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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, January 12, 2017 I Of shoe, wax.. by Ann Young Gregory The bottom line Reprinted from January 10, 2008 Although I thought they'd never end, they finally did-----on Monday nightwith the long awaited and high- ly touted BCS Championship Bowl (that's "Bowl Championship Series Championship Bowl," which seems to me to be slightly redundant, but then the whole process, in my opinion, IS redundant!) Anyway, everybody who watched saw Ohio State, ranked #1 at the end of the season, start out strong (10- 0) and then fold as LSU (#2) rolled over them in the rest of the first half, scoring 24 unanswered points. In the second, OSU managed two touchdowns, but then so did LSU, so #2 (LSU had been defeated during the regular season by the University of Kentucky--you knew I just had to get that in, didn't you!) is the champ, and the col- lege bowl games are over for the 2007 season, which stretched a week into 2008. Although you may not realize, there were at least by my count, thirty,two college football bowl games. The first one was played on Thursday, December 20, and the final one on January 7. Only six were played on New Year's Day, which is the traditional day for college foot- ball bowl games. I guess I've just hung around for too long, because they keep changing things that I think should be left alone, and eventually come up with things like thirty-two bowl games played over a nine- teen-day span. For example, in the Southeastern Conference, which contains twelve teams, nine of them, including the new champion, of course, received bowl bids. Only Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt had to stay at home during the post-season. The SEC, always a rea- sonably strong conference, was very strong this year, but still nine teams in bowl games! The amazing thing about that, I suppose, is that seven of them won, which is some kind of evidence that the SEC might have been the strongest football conference in the country this year. The winners were Mississippi State (!0-3 over UCF) in the Liberty Bowl; Alabama (30-24 over Colorado) in the Independence Bowl; Kentucky (35-28 over Florida State) in the Music City Bowl; Aubum (23-20 over Clemson) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl; Tennessee (21-17 over Wisconsin) in the Outback Bowl; Georgia (41-10 over Hawaii) in the Sugar Bowl; and, of course, LSU. (Arkansas 10st to Missouri 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl; and Florida lost to Michigan 41-35 in the Capital One Bowl). Getting back to how things used to be, football- bowl-wise, when I was growing up, with only a mild interest in college football, I nevertheless remember that there were four bowls-Rose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton.-The Gator Bowl came along at some point, but those were about it. The bowl games were all played on January 1---or perhaps some of" them were on December. 31---I just don't remember. I DO remember, however, that the Rose Bowl was considered the big one, and it was always played on New Year's Day. Although I've been a University of Kentucky fan all of my life, I had nothing more than a passing interest in these games, since UK seldom was a participant. There was a notable exception, however--I think it was in 1951, the year before I enrolled at UK as a freshman, and a Bear Bryant-----coached UK team defeated #1 ranked Oklahoma 13-7 in the Sugar Bowl. The whole state went nuts, of course--still talks that bowl game, in fact. So what happened? I wasn't there, of course, but I'd be willing to bet that the chief motivator was the bottom line----the money that was just sitting around some- where, waiting to be made, legitimately, of course, on college football, particularly after television became such an integral part of everybody's life. Just look at it--we went from four bowl games to today's thirty-two bowl games. Each one was on televi- sion-most on ESPN--and I'd love to have a list of the advertising billing from each game. I did fred, howev- er, a most interesting list of the amount of money paid to the teams that were in the bowl games just conclud- ed. The total payout, by all the networks that carried these games (as I said, most were carried by ESPN), was $126,523,000. That averages to about $1.9 million per school, but it doesn't work out that way, of course. Participants in each of five of the games (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and BCS Championship) shared $17 million--that's $17 million five times! The lowest pay- out was $200,000 to participants in the Humanitarian Bowl. It distresses me that so much of this sport which cap- tures the fancy of so many Americans now apparently revolves around the bottom line. I've been thinking a lot about this, and I've concluded that corporate sponsor- ships have a lot to do with the development of the mul- titude of bowl games. I've already mentioned the Chick-fd-A'bowl; there are also the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the Capital One Bowl, the GMAC Bowl, and those are just the ones named for their corporate sponsors. Almost all the bowls--I would say all of them, but I'm really not sure of that--have a corporate sponsor, and most are men- tioned ad infinitum during the broadcast of each game. I noticed during last night's game (Allstate is apparent- ly a major corporate sponsor