Sunday update

I wasn’t feeling that great yesterday, so I got some dinner and watched the Memphis 901 FC inaugural match at home. Memphis lost 1-0, but the atmosphere of AutoZone Park was off the chain! It’s clear that there’s a place for professional soccer here in Memphis. I’m going to have to get to a game soon! Next home match is vs. Loudoun United FC at AutoZone Park this coming Saturday, March 16 at 7:00 PM CDT. Loudoun United FC is based in Leesburg, VA, about 30 miles up the Potomac River from DC. Like Memphis, the club is new to the USL.

I am so excited for the city of Memphis having embraced a sport that for decades seemed foreign to the area. I am also thrilled for Seamus and the folks at the Brass Door. Given the location and the love for soccer, the addition of 901 FC and the Bluff City Mafia makes Brass Door Memphis’ de facto soccer bar.

I do want to bring Memphis 901 FC into my discussion of the upcoming mayor’s race. We have three major candidates:

  • County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, who I admire for standing up for herself and those like her. Her ideals are, well, ideal, and she’s right, the time is now. I would be proud to have her as mayor.
  • Incumbent mayor Jim Strickland. Although I may not agree with everything he has done, he has done a lot to reform practices that needed improvement, he’s brought business to the city, he’s been transparent, and he’s tried to be the mayor of all of Memphis. I would be proud to have him back for a second term.
  • Former mayor Willie W. “King Willie” Herenton. I absolutely, positively do not want this man back in office. Although a good mayor in his early years, especially in his last term he seemed interested in serving no one but himself.

So the question is, do I vote for the candidate I really want to vote for (Sawyer) or the candidate with the proven track record (Strickland)? In his recent weekly communication, Strickland said two years ago, Peter Freund and Craig Unger, owner and GM of the Redbirds, came to Strickland and asked if the mayor’s office would be willing to help them bring professional soccer to Memphis. Strickland was all in and from what we saw yesterday, that turned out to be a pretty good thing for the city.

That kind of thing is what I need to hear from candidate Sawyer… that if an opportunity like that fell into the city’s lap, she would pursue it as hard as Strickland did. That if word got around that Robert Pera was considering moving the Grizzlies out of town, she’d do everything in her power to try to keep them here. Sawyer’s message that we need racial and economic equality and we can’t wait for it any longer appeals to me, and I want to pull the lever (or these days, touch the screen) next to her name. I’m just not quite there yet. I need to know she’ll protect the business side of the city, particularly the amenities that make people want to visit Memphis and even move to Memphis.

So there you have it. I’m not intending this as a political statement. Rather, it is just honest feedback for Sawyer’s campaign.

A very valid question about the new Malco Powerhouse theater arose over the weekend. People are using the covered pavilion area at Front and G.E. Patterson to park to go see the movies. That’s the Memphis Farmers Market space and there were questions as to what would happen to the Market on Saturdays starting in April. The feedback I heard is that space will still be for the Market on Saturdays and parking won’t be allowed there until after the Market closes at 1 PM and the vendors clear out. The Market is expected to be a lot more accessible than it has been the past couple of years with all that construction done.

Primas Bakery and Boutique is having an Easter dessert tasting Saturday, April 6 from 4 to 6 PM. Tasting menu includes robin’s egg macarons (cookies & cream), mini carrot cakes, “Easter Egg” cookies, and “Peep” Petit Fours. Tickets are $12.

The Soulful Food Truck Fest happens today at Clayborn Temple noon to 6. This is the wrap-up event for Memphis Black Restaurant Week and black-owned food trucks from around the region will be on site. There will be live music and local beers as well.  This is a kid-friendly event.

Never in my life did I think I’d be cheering for Bruce Pearl to win a game, but that’s the position I found myself in yesterday. Pearl’s Auburn Tigers upset his former school, Tennessee. That loss is probably going to drop the Vols off the 1-seed line. Given the Tennessee athletic department’s track record of screwing everything up, that could make them easy pickins’ for a 2/15 upset. In a matter of a couple of weeks, Vols fans could go from “IT’S GONNN BEEE ARRR YEARRR” to “WELL, BOY, I TELL YOU WHUT, FOOTBALL’S JUST A FEW MONTHS AWAY.”

Bardog posted the specials they will have Sunday, March 17 for St. Patrick’s Day: $3 Fireball, $4 green beer, $5 Jameson, $6 Irish car bombs, and $7 Jameson IPA Black. Those are all-day specials. In addition, from 11 AM to 3 PM they will have their usual Sunday Fun Day brunch specials of $4 mimosas, Bloody Marys, and screwdrivers.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.