition yet.

Our group filled the seats at the big table in the front window and spilled over to a smaller table nearby. At various times I found myself sitting next to Abby, her fiance, the news director and some people I didn't know. At one point the news director was reading the headlines on his PDA. I asked if he could check the Catholic High football score for me. He said that might be the one thing he couldn't get. What about texting Dan Farkas, I asked. He did and that's how I found out that Catholic won their first round playoff game.

A few of the faces around the table were recognizable from TV. In addition to Abby, I saw Robin Murdoch, Kay Watson (again) and Mike Witcher. The staff presented Abby with a nice digital camera as a going away gift. She promised to use it to have her picture made while standing next to the World's Largest Rubber Stamp. She's already seen the stamp because her new TV station is nearby.

Two of WBIR's producers, Erin and Lee Ann, walked down the street to Blue Cats with Terry and me. Abby and the rest would catch up later. A fairly long line had already formed for the Breakfast Club concert. When I first walked in, I thought a deejay was playing "Footloose" but it was actually the band. Their covers are dead on. We met up with Abby and her friends upstairs on the balcony overlooking the stage. Abby told me that she has seen the same band in Chattanooga recently. She and her friends went there to dance and carry on without being recognized. It didn't work. Somebody spotted Abby right away. Let's say that you and your co-workers wanted to go out for the evening to dance and maybe have a drink. You would just go. Now let's say that you and your co-workers all have recognizable faces from being on the TV. What would you do then?

Before I went home for the night, I had a chance to chat with Abby about her time in Knoxville. She agreed that the morning and noon newscasts in our town were particularly competitive because of the strong anchor teams on WATE and WVLT. Abby especially appreciated all the buzz generated by local bloggers. She feels it helped her career, even though she had to grow a thicker skin to deal with the negative comments posted by some readers. By the way, the fanboys reading this should know that Abby's fiance is a good guy and that they make a great couple. I wish them all the happiness in the world. Do you think they might invite me to the wedding? (No, I don't either.)

I tried to make my exit a couple of times. During one attempt, Abby wanted to get a picture with Terry and me. I will go ahead and post an empty space below where the photo will be once Abby emails it to me. Meanwhile, Terry and the others wanted me to stay until 12:45 a.m. That's when the band would return from intermission and when the lead singer was supposed to make a surprise announcement from the stage about Abby's departure. During the break, I saw two of my improv brothers from Einstein Simplified and a few of our regular audience members. Hey Lance and Marshall, if you want to send me the photos we posed for out in the courtyard, I'll post those too. Anyway, I never heard the big announcement so I left during the second or third song. As I walked back to my car, all I could think about was how surprised my friends were to see me out that late.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

don't let the Quaffle in

Someone placed flyers on all the windshields in the parking lot during last night's high school football game. The papers advertised a website that sells clothing from hundreds, if not thousands of high schools, middle schools and grammar schools all over the country. has a database of school colors and mascot names. If your school is not listed, the site lets you log in to add it. Once you find your school, you can order shirts, pants, hats, and accessories emblazoned with the school name and the sport or activity that you prefer. I had fun looking for the schools I attended and the schools my kids attended. Then I dropped in various interests like school newspaper (for me) and chemistry (for my son) to create pictures of items that never existed until now. The one that amused me most was the St. Finbar Quidditch Team sweatshirt.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday night slights

First time visitors to a Knoxville Catholic High School football game are amazed by the number of players on Catholic's sideline. In addition to the varsity, the team suits up the junior varsity and freshman players for the Friday night games. As you look at the team roster that is printed on the backs of t-shirts throughout the crowd, you'll notice that some players share a uniform number. For example, senior Eric Lindsey and freshman Chase Fox both wear number 17. Lindsey gets a lot of playing time on offense and defense as quarterback and safety.

