Memphis to accept guns in exchange for Grizzlies tickets

The Commercial Appeal reports:

The city of Memphis will trade gas cards and Grizzlies tickets for guns in a “judgement-free” program designed to reduce the number of weapons on the streets.

During the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Bloomfield Baptist Church, the city and its partners plan to hand over a $50 Mapco gas card for each gun a person turns in, for a maximum of $150 worth of gas cards, per person. Those who surrender guns will also receive two free tickets to a preseason Memphis Grizzlies game.

Agent Zero approves of this basketball/guns program.

Liberty Bowl preview

After a couple weeks of silly bowl games and lamenting the defunctedness of the Baccardi Bowl, it’s come time to get into college football’s more serious postseason games. With the BCS bowls getting going on January 2 (there are no New Year’s Day bowls this year), New Year’s Eve provides a suitable appetizer, including Cincinnati and Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl, 2:30 pm Central time on ABC. Watch for me on the TV.

Rather than try to duplicate the good work already done by dedicated Vanderbilt bloggers and create my own full game preview, I’ll yield to more experienced voices below, after offering my own thoughts, in bullet-point format (it’s Memphis, after all):

  • While Vanderbilt was three plays away from a 9-3 record in the regular season, they finished 6-6, which still triples their win total from last year with essentially the same roster and bests their win total from the past two seasons combined. That said, a win on Saturday would give the Commodores a winning record on the season; a loss, of course, would give them a losing record. Coach James Franklin has hit this point in his preparation this week and I think it’s an important one. A season this good, comparatively speaking, cannot end with a losing record.
  • This is just the fifth bowl appearance for Vanderbilt, but this year’s senior class is the school’s first to play in two bowl games. At a school where nobody leaves early for the NFL (not even Jay Cutler), the seniors represent a strong, experienced group of leaders. They also have played for three different coaches (Bobby Johnson, Robbie Caldwell, and Franklin) in three years, so they have been through a lot together. After a win in the Music City Bowl three years ago, followed by two down years, the seniors seem to play for themselves as much as they do for Franklin and the future of the program. I think this bodes well for their performance in their final game.
  • As much as 2008’s Music City Bowl was a coming out party for quarterback Larry Smith, the 2011 season has been a coming out party for his replacement, Jordan Rodgers. The junior starter with a famous brother has been an offensive force this year, both as a rusher and a passer. Rodgers need not have a perfect total game for Vandy to win– other offensive options and tools are available– but he needs to avoid making the kinds of mistakes he did in the overtime loss to Tennessee.
  • Cincinnati is a relative unknown to me, and probably to you, something the information below should remedy. The two things that come to my mind are 1) they aren’t that far removed from Brian Kelly, so there probably is a talent residue there; and 2) their basketball team is made up of some hard brawlers, which may or may not carry over onto the football field. I just looked up their regular season record: 9-3. But they play in the Big East.
  • I’ve been to one other bowl game, the 2007 Rose Bowl. USC embarrassed Michigan that afternoon, and I was embarrassed to be associated with the state in which the losing team was located. I very much am hoping for a different result on Saturday.

History: Sensibly, the Liberty Bowl started in Philadelphia in 1959, but by 1965, it had moved to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis to host larger crowds and establish itself as one of the oldest non-BCS bowls. The People’s history of the Liberty Bowl is here.

Continue reading

Threat of lawsuit brings bonus repayment from John Calipari, R.C. Johnson, donation from Derrick Rose (via The Commercial Appeal)

The University of Memphis’ disgraced 2007-08 basketball season prompted three local attorneys who claimed to represent unnamed season ticket holders to threaten a lawsuit against former coach John Calipari, former guard Derrick Rose and current athletic director R.C. Johnson before reaching a lucrative out-of-court settlement.

Calipari and Rose, according to the settlement agreement obtained Thursday by The Commercial Appeal, agreed on May 28, 2010, to pay a total of $100,000 to the three attorneys — Martin Zummach, Frank L. Watson III and William Burns — who were representing, in the agreement’s words, “certain ticket holders.” The amount was to be disbursed “as they agree among themselves.” … Keep Reading

(via The Commercial Appeal)