Tidbits - July 29, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

WHAT????
  I actually remembered the SEC media day was on and turned to the network just in time to hear Carolina’s new coach Shane Beamer speak.
  He was great. If I weren’t 70-years-old, I’d play for him.
  After he spoke, the commentators said Beamer “got at an A+ and won the day.”
  Of course, “winning the day” and winning on the football field are two different animals.
  Some people question how a guy with a great personality, but who hasn’t been a coordinator can be a successful coach in a Power 5 conference. Well, just ask Dabo. He had the same resume.
  I had no interest in watching any more of the events the rest of the week, then something popped up on social media, “Texas and Oklahoma are going to apply for membership in the SEC.”
  This sounded too much like an April Fool’s joke, so I waited for the disclaimer ... and waited ... and waited.
  Come on, now, people! It’s got to be a joke, right?
  Apparently, not. Apparently, it’s true.
  Of course, it’s all about the money.
  I saw a Clemson fan post Carolina would probably get out of the SEC with Texas ad Oklahoma coming in.
  Why would they do that? Do you think Vanderbilt minds getting their brains beat out in football for a projected $70 million a year? I don’t think so.
  It didn’t take long for the prognosticators to start making projections.
  One has Auburn and Alabama moving to the SEC East, and Missouri joining Texas and Oklahoma in the SEC West. So, instead of playing Auburn and Alabama every four or five years, the Gamecocks will get to play them every year. Hopefully, Carolina won’t be stuck with having to play Texas A&M every year with the new alignment.
  This same scheme has the ACC adding West Virginia and UCF to keep up.
  Another hypothetical idea has the SEC divided into four pods. “A” would have Florida, Georgia, Carolina and Kentucky; “B” - Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt; “C”- LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas A&M; and “D” - Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas. All the teams in Pod D used to be members of the old Southwestern Conference, or the Big 12.
  I like this plan. You’d play the other three teams in your pod, play two against each of the other pods, and  host every team at least once very four seasons.
  How do Texas and Oklahoma compare with the rest of the SEC?
  Someone compiled a list of top four finishes in three major men’s sports, football, basketball, and baseball. There was no time period given.
  Texas had 47 and Oklahoma had 36. The most by a current SEC team was Alabama with 26. If you’re curious, Carolina had ten. Believe or not Texas A&M only had two. Not wonder the Aggies don’t want Texas in the league.


MEMORIES
  My Uncle Keith and Cousin Kevin Parris of Spartanburg came to see my mother at Saluda Nursing Center Sunday.
  We talked about all the houses they had lived in around Spartanburg, and Keith recalled the time he and Daddy moved my grandmother, Dibbie Killingsworth, from Rock Hill to Spartanburg.
  While they were unloading they got hungry, so Keith said he told Daddy a brand new hamburger place had opened up just down the road in Spartanburg, and he went to get some food.
  That new place was called McDonald’s. They must not have had the Big Mac on the menu 60 years ago, because when Keith got back with the burgers, and Daddy lifted the bun, he said, “Where’s the meat?”
  He beat Wendy’s “Where’s the beef” to the punch bya few decades!


20 YEARS
  After my vacation in 2001, I came to work on Monday and gave all my employees their gifts I bought. The ladies got Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts. It was a typical back to the grind day.
  In the middle of the night, Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner called me. He said the call was not about any one in my family, but it was someone who was like my family. He came to see me and let me know my employee Jennifer Donlon has been killed in a car accident.
  I was 50-years-old, but I had to grow up that day. I had to let my other workers know of the terrible news, and, somehow, we had to band together, because we had to get the paper out that morning. I don’t know how we did it.
  Jennifer was a wonderful young lady, deeply loved by all who knew her. She worked for us part-time, while she was going to USA-Aiken. She was only 20-years-old when she died.
  Jennifer would never know that her brother, Jason, would marry my niece, Mayson Jones, and they would become parents of children who would call Jennifer “Aunt,” and me “Great-Uncle.”
  I know she would dote on Deacon, Madden and Emoree, and Rhyden on the way.  
  July 23rd marked 20 years since her untimely passing.
  Jennifer is greatly missed, but she lives on in those she left behind.