The local TV sportscasters must not be reading all the way down their roster cards. Tonight two stations showed Lindsey but called him Fox. I heard the error on WBIR and WVLT. WBIR made the same mistake two weeks ago too. On top of that, WBIR misidentified number 26 tonight. The name "Walden" was clearly visible on the player's jersey as they credited Taylor Kennedy with Ryan Walden's touchdown. If you were watching, you saw Walden score on a pass from Lindsey. If you were listening, you heard that Kennedy caught a pass from Fox. I don't know why WATE didn't even bother to cover tonight's game between Catholic and Anderson County. The Irish trailed at halftime but came back to win, 27 - 14.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

somber win

The 54-12 victory had the feeling of a loss at Knoxville Catholic High School tonight. One of the team's best players sustained a leg injury that quieted the normally rowdy crowd. Zak Tait did give a thumbs up as he was lifted into the Rural/Metro ambulance. He is a junior who is already attracting lots of attention from college programs. Zak's signal helped ease the tension somewhat. While he was still laying on the field, the players from both Catholic and Livingston Academy dropped to one knee. Zak's brother Dustin, who is also on the team, knelt apart from all the others, closer to his younger brother. The near-silence was briefly broken by a cry of pain from the field as the trainers tended to Zak's injury. A few fans who didn't realize what was happening were shushed by other fans. Many were choked with emotion as they saw that not only were the players kneeling but so were the cheerleaders and members of the "Catechism Corner Crazies." During the rest of the game, people in the stands talked about Zak's injury. The details were sketchy and unreliable. Someone had heard someone say that they had talked to someone else who had gotten a call from the hospital and so on. What I heard later in the game sounded to me as if it have been embellished from what I had heard at halftime. Only one thing is certain. Everyone wants Zak to make a speedy recovery.

It was up to the band and the drumline to restore the enthusiasm. One of the KCHS drummers is actor Jarron Vosburg, who has guest-starred on "Cory in the House." I don't watch a lot of Disney Channel and didn't know until just now that my former colleague Lisa Arch is also on that show. She has been blogging about her pregnancy and should have given birth some time this week.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

because you can can can

The good-spirited taunting went both ways at the annual meeting of two arch rival high school football teams last night. The fans from Webb School of Knoxville shouted "Where is Harry?" to which the Knoxville Catholic High School fans responded "He's on SportsCenter!" Of course, that's only wishful thinking at this point. As far as I know, KCHS alum Harrison Smith has yet to get any playing time for Notre Dame. Webb countered with "0 and 2," a reference to Notre Dame's dismal season record. If they keep losing, maybe Charlie Weis will give Smith a chance to show why he earned the Mr. Football award last year.

Because Webb hadn't beaten Catholic since 2001, the enthusiastic Irish fans reacted to the "0 and 2" chant by shouting "0 and 5!" Better make that "0 and 6." Catholic defeated Webb 28 to 7 last night. I was there for a presentation at halftime. Both schools collected food and money for the Second Harvest Food Bank. In that competition, Webb outscored Catholic 143.7 to 75.5 pounds of food per student.

Missy at The House of Flying Monkeys thought that the "CBFC was pouring haterade" on her. Can anyone tell me what those initials mean? From where I sat, both student sections seemed plenty loud, until the score got lopsided in the second half and the Webb fans got less noisy. The stands were packed. Some Webb parents were kind enough to let me sit in their section. The guy sitting next to me was the owner of Gridiron Burgers, which I promised to try soon, especially since it's a smoke-free restaurant. I may disagree with Missy about the "haterade" but I'll be the first to admit she is right about the talented Webb cheerleaders.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

look, up in the sky...

Planes towing advertising banners catch my eye. I even get a little frustrated when I can't make out the message due to the distance or the angle. On Friday night a banner plane flew over the high school football game we were attending. I joked to my wife that Pete Michaels might be trying to make a few extra bucks. The banner read "smile --" I clicked over there when I got home. The site belongs to Dave Senn, an enterprising photographer who is selling aerial pictures of several high school fields and of Neyland Stadium.

