Friday, February 29, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
As you probably know if you've managed to watch TV recently, we had a big basketball game here last night. The University of Memphis was ranked #1 and The University of Tennessee was ranked #2, and they met last night here to decide who gets bragging rights in our state. Sadly, my alma mater (UofM) lost. Even more sadly, it was their first loss all season. The Tigers went into the game last night with a 26-o record, practically unheard of in men's college basketball.
Now, I am fully aware that just a hot second ago I was griping about the undefeated New England Patriots and how much I hated them-- and then, about how happy I was that they lost the Super Bowl. (All that griping and rejoicing still holds true, by the way.) As a rule, I'm almost always for the "underdog," a Rule of Sports-Fan-Virtue that has very few exceptions. Exception #1 to this rule: when one of "my" teams also happens to be the undefeated team.
Ah well. We lost. The thing is, I'm actually quite relieved. Here's why:
If you know anything about the Big Dance (the NCAA men's basketball tournament, a.k.a. "March Madness," a.k.a. "Bracketmania," a.k.a. the single most exciting three weeks of the sports calendar), you know that anything can happen, and often does. The worst thing imanigable, in my view, would have been for my beloved Tigers to go into that tournament undefeated. There is nothing more vulnerable than a team that thinks it can't lose. (See: New England Patriots, SuperBowl XLII) And the only way a team can think that it might lose is for it to actually lose. Of course, if I had my druthers, I would have preferred that my Tigers lose a game to some unranked team late in the season, in a game that didn't really matter, on a night that they had their guard down. That way, they could have learned the lesson "we can lose" without having to also consider the possibility that there is actually a better team out there. (For the record, I don't actually think UT is a better team.) But, whatever, the point is that I'm glad to have a loss out of the way.
Bring on the Big Dance, I say. The Tigers are ready now.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
I don't suppose there's any point in my re-posting more images of the damage, which is all over the Internet today... but it was bad. The body count from the storm has been rising all day.
Later tonight, I'll try to post something that involves reflection... but like everybody else right now, I'm just trying to get my head around what happened.
Turns out, it was.
As I am sure many of you have heard by now, yesterday afternoon and evening we were the site of one of those cold-front/warm-front meetings that are never pretty. That picture above is what is left of one of our malls. 20, 000 people lost their power. 44 people in the Mid-South region (Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississsippi) lost their lives. Public schools were dimissed at noon in anticipation of the mayhem. The tornado warning sirens were sounding non-stop for about 5 hours, beginning around 4:30. Then, there was a break-- and then they started again last night. I still hear them in my head this morning.
Like most native Memphians, I tend to ignore tornado warnings and tornado sirens. (More on that later.) But yesterday, even I got worried at a couple of points. I was at a candidate's job talk when the sirens first started sounding, and we had to move the Q&A session to the hallway (away from windows). I feel sorry for that guy.
We're still assessing the damage this morning... but we know it's not good. In fact, you know it's really bad around here when people start comparing it to Hurricane Elvis (the wind-storm disaster of 2003), which people are doing.
I can't really offer any insight this morning. I'm still exhausted from yesterday. But I just wanted to report that I am safe, which means that I was lucky. More later...
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
But what's done is done. Here's a tune by Will.i.am. that gives me hope that we maybe can still do what's right.