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Opinion

The Brownsville States-Graphic page

A4

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peeples

By 28th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Clayburn Peeples

Confessions of a Recovering UT Fan Is there anything more pathetic than a UT football fan on game day? I should know; I’ve been looking at one in the mirror every autumn Saturday for nearly 60 years now. And for me, the worst time of year is the Saturday at the end of November when we play Kentucky. Several times I have tried to break the grip this particular game has over me and just ignore it, but like an alcoholic who just can’t avoid one more drink, I always find myself watching, or at least listening, year after year. Of course for every Tennessee football fan there are games that are more nerve wracking than others, games it just kills you to lose and thrills you inordinately to win. And which game that is changes with the times. Every Tennessee fan knows that when Gen. Neyland was first hired in 1926 his instructions were simple; “Even the score with Vanderbilt.” When I entered college in 1964, the Alabama game was considered the biggest of the year; now, for many fans, it’s Florida. But for me, the game of the year, year in and year out, is the Kentucky game. You see, I grew up in South Fulton, on State Line Road. Our house was on the Tennessee side of the road, but just across the street was Kentucky. Fulton, Ky., and South Fulton, Tenn., were a single economic unit, but as sports fans, they were worlds apart. In my early childhood during the 1950s, being a Tennessee fan

was tough there. Paul Bryant was Kentucky’s coach for eight years in that era, and the Wildcats were awfully good. So good that between 1952 and 1960 they tied us twice and beat us five times. It just about killed me every time they did. The first time I ever saw the game in person, they beat us again (1964— 12-7), and I still remember the pain of that afternoon, even to this day. Like I said earlier, there’s nothing so pathetic as a UT football fan. But since the Bear left Kentucky, the series has been pretty kind to Tennessee fans. So good, in fact, that we’ve won 45 out of the last 50 games against them. (Or is it 46 out of the last 51? I forget.) And as everyone now knows, we’ve won 26 in a row. You have to look back, in fact, to 1984 to find a Kentucky victory in the series. Last Saturday the only people on the field who were even alive the last time we lost to Kentucky were the officials, and some of them were probably too young to remember it. We’ve been fabulously successful against them for a half-century now, so why is it the game gets tougher for me to watch every year? “What if we don’t beat them this year?” I ask myself in panic every season. Of course we did, even though we had to come from behind to do so, but what if they hadn’t fumbled at the goal line, shanked a punt and missed an easy field goal? What if their coach hadn’t decided to punt when they were fourth and two on the 37-yard

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line, or what if our foolhardy fake punt hadn’t worked? The streak might have ended at 25, and what a weekend ruining disaster that would have been. Some people like close games. Not me. I like blowouts like in the 90s when we usually put up points in the 30s and 40s against the Cats. And sometimes we still do, but they rack them up too. Today they consistently field a good, sometimes great, team, but somehow we’ve managed to eke out victories the last half decade that almost defy logic. Four of the last six games going into Saturday’s went down to the last possession; the last two went into overtime; we only narrowly defeated them in 2004 and 2006. And this year? This was a Kentucky team that beat South Carolina during the seven game stretch in which we defeated only AlabamaB i r m i n g h a m , and then only in overtime. This was the year our poor seniors were playing for their third head coach and their fourth offensive coordinator. At the end of October, Kentucky fans were talking about going to the Gator Bowl. Tennessee fans were looking forward to basketball season. But then, mirabile dictu, Tennessee started playing like the Tennessee of old, and Kentucky, last Saturday at least, played like the Kentucky of old, and Saturday afternoon, for the 26th year in a row, my breathing difficulties disappeared. You never outgrow this stuff, do you?

Governments and global bodies Let me begin this column by hoping that everyone had a great holiday. If you were one of the many that participated in Black Friday, then let’s hope that crazy quest yielded a few worthwhile items. Maybe it’s me, but last week, much like helpings of turkey and stuffing, the hard news was neverending. Surely, most of have already heard of the fiasco between North and South Korea; an artillery strike—from the north— left four people dead on a South Korean island, two of them civilians. It was a strike that could finally serve as the catalyst for a war strongly predicted by many. Given the North’s shakey history as of late, which has included illegal nuclear tests, seven illegal missile tests and torpedoing of a South Korea warship, the latest attack, or imminent consequence, isn’t much of a surprise. Imagine one child in school, with one wearing the label of a ner’ do constantly bullying another child and breaking the rules, and you’ve pretty much summed up the relationship between North and South Korea and North Korea’s relationship with the United Nations. If this is the case, then perhaps one could label the U.S. as hall monitor, and China as the influential teacher or guardian expected to help

On the Agenda

Brownsville City Board Meeting 2nd Tuesday of each month – 5:30 p.m. Brownsville City Planning Commission 4th Thursday of each month – 4 p.m.

