John Archibald—a double standard

John Archibald, columnist for The Birmingham News/al.com

John Archibald, columnist for The Birmingham News/al.com

Writing about John Archibald might be the riskiest and dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but this piece is not really about Archibald.

I’m also going to write about UAB football, but this piece is not about UAB either.

As the title indicates, it’s about a double standard.

On September 30, 2012, Birmingham became the second largest city in America without a daily newspaper. The decision to cut back daily delivery of The Birmingham News was made by Advance Communications–its parent company, headquartered in New York. Continue reading

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UAB beat Saban & 5 other things I learned from writing about the UAB football fiasco

Nick Saban, Football Coach at the University of Alabama

Nick Saban, Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama

Yes, it’s true.

On September 23, 2000 the UAB Blazers beat LSU 13 to 10 and spoiled LSU’s homecoming.  Nick Saban was the LSU Coach and Jimbo Fisher, now head coach at FSU, was an assistant.

I also learned…

It wasn’t just the termination of the UAB program that made folks angry, but how it was executed.  There are a lot of good people who were hurt by the decision, but more importantly, there was a great deal of resentment because of the way it was handled (or not handled).  Rumors swirled weeks before–then after the final game of the season the historic announcement was made.  UAB students, employees, and donors felt they were lied to and betrayed.  Continue reading

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Ray Watts: A good man at the wrong place at the wrong time

Dr. Ray Watts, President UAB

Dr. Ray Watts, President UAB

I am dumbfounded by the unfair personal attacks against Dr. Ray Watts and UAB’s decision to shut down football.

We say we want brave leaders who are willing to make unpopular decisions when it’s for the greater good—but that certainly is not how we are responding.

It appears almost everyone—student, public, and media—are unanimously dumping on Dr. Watts.  These are the same folks who had the opportunity for years to support Blazer football, but were missing in action.

Continue reading

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Time for our old Birmingham leadership to croak

CasketThe above title is not my quote because I would be one of the “croakers,” but it’s something I hear from the younger generation regularly.  Okay, they may not use the word, “croak,” but they say it’s time for our old leadership to step aside.

The next generation of Birmingham leaders does not understand our racial divide.  They grew up in a different time and they see the possibilities and advantages of a common vision.

Steve Boswell, a young professional, in his guest blog characterized our older citizens and leaders as ‘doubters’—“a group who believe the racial divide has evolved into an immortal chasm that will not be bridged.” Continue reading

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Call BAMA ‘UAT’—Join the witness protection program

University of AlabamaI wrote a piece doubting the longevity of UAB Football, a young Auburn student wrote a rebuttal, and all hell broke loose on the Internet.

I expected some push back—but it didn’t come from where I expected.

Sher hates UAB & Birmingham

In my defense, I am pro UAB and Birmingham, but some commenters didn’t think so.

“What a convoluted, illogical, irrelevant opinion by Sher. And this man is supposed to be singing the praises of The Comeback Town?…What a conceited jerk.” Continue reading

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David Carrington: “I don’t care!”

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington with Commission President Jimmy Stephens

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington with Commission President Jimmie Stephens

I wrote most of this piece about Commissioner Carrington a few months ago, but did not publish it for fear it would appear too political.

Now that the Jefferson County Commission election is over, I feel more comfortable making my comments.  Commissioner Carrington has been reelected and Commissioner Jimmie Stephens has been elected President.

I’m not saying Commissioner Carrington is better or worse than any other commissioner–I just happen to know David better.  I do feel strongly that our County Commission–though not perfect–did a credible job with the hand it was dealt. Continue reading

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5 reasons David Sher Is Wrong About UAB Football

Michael Bullington, Auburn student,

Michael Bullington. Auburn student

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Michael Bullington.  In this piece, Michael is responding to 5 reasons UAB will pull the plug on UAB football.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

1)  Eventually, the U of A Trustees will cave

There is continuous and  mounting public pressure for the University of Alabama System’s Board of Trustees to offer greater resources and attention to UAB.  UAB is not the commuter school that it once was. About 18,700 students are enrolled at UAB, more than half as many as UAT has. If UAB’s student population was a city, it would be the 34th largest city in Alabama. Also, while only 40% of students at UAT are from the state of Alabama, nearly 80% of UAB’s students are in-state. These are students whose families have paid taxes to support the system. Their voice matters. If football really matters to UAB students (and it should), then they will fight for their program. Regardless of football, they should fight for their school. UAB Football  may take a hit, but given time the Board will inevitably come to realize that greater athletic offerings can only help UAB, the System, and the State. #FreeUAB Continue reading

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5 reasons why UAB will pull the plug on UAB football

UAB FootballThere’s been talk that UAB may discontinue its Division 1 football program.  UAB boosters are joining ranks to save it.

It’s heartbreaking because Bill Clark and UAB are showing new life, but I think it’s unavoidable.  There are just too many obstacles for UAB football to overcome.

Even though UAB is having a great turnaround season only 9,457 fans showed up at Legion Field this past week for UAB’s loss to Louisiana Tech. Continue reading

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9 year old Birmingham girl likely to be first woman President

Anniah Mishra

Annikah Mishra, likely first woman President

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is 9 year old Annikah Mishra. She wrote this letter to President Obama at the beginning of the school year.  She’s been patiently waiting for a response from the President (checking mailbox every day) and has not been very happy with his slow response.

Her parents posted this letter on Facebook and granted permission for ComebackTown to republish.

If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Dear President Obama,

My name is Annikah Mishra and I’m 9 years old starting 4th grade. Continue reading

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Birmingham: The greatest college football city in America

SEC College Football

SEC College Football

Hold onto your seat.

I’m about to give you some numbers that will confound and amuse you.

On October 1st, Justin Connolly, Senior VP of ESPN Programming over College Networks, spoke to the Rotary Club of Birmingham about the new SEC Network.  He said the SEC Network has been the most successful launch of a cable network in the history of television. (Oprah, eat your heart out)

Then he gave some numbers that made the audience break into spontaneous applause. Continue reading

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