Monday, December 07, 2009

7 DEC 09: Chambers of Champions?

If you thought the Southeastern Conference championship game had a little bit of everything - well, it didn't. Sunday brought proof of that. No one used the big game in Atlanta to announce a campaign for public office - not even Tim Tebow.

A campaign for Columbus Council was announced Sunday at an unusual place - a football stadium, in the middle of a season-ending series of games. And amazingly, he did NOT cite park improvements as a major campaign issue.

Travis Chambers will run for the citywide Council District 9 seat, which Wayne Anthony is giving up to run for mayor. He works as a real estate broker - and if you buy the $1.1 million house in Upatoi I found on his web page, he won't be "broker" much longer.

The online profile for Travis Chambers indicates he developed a proper-looking Columbus Council resume. He went through this year's "Leadership Columbus" class. He's involved with an educational arm of the Chamber of Commerce. And he's a former executive with Synovus - which means a political consultation with Calvin Smyre could be only a phone call away.

Travis Chambers told WTVM he has nothing against Wayne Anthony's work with Columbus Council. But he wants to emphasize economic development a bit more. I think this means Chambers supports trickle-down economics - more business, more jobs, more home sales.

Another issue for Travis Chambers is "water management." I tried to do my part along those lines Sunday afternoon - but I couldn't get that stuck drinking fountain below the Civic Center to stop running, no matter how hard I tried.

(And given the real estate office where Travis Chambers works, don't be surprised if he tries to resurrect the Equal Rights Amendment as a campaign issue. Or does that E.R.A. stand for something else?)

About 150 people reportedly attended the Travis Chambers campaign announcement at McClung Memorial Stadium. But then again, they may have been there for another reason - as the stadium was hosting "Championship Sunday" in Columbus Youth Football. You might say fans who showed up for one event wound up going for two.

I thought the Peanut Bowl in mid-November marked the end of the Columbus Youth Football season. But that changed four years ago, and now there's a "Holiday Bowl" which follows it. If Travis Chambers really wanted to make a campaign splash, he could have followed the lead of that other Holiday Bowl and been the title sponsor.

(We've mentioned here before that my first grade-school summer softball team wore shirts saying, "Third District Commissioner Chet Matson." To this day, I don't know if he ever showed up at our games - and I figured he had to surface as a mystery manager sooner or later, to buy us soda.)

Sunday's Holiday Bowl had guest football teams from Smiths Station and the Mountain Hill area of Harris County. It's nice to see young people getting extra exercise outside - but I think it would be better if Columbus Youth Football knew how to spell "league" on its web site.

I happened to jog past McClung Memorial Stadium during one of Sunday's games, and found out parents could buy a DVD of the game within 20 minutes of the final whistle. It's apparently up to mom and dad after that - to edit together the scenes with their son, and e-mail them to prospective colleges.

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BLOG UPDATE: Speaking of football, the big match-up became official Sunday night. Alabama will face Texas for the Bowl Championship Series title. This could mean some adjustments for the Tide football players - feasting on Longhorn beef barbecue, instead of pork.

Georgia Tech was confirmed as a home team for the Orange Bowl in suburban Miami. The Yellow Jackets will entertain Iowa - and hope for Florida heat to wear out those cold-blooded football players from up north.

In a curious bit of scheduling, Troy University will play on the night between Georgia Tech and Alabama's bowl games. The Trojans will face Central Michigan at Mobile 6 January, in the G.M.A.C. Bowl. If some overzealous Troy fan tries to tell you it's a "B.C.S. game," tell him (ahem) to take the C out.

Auburn learned it will meet Northwestern 1 January, in the Outback Bowl at Tampa. Tiger fans undoubtedly will feel superior about this - especially once they find out Northwestern isn't even located in the northwest corner of Illinois.

So what about Georgia? The Bulldogs win a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana, to face Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl. At least that game isn't sponsored by Weed-Eaters anymore....

And lest we forget - how about Sunday's pro football game in Atlanta? It might as well have been Michael Vick Homecoming Sunday. And the only thing lacking at the end of the day was a security guard dog for him to hug.

Michael Vick ran for a touchdown and threw for another, as Philadelphia flattened the Falcons 34-7. Plenty of Vick jerseys were seen in the stands, and fans reportedly chanted, "We want Mike." Matt Ryan's ailing toe can't heal soon enough....

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