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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

An Open Letter to SEC Commisioner Greg Sankey

     First, Mr. Sankey, I got to ask you, are you any relation to the legendary Methodist hymn maker, Ira D. Sankey. I understand you are a native of Upstate New York, so I had to ask.

      In October of 2012 I had a brief on air conversation with Paul Finebaum and Bama's Rhodes Scholar QB Greg McElroy about Howell Raines 84 piece in the New Republic, Farewell to the Bear. Finebaum volunteered it was the best piece he'd ever read about the larger world of Bear Bryant's influence.

   I commend that piece to you as I think we are in similar times now in the era of Donald Trump, and all the Bama input in his administration from Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions, to Cliff Simms of Yellowhammer News and their religious right base here in Bama. That includes Rick Burgess and Andrea Tice and their network of Baptist mega churches.

    Don't want to get too deep in the woods on that but do invite you and Condi Rice and Archie Manning and the Playoff selection committee to take a close look at this provocative conversation I watched over the weekend on BookTv

     I think the implications are obvious for the players and extended families of the overwhelming population on the field on any given Saturday in SEC Football.

    You talk about athletics and academics as the spotlight for your tenure as SEC commissioner.

    Lot to talk about here framed in the New Republic piece and this conversation of May 18 at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in NYC. Even more so as you learn about the connection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Abyssinian and 16th Street BC in Bham.

     See the chapter Value in Pulitzer Winner Marilynne Robinson's collection of essays The Givenness of Things.

    And Condi Rice has that great story about her Uncle Alto. Condi also was recently on booktv from the Reagan Library to talk about her new book Democracy. She had a glorious anecdote about passing a voting station in Bham in the 60s and seeing blacks lined up to vote against George Wallace. She had the wits even then to mention to her Uncle Alto don't they know our votes don't count?

   And he replied, maybe not now, but someday and sooner than you think.

   I don't want to overwhelm you, but will share this blog widely for your conversations. Among places I will link this invitation for conversation are the Student Ministry of St. Francis Catholic Church in Tuscaloosa to which Nick Saban and his wife contributed a million dollars within the last year, the New Baptist Covenant initiative of President Carter and Progressive Baptists, General Krulak, retired president of Birmingham Southern; and I hope to bring it to Paul Finebaum's attention if he takes a call in the next ten days or so.

    And while I don't have direct contact with Condi Rice and Archie Mannining, everybody has friends of friends. Scott Hunter's daughter on the Bama state school board should be reading this afternoon.

    I hope we can exchange emails soon.


  post script. Chat with Finebaum and McElroy Sept 2012


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