It’s been a long time since Peyton Manning lost out on the Heisman Trophy. And although UT loyalists have continued to blame ESPN for costing him the hardware, a bill before the state legislature might keep the sports behemoth — or Comedy Central, MTV or a slew of other channels, for that matter — out of their living rooms, thus settling the age-old dispute over which is more obscene: a slight against your team or the stripper ads in the sports section.
The aptly named “Girls Gone Wild” bill would “prohibit cable television or a satellite television company from advertising or promoting material that it knows to be obscene or harmful to minors.” If any cable or satellite provider did show such “material” and was busted twice for it, someone would go to jail. Yes, you read that right: jail.
Rex doesn’t know much about a lot of things, but he does know this: Your cable and satellite providers relay signals from channels like ESPN. They don’t sell their ads or have a say in what they put on the air. Sure, they sell some ad time, but the vast majority of their ads, like the “Girls Gone Wild” spots, are national buys and come in from places over which they have no control.
According to industry insiders, whom Rex keeps on speed dial, the only way they would have control is to drop the channels, like ESPN, that show the commercials that have some of our state legislators in a tizzy.
Can you imagine what this election cycle will look like when male voters find out that the legislature has in effect told their wives that every weekend should be spent raking the yard instead of watching SEC football? Do you really want to spend your Saturdays taking in a South Carolina-Mississippi State bruiser on the CW’s Jefferson-Pilot?
One of the sponsors of this bill — Democratic state Sen. Doug Jackson — is also one of the “guns in bars” advocates. Rex wonders if the dude got carded while underage at a sports bar. Maybe he wanted to watch the wet T-shirt contest and never got over missing the “guns.”
Throughout the year, Rex will keep you updated with the skinny on all the gubernatorial campaigns.
For example, if you want to invest in a company formally run by Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, you’d be looking to buy into Pilot Travel Centers. But if you want to know where he used to work and are a Tennessee voter, you’ll learn — via a new TV commercial — that he ran a company composed of “truck stops.”
Another interesting moment came last week, when U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., was in town to “kick off” his campaign. Seriously, this guy has had more kick-offs in the last few months than the Tennessee Titans have in five years.
From the podium, Wamp talked about how proud he was of his daughter, a junior at UT-Knoxville. Then he spoke of how proud he was of his son, who is a UT graduate. Finally, he joked that one of the best things about UT is that football coach Lane Kiffin is no longer there. Bwahahahaha!
Not long after that, a jaded lobbyist was overheard saying, “That’s funny coming from Zach … both his kids and Kiffin were at UT longer than he was.”
As in issues past, Rex occasionally likes to pull out some nuggets from the police blotter as a lesson to aspiring lawbreakers.
The lesson for this week: If you are inclined toward bouts of road rage, do not sport a vanity license plate.
Case in point: an area Realtor with the plate “4WAYLON.” In the first few weeks of this year, our alleged offender — Ross Rylance — was twice accused of serious bouts of highway high jinks, once on Hillsboro Road and again near the Wedgewood exit of Interstate 65.
In both cases, our offending motorist used his vehicle to dart in front of another car, slam on his brakes, and attempt to run them off the road. One of the incidents actually resulted in an accident, and our offender was identified from a photo lineup and by his license plate.