2004: A year to remember

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2005

In the vast and glorious series of exaggerations, manipulations and downright lies that I will one day weave into my autobiography, there are certain years that I will really focus on for the entertainment of my reader (Thanks, mom).

1998 stands out as a good one.

The Vols won the national championship and I got to go work the game. Lived on my own for the first time that year in Knoxville and let’s just say there are stories to tell.

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Suffice it to say apparently police dogs are reluctant to climb four flights of stairs when they can see through the metal grating to the ground and I got my first job in newspapers.

In the year 1999, I proposed to my wife in Paris, on top of the Eiffel Tower no less and became a Sports Editor for the first time for a small paper in East Tennessee. Plus I made a killing selling D-cell batteries to paranoid suburbanites on New Year’s Eve.

Say what you will, but Y2K was a boon for those of us in the camping supply business.

This past year, I think will make for an interesting chapter.

It started out with my covering high school basketball games and by June I was knee deep in the politics of Selma, Alabama.

Along the way I heard Jesse Jackson preach, an experience you should not miss regardless of your politics, I interviewed important folks from Bill Frist to Governor Bob Riley to Tommy Tuberville.

I got a front row seat as Auburn marched to a 13-0 season.

By the end of which, I’d bumped into Charles Barkley so many times it became old hat.

This past year I saw Joe Namath and Drew Barrymore up close and personal, exchanging a meaningful nod and a mumbled “How ya doin?” both times so as not to seem too star struck.

In September I turned 30 and covered a hurricane, on the same day.

There’s more I could get into, I’m sure, but the point is 2004 was a year to earmark personally, anyway.

It was a banner year by almost anyone’s standards.

And 2005 is going to blow it away.

I expect February, March and April to be exciting with all the events Selma puts together.

We won’t have the political stuff over the summer and hopefully we won’t have another hurricane, but this fall I’m predicting an Alabama-Tennessee SEC Championship game so that ought to make up for both of those in one swoop.

Finally, here comes the big one. After years of trying to start a family, by August, I will be a father for the first time. Which is much better than seeing Drew Barrymore and Joe Namath. Although had Namath been wearing a full-length fur coat and asking to kiss Drew, we might have to flip a coin.

The truth is, I’d like to give you some insight on what it’s like to be an expectant father, but right now I feel like a cross between Homer Simpson and Al Bundy, so that might not be too useful.

I don’t have a crystal ball and have got no idea what else is hidden within the rest of 2005, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be special.