Greeson: From bobbleheads to food trucks, kudos to those who got the gang members

Greeson: From bobbleheads to food trucks, kudos to those who got the gang members

March 31st, 2018 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns

Before we begin, Happy Easter weekend, friends.

The recent scuffle about food trucks — and any and all self-respecting Southerners will certainly not have Easter lunch served from a four-wheel establishment — prompted two thoughts.

First, while we want every self-empowered start-up endeavor, be it a check- cashing joint or a chicken from a Chevy operation, to have every chance to be successful, here's hoping the city council making the downtown ordinances remember that great, family-operated places like Wally's and Zarzour's and Southern Star should have every bit the same consideration, whether they have the trendy backing of petitions and social media or not.

Secondly, considering the way our city council seems to embrace the new hot thing, man, it's not going to be long before these food trucks get their own lane on M.L. King Boulevard or Broad Street, right?

Hey, if there are like 12 cyclists using those lanes a month, well, maybe the food truck lanes would actually have more traffic.

Mother Madness

The NCAA men's basketball tournament very rarely disappoints.

The drama. The upsets. The brackets. (Side note: In our office pool, let's just say that my 10-year-old's sheet is tied for second. My sheet is tied for second-to-last. Good times.)

This year's tournament has delivered a heaven-sent star that few could have expected.

Loyola-Chicago has advanced to tonight's semifinal against Michigan. LCU is an 11 seed, meaning of the 68 teams invited, LCU was viewed by the selection committee as no better than the 41st best team. The Ramblers are two wins from being the champ.

And the face of their march in March has been Sister Jean, a 98-year-old nun.

How crazy has the Sister Jean lovefest been? Well, when she had a news conference at the same time as one of the LCU players, Sister Jean's room was standing room only. The players had two reporters there.

Among all the merchandise — from T-shirts to socks to everything else — the Sister Jean bobblehead is one of the most popular ever. In fact, Phil Sklar, the co-founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, shared several amazing facts with me. (And that's beyond the realization that there is a National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.)

Within 40 hours of release, the Sister Jean bobblehead was the most- purchased ever. In five days from release last Friday, there had been more than 10,000 bought. The previous record-holder was the Clemson football national championship bobblehead, which sold roughly 3,000 units.

They averaged selling 1.7 Sister Jean bobbleheads every minute for the first 48 hours it was offered.

In the first 24 hours of being on the market, the Sister Jean bobblehead had been ordered in each of the 50 states. Now, to be clear, Sister Jean has refused any of the money from her merchandising efforts and directed it back to LCU. That Sister Jean, who has done nothing more than cheer for the Ramblers, has the right to decide whether she does or does not want the hundreds of thousands generated from her likeness while the players who actually have carried LCU to the Final Four have no such choice is another conversation for another time.

Saturdays stars

Like many of you, I wonder about the safety and the future of our city.

We have a slew of talented folks trying to fight the good fight. This week, I felt safer after the actions of Police Chief David Roddy, Sheriff Jim Hammond, District Attorney Neal Pinkston and those folks working with and for them.

Nabbing 54 alleged gang members makes our entire town better.

Job well done, guys.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and 423-757-6343.

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