Madison County Opinion...

 January 24, 2001

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
January 24, 2001

Frankly Speaking

Zell Miller-a Southern gentleman
A Southern Gentleman now occupies the seat of senator from the state of Georgia. When Democrat Zell Miller assumed the seat vacated by Republican Paul Coverdale, he promised to serve in Coverdale's spirit. He is keeping that promise, just as a Southern Gentleman should.
Senator Coverdale was a quiet, civil, effective, behind-the-scenes conservative. He became an early supporter of George W. Bush, helping shape the candidate's political agenda. Had he lived, Senator Coverdale would have been one of the key legislators in pushing through the new president's agenda.
Now, Senator Miller is keeping his pledge to the voters of Georgia. He has gone against his party by becoming a co-sponsor of President Bush's tax relief plan. He was the first Democrat to announce his support for Sen. Ashcroft to be attorney general.
His conduct on the floor of the Senate has been impeccable. Sen. Miller speaks softly, without demonizing those who disagree with him. He places his constituents' needs and desires ahead of the positions of his party.
That last characteristic may become a problem for Miller. Media reports say that the leaders of the Democratic Party are not happy with his decisions to support President Bush's agenda. If they hold true to form, the National Democrats will likely seek someone more willing to follow their line as a candidate for Miller's seat in the next election.
Then again, Zell may not be planning that far ahead. He has had a full career as a Georgia legislator, Lt. Governor and Governor. He was reluctant to seek to complete Coverdale's term and took the position only at the urging of friends. I would not be surprised to hear that Zell will re-retire at the end of this term. If so, then he has little concern about objections from the Democratic leadership. He will continue to conduct himself, and vote, as he believed Senator Coverdale would have.
I have not always agreed with Miller's policies as governor. He was at one time willing to sacrifice our beautiful flag, but he learned quickly what the people wanted and returned to his true Southern ways.
I may not always agree with his votes as Senator. As a supporter of State's Rights, I object to any vote that extends the power of the federal government. But I am now sure that even when he votes against my views, he will maintain the principles of a Southern Gentleman.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at


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By Zach Mitcham
The Madison County Journal
January 24, 2001

From the Editor's Desk

Is the Super Bowl about football?
I've come to believe that the Super Bowl is not really about football. It's about commercials.
And when the game takes its usual one-sided turn, the contest generally becomes irrelevant. Because what's most important at Super Bowl parties is chip and cheese dip consumption.
And yes, the ads.
The room inevitably hushes as the television is turned up to hear the snappy one-liners of Super Bowl ads.
And the day after the game, there's usually as much discussion of commercials as football.
The fact is, some companies put most of their advertising resources into a 30-second, $2 million spot during the Super Bowl. And a lot of times they get wacky, hoping that you'll remember them.
It's fun to watch. But I'm always reminded of how powerful marketing is in sports.
And frankly, I'm a little scared.
I'm scared that one day I'll turn on the television to find the Stuckey's Georgia Bulldogs taking on the Krispy Kreme Florida Gators. The Gators will line up for a Pepto Bismol punt and a Bulldog with his jersey looking like something out of NASCAR - perhaps a big Tide ad covering up his number - will block the punt and return it across the George Foreman Grill goal line, opening the door for the Dawgs to travel to New Orleans for the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
You may laugh, but you know there's some truth in this. This is where we're headed.
The Sugar Bowl is, in fact, the Nokia Sugar Bowl. And this is less of a monstrosity than say, the Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl.
We already have such things as the Bell South call to the bullpen when a relief pitcher is summoned in baseball.
We accept the fact that .com is acceptable in naming a bowl or a stadium. Remember 3 com stadium, formerly Candlestick Park, in San Francisco?
The Nike swoosh is seen on numerous jerseys. And I believe there will be many endorsement deals on team jerseys in years to come, with ads dictating sportswear fashion.
We are, in essence, a culture of advertising. And that's not necessarily bad, either. An economy without it would be toothless.
But there is no good taste police.
And as marketers look for new ways to reach audiences, more things will be tagged with company names.
Imagine the Wendy's/Taco Bell Inauguration 2008, the Pizza Hut trip to Mars, the Fruit of the Loom Final Four or the Zaxby's Super Bowl.
It's bound to get truly strange if the trend continues.
In the meantime, most of us will settle in Sunday for an advertising blitz. We will laugh along as we consume piles of junk food.
Oh, yeah, and there will be a little football in the mix too.
Here's a prediction: Giants 28 - Ravens 13.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.
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