The high school game had a couple of penalties that were unclear to us in the stands and a couple of big plays worth seeing again. Fortunately for me, WMAK recorded the game and broadcast it last night in HD. The announcers were in a tough spot. From their descriptions and accounts of the game, I thought that they probably couldn't see the field any better than I did from my seat in the stands. They said things like "the ball popped out, no wait it didn't... it's a touchdown." Since I had the benefit of hindsight, it was amusing to me when they praised the team that was destined to lose and when they praised the refs who were destined to make a questionable call later in the game. They gave the cameraman a hard time when he wasn't fast enough to cover one big play. Considering that there's only the one camera and no replay, I thought the cameraman did a pretty good job. After one confusing turnover, the announcers suggested that people at home hit rewind on their TiVo. Perhaps the weirdest thing was at halftime when they left the camera pointed at the band while the microphone only picked up the sound in the press box.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

great googly moogly

It was the Trojans vs. the Fighting Irish in the heat tonight. No, not USC vs. Notre Dame. Instead Morristown West took on Knoxville Catholic High School in the first game of the football season. As we pulled into the parking lot, I heard the radio announcers on the pregame show say that this was Week 0 of the season and that next week would be Week 1. That makes no sense to me.

The Irish returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and soon scored two more when the same player ran a handoff 75 yards and later caught a pass in the end zone. At that point I told my wife and the priest sitting next to us that the score was Zach Vann 21, Morristown West 0. Catholic's remaining points came on a blocked punt. The final score was 28 - 6. By the way, the priest was Fr. Tony Dickerson, an alumnus of Morristown West who drove up to the game from his new assignment in Chattanooga.

Several announcements were made during the game thanking Morristown Ford for supplying a postgame meal for both teams. The auto dealership also displayed a large banner wishing "Gool Luck" to the players.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

speaking of sports

So far no good for the teams I follow. Knoxville Catholic High School's undefeated football season fell apart in the fourth quarter of last night's playoff game. George Mason University raised their Final Four banner this afternoon but lost the basketball game that followed. My sister's husband went to the game and sent the photos you see below. Maybe the Washington Redskins can break this fan's losing streak tomorrow when they start Jason Campbell at quarterback. At least the New York Mets will not lose this weekend.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

sports night

The Mets are struggling in the ninth inning as I write this. It looks like the Cardinals will even up the NLCS after a great Mets win on Thursday night. Tonight the Mets could have used some of those terrific defensive plays from last night. Hey, did you notice the signs at Shea Stadium for

I guess I'm a bigger sports fan than I realized. Since 7:30 p.m. I have been flipping between an exciting high school football game and the Mets playoff game. I left the downstairs TiVo tuned to CSS and the upstairs TiVo tuned to Fox. A couple of times I was able to rewind to see a home run or a touchdown that I would have otherwise missed. At 11:00, I flipped between the three network affiliates to see their coverage of the football game I had just watched between the top two local high school teams. Both Catholic and Fulton were undefeated going into tonight's game. KCHS won the game, 27 - 14.

If I'm still awake at 12:30, college basketball gets added to the mix, as I told you yesterday. I will probably just go to bed and save my Mason Madness viewing for tomorrow.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

booty booty rockin' everywhere

The bucolic town of Bell Buckle is known for at least three things. It plays host to the annual RC & MoonPie Festival; it's the hometown of blogger Katie Allison Granju and it's the site of the original Webb School. There are two other Webb Schools, one in California and one in Knoxville.

Webb School of Knoxville
is also known for at least three things: producing quality athletes like Chad Pennington; graduating some of the brightest students in town and supplying "eye candy" to elaborate birthday parties for fifteen year olds. A story in last Sunday's News Sentinel described the MTV-worthy celebration thrown for Brittany Gibbs. She received a $45,000 BMW as a gift and Bubba Sparxxx provided live entertainment. Here's an excerpt from the article:
Five young hunks didn't require an invitation to the party. The five Webb High School athletes were handpicked to mingle and dance with partygoers. Their uniform: pink bow ties, jeans, and a coat of spray glitter on their bare upper bodies.

"Basically, our job is to be eye candy," said Jeffrey Johnson, a 16-year-old football player at Webb. "It's an odd request, but we have a good story to tell for the rest of our lives."

With her court in tow wearing pink and green satin evening gowns and shiny wings, Brittany enters on a green litter trimmed with pink feathers, carried by four of the shirtless Webb athletes.
The article generated so much negative reaction that the newspaper editor has had to defend the story on his blog. In an earlier post he included a link to the paper's video coverage of the party. Bloggers in East Tennessee and all over the world just love it, love it, love it. Did I mention that bloggers love it, love it, love it?

