Roy Exum: The Kickoff & More

Friday, September 14, 2018

It’s been over 50 years since Dick Jones saw me out and asked me if I had any idea where he, the publisher of The Kickoff, could get late-night football scores. The very popular football newsletter was getting its scores on the ticker at the time and he was struggling to get scores from the central time zone.

“Mr. Jones, I know exactly where you can get whatever you need and they’ll be so fresh the donut grease will still be hot … you are going to get them from me! You call us with the scores you are waiting on, and I can tell you not only the score but how much time is left in the game.”

That tickled him to death. “How much are you going to charge me?” he asked, knowing his problems were over, and I told him Dick Jr. and I would work that out. “No, you figure out the price and call me,” and I say that since our families were such friends, “How about you sending me four or five copies each week ... that’ll do it!”

Heck, that was better than free but because he could trade, I knew he wouldn’t hesitate to call often. And he did. Thus a deep friendship was further bonded and the Joneses even had our direct, unlisted numbers.

So imagine my chagrin the other day after I wrote how much I adore a newsletter that is the off-shoot of the old Kickoff. I love The Blitz, put out my former Kickoff editor Jim Gumm, but soon I got an email from Jodi Ellis telling me The Kickoff is doing well, has also got an Internet edition and – as I soon learned – is better than ever.

My goodness, it was like a family member arose from the dead! So, as I apologize, please know that you can go to www.thekickoffstore.com and buy both individual or group subscriptions.

Obviously, the Internet has made getting late scores easy and the new model has six pages – suffice it to say I’ve already subscribed.

* * *
Thompson, Ala., High School is located in Alabaster, a town of 33,000 that is a suburb of Birmingham. Tonight tiny Alabaster will unveil a new $20 million stadium that is gorgeous but it also includes a 30,000-square-foot indoor practice facility. The facility is incredible and is a testament to how horribly the athletic facilities in the Hamilton County Department of Education have been allowed to erode. Can you imagine the presence of the Warriors’ new house at Hixson, Tyner or East Ridge? If we build anywhere near such a facility for Tyner’s Wayne Turner or East Ridge’s Tim James, it would pay off in countless ways.

* * *
That Signal Mountain Middle/High produced six National Merit Semifinalists is absolutely sensational, which gave the Hamilton County public schools a well-earned and most-deserved boost with 10 overall, but then the rubes in the HCDE issued a press release that had in its opening paragraph “is the largest number for a school district or private school in the Chattanooga area.”

What does that accomplish? In my time, I can never remember the private schools in our area gloating over the public schools when there have been countless opportunities. There is a truism: “Expect shallow things from shallow people.”

Again, any left-handed remark reflects more on the source than the target.

* * *
Munich, Germany is getting ready for Oktoberfest and, trust me, it is one of the greatest wonders in the world. The thee-week-long street party attracts 7 million visitors every year but now there is trouble brewing. It seems the cheap costume people have arrived and what they are selling are hardly the beautiful Bavarians that add such pizazz to the event.

For example, there is one get-up for $29.95 that organizers are ridiculing as “a porno dress.” That’s right, and for the other 49 weeks of the year the same outfit is called “The Queen of Sheba.” 

Anyway, the Germans are miffed about it and, for the record, approximately 7.5 million glasses of beer are served each year to get over any disappointments.

* * *
The Washington Post, one of my favorite newspapers, went “over the line” this week when its editorial board actually wrote and published, “Another hurricane is about to batter our coast and Trump is complicit.

“When it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters,” the editorial board wrote.

And you want to know what “fake news” really means?

* * *
One of the greatest Budweiser beer commercials ever is famously called “Stand by You.” What you need to know today is the Budweiser plant in Bartow County, Ga., has already “switched the line.” Over 300,000 cans of water are already loaded in Budweiser trucks that are gassed-up and ready to roll. And if that’s not enough, the Budweiser plant in Fort Collins, Co., is on an alert … and can get 300,000 more cans of water on the line within minutes. For the record, Budweiser has donated 79 million cans of water in the last 20 years. To see the ad, CLICK HERE.

royexum@aoll.com

 



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