On the afternoon of December 12, 1997, at 1:50 p.m. I saw this world for the very first time, and some thought I wouldn’t live to see life outside of the four cold walls of that dark hospital.
The first few months and years of my life were spent with trips to and from hospitals. I spent most of my early childhood traveling anywhere from Montgomery, Alabama, to Birmingham, Alabama, all the way to Greenville, South Carolina.
At six weeks old, I was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Not long afterwards, my small intestines ruptured, I was diagnosed with gangrene, and had suffered a stroke.
Seeing everything that I had been through having just been born, the medical staff basically said I wouldn’t live much longer.
I knew that if I wanted to see the light of day outside of the four walls of that Birmingham, Alabama hospital, I had to put up a fight.
I knew that my life was at stake. I knew I had to prove the medical staff wrong. I just knew I had to fight. Nobody in that hospital had given me even the slightest chance to make it, so it was all up to me.
Thankfully, God had greater plans for my life and saw me through those early horrors. Throughout the nearly 23 years of my life, I’ve survived multiple surgeries.
Through the years, I’ve seen my fair share of tragedy and triumph. At age 16, I lost four of my friends in the same year. With one of them being my lifelong best friend.
Even though I have faced many trials and tribulations in my short time, the one thing that has remained constant is the great and power mercy of God.
He has seen me on my best and worst days and has always remained at my side. Even though I will face much more adversity in the coming years of my life, I have no doubt that God, along with my guardian angels will see that I make it through the hard times safely.
I share my testimony not as a pity on me, but in hopes that my story will touch the hearts and lives of its readers. May it serve as a source of hope and inspiration.
It’s often been said that Bo Jackson is one of, if not the best all-around athlete to ever play sports. It’s often brought up in a debate between Bo and Deion Sanders.
Yes, the same Deion Sanders that played for both the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves in the same day back when Sanders was in his playing days.
But not only is Bo Jackson quite possibly the best athlete to ever step onto an athletic field, he’s also one of the best human beings around.
Back on April 27, 2011, the same day that tornadoes ravaged through Tuscaloosa, Jackson, an Auburn University iconic ambassador, set the bitter rivalry aside and decided to start Bo Bikes Bama in order to help raise money for the victims of the Tuscaloosa tornadoes.
The Bessemer, Alabama native has got to be one of the most thoughtful athletes ever, if he’s not, there’s something wrong. A person’s heart can’t get much bigger than that of Mr. Bo Jackson.
Tennessee returns to action for the first time in two weeks after an unexpected open weekend when it travels to No. 23/21 Auburn for a prime time kickoff on ESPN inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Volunteers scheduled home game vs. Texas A&M on November 14 in Neyland Stadium was postponed due to a combination of positive COVID tests and contract tracing within the Aggie Football program.
That game is tentatively scheduled for December 12 in Knoxville. All three of Tennessee’s currently scheduled November games are on the road, marking the first time since 1891 that the Vols will not play a home game during a calendar month.
Auburn was one of UT’s two additions to its 10-game conference schedule. The two teams are meeting for the first time since a 30-24 Tennessee win in 2018. The Tigers lead the all-time series 28-22-3.
Saturday’s game will be available for viewing on ESPN at 6 p.m. CT with Joe Tessitore (Play-by-Play), Greg McElroy (Analyst), and Allison Williams (Sideline), on the call.
The game will be available over the airwaves in the Smokey Mountain region by way of WIVK-FM 107.7 FM and WNML-FM 99.1, with Bob Kesling (Play-by-Play), Tim Priest & Brent Hubbs (Analysts), and Kasey Funderburg (Sidelines) on the call.
Saturday’s meeting will be the 54th all-time meeting between the Volunteers and Tigers. Auburn has won six out of the last seven meetings. The meeting will mark only the eighth meeting on the gridiron since 2000.
In Knoxville: Tennessee leads the series 14-10-2.
In Auburn: The Tigers lead 7-3-1.
In Birmingham: Auburn leads 10-4.
The two squads have met twice in the SEC Championship, tied 1-1 in Atlanta, Georgia. Tennessee’s biggest win in the series was a 42-point win over Auburn on The Plains in 1980.
Auburn’ s biggest win in the series history is 32 points, which has occurred twice, most recently in 2013 in Knoxville.
Tennessee’s record on November 21 games is: 9-5-1. They are currently on a five-game winning streak.
Before the football season began on September 26, these two programs seemed like they would be at two totally different ends of the totem pole.
Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee Volunteers (2-3) entered the season ranked in the Top 25, while first-year head coach Sam Pittman’s Arkansas Razorbacks (2-3) seemed to have Kirby Smart’s then-fourth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs on the proverbial ropes before the Dawgs came storming back with a late surge to take a 37-10 win over the Hogs in Fayetteville.
While both teams enter with identical 2-3 records, it seems that this game is a must-win for the Volunteers if they hope to get things back on track as we head toward the home stretch of the 2020 season.
Arkansas, who wasn’t expected to be very competitive at all this season has shocked the nation. The Hogs were projected to be the second-worst Southeastern Conference team in front of only Vanderbilt before the season began.
For Tennessee, things have taken a completely different path. The Volunteers were expected to be among the best in the Southeastern Conference in 2020 during the preseason, but that’s not the case on Rocky Top.
This year marks the 13th-straight season that Tennessee is not in contention for a conference title. Since leading Georgia 21-17 at halftime on October 10, Pruitt’s Volunteers have been outscored 109-24.
Following an open date on October 31, the Tennessee Volunteers are set to begin the second-half of their 2020 season with a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to visit the pesky Razorbacks.
This will be Tennessee’s first trip to Fayetteville since 2011, as the Volunteers and Hogs are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT kick on the SEC Network, with Tom Hart (play-by-play), Jordan Rodgers (analyst), and Cole Cubelic (sideline) on the call.
The game will be available on the airwaves in the Smokey Mountain region on the Vol Network WIVK 107.7 FM and WNML-FM 99.1 with Bob Kesling (play-by-play), Tim Priest and Brent Hubbs (analysts), and Kasey Funderburg (sideline) on the call.
Saturday’s contest in Fayetteville will mark the 19th overall meeting between the Razorbacks and Volunteers, and the sixth meeting in Fayetteville. Tennessee leads the all-time series 13-5.
In Knoxville, the Volunteers lead the series 6-2, in Fayetteville, Tennessee leads 3-2, in Little Rock, the Volunteers lead 3-0, and in bowl games, Tennessee leads 2-0.
The Volunteers all-time record on November 7 is (15-3), they are on a 14-game winning streak on this date.
In the last five games on this date, Tennessee is 5-0: 1981: 24-21 W over Wichita State, 1987: 41-10 W over Louisville, 1998: 37-13 W over UAB, 2009: 56-28 W over Memphis, and 2015: 27-24 over South Carolina.
It’s no secret that the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry has fallen off of a proverbial cliff in the last 13 years, from 2007 to last year, but that doesn’t take away from the downright hatred and bad blood that continues to flow rapidly through the veins of these two programs, and fans of the two respective programs alike.
Traditionally, the rivalry game has been played on the third Saturday in October. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic influenced schedules, the game was pushed back a week.
The Tennessee Volunteers and the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are set to renew their rivalry at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday in Neyland Stadium on CBS. Gameday seating will be at approximately 25 percent of the venue’s full capacity of 102,455.
Saturday’s game will be available over the airwaves of the Smokey Mountains on the Vol Network with Bob Kesling (play-by-play), Tim Priest and Brent Hubbs (analysts), and Kasey Funderburg (sideline) on the call.
The CBS broadcast will be brought to viewers by Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst), and Jamie Erdahl (sideline) on the call.
Recent series history has been in favor of Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, as Alabama has won 13 meetings in a row (2007-2019). Tennessee has won nine of its last 12 games dating back to last season. Saturday marks the halfway point for the Volunteers’ season as Tennessee is off on October 31.
Tennessee punt returners are averaging 20.0 yards per punt return this season, which ranks third in the country and second in the Southeastern Conference.
Kick returner Velus Jones Jr., is averaging 25.0 yards per kick return this season, which ranks second among teams in the Southeastern Conference.
Tennessee’s defense has recorded two touchdowns thus far in 2020, which ranks third in the country and third in the Southeastern Conference.
20 Volunteers have made their Tennessee debut in 2020, including 17 true freshmen.
Inside the Series:
Saturday’s meeting between Alabama and Tennessee will mark the 103rd all-time meeting between the bitter rivals.
Alabama leads the series 57-38-7. The Crimson Tide lead the series in Knoxville, 26-20-1, Tuscaloosa, 10-4, and Birmingham 14-21-6.
Tennessee’s largest margin of victory in the series is 27 points (41-14, 1969 and 1995 respectively). Both of those games were played in Birmingham.
The Volunteers’ largest margin of defeat in the series is 51, which occurred in 1906, when the Tide beat Tennessee 51-0 in Birmingham.
