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Mint Springs

September 24, 2013

"We said that summer we'd go down to Cancun
But no money makes that kind of hard to do"
-Sheryl Crow "Easy"

Earlier this month, my brother Matt got married just outside of Nashville at a place called Mint Springs Farm. Of course I wasn't going to miss that for anything, though I was fortunate that he and his wife, Jenica, picked a weekend that was outside of the four week vacation blocker spans of time known as sweeps. If they had picked the middle of February or May or July or November, I would have been in a much more difficult spot. Even outside of sweeps, getting the time off for it approved wasn't a lock, but fortunately it turned out where I was able to receive the go-ahead for it. Four days wrapped around a weekend gave me plenty of time for shifting my sleep schedule and making the trip.

Titus in a tux!

I hadn't been back to Nashville since Christmas, and I probably won't be back there until this upcoming Christmas, provided I get the time off to go there for it, which is hardly a done deal. But I'm not complaining. When you work in TV news, you have to work holidays and landing vacation time is not a given. Everyone knows that when they get into the business. No one has delusions of a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.

The wedding itself was a great event, a fun opportunity to see some friends and family I hadn't talked with or seen in person in a very long time. The ceremony went well even though it involved my 10-month-old niece, Evelynn, and Matt's bulldog, Titus. Much like how it goes in live television, animals and young children in a formal ceremony is an unpredictable element. And I'm not sure what contingency plans there were, if any, if something had gone sideways with one or both of them at the wedding. But it turned out great, with Evelynn staying quiet and Titus behaving himself.

The ceremony took place at an outdoor venue, a covered shelter area that protected us in the event of rain. And while fortunately there was no rain, there was plenty of Tennessee southern-style heat to go around. It topped 90 degrees and humid that day, and while I might have been dapper in my rented suit, staying cool was a challenge, especially since I sweat so easily.

I had hoped to meet up with some friends while I was in town, but despite me being there for several days there were surprisingly few opportunities to venture outside of the busy itinerary. It would have been fun to do a one-off return to the broadcast booth to do color commentary for the web broadcast of Father Ryan's upset home opener win over Brentwood Academy, but that went head-to-head with the rehearsal dinner at Sambuca, so it wasn't a viable option. That's okay, though, since I went to Nashville for the wedding, not to broadcast a football game.

Next month I'll be going to the Alabama/Kentucky football game in Lexington. Sadly, during my 13 months in Alabaster, AL (a suburb of Birmingham) I never did make it to an Alabama home game in Tuscaloosa. In fact, I've never even been to Tuscaloosa. Somehow in my life I've managed to attend two UAB football games at that dump of a stadium called Legion Field (which is in a rough part of Birmingham), and I did make it to an Auburn game in 2007, but I've never seen Alabama play in person. That changes next month.

Something very interesting happened this past Saturday: with very little notice or advance word spreading, which seems impossible in the Twitter era of today, players for multiple college football teams sported a three letter acronym APU, which stands for All Players United, a protest to the one-sided system in place where college football players can't even have proper representation, let alone be compensated for what the market demand truly is for their talent. It's an idea that is long overdue, strength in numbers and solidarity that crosses both team and conference lines. When Georgia and Georgia Tech players can come together for a common cause, anything is possible.

One more thing: I promised Konnan that I would spread the word about the outstanding MLW podcast that he does with Court Bauer, who ran the great but short-lived promotion Major League Wrestling and later worked for WWE. It's mostly pro wrestling talk but it's highly entertaining. Very strongly recommended.

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