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Ear to the Ground

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Mountains is Mountains

It looked pretty snazzy, lying prominently on a freshly made bed in a Nashville motel, a slick advertisement for a new motel: "Knoxville East," it said, in big letters.

The glossy brochure, circulated in Baymont Inns in 12 states from Georgia to Illinois, highlights one of the chain's newest motels, Baymont's Knoxville East, at Strawberry Plains. Most prominent on the advertisement is a big, colorful photograph of a happy young couple hiking in the mountains. OK, it's not a scene in Knoxville, per se, but that's not surprising, since that motel is not far from the I-40 entrance to the Smokies, which is the biggest tourist draw hereabouts.

However, look closer, and you might notice something odd about the photo. The mountains in the background are steep, gray, jagged peaks with banks of snow. The only vegetation is an unfamiliar, brushy-looking pine. It's not Knoxville, but it's not the Smokies, either. The happy couple advertising "Knoxville East" appear to be somewhere out West: the Rockies, we figure.

WWAD? (What Would Abe Do?)

The Lincoln Day Dinner—that High Holy Day of GOP obligation, has come and gone, and, for the record, the troops are well satisfied. Sure, there were grumblings about the lateness of dinner, but organizers say we must have heard from a few malcontents who didn't understand the logistics. First of all, they had to wait for the UT Vet school to vacate the banquet hall at 5 to start setting up the room for the 7 p.m. event. Second, U.S. House Speaker Dennie Hastert (whom local Republicans say is the first sitting House Speaker to keynote the event) promised fellow Congressman Jimmy Duncan he'd appear, but only if he could vamoose at 7:45. Therefore, early arrivals found their tables set with only salad and dessert. They had to wait for the entree (which State Sen. Tim Burchett calls "chicken football—they ought to do just as God and Col. Sanders intended and leave it in the bucket") until Hastert left. More than 700 of the Elephant People showed up to celebrate President Dubya's smashing victory, so it was appropriate that way back in the back of the room, some party operatives were trying to talk a guy named Chad (Tindell) into running for party chair to replace the outgoing Sue Methvin.

A Husky Whine

Local sportswriter types, few of whom demonstrate much abiding interest in women's basketball, are deploring Pat Summitt's decision to cut the Tennessee/Connecticut rivalry back to one game per regular season. Meanwhile Summitt has to put up with Connecticut sportswriter types, who continue to whine that Summitt-influenced referees robbed their team of the victory to which they were entitled.

Here is a sample of a column by Mike DiMauro, who writes for The Day:

"For every such moving screen against the Shady Vols, there's 278 in their favor. Kerry Collins wasn't nearly as intimidated by the Baltimore defense last week as (referees) Trammell, Mattingly and Corteau were Thursday night by Summitt and 21,000 fans. Remember this one: When UConn had a 21-6 lead in last season's national championship game, the fouls read, 'Connecticut 9, Tennessee 2.'

"Summitt admitted Thursday she has received six technical fouls in the 901 games she's coached. Sources close to the situation say the six offending officials had their whistles confiscated and were dragged from Knoxville to the Smokey [sic] Mountains, where they currently reside making hooch with Billy Joe Jim Bob and his wife, Mary Lou Peggy Sue."

DiMauro's email address is [email protected].

Signs of the Times

The Rev. Bob Bevington has been sharing his religious and political advice via a sign on Magnolia out front of his Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle for many years. Last week's sign smote a couple of Bevington's targets coming and going. On the west side of the billboard, Bevington took a whack at the movie industry with "Hollywood is the Devil's Publicity Department." On the east side, the sign said "The ACLU is the Devil's Legal Department.

February 8, 2001 * Vol. 11, No. 6
© 2001 Metro Pulse