I heard these words walking in Memphis… We were in the the large crowd leaving a football game at the Liberty Bowl Stadium in 1996 where the unranked University of Memphis had just upset the Top Ten ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers. Fans from both schools were leaving the stadium in stunned silence. That is when I heard one of the Memphis fans say: “After what we just saw, I now believe that even Elvis may still be alive!”… Life and football games are often full of ups and downs surprises and disappointments. That is probably why I enjoy going to sporting events with friends.That weekend trip to Memphis for me and my friends had plenty of both.
We went to a local High School playoff game on Friday night and then drove to east Tennessee to west Tennessee that night. We stopped to get gas and some snack food late that night. The rest of the guys were already back in the car when I went to pay for my food. The attendant said she like my Tennessee Vol hat and shirt. She said she was a big Tennessee fan. She then proceeded to tell me that she had a 10 year old grandson that would make a good football player some day. I said that’s nice. When I asked how much I owed her and she said that it was free for me, I offered to pay but she insisted it was free. I thanked her. When we got back on the road, I told my friends what just happened to me …they broke out in laughter! They said the attendant asked them if we were going to the game in Memphis and they pointed to me and said yes, and that guy (me) is one of Coach Fulmer’s assistants, he is been scouting a high school game tonight and we have to get him to Memphis as soon as possible!
We later stopped at a motel in Jackson, Tennessee near Memphis to get few hours sleep. I had just gotten to sleep when the room phone rang. The person who called wanted to know if my lights in the room and bathroom was working properly…(It was one of my “friends” posing as a motel employee on the phone). Before we drove into Memphis, I put on my #16 Peyton Manning football jersey. I was so excited about going to the game. We even had time to eat barbque ribs at the famous Rendezvous Restaurant before the game. As we were walking to the restaurant a man saw my jersey and started freaking out, yelling at me, and chased us almost into the restaurant. I don’t know how I managed to find one of the few people in the state of Tennessee that for some reason so disliked our popular quarterback… but I did.
What a crazy weekend but I enjoyed it.The Game of Life is like that, with ups and downs, but we need make the most of it and enjoy it as much as we can…