Thursday update: Go Boilermakers!

Last night Ja Morant made it crystal-clear he belongs in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. He led the Grizzlies back from 14 down to defeat the L.A. Lakers, 104-99. Ja had 41 for the night, becoming the only Grizzly in history to have three 40-point games.

Today we are all Boilermakers fans. Tennessee takes on Purdue in the Music City Bowl at 2 on ESPN. Other bowl games on TV today, all on ESPN:

  • Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. South Carolina, 10:30 AM
  • Peach Bowl: 12 Pittsburgh vs. 10 Michigan State, 6:00 PM
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Arizona State, 9:30 PM

The DM’s Geoff Calkins: “Here we are, not even into 2022 yet, and you can already kiss an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament goodbye.” Penny’s Memphis Tigers lost to Tulane last night, 85-84. Tulane is number 215 in the NET rankings so last night would be viewed as a “bad loss” by the committee.

Calkins points out that Jalen Duren and DeAndre Williams were out due to COVID protocols. Those two would have likely stopped Tulane at the rim if they’d been available. If they had to miss the game because they were unvaccinated, that’s Penny’s failure to stress the importance of getting vaccinated on Memphis’ chances to get to the postseason. Is there a Leadership 101 class AD Veatch can send Penny to this coming summer?

Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted yesterday on five of six federal charges related to sex trafficking of minors. She faces up to 65 years in prison.

Today is Bacon Day. My picks for the day would be the egg sliders at Bardog, add bacon and cheese; the Madison Avenue Burger from Huey’s; the Yonge Street Burger from Kooky Canuck; the wild rice dish with bacon, cheese, and mushrooms from Westy’s.

James Aycock reports that the 7-day rolling average for new COVID cases is at 1246 today, the highest it’s been at any point during the pandemic. The positivity rate is an astounding 29.8%. Yeah I think I will skip New Year’s Eve gatherings this year.

Deal alert: Downtown Walgreens has sriracha ranch cashews and sea salt & pepper cashews on sale for $3.89 this week, if you’re looking for nuts to tide you over until The Peanut Shoppe gets its new location open.

I met the most interesting fellow this week – he was an investor in a biotech startup founded in the ’00s by Christopher Duntsch, Ph.D., M.D., who graduated from UT Health Sciences in Memphis and did a fellowship here with Semmes-Murphy. Duntsch, known as Dr. Death, moved to Dallas in 2011 and six years later was convicted of maiming patients (perhaps intentionally) on whom he performed neurosurgery. If you want to learn more, there is an original miniseries on Dr. Death on Peacock and there is also a Dr. Death podcast.

Health Order 29 was issued by the Shelby County Health Department on Wednesday and will go into effect after the first of the year. The order

  • Reflects new CDC guidance that patients who test positive but who are asymptomatic only have to isolate for 5 days;
  • Continues to require masking in schools covered by the ADA;
  • Continues to highly recommend (but not require) masking in public indoor spaces
  • DOES NOT contain any ridiculously stupid restrictions on restaurants like early closing times, food requirement with alcohol, time limit on table seating, or closure of bar areas

Do you love mint chocolate chip ice cream? Do you love beer? Get to the Memphis Made taproom this weekend for Andy’s Mint, a chocolate stout with mint. If you can’t make it to the taproom, it’ll arrive in select stores this weekend too.

Insomnia Cookies has a couple of deals going on right now. One is a box of 24 classic cookies for $22. Don’t forget, they have a location on Beale Street that will deliver. We’ve ordered on our phones and had warm cookies delivered to us at the bar and it works really well.

If you’re a healthcare worker, civic employee, first responder, or a FedEx/UPS/USPS/Amazon driver, you can take advantage of the following Insomnia Cookies in-store deals:

  • Free cookie in-store with no purchase required, or
  • Make a $5 purchase and get a free 6-pack of Classic Cookies

All these deals run through January 2.

River Time Market & Deli will be closed until Monday, January 3.

Betty White, who turns 100 next month, says the key to her diet is “avoid anything green.” Betty, let me know next time you’re in Memphis, would love to split a meatzza and a bottle of wine with you.

I’ll end with this:

Back tomorrow with more news.