» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News

Forgot your password?
TDN Services
Research millions of people and properties [+]
Monitor any person, property or company [+]

Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 132 | NO. 174 | Friday, September 1, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Football In The Rain, Shakespeare in Cordova and The Grizz Roster

By Bill Dries

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments ()

There are moments in the history of sports amateur and professional that involve turn outs like the one Thursday at the Liberty Bowl for the Tigers football season opener. There were the people who ran the St. Jude marathon in the ice several years back even after the race was cancelled. Going back to the 1980s, there were those who came out in below freezing temps for Alabama Coach Bear Bryant’s last game that came at the annual Liberty Bowl.

And there were the fans Thursday who knew they were going to get soaked, knew they couldn’t bring umbrellas and knew even if they could the umbrellas would probably get blown away – but came anyway. The stadium wasn’t full by the turnstile count but it was full in terms of spirit and optimism.

The cover story by Don Wade in our weekly, The Memphis News, looks at the higher expectations for Tigers football as the season begins. The PDF of the new issue is up now on this website. The hard copies are on the hopefully dryer streets Friday morning and the online version of the cover story goes up Friday afternoon.

With that a few overnight numbers:

First, the score: University of Memphis 37 – Louisiana-Monroe 29.

Just before the game, the university announced it set a record for season ticket sales: 22,500. This turns out to be a pretty impressive number toward a goal of a consistent home game turnout of 30,000 to 40,000 that makes the coming reconfiguration of the Fairgrounds even more important. Southern Heritage Classic founder Fred Jones told us earlier this month that a set of Tigers football home games that consistently fill the stadium at around the halfway mark would take the impact of those games as well as his and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl to a new level in terms of their economic impact beyond the Fairgrounds.

22,000 is about how many Memphians were without power as of 10 Thursday night. MLGW had 20 out of town crews on the way to assist as the evening began.

Early voting opens Friday in Arlington where races for aldermen and school board are on the ballot with election day being Sept. 21.

It is past the deadline to register to vote in that election if you weren’t already registered there. But the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office is offering on line voter registration – a follow up to a state law approved last year with Memphis sponsorship. DEMOCRACY.

The Strickland administration is making big moves next week at City Council on the Gateway project and the Memphis Convention Center renovation – to the tune of a combined $21.5 million in what amounts to start-up funding to get both projects rolling. Here are the terms. And they include at least the tentative idea of a pedestrian walkway across the Memphis harbor to the southern end of Mud Island River Park.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company has its first permanent home and it is the Cordova facility Ballet Memphis recently moved out of on its way to its new home in Overton Square. This is a deal in the works since June and TSC raised $1.9 million to buy the building outright with more being raised to outfit it as a theater and education area.

University Clinical Health, the affiliate of the UT College of Medicine, is in a growth spurt, acquiring Podiatry Center of Memphis in August – part of 15 new physicians and a rheumatology practice the organization has added in the last year. Behind the acquisitions is a goal to meet the needs of underserved populations in a city where healthcare is a major economic force and persistent health problems are a fact of the everyday life of the city.

In the Friday Sports Section:

The Press Box column on those three lingering questions about the Grizz roster. Meanwhile, the Grizz in-house media presence, Grind City, is getting into football coverage.

David Climer on SEC East hopes in Knoxville.

Dave Link in Knoxville on the Vols season opener Monday against Georgia Tech.

Terry McCormick on Alex Tanney’s NFL journey through Nashville.

Canine camping at Camp Bow Wow.

Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael is our guest on Behind The Headlines to talk about the court in general and the June request he, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Sheriff Bill Oldham made to end Justice Department oversight of the court – still no definitive word on that request from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions as this interview was conducted. And we talked about the new coordinator of the settlement agreement, retired state criminal appeals court judge Paul Summers, who was Michael’s choice for the position. The show airs at Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

Looks like someone has jury duty on the short Labor Day work week next week. So Last Word will return when I do from the halls of justice and its waiting room at 157 Poplar Avenue.

PROPERTY SALES 55 321 3,398
MORTGAGES 27 179 2,279
BANKRUPTCIES 32 162 1,904