Why does ESPN have to be so anti-SEC?

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pardon me if I lead off my column by “Preaching.” Or, should I say, showing displeasure of biased reporting by some ESPN analysts.

For the past few weeks I have observed a rage of envy of southern NCAA football teams, especially the University of Alabama, by two of these highly visible ESPN spokesmen, Danny Kanell and Todd McShay. First, it is understandable about Kanell’s displeasure, because of his failure to make a go of it on his late-night UNITE TV show carried by ESPN. It was cancelled a couple of months ago because the format failed to capture an audience.

But his real problem is his non-acceptance of the Southeastern Conference as the top conference in the nation. He seems to be holding to his quarterbacking days at Florida State and simply cannot grasp the appeal the SEC has nationally. If you watch him closely you can see the envy glaring in his eyes. A caller on the Paul Finebaum show recently raked him over the coals and even dared him to make a trip into the state of Alabama. He seems to find joy irritating fans of our conference.

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McShay, because of his New England heritage, uses every opportunity to belittle the Tide and Nick Saban. Just the past weekend during the Alabama-Kentucky TV broadcast he seemed to glow in his remarks about Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s not having all the perquisites for a successful NFL career. At the time he made those remarks, A.J. was tossing a long 60-yarder for a touchdown. After he made these remarks, his email address and Twitter account were bombarded by disgruntled fans from the South. Even Finebaum, reportedly, was not pleased.

This analyst never played college football. His only experience was at the high-school level in the state of Massachusetts. He, too, lets his eyes display his pure envy when he speaks of southern football teams.

These two and a couple more seem to want to take issue with Finebaum, because they know he stands up for our southern schools. And poor Lou Holtz has taken so much heat for his distain of Saban that he has rapidly changed his tune and now is saying complementary things about the Alabama coach.

Lets not overlook the egotistical Colin Cowherd, who never fails to air his dislike for southern teams. In fact, he reminds me of a disgruntled Facebook poster who never gets any “likes” for his post. His disdain parallels political losers who are in awe of their failure to capture acceptance.

Yet, southern teams and the Tide get tremendous respect from other ESPN analysts and announcers. The likes of which are Mark May, Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis (an Alabama grad) Cris Lowe and Tom Luckinbill.

Then there are those announcers who are pushing Ohio State for the top spot in NCAA rankings. Heck, Urban Myer hasn’t even had his first nervous breakdown since he took over as the Buckeyes’ head coach.

Now, before we take a look at some news from Atmore’s past, let’s remind everyone of Williams Station Day, which is only a couple weeks away. Really, that big day ushers in the beginning of the fall and winter holiday season. Halloween occurs in two weeks, followed by Thanksgiving and the Christmas.

And all these big events and holidays mean good food. Succulent hot dogs, sandwiches and other delicious foods cooked on the streets at WSD emit a pleasant aroma of just “plain good eating.” Churches and schools have their fall carnivals, mostly rightly diminishing a Halloween theme. Some churches have the reputation for good foods, such as the Boston butts at St Robert’s Catholic and hot dogs at Brooks Memorial Baptist.

So make sure you enjoy all these foods waiting for you at the upcoming carnivals, festivals and holidays.

Now let’s take a look at some news from days gone by.

I received an email this week from a reader who formerly lived here who wanted to know when Yancey State Junior College in Bay Minette became Faulkner State. It just so happened that I wrote about this a couple of years ago and I remember the date was sometime during 1963. The latter name was in honor of former Bay Minette mayor, politician and Baldwin Times publisher James (Jimmy) Faulkner. Former Advance publisher Bob Morrissette allegedly played a role in that naming, due to his close relationship with Faulkner and The Baldwin Times.

Another question was asked this week. That person who grew up in Perdido wanted to know the names of the stores Perdido had back in the 1920s-1940s. I felt I was qualified to answer that question since I, too, grew up there. While in grammar school, I rang the gonging bell on Sundays outside our little Methodist church on top of the hill, dipped turpentine as a junior in the summers (a barrel a day) in my dad’s plot of timber, coasted my bike down the steep hill leading into town (and pushing it back up the hill because it was too steep to pedal) didn’t miss a Saturday matinee at the Strand and watched the big sedans scrape the car’s rear as they crossed the   L&N Railroad tracks because they were loaded with sacks of sugar headed to concealed stills somewhere out in the back woods.

With these qualifications I can answer his question.

Of course, we had our three general stores operated by Harold McGill, G.T. McGill and his father-in-law Mr. Huff, and Foncie and Ernest Weekly.

In earlier days, we had the McCoy Drug Store, Luther Martin Auto Repair, Frank Emmons Sawmill, Jimmy Havard Tavern, Centennie Barber Shop, Carey Havard Movie House (in the rear of the tavern), North Baldwin Grist Mill and Thomas Coleman medicine shop. By the way, Coleman and Bay Minette pharmacist George Lambert came up with a remedy similar to Hadicol, received a patent and marketed it in several stores through south Alabama.

So, Perdido indeed had its share of thriving businesses back in those days.

In closing, congratulations are in order to the ECHS football team for winning its first game of the season. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a new era for the team and its proud coaches.

Next week, we will take a look at more mews and events from days gone by.

You can email Lowell McGill at exam@frontiernet.net.