My Corner of the World

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Two weeks from today will be the start of the Memphis Tigers' football season. It will also be our debut on NewsRadio 600 WREC with the radio broadcast. I am very excited about both of these things.

First, I do not see the drastic drop as some have predicted by the Tigers this year, even without DeAngelo Williams (or even Stephen Gostkowski & Maurice Avery). It's going to take a lot of hard work to be tops in CUSA, but I don't believe they'll finish fifth in the east, as forecasted by the Associated Press.

After watching both scrimmages & numerous practices, I like what I see offensively. From what I have seen (keep in mind I am no football coach) transfer Martin Hankins is the starter come September 3rd against Mississippi. As of right now I would imagine Will Hudgens is second. But there is still a lot of time to practice before a starter has to be named.

Second, I could not be more excited about our broadcast season. You will notice some slight differences in the pregame show, but nothing drastic. All football pregame broadcasts will now be two hours (compared to previous years when the two-hour shows only happened for home games). Memphis will continue to have a game-day radio presentation that ranks up there with Alabama & many others.

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A Commercial Appeal sportswriter told me last week I have been around basketball coach John Calipari too long... AFTER I referred to our first football opponent as "Mississippi."

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Herd Insider Magazine, a magazine supporting Marshall, has listed it's "Don't miss" games of September involving Conference USA teams playing in & out of conference. You only have to glance at their week one picks to know the list is not complete. I have no problem with them saying Marshall vs. West Virginia is in their opinion the best game. It's only the sixth meeting between the two schools over the last 95 football seasons.

But no mention of Memphis vs. Mississippi? Not even a sentence? A little history lesson for our friends in Thundering Herd country: this is a rivalry game between two schools seperated by 70 miles or so. Oh, ESPN picked it up, too.

The mag does have Memphis vs. ECU as the conference game of the week Sept. 16, then the Tigers vs. UT as the best game on Sept. 30.

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Around CUSA preseason football camps:

Jackson Clarion-Legder: Hull, Fletcher head improved running game during scrimmage

New Orleans Times-Picayune: Scelfo please with Wave scrimmage

Birmingham News: Blazers productive in final scrimmage

Orlando News-Sentinel: Smith, Moffett set pace in scrimmage

Charlotte Observer: Q&A With East Carolina football coach Skip Holtz

Huntington Herald-Dispatch: Herd back-up players shine

El Paso Times: Media day a hit with Miner fans

Tulsa World: Hurricane's progress no bolt from blue

Dallas Morning News: Play of SMU QBs worries Bennett

Houston Chronicle: Rice shows only basics on offense

Houston Chronicle: Art Briles vs. Dennis Franchione? Let's switch 'em

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Another anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley has come & gone... we all survived, as I knew we would. I don't believe most Memphians have as much respect or even like Elvis compared to the world-at-large. Thats because if you grew up here all you've heard your whole life is Elvis & Graceland. I can remember a stretch over two summers in the late 80s when I visited the King's home six times as we had various relatives travel in & out of town on vacations. Heck, I could have given the tour at one point.

I had the chance to visit with a small group of people yesterday that gathered for a memorial service in Elvis's honor. It was presented by local disc jockey George Klein at the University of Memphis. I had full access backstage to so many folks that were close to Presley. I didn't have time to interview each one.

But I did get a chance to speak with Mark James, who authored "Suspicious Minds," "Always On My Mind," & "Moody Blue." He called the event more of a celebration of Elvis & what he meant to music. By the way, "Suspicious Minds" is the greatest Elvis song ever, in case you wanted my opinion.

Before T.G. Sheppard was a country music star, he was a friend of the Elvis as a record rep for RCA. Sheppard shared with me a couple of short stories. It was good to meet him. I was familiar with his music when I was a kid & still listen to a song or two occassionally today. I got him to tell me a little bit about his radio days at WMC (my former radio station). He currently tours & does over 100 shows a year. Not a bad gig.

Elvis's nurse Marion Cocke was in the room; so was Jerry Phillips, son of Sam Phillips. It was quite a gathering & a neat feeling to be surrounded in a room with such history.

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I wanted to write earlier this week about the Tiger football scrimmage I attended, but I just didn't have time until now. We're going to be ok on the offensive side of the ball. QB Martin Hankins is everything I was told to expect & then some. Hats off to Ridgeway product Will Hudgens, too. That's not to leave out Patrick Byrne. I will be interested to see what kind of reps he gets in the Saturday scrimmage after a lackluster performance Tuesday.

I am sure Patrick & Will feel they have something to prove after missing last year, both with a broken leg. Competition is good because it pushes you to be your best. That's something Coach West has tried to create each year in preseason camp at key positions.

Plus, with the stock of wide receivers Memphis has, there will be plenty of targets to throw to, no matter who is QB.

Please don't try to compare Joseph Doss to DeAngelo Williams! That is not fair. Doss is going to be a good runner. He's sneaky & has a move or two of his own.

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The Highland Hundred Banquet last Friday night was very nice. It's not often I get to attend a Tiger-related event & I am not working or on-the-air. That night I got to be a fan & stand up clap to the fight song, cheer when the freshmen were announced & laugh out loud at Tommy's jokes.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I heard Mississippi finally found their quarterback last night. He was wandering around the Memphis airport.

The Tigers vs. Rebels is a month away... you can hear the game on the new home for the Memphis Tigers: NewsRadio 600 WREC!

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The doomsday scenario for voting today just ain't panning out... it took me longer to cast my ballot than it did to wait in line, since there was NO line around 10:30 this morning. I am hearing similar stories around Shelby County. Maybe everyone took advantage of early voting.

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NewsRadio 600 WREC is going to offer great coverage of the election tonight. We start at 7 p.m. I hope you will listen.

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I am riding in an elevator, it then stops. I prepare to exit, but cannot because of the stampede of folks trying to get on. Maybe it's just me but I let all riders exit the elevator before I step on... isn't that just common courtesy?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Let's check out the coverage of yesterday's CUSA Media Day near Dallas...

From the Houston Chronicle: Kolb's Heisman chances are slim, but the UH quarterback is going along with the idea

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal: West confident heart of his Tigers team strong; Tulsa program back on track

From the El Paso Times: Teams have much to prove after last year's finish; Hundley to miss training camp in Socorro; Two Miners suspended for first game of '06 season

From the Biloxi Sun-Herald: They're as solid as a block

From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Patriarch Bower's goal still the same

From the Orlando Sentinel: They're not men of steel, but UCF, others bulk up on tougher opponents

From the Birmingham News: Any C-USA team could win title; Coach or run athletics? Brown has to decide

From the Huntington Herald-Dispatch: Alberts asks Marshall fans to be patient; O'Leary, UCF like favorites role

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I have noticed several folks have found this blog by searching "bill bellichick divorce." Yes, I know the last name is mispelled but that is how it is spelled to get these folks directed to this site, usually through a google search.

It's pretty weird since I don't think I have even mentioned this topic, much less the coach, even in a misspelled manner. And why are so many folks searching for details on this? Heck, I get a half-dozen hits a week on this phrase alone.