Last night was the annual football game between Webb and their crosstown archrival, Knoxville Catholic High School. It was homecoming night for Catholic. The game was regionally televised on CSS, which didn't help me because my cable company showed the wrong feed again. The game was a nail-biter. Catholic won by one point in overtime.

Before the game, flag-waving pep squads from both schools got the crowd psyched up. A group of KCHS students called the Catholic Cheering Crazies (or it might be the Crazy Cheering Catholics) parodied the photo of Brittany Gibbs' party that was in Sunday's paper. A male student dressed in a ball gown and tiara was carried on a litter by four shirtless classmates right past the Webb fans in the grandstands. Twice. Classic.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

inspired by TV Squad

The two TiVos in my house are getting a workout tonight. I started typing this while watching Green Day and U2 perform live on ESPN and while recording "Prison Break" and "The Class." After that, I will record "How I Met Your Mother," "Heroes" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." I'll actually watch three of those shows tonight. The other two have to wait until tomorrow.

I was surprised how much emotion I felt upon hearing "Wake Me Up When September Ends" performed by Green Day with The Edge and local brass musicians. It brought to mind all the sadness that residents of New Orleans experienced last September. The rest of U2 took the stage for a song called "The Saints Are Coming." The two bands performed as one before segueing into "Beautiful Day." If you missed it, go to the Rhapsody website to get caught up.

The TiVos won't be as busy tomorrow night. While I'm performing with Einstein Simplified, I'll only be recording "Dancing With the Stars." On Tuesday of next week, I will sample "Friday Night Lights" and maybe "Veronica Mars." I have wanted to get on the Veronica bandwagon but I missed most of season two. Should I go ahead and start watching season three or do I need to rent the earlier seasons on DVD?

This Wednesday, I will record Terri Irwin's interview on a special episode of "20/20." In future weeks, I'll stick with my grandmother's favorite show, "Lost." She and I discuss it when we talk on the phone. She may want me to tape the episodes on VHS for her so she can replay a scene the same way I do on my TiVo. I will definitely watch "30 Rock" and I will probably try "The Nine" when those shows debut in October. I recorded "Jericho" last week but I haven't watched it yet. Should I bother?

You may have figured out that I prefer to record everything rather than watch any shows live. That means
Thursdays are my biggest TV challenge. I love "My Name is Earl" and especially "The Office," which is so good I will watch each episode at least twice. But I also want to record "Smallville" to watch with my son over the weekend. My wife and I still watch "Survivor" too, which we like to pause to discuss the players' strategy. That's more shows than we have TiVos. Later in the night, I'll record "C.S.I." and "Shark." There is something about the premise of "Shark" that appeals to me. It's as if a member of O.J.'s dream team switched from villain to hero.

On Friday nights I used to record "Best Week Ever" but now I wait until it replays on Saturdays. That way I can flip between the extended 11 p.m. sportscasts on the local channels during high school football season.

Saturday nights are for watching shows recorded earlier in the week. Assuming I have the space, I will record the Saturday night movie on East Tennessee's CW. Not because I want to see the movie but because I want to see the interstitials. Chalk it up to vanity.

"The Amazing Race"
is at the top of my Sunday viewing list. I'll stick with "Desperate Housewives" for a while to see if it improves like they promised. Last night we got caught up in "Cold Case" and ended up watching that too. While "Entourage" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" are off the schedule, I plan to try the new show "Dexter" that people are talking about.

Did I miss anything? I mean besides my daily shows like "Access Hollywood" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." And of course "The Beverly Hillbillies."

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Friday, September 22, 2006

pay these prices and pay no more

The annual Bishop's Barbeque was held before the Catholic High School football game tonight. My wife and I have been there the past few years. Each year we have almost the exact same conversation with the Bishop. He asks what parish we're from, we tell him and then I mention that my grandmother sends her regards. The Bishop's eyes light up as he remembers meeting my grandmother and my mother almost four years ago at my daughter's Confirmation.

The game was a blowout. Catholic beat Wartburg 59 to 0. Two of the points came from a safety. I thought it might be more interesting if the team that gives up a safety lost two points. If that were true, tonight's score would have been 57 to -2. After the game, my wife and I suggested to the band director that his student musicians learn "The Safety Dance."

The best player on the Fighting Irish team attracted some attention from an out of town coach and from a local guy in an orange hat:

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