Takin' Care of Business

The biggest, baddest job of work before the school board this year is picking out a new superintendent. And Bill Attea, the consultant hired by the school board to come up with a short list of candidates, had figured to start bringing them in for interviews the first week in April, on dates that won't conflict with other major obligations, like budget hearings. But now, it looks like the interview process will be set back until May on the request of board member Diane Jablonski, who wants to accompany her husband, Jim, to a trucker's convention in California.

"I appreciate the consideration of the board," Jablonski said, after having her way with her colleagues.

Life's a Bitch

The major can of whupass Pat Summitt's team opened up on Memphis last month was a puzzlement to fans who'd grown accustomed to a kinder, gentler side of the Lady Vols that would call off the press and put in the walk-ons rather than run up a score.

But when Memphis came to town, Chamique Holdsclaw turned into 'Mique the Merciless and the Lady Vols pressed from start to finish, dismembering the hapless Lady Tigers 113-39. Memphis, not a bad team, and once ranked in the Top 25, ended up with more turnovers (46) than points. Now, reports seeping up from the Big Muddy have come up with a possible explanation. A story in the Memphis Flyer by Dennis Freeland says that the wrath of the LVs was incurred by Memphis play-by-play man Mark Bialek, the "Voice of the Lady Tigers," whose day job involves something called the "Rock and Roll Sports Report" on Rock 103's Drake and Zeke Show, where he is known as "Marky B."

And to cut to the chase, Marky B called the Lady Vols "bitches in orange britches."

And, Freeland's story says, Pat found out. And soon did the Lady Vols. And they didn't much like it.

Can you say Motivation? Bulletin board material. All-out destruction. Long ride back to Memphis.

Two days later, the day before baseball season opened, Bialek got canned as the Tiger baseball announcer, a job he'd held since 1994. He was replaced by graduate student Mark McClellan.

Bialek thinks the "bitch" controversy cost him his baseball job, something the U of M folks deny. He is also scared he'll lose his basketball gig, which he has held since the 1992-93 season. Lady Tiger head coach Joye Lee-McNelis has vowed to stand by her play-by-play man.

Scraggly Little City?

David Denby, disdainful film critic for the New Yorker, hated Box of Moonlight, that last major movie filmed in the Knoxville area. We're pleased that he likes the new October Sky, filmed hereabouts last year. It already seems clear that of the half-dozen big-time pictures shot in and around Knoxville in the last 40 years or so, October Sky is the critics' favorite.

However, we should have expected that in Denby's review in the Feb. 22 issue, he finds a way to slight Knoxville, anyway. He notes that the movie "was shot in scraggly parts of Tennessee, including Knoxville (substituting for Coalwood, West Virginia), and everything looks right: the skies are gray..."

Scraggly we may be, but Denby's assumption that Knoxville might substitute for Coalwood (population 700) is the rough mathematical equivalent of saying New York might pass for Morristown. We hope to see that happen someday. In the movie, of course, it's Oliver Springs that subs for Coalwood, W.V.; Knoxville stands in for Indianapolis.