Tennessee’s all-time record in games played on October 24 is 12-4-2, they are currently on a two game losing streak.
The last time a game was played on October 24 came in 2015 (19-14 L). The others came in 2009 (12-10 L to Alabama), 1998 (35-18 W over Alabama), 1987 (29-15 W over Georgia Tech), and 1981 (38-9 W over Memphis State).
Tennessee and Alabama have faced each other four times on October 24. The Vols own a 2-2 record again the Tide on that date, outscoring them 76-75.
In mid-March, Major League Baseball halted their Spring Training workouts to the outbreak of COVID-19, and fans were not allowed into the stadiums for the entire regular season.
In fact, a week into the season in late-July and early August, Major League Baseball was sitting on its proverbial heels due to multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 in Miami, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati.
With the bulk of the positive tests coming out of Miami and St. Louis, league officials were contemplating the thought of shutting the season down even though it had literally just gotten started.
When the league reached an agreement with its clubs to play a 60-game regular-season schedule as opposed to the normal 162-game schedule in a non-pandemic year, we knew every game would matter that much more.
Winning streaks would seem longer than they were and would mean five times more than they would in a regular 162-game season. Losing streaks would seem to drag on longer than usual and every pitch mattered.
Even though the Atlanta Braves may have lost in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, there’s still a lot to be proud of when you look at the bigger picture.
This team won its first postseason series since 2001, advanced to the National League Championship Series, spent the final month and a half without ace Mike Soroka, missed outfield phenom Ronald Acuña Jr for two weeks twice due to a left wrist injury, lost four of five-man starting rotation, with Max Fried being the only projected starting pitcher left standing, and still won their division and won not just one but two postseason series.
This team isn’t done, they’re just getting started. For every minor setback there’s a major comeback. And with the young, raw talent of guys like Ronald Acuña Jr., Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Ian Anderson, Max Fried, Cristian Pache, and a healthy Mike Soroka, you can’t help but imagine just how good this team will be in the next few seasons with some of the best young talent in the game.
Hold your heads up Braves fans, the best is yet to come.
Surely we’ve all heard the story of the August 4, 1892 axe murders of Andrew and Abby Borden supposedly committed by Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie.
If you haven’t heard of the story or have forgotten it, surely you’ve heard of the nursery rhyme based on this tragic event.
Lizzie Borden was always known as a little strange girl, and according to multiple sources, she was known for shoplifting from a local store as a little girl, but the owners never did more than laugh and “Oh, that Lizzie” and then billed her father for it.
Lizzie’s mother Sarah, died when little Lizzie was two, and Lizzie was the youngest of three children. Her sister Emma was the oldest, ten years older than Lizzie and there was middle sister who actually passed away in her teens.
Due to her mother passing so early in Lizzie’s life, she never knew her mother, but she did grow up with a stepmom.
When Lizzie was about five, her father remarried to a woman named Abby. Abby was 30 at the time, never been married so she was considered a spinster around town, but Andrew had two girls to take care of.
Now that we have gone through the particulars, allow me to inform you of the home’s inhabitants and the history behind it.
Andrew Borden bought the austere raw-boned house in 1872 and immediately had it remodeled from a two-tenant structure into a place that his small family could call home.
Mr. Borden chose the house because of its ideal location for the time, a short walking distance from his business on the main street in the small sleepy little town of Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts, just a block over from there.
His business sat among other businesses like horse stables, stores, a laundry mat, and a makeshift restaurant.
Mrs. Abby Borden, Andrew’s wife, took pride in the raw-boned home, while his two daughters Emma and Lizzie looked at the walls that were heavily floral-decorated walls as a prison.
A young Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan was the only other inhabitant. There were no hallways in the house, with the exception of an upstairs landing. Meaning a person would have to go through a room to get to another. As a result, locks swarmed the house. Locks that would play a major role in the murder mystery that would captivate not only the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the entire world on the fateful morning that was August 4, 1892.
Today, the house is just as it was when the murders occurred. The furnishings retain their rightful place, the decor has been eerily duplicated, and the original hardware and doors are still intact.
According to the house’s website, artifacts from the murder case are displayed while memorabilia from the era of the murders line the shelves and mantel tops.
When you visit this bone-chillingly haunted place, you will immediately be transported back in time to the mid-summer morning, where a perfect storm of events culminated in a double murder.
Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the crimes and went on about her life until she died in June 1, 1927.
