The June 2021 edition …

Why are TV sports ratings falling? It’s a simple question with complex answers By TOM WOOD / JUNE 25, 2021 My June 25 Nashville Ledger story explains how the sports world — and our viewing habits — changed in the 15-plus months since COVID-19 struck full-force and the great pandemic pause of 2020 began. The lockdown immediately darkened arenas and stadiums across the country. Sometimes, months passed before Continue reading

The May 2021 edition

Hemp’s shaky promise: A bust for many farmers but there’s growing hope for future By TOM WOOD / May 20, 2021 A couple of years ago, I wrote a story about the dynamic growth of the state’s emerging hemp industry, from 226 licensed growers in Tennessee in 2018 to 3,957 in 2019. But in a demonstration of the old axiom of “what goes up must come down,” a Continue reading

The April 2021 edition

Knoxville partners race in from east to help Music City Grand Prix get off the line By TOM WOOD / April 9, 2021 Officially, it is known as the Big Machine IndyCar Music City Grand Prix, but Nashville’s Aug. 8 inaugural street race is truly a statewide event. Among those who helped turn a dream into reality are a high-powered group of owner investors stretching from Knoxville businessmen Continue reading

The March 2021 Edition

Nashville will get a boost from August debut of Music City Grand Prix on downtown streets By TOM WOOD / March 19, 2021 As Nashville continues to rebound from the COVID-19 global pandemic, expect at least a $20 million shot in the arm from the inaugural IndyCar NTT Music City Grand Prix on Aug. 8. Read more in the March 19 edition in the Nashville Ledger. Organizers expect Continue reading

The February 2021 edition …

Nashville needs a boost from return of SEC men’s basketball tournament, spring sports By TOM WOOD / February 19, 2021 As I write this, the sun is shining and starting to melt some of the six inches of snow and ice that blankets our Nashville neighborhood. But spring is just around the corner … and so are spring sports. Finally, here are my stories on minor league baseball Continue reading

The January 2021 edition …

Vanderbilt hires Lea as new football coach; online sports betting is legal in Tennessee By TOM WOOD / January 20, 2021 To begin my first column of 2021, let me congratulate new President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris as they take office following their historic 2020 election. Pray for the United States of America, that the violence and bloodshed will come to an end and we once Continue reading

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 Continue reading

The August 2020 edition

In the Ledger: What would life in Knoxville be like without UT football because of the virus? By TOM WOOD / July 31, 2020 That’s the question put to me by editors of the Nashville Ledger, and in turn, I asked it of several Knoxville business people. I hope I have provided some answers and perspective in the July 31-August 6 edition of the Ledger. In talking with Continue reading

The July 2020 edition …

Nashville Superspeedway comes full circle with NASCAR Cup Series race in 2021 By TOM WOOD / July 2, 2020 Last year I wrote a “Secret City” story for the Nashville Ledger about the founding of Oak Ridge to develop the atomic bomb that ended World War II. The project was so top-secret that the East Tennessee city of 75,000 — fifth-largest in the state — didn’t appear on Continue reading

The May/June 2020 edition …

Transition from high school to college is full of unknowns as coronavirus danger rages By TOM WOOD / May 12, 2020 It has been more than four decades (and — wow — closer to five) since I graduated from high school in Atlanta, but I remember everything like it was yesterday. Cliche, I know, but it’s true. All the weeks leading up to that night, walking across the Continue reading