Tuesday, June 16, 2009

16 JUN 09: Out of the Hood

So as we said, Monday was National Man Day -- and no, I didn't play football. For one thing, the only "shoulder padding" I have is stuffed inside a couple of winter sport coats....

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Your blog confirmed Monday the annual Rod Hood Football Camp has been canceled for this year. Based on the timing of last year's event, it should have been held this week. I can't imagine Hood would delay the camp until the weather's cooler in January - since last season, he was busy with N.F.L. playoff games then.

The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley has partnered with the Rod Hood Football Camp for the past four years. Lisa Deason with the United Way indicated to me this year's cancellation came from Hood's side. Considering Hood is praised online for "giving back" to the community, some would say he's jumped offside.

Lisa Deason with the United Way isn't sure why the Rod Hood Football Camp was canceled. But she speculated it might be due to the fact that the former Carver High School defensive back is changing N.F.L. teams this off-season. He signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns - which is strange, because some web sites claimed Hood wanted to play with a Super Bowl contender.

The Rod Hood Football Camp has a registered web site, but it refused to come up Sunday and Monday. Lisa Deason guessed that also might be due to Hood changing teams - but Hood's Myspace page already reflects his signing with Cleveland, complete with a photo of him training with the Browns. I don't think WiFi restrictions are quite that limited....

Rod Hood's Myspace page tells you all sorts of things about him, from his football career to his astrological sign. But the camp for children isn't mentioned at all. Maybe Hood's new idea for "giving back" to Columbus is his online mix of local hip-hop artists -- and maybe they're all former camp participants playing on junior varsity teams.

We tried calling an administrator of the Rod Hood Football Camp web site Monday, but couldn't even leave a message. A computer voice said the party on the other end was busy, and we should try again later. At least the voice didn't offer to keep dialing the number for a two-dollar fee....

We also tried to contact the Kentucky company which employs Rod Hood's agent, but had no reply Monday night. Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise. Sports agents are far more likely to appear when an athlete wants money, than when he's giving some away.

But what about all the young local football players? It turns out there's still a place for them. The Columbus Lions open a three-day skills camp today inside the Civic Center. Children age 6-9 have a session in the morning. Children age 10-13 have a session in the afternoon. And it seems a bit late in the season for a pro football team to have "two-a-days."

Does this discovery about the Rod Hood Football Camp seem familiar? Our blog exclusive about the disappearance of Fiesta Columbus developed the same way [1 Apr]. We wondered if a regular event was going on, only to learn it was gone. It's as if the organizers try to keep things so quiet, no one will know something's missing.

BLOG UPDATE: Speaking of missing things, my next-door neighbor reports he finally was able to tune in WTVM on his converter box Monday night. Yet I'm still unable to do it on my HDTV - so maybe this "digital transition" is like the postal service, and going one house at a time.

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. Visit "On the Flop!" <--

THE BIG BLOG QUESTION on feuding funny men ended Monday, but without a winner. WKCN-FM morning host Bear O'Brian and NBC late-night host Conan O'Brian wound up in a tie (3-3). Don't you wonder what would happen if they swapped jobs for a week? It might be the first time Bear O'Brian ever worked with someone named Weinberg.

E-MAIL UPDATE: Monday's mention of National Man Day brought this comment from a woman....

It's a man'a job to kill bugs!

That seems fair to me -- but those bugs can be downright crafty and uncooperative. One day years ago, a large cockroach attached itself to my screen door. I opened the door without noticing it, and the roach dropped to the floor and hurried right by me toward the kitchen. Do they learn this trick from Jehovah's Witnesses?

We need to work on one other e-mail, so please be patient with us on that. Now that we're out of updates, let's check the Monday news highlights:

+ The Georgia Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the Expedia web site owes the city of Columbus hotel/motel taxes, for rooms it sold online. This could spark the biggest economic boom to hit Smiths Station since the city was founded -- plenty of new motels, with plenty of Expedia promotion.

(WRBL interviewed the general manager of a Columbus Hampton Inn - and she sat next to a glowing fireplace. They have a fireplace lit in the middle of June?! I'd hate to see that motel's air conditioning bill.)

+ NCR showed off the site of its new Columbus ATM plant, where renovation begins today. Mayor Jim Wetherington and other local leaders symbolically pounded a hammer into a construction wall. At long last - an opportunity for the old police chief to legally practice some abuse and brutality.

+ A Hamilton Road church staged an anti-drug march in the Rose Hill neighborhood. The pastor told WXTX "News at Ten" prostitution is increasing, and dealers even sell drugs in the church alley during services. This is why more congregations need to start bowling leagues, and put those alleys to a better use.

+ The Southeastern Amateur golf tournament held a qualifying round at the Country Club of Columbus. Local champion Larry Mize served as caddy for his teenage son. Yet Robert Mize missed the cut, and WRBL reported he wouldn't take advice from his dad about putting. So much for Mize getting a shiny new golf cart when he graduates....

+ Instant Message to Troy Public Radio: Why? Well, who? Who "demanded" you replace late-night classical music in July with six nights a week of "World Café?" If I really want a World Café, I'll dine out at La Margarita.

The number of unique visitors to our blog is up more than 12.5 percent so far this year! To advertise to them, offer a story tip, make a PayPal donation or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 618 (+ 22, 3.7%)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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