Tours of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum are given every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
According to the website, all tickets sales will be made online and tours will be limited to 10 people per tour. All tourists must have a mask, if you don’t, you can purchase one from the gift shop. Only two days out of the year don’t have tours, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
If you enjoy the tour and think you have what it takes to spend a night inside this haunted home. You can even stay in Lizzie’s room for $225 plus tax for two people. The room can also be combined with Emma’s room for $425 per night. Of course, Lizzie would love to have guests rent the whole home, that price is $1,500 and during non-pandemics, you can bring up to 20 of your bravest friends.
If you are faint of heart and don’t have what it takes to tour this double murder scene, tickets are refundable up to 24 hours before the tour date. However, there is a strict no refund policy in place for those that are no-shows and those that like to run late to everything.
Tucked away in the small Montgomery County, Iowa town of Villisca, sits an old white-framed house at the end of a quiet little street. At first, the house looks like a normal two-story house that you might see in the middle of nowhere. But then comes the terrifyingly haunting history.
Long before serial killers and mass murders had become a way of life, two adults and six children were found brutally murdered in their beds in the small Midwestern town of Villisca, Iowa. During the weeks that followed, life in this sleepy little Iowa town changed drastically. And yet, to this day, the murder remains unsolved, and the murderer unpunished.
The Monday morning of June 10, 1912 was cloudy and somewhat humid, the small bustling town of Villisca, Iowa was stirring to life. Yet the Moore house, was completely silent.
This was very unlike them, because the household was normally lively. Josiah B. Moore would’ve been off to work on a normal day, and his wife, Sarah Montgomery Moore would be out in the yard tending to her chores, and the four children, 11-year-old Herman Montgomery Moore, 10-year-old Mary Katherine Moore, 7-year-old Arthur Boyd, and 5-year-old Paul Vernon, should’ve been playing together in the yard.
But today, the house was eerily quiet. Katherine’s friends, 8-year-old Ina Mae Stillinger, and her sister Lena Gertrude Stillinger spent the night with the Moores the night before the murders, but didn’t make it home.
You can take a tour of the haunted house from now until October 31, and then again in the Spring. The house offers both daylight tours and overnight tours. Prices for daylight tours $10 per person 12 and over, and seniors 65 and over are $5 with no reservation needed.
Overnight tours of the Villisca Axe Murder house for 2021 will be available for booking starting October 21, 2020. Nighttime tours normally begin around 4:00 p.m.
After a walkthrough tour of the house and grounds, the guides will simply turn over the key and head on home. Overnight tours are by reservation only.
Guides suggest that your group is of 10 or less people. The overnight tour is not for the faint of heart. Enter ifyou dare.
Eddie Van Halen, the founder of the hard rock band Van Halen, passed away Tuesday of cancer at the age of 65.
Born Edward Van Halen on January 26, 1955, in the Netherlands, he moved with his family to California in the early 1960s. While growing up in Pasadena, California, Eddie and Alex Van Halen took classical piano lessons, playing mostly improvised classical, and Eddie, in particular, proved to be an early musical standout. As teenagers, the brothers switched instruments, Eddie to guitar and Alex to drums, leaving Classical music behind and spearheading a rock band called Mammoth.
He formed Van Halen in 1974 with his brother Alex. Eddie’s quick-fingered guitar riffs and David Lee Roth’s onstage antics caught the attention of KISS guitarist Gene Simmons in 1977.
Simmons discovered Van Halen at a local club in 1977 and financed and recorded the band’s first recording session. Not long afterwards, Eddie Van Halen and his band Van Halen signed a record deal with Warner Brothers, and in 1978, the band put out its self-titled debut album, which featured the hit “Runnin’ With the Devil.”
The combination of Eddie’s incredible guitar riffs and Roth’s vocal antics, launched the album to platinum status within six months of its release.
Some Van Halen’s most-known songs include “Jump” and “Panama” on the 1984 album “1984”. “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Erupon 1978’s “Van Halen”.
The album “1984” also showcased the now classic mega-hit “Hot For Teacher”. The videos for “Jump”, “Panama”, “Hot For Teacher,” each lit up MTV.
During his time in the industry, Eddie Van Halen teamed up with Michael Jackson for the guitar solo in Jackson’s hit song “Beat it”, and also welcomed a new frontman in 1985, by the name of Sammy Hagar.
If I took the time to list all of Van Halen’s hits through the years, we’d be here all day. When people discuss the greatest guitarist in Rock history the two names that are seemingly always in the conversation are Slash, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Collins, among others.
It’s safe to say that Mr. Eddie Van Halen has cemented his place in Rock and Roll history.