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Posts Tagged ‘Boston Red Sox’

People will come Ray; they will come for B.B.

May 27th, 2011 Comments off

Hey, I realize it’s baseball season, and the Red Sox are on a roll, but please forgive me because I apparently have the movie “Field of Dreams” on my mind.
I think I even responded to my wife, Sarah, last night, saying, “It’s OK, honey. I… I was just talking to the cornfield.”
Fantasy is fun to play with from time to time. You know, you see a billboard that reads, “Lottery, $125 million,” and you immediately begin to think about what you would do with the money.
Uh, No. 1, buy a luxury suite at Fenway Park.
Oh, sorry.
Dreaming?
Well, I must be, because the Mississippi Business Journal has reported that the Farish Street Entertainment District boondoggle that everyone (I mean everyone) said would never happen, has signed a 15-year lease with an old blues guy.
Maybe you know of him.
He’s from Indianola — a guy by the name of Riley.
No, he’s not my cousin. We spell ours funny.
Anyway, I think his momma was the only one to call him that.
Most folks just call him B.B.
Yep, the B.B. King’s Blues Club, in conjunction with Beale Street Blues Co., has signed a 15-year lease on the former Star Laundry building on Farish Street, putting in place a key element in the plans of Watkins Development to bring life back to a street that once served as a key entertainment and shopping destination for Jackson’s African-American residents.
Build it and they will come, the voice in the cornfield said.
Well, if there were ever time to believe the voice, now may be it.
When I lived in Greenville years ago, there were lots of swirling rumors that representatives of B.B. King were involved to financing everything from a downtown entertainment district to a casino and blues museum.
However, King’s representatives would never comment when we called for confirmation.
So, imagine my level of scoffing when I arrived in Jackson three years ago and immediately led on a tour of the proposed Farish Street project with the dream of having B.B. King anchor the district.
Yeah, well, I had heard that song and dance before.
OK, so now I am on board.
If B.B. King’s Blues Club indeed arrives at the corners of Amite and Farish as the anchor for the entire district, you can begin the countdown on the announcement that success has been realized in the revitalization of downtown Jackson.
There will still be doubters. There always are, but “Ray, people will come.
“They’ll come to (Jackson) for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up (on Farish Street) not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive … as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere … (like) when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch … and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. But (blues) has marked the time. This (place) … it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”
Sure, I know I am the crazy guy in the cornfield, but I believe that an event like this can be the tipping point for an entire community, a business district and ultimately a city.
People will come.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.

Quit hatin’ on the bear …

October 22nd, 2010 Comments off

OK, let’s get something straight from the very beginning.

It didn’t matter what leaders at Ole Miss did in regard to selecting an on-field mascot for the athletics teams, a lot of people weren’t going to be happy.

That the black bear is the choice is of no consequence.

Did y’all really want the on-field mascot to be Hotty Toddy or a Land Shark?

Yeah, Ackbar from Star Wars would have been funny and cool, though.

Still and yet, the real issue is the term “on-field”.

Ole Miss’ moniker isn’t changing. It is the Rebels.

The Ole Miss Rebels, not the Black Bears.

It’s no different than the Philadelphia Phillies having the Phillie Phanatic as their on-field mascot. When the Phanatic was introduced in 1978 as the official mascot of the team, there was no freaking out and running naked through the streets … at least about that issue.

The Phanatic — like Wally the Green Monster for the Boston Red Sox — is a fun, loveable creature to hang around and entertain fans at games, much like the original San Diego Chicken.

The bear (notice the lower case ‘b’) is the same.

It’s there for your kids to love and have their picture taken with in The Grove before the game.

It’s there to hang out with the cherleaders and do goofy stuff on the field.

It’s there to jump off a mini-tramp and perform nasty slam dunks at basketball games or play silly tricks on umpires at baseball games.

The bear is named Rebel, which doesn’t make the bear a Rebel. Obviously the Phantatic is not a Phillie and Wally is not a Red Sox.

Get a grip people!

Hey Steve Jobs, it’s like the iPad was my idea!

April 7th, 2010 Comments off

My wife owns the laptop in our family, which is the modern day version of the saying she wears the pants in the family.
I have to ask permission to get minutes on the portable computer or be relegated to working on our big-screened dinosaur in our closet of an office.
So, in order to continue to be a member of the family during evening hours I have become pretty capable at surfing the web on my iPhone.
Yes, my iPhone. I can’t live without it. I read the news of the day in the morning by using my apps from the New York Times, Associated Press, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNN and USA Today.
For my Boston Red Sox fix, I read scores and more from the Boston Globe.
Yes, the screen is pretty small, but it gets the job done.
Ah, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs heard me from afar. It’s like the iPad was my idea (sorry for the poor reference to the inferior competition’s product lines).
Make a giant iPhone that isn’t a phone at all.
Poof.
The iPad.
Apple latest creation is just that, an iPhone without the phone and much bigger, but not as big as a laptop, easier to carry around.
So, last Monday after the much-ballyhooed release that weekend, I spent part of lunch lusting after the gadget at the local Apple Store.
Held it in my hand, typed in www.msbusiness .com, read the latest news on our site just like it was a laptop, but better.
The price tag, compared to a laptop, is better, too.
My lunchtime visit was like walking through the auto dealership and eyeing the new car you want.
It’s pretty to look at and you can afford it it if you really want it, but how much do you want it?
Not sure just yet.
I may make a few more trips to the Apple Store for a test drive just to see what kind of gitty-up it has, maybe kick the tires and look under the hood.
You know you can never be too careful about these things.
But then again, if my wife is reading, my birthday is just a few weeks away (ahem!).

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.