Opinion » Letter From The Editor

Many People Are Saying ...



This is the best column anyone ever wrote in the history of Memphis.

Many people have thought about writing a column this good but were unable to get it done. People are saying no one can write a column like I can, and they are right. It's not surprising. That's because I invented the word "column." I have all the best words, and no one else even compares.

Geoff Calkins tried 11 times to write this column. Dan Conaway couldn't even make his fingers move when he tried to write this column. Tonyaa Weathersbee? No way. John Beifuss? Don't make me laugh. Even Jackson Baker gave it a shot, but it just didn't happen.


I'm a stable genius, and I'm the best. Get over it. No one writes like I can. But writing isn't all I do.

Many of you have probably driven by the empty pedestals in Memphis' Downtown parks. Most people don't know there used to be statues of Confederates there. They were very fine people, but the statues were put up after the War Between the States, which I call the "Civil War." Many people don't know that we had a Civil War. That's because it was 300 years ago, which is why we needed to take down the statues. They were too old.

I called the mayor of Memphis last year and said, "Mayor Stricker, those statues have to come down." He said, "Sir, no one has been able to take down those statues. They've been there for 250 years. It can't be done, sir." Well, I got it done. Afterwards, he said, "Sir, I did not think anyone could do that. Thank you." There were strong men and women in the mayor's office, and they were all crying because they didn't think anyone could take down those statues. They all said, "What a great outcome, sir. Thank you. And congratulations."

True story. You can look it up.

Many of you will be surprised to learn that the University of Memphis football team used to be terrible. It's true. They lost 29 games in a row in 2003. It was ridiculous how bad they were. Most people don't know that David Rudge, the president of the university, called me a couple of years ago. He was whimpering and crying on the phone. He said, "Sir, what can we do? People are saying our football team is terrible."

I said, "Hire a great coach, Dave." And I told him about this young fellow, Mark Norveen, who at the time was an assistant volleyball coach at Arkansas College. Most people haven't heard of Arkansas College. Great school, just outside of Tulsa. Mark's a handsome young man. Right out of central casting. "Hire Mark Norveen," I said.

Well, Dave did, and look what happened. The Tigers have been undefeated for six years, and they're going to be on Fox's "Gamers Day" show with Steve Doocy this weekend against the great University of Notre Dame.

I plan to be at the game. They're going to put my picture on the big television screen — I call it a JumboTron — so people can cheer for me. People are saying I'll get the greatest ovation in the history of football. They say 20,000 people won't even be able to get into the stadium.

There are lots of other things that many people don't know about me. For example, I helped do the deal to get Bass Pro to build a pyramid Downtown. It used to be a Walgreens. The elevator to the top? That was my idea. The giant man-eating alligators? That was my idea, too.

And many people would be surprised to learn that I was behind getting $270 million dollars allocated from the city to move the Raymond James brokerage out of that dump Downtown into a great new building they already owned out in eastern Memphis.

Here are some other things people would be surprised to learn about me:

I helped design the Midtown Kroger parking lot.

I taught Penny Hardaway how to do a crossover dribble.

I named Mud Island.

I invented barbecued ribs.

Do I get any credit? No. But that's all right. I'm a big boy. I don't need the applause. I don't need everybody to grovel and suck up to me. Many, many people are saying I'm the best columnist ever and this is the greatest column anyone ever wrote. That's enough for me. For now.

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