Brownsville Historic Zoning Commission Third Thursday of every month - 4 p.m. Brownsville City Court Room Brownsville Utility Board 1st Tuesday – 5 p.m. at the Utility Office

Haywood County Commission Meeting 3rd Monday of every month – 7 p.m. Haywood County Election Commission 2nd Thursday of the month – 5:30 p.m. in the election office Haywood County Planning Commission 2nd Thursday of every month - 7 p.m. Haywood County School Board Meeting 2nd Tuesday of every month – 7 p.m. Stanton Planning Commission Meeting 3rd Thursday of the month – 7 p.m. Stanton Town Meeting 3rd Tuesday of the month – 7 p.m.

Tennessee Driver License Service The office of Sonya Castellaw, County Clerk issues Tennessee Driving License and ID renewals and duplicates Wednesday and Thursday of each week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Telephone: 772-2362

reprimand North Korea but really hasn’t bothered to do much. War is never something I’ve been comfortable with. And the possibility of another on the horizon is no different. For one, war is a trying time for any country, leaving those to suffer with a plethora of problems. Yet none of those problems are as costly as death, a close brother of war. Also, the U.S. will likely involve themselves in this latest conflict. Are we not still “finishing up” another conflict? Did some of our troops not just get the green light to come home? In other news, President Obama recently revealed plans to place a freeze on federal jobs held by civilians. This would negate any plans for a raise. Apparently, news sites are saying that the move will save the U.S. millions of dollars. Personally, I can’t but feel it’s a move mired in political strategy, or something made to look the administration look good. It’s kind of like saying, “Oh, well, they’re tightening their belts, let’s make it look like they aren’t alone.” Still, what else can be done? Yes, unemployment has supposedly stabilized, but signs of growth would be better than freezing wages. I certainly have no solutions. I’m not an economist. My apologies, but economics class was

at 8 a.m. in the morning, which is like 4 a.m. for a freshman student with slight slacker sensibilities. Finally, it was announced earlier this week that the Senate has passed a “sweeping overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system.” There was little opposition, as the bill passed 73 to 25. The bill would enforce more inspections and stronger regulations and comes after a recent flood of recalls. It’s funny, but weeks ago the discussion of better regulation from the FDA was the water cooler talk between a coworker and me. I mean that in the metaphorical sense, as we don’t actually have a water cooler, and “talk around the water faucet” just sounds a bit awkward. Anyway, the consensus was that stronger regulation is needed, as well as a focus on cutting back on processed foods and increasing the amount of organic foods. The bill could still die, however, thanks to the House of Representatives, who previously came up with their own draft of a food-safety overhaul. Many still prefer it to the Senate’s version, as it would have afforded more funding for FDA inspections and enforced stricter rules. Still, many believe the Senate’s bill is better than nothing. For me, it would merely serve as a start? What do you think?

Governor Phil Bredesen

Office of the Governor State Capitol Nashville, TN 37243-0001 Telephone: (615) 741-2001 Email: phil.bredesen@state.tn.us

Senator Dolores R. Gresham 13 Legislative Plaza Nashville, TN 37243 Telephone: (615) 741-2368 Email: sen.dolores.gresham@legislature.state.tn.us

State Rep. Jimmy Naifeh 301 6th Ave. North G 19A War Memorial Bldg. Nashville, TN 38301 Telephone: (615) 741-3774 Email: spk.eme.jimmy.naifeh@ capitol.tn.gov

Congressman John Tanner 109 S. Highland Street Room B-7 Federal Bldg. Jackson, TN 38301 Email: www.house.gove/tanner

Senator Lamar Alexander

840 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-4944 Email: senator_alexander@alexander.senate.gov

Senator Bob Corker

185Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-3344 Website: www.corker.senate.gov


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