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Random Thoughts - Radio guy goes print
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1. I grew up in a radio family; my dad and uncle worked their way through college at UT-Knoxville working in radio. My dad owned local radio stations and my uncle worked at WSM. My uncle Hal first became program director and eventually general manager of The Grand Ole Opry. 

I inherited none of their voices or broadcasting talent.  Being on the newspaper side of the media covering local sports is exciting, and I wonder what those guys would be saying about me trying to provide content for the newspaper. My uncle majored in journalism and secretly wanted to be a sportswriter. Maybe he would think it would be a good thing to do in my fourth quarter.

1A. One of my funniest memories growing up is a Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s house when I was 12 years old. My uncle and dad kept asking me to say the call letters, WAKI. Each time after I said it, they would bust a gut laughing and say, “say double-u aye kaye eye!” I would say it again, and they would fall over laughing!  

2. Covering sports during a pandemic will be challenging. High school football teams across the state are in various levels of activity. The two largest school systems in the state, Nashville Metro and Memphis (Shelby County Schools) have delayed football games until after Labor Day. Montgomery County has done the same. Several teams across the state are in the midst of quarantine.

2A. Some teams are counting their August and early September games against Metro teams as wins. Metro teams are allowed to count those same games as no contest according to TSSAA guidelines.

3. If you want a preview of what the upcoming high school football season will look like, take a look at middle school volleyball. Warren County was scheduled to play its first game of the season Aug. 10, and its opponent, Franklin North, had to cancel because it was in quarantine.

4. Golf appears to be going forward on every level. The PGA is playing, the McMinnville Rotary Club recently conducted its annual golf tournament, and the WCHS golf team is playing every match as scheduled.

4A. Lauren Slatton, a freshman on the high school golf team, may play her way to the state tournament this season. 

5. Preparing for this job provoked me to reach out to Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports fame for advice on Twitter. He suggested that we talk. We have talked twice, and I met him Monday in Nashville.

5A. Peter King told me a head coach in the NFL told him the league is determined to plow through the season. If one or more members of a team test positive for COVID-19, this coach said the league is telling him to use all the players on his roster.  

5B. Peter said he told Bryant Gumble on HBO Real Sports he thinks there is a 40% chance the NFL season will reach completion to the Super Bowl.

6. Someone told me to view my sports writing job as an opportunity to view McMinnville as a character in the stories. Peter King told me each game is unique, that there is a different story for various reasons at each game. No two games are the same.

6A. Speaking of McMinnville, as I was growing up, people would tell me my dad was saying the name of the city wrong on the radio. 

6B. Both my dad and uncle worked in radio during their high school days in McMinnville. Believe the radio station was WMMT. They pronounced the town as MACK-Minnville. Some people believe it is supposed to be pronounced as Mick-Minnville. One of the few things I never argued with my dad about was how he pronounced the town.

7. “Nobody told me there would be days like these, Strange days indeed – most peculiar momma.”

7A. If you want to improve your column, quote John Lennon!

8. Who wants no football this fall? We all want football, right?  Who wants to avoid coronavirus? All of us, right?  How we juxtapose our desire to have a normal life and activities with the desire for public health and safety will determine how we make it through this pandemic.

9. Recently I heard Mike Lupica state on the Sports Reporters podcast that sports is a reward for a well-functioning society. 

Lupica did not know who originally made the quote, but he said it was a relevant comment for these times.

9A. One does not have to be an alarmist to hope that no one is at risk or puts their loved ones at risk for the sake of sports. There are great rewards for anyone of any age who plays sports, and I hope everyone finds his/her rewards and answers in the struggle to make it through this pandemic.

10. Does anyone have time to watch all the NBA, MLB, and NHL games on TV? My favorite streaming series on Netflix is “The Last Kingdom,” a historical series about the battle to birth a new nation, England. 

One of the great characters of all time, Uhtred, is both Saxon and Dane, and he is destined to help the Saxons defeat the Danes.  

10A. There are athletes on some of Warren County’s football opponents who have McMinnville bloodlines, yet play for Coffee County and other schools we face during the season.    

10B. In the near future, I intend to write about Warren County when there were many in-county high school rivals in sports. Anyone know if there was one person who championed uniting all the Warren County high schools into one? 

If you know, please email me at