The September 2020 edition …

By TOM WOOD / September 24, 2020

To paraphrase Hank Williams Jr., “Are you ready for some SEC football?”

Don’t know about you, but I sure am.

That question has never been more appropriate than in 2020, a year that has been strange and sometimes strained by the deadly global pandemic Coronavirus which has affected every facet of life, including pro and college sports.

The Southeastern Conference revamped its schedule, cutting back from 12 games to a 10-game, conference-only format. Season kickoffs were delayed from late August to September 26 — a date that, for better or worse, is just around the corner. I recently talked with Vanderbilt coaches and players about their hopes and dreams for the coming season for the Nashville Ledger, and Rhiannon Potkey did similar interviews with UT for Knoxville’s Tennessee Ledger.

“(SEC football is) some of the best football in the country,” coach Derek Mason says.

–Ledger cover designed by Mike Hopey

You will find both season preview stories online on Thursday, Sept. 24, and in the Sept. 25-Oct. 1 print editions of the Ledger.

Despite many dire forecasts for the Commodores, including more than one prediction that they’ll go 0-10, here is at least one voice wishing Vanderbilt nothing but the best, both on and off the field.

I mean, it is 2020. Anything can happen, right?

* * *

Last month, I took a look at what a fall without Tennessee football might have on Knoxville in the July 31-August 6 edition of the Ledger. While those Knoxville businesses have felt the impact of a September without Vol football, here’s hoping the rest of the year will be brighter in Knoxville both on and off the field!

NEWSPAPER NEWS: The Ledger takes 11 firsts in 2020 State Press Awards

Thursday, September 24, was a good day for the Ledger newspapers in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga with 11 first-place awards in 13 categories at the 2020 State Press Awards sponsored by the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Press Association.

I won two individual awards–Best Single Feature for the Nashville Ledger and Investigative Reporting for the Hamilton County Herald in Chattanooga–and was among three team firsts.

Those were all for Knoxville: In the Community Lifestyles category, along with Nancy Henderson and Jim Meyers; For Best Business Coverage, along with Hollie Deese, Richard Courtney, Joe Morris and Jim Meyers; And Best Sports Coverage with Rhiannon Potkey.

The Tennessee Ledger (Knoxville) and Hamilton Country Herald (Chattanooga) won the general excellence awards for their divisions.

Congrats to all the winners!

SCREENWRITING NEWS: It has been a good month for ‘A Night on the Town’ and ‘Death Takes a Holliday’ scripts:

On another subject, I have some great news two screenplays that are doing well in contests. The first is the crime drama ‘A Night on the Town’ which I co-wrote with Mike Tucker. It is a finalist in the Peachtree Village International Film Festival and a semifinalist in the Southeastern International Film Festival. And my Western horror-fantasy is currently a semifinalist in the WeScreenplay shorts contest.

The competion results will be determined the final week of October. You can attend all of these virtual events and participate in roundtables, listen to table reads of scripts, watch the film finalists and much more. And The PVIFF has opened up competitions to audience votes. So give ours a listen and we’d be honored to receive your vote.

As always, thanks for reading.

Tom Wood

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