of the BCS Championship Bowl, hecidentally) that the performances of the Ohio State and LSU Bands were presented as "'The Southwest Airlines Halftime Show," although Southwest Airlines wasn't mentioned during any other portion of the program that I heard, nor did Southwest Airlines have anything to do with the halftime show itself. I used to think that corporate sponsorships were a good, pure way for everybody in sports and in business. to benefit, but now I think I've changed my mind. Corporate sponsors, combined with television, seem to have changed the point of the whole thing from athlet- ics and school spirit to money. Too many things in our country are determined only by money----it looks like maybe we should leave college football out of it! system comes with no guarantees By Lee H. Hamilton There are a lot of dire predictions about our rep- resentative democracy out there. We're just past a presidential election cam- paign in which candidates complained about a rigged political system. Now, commentators worry about the imminent failure of the American experiment. I don't agree With these predictions of calamity. Our representative democ- racy is not on the verge of collapse. But I do see stresses and tensions that should concern anyone who cares about our sys- tem of self-g0vernment. Our representative democ- racy has been remarkably stable and successful for over two hundred years, but that is no guarantee it will survive and prosper. The mere fact that this nation is filled with so many citizens who have lost confidence in key institutions is worrisome. The Gallup organization's ongoing polling has found declines in public confi- dence over the past few decades in everything from the Supreme Court and Congress to the police and even the military. It shows a pervasive drop in public regard for the institutions that undergird American life. The reasons stem in part from a declining willing- ness among the people who inhabit those institutions to observe the norms of behavior that evoke public confidence. This is notable especially on Capitol Hill and in political life, where the parties seem to have abandoned fair play and taken to using institutions tomaximize partisan advantage. In the Senate, the recent refusal even to hold hearings on the President's nominee to the Supreme Court brought the lack of comity between branches to a new low. Politicians engage in a degree of partisanship that a few decades ago would have disqualified them in the eyes of the voting pub- lic. They attack opposing politicians' patriotism, impugn their loyalty, accuse them of criminal activity, question the fair- ness of the election process itself- with virtually no evidence -- and seek to undermine their effective- ness in office. Small won- der that elected officials' legitimacy is increasingly New York politician who wished President Obama dead of Mad Cow Disease. They sidestep accountabili- ty and transparency: tweet- ing their stances rather than facing hard questions, avoiding press conferences that would give reporters a chance to hold them to account, preferring public rallies to the give and take that allows the public to examine and scrutinize their stances. All of this poses real challenges to the system. SO what might be done to restore public faith in its fairness,justness and decency? Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University, recently came out with a paper, "What, Americans Want from Government Reform," that reinforces the proposals many called into question among reformers have been push- the public at large. If we had a media that prized both the vigilance and impartiality it dis- played during its heyday, these tendencies might not run so rampant. Similarly, if politicians were willing to negotiate, compromise, and search for remedies to the nation's challenges, then our current dysfunc- tional inability to get things done would be less of a hallmark of these times. Yet too many politicians seem fine with dysfunc- tion. They appear more interested in holding power than in using it to solve problems. They reject the norms of behavior in a civil society m for example, the ing in recent years. His list of fLxes that would enjoy support among ordinary Americans in both parties includes reducing the role of money in elections, boosting ethical constraints on elected officials, reduc- ing waste and inefficiency, finding ways to increase the voices of ordinary citi- zens, and ensuring that civil servants and political appointees are qualified and competent. Americans don't expect miracles. They just want the basic features of gov- ernment to work. But here's the thing: making this happen is up to us. Politicians may be. directly responsible for the prob- lems above, but you and I as voters allow them to get away with it. We voted them into office, kept them there, and paid little atten- tion to their shenanigans. The problem• is not just the politicians. It's us, too. The first words of the Constitution read, "We the People," not "We the Government." It's up to us to strive for a more perfect union, and to be vigilant aboutthese adverse ten- dencies °that threaten to undermine our representa- tive democracy. Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on •Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. Dear Editor: In this time of political change I believe it is more important than in many, many years that those of us who believe America Should be a nation of tolerance, diversi- ty, equality and basic human decency gather and celebrate those very beliefs and those pioneers who sacrificed to bring about change. I invite those interested in promoting these values to join me this Saturday, January 14, 201% in Abingdon for the 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march. This year's theme is "Lest We Forget" with the following schedule of events: 12:30 PM gather at the Charles Wesley United Methodist Church, 322 E Main for an Intergenerational Forum; 1:30 PM join the march to Abingdon United Methodist Church and ending with a 2 PM celebration of fellowship, speakers, and refresh- ments. Sincerely, Jean Kilgore P.O. Box 1210 St. Paul, VA 24283 276-762-7500 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Readers are invited to write letters on matters of general interest to the public. Letters do not necessarily reflect the philosophy or editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit let- ters. The Clinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. Potiphar got plastered on Picayunes By Jimmy Reed Oxford, Mississippi res- ident, Ole Miss alumnus, Army veteran, and retired Mississippi Delta cotton farmer Jimmy Reed (jim- mycecilreedjr@gmail.com ) is a newspaper columnist, author andcollege teacher. His collections of short stories are available via Squarebooks.com, tele- phone 662 -236-2262. This story did not spring from a warped imagina- tion. The events chronicled herein are true, confirming beyond exaggeration, elab- .oration, or embellishment what Mark Twain said about truth: "Why should° n't truth be stranger than fiction? After all, fiction has to stick to possibili- ties." One cold winter day while hunting, I came upon a motherless fawn. The emaciated creature was so weak it didn't even strug- gle when I picked it up, and its big brown sad, eyes seemed to say -- help me, please! Mama took one look at the little deer and her maternal instincts kicked in. She made a bed in a cardboard box and fed him with a bottle. In keeping with her habit of giving pets Biblical names (e.g., Goliath the rooster, Delilah the cat, Jethro the Rottweiler, Jubal " the canary) she christened him Potiphar. Following a successful crop year, my father, a Mississippi Delta cotton farmer, built his owing family a tennis court and swimming pool in the backyard with a changing room between them. Unwilling to set Potiphar free when he out- grew the cardboard box, Mama put him in the tennis court, and my boyhood mentor Jaybird and I often brought him a bowl of ker- nel corn, his favorite food. Jaybird smoked Picayune Cigarettes, the strongest on the market back then. One day while feeding Potiphar corn, Jaybird offered him a Picayune. The little buck gobbled it down and nudged the old black man's leg, begging for another. "Nope," Jaybird said, "These strong smokes will make you drunk." How prophetic those words were! About a week later, VALLEY S DEADLINES: EDITORIAL copy (anniversaries, birthdaysl weddings, calendar items, press releases, etc.) 3 p.m. Monday ADVERTISING (Classified and display) 12 noon Monday while Mama and several town ladies were cooling off in the swimming pool, I decided to see how many Picayunes Potiphar would eat. After gobbling ten of them, his coat quivered, as if shedding flies. Then the overdosed deer stared at me with crossed eyes, flapped his white tail, foamed at the mouth, stag- gered drunkenly, and bolt- ed across the court.' The ensuing pandemo- nium ensured that Potiphar was no longer Mama's benign bambino Bambi. He ricocheted off the fence, tore down the net, leaped atop the changing room, and -- performing a full gainer with a half twist -- plunged into the pool, right amongst the bathing beauties! Seeking a way out, Potiphar swam around the pool, herding the wailing women into the middle. .. ,.. , . Finally he caught a foothold and vaulted out of the water, only to slip on the wet surface and slide under a table, dumping hors d'oeuvres, Jubal's cage, and a pitcher of iced tea on Jethro. Regaining his feet, he sprinted around the pool, with the enraged Rottweiler at his heels. Then out of the gate they flew. We never saw Potiphar again. "Some creatures are naturally wild, and folks oughtn't try to domesticate them," Mama admitted, watching her horrified, towel-clad friends fleeing to their cars. "Yes, ma'am," I nod- ded. I never told her the truth stranger than fiction: Several strong smokes made that deer delirious, deranged, and drunk. Potiphar got plastered on Picayunes. Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 9~t283, by d,e CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves the four-couaty area of ~'~se, Russell, Diekenson and Scott, with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES htildiag, 16541 Russell Stroet. Periodicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283 Allen "Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphlc~ ANNUAL SUBSCRIFIIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Rltssell Counties; $30.00 in other 24-zip-codes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: setul address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, P.O. Box 817: St. Paul, VA 24283 SI~IGLE COPY- 50c Classified Advertising: mini- mum charge $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. Display Advert- isiag rates on application Periodicals publicatioa Post ISSN: 767600