A severe pollen count is 1,500.
Yesterday Nashville's pollen count hit 16,000.
This is the highest recorded pollen level in the city's history.
I think I'm going to die of pollen.
Several years ago I went to the Vanderbilt allergy clinic to be tested for allergies. I spent the entire morning there being stuck with needles. My mom made the appointment. At the time I was already married and over 25 years old. Which, if you happen to be married, does not make your wife happy.
I learned two things from my allergy screening:
1. I am allergic to 14 of the 16 objects they test you for. (more on this later)
2. I can only breathe out of one nostril.
The most alarming thing I learned was that I'm allergic to trees and grass.
Think about this for a minute.
Despite being a fan of a four-team playoff, Alabama coach Nick Saban isn't a fan of rewarding four conference champions with playoff spots. The idea, initially floated by former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, has been endorsed by Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott and has received substantial media attention as college football power brokers negotiate a new post-season deal.
Today Saban, appearing at a Jason Foundation luncheon in Nashville, shot down the idea of conference champions making up the four-team playoff.
Asked by OKTC what his thoughts were on a four team conference champion playoff, Saban replied:
"I don't think there's a parity in college football like there is in the NFL, where you can make a statement like that. No disrespect to any conference, but there are conferences that are in the BCS that if they played in the SEC their champion may be in fourth or fifth place. So because there's not a parity, I don't think it's fair to make a statement like that."
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roy Kramer and all commissioners of major conferences in the country. No disrespect to anyone. I disagree with that. If you're one of the two best teams you should be able to play in the game and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to get back in the game this year and I think we proved with our performance that we should have been in the game."
Fans would rather watch sports on television than go to the actual games.
Nearly sixty years after pro sports owners wrestled with how to maintain gate revenues in a television era -- this is how we got blackouts -- the HD flat-screen TV product has surpassed the in-game experience. It's Back to the Future for sports. Turns out all those executives who worried that television would eventually kill the gate revenues were right. They were just way ahead of the curve.
One of the best books on sports that has been written, "America's Game" by Michael McCambridge, spends hundreds of pages detailing NFL owner fears about how television would destroy the live gate. Those fears weren't realized in the 1950's, but sixty years later they're suddenly here.
In fact, I'll go ahead and say it, I would much rather watch games on television than I would see them in person.
I'm a season ticket holder for the NFL's Tennessee Titans, but come Sunday at noon I'd rather sit on my couch and watch eight NFL games on the RedZone channel than one game in person.
And I'm not alone.
Lots of y'all feel just like me.
Especially if you're in my generation, under the age of 35 and accustomed to watching any game you want on television.
In fact, for members of our television viewing experience, actually attending a game in person can feel like the inauthentic experience.
This morning Manning Mania came to an end in Nashville when Peyton unexpectedly selected the Denver Broncos as his team of choice. (Apologies for not updating the site early on Monday morning. We immediately went live on Nashville airwaves and I just got home about an hour ago from a day of Manning-related mourning.
Credit to John Elway for completing what may be his most improbable victory since the The Drive, persuading Manning to pick the Broncos over two better teams, the San Franciso 49ers and the Tennessee Titans.
Nashville residents were, not surprisingly, unhappy at the spurning.
So unhappy that erstwhile Manning adherents like the guys behind Come Home Peyton, the viral Internet campaign that raised thousands of dollars to persuade Peyton to join the Titans, took aim at their former dream quarterback.
Yep, they did what every jilted lover does in a town that has made hundreds of millions of dollars off relationships gone bad.
They wrote a song. (Or at least changed the lyrics to an already popular song).
If you're offended by profanity, you probably shouldn't click on this link.
Manning Mania is officially out of control.
I can't even keep up with my Twitter feed and it's 10:20 in the morning. But I'm getting deluged with questions, many of them repetitive. So I wanted to put my answers all in one place. This will expound upon what I've been Tweeting this morning.
Here's what sources are telling me:
1. It's down to the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos for Peyton Manning.
I said this yesterday and this morning it has become common knowledge.
So which will Peyton pick?
2. Both the Broncos and Titans have put together detailed contract offers and packages for Manning to review.
I know that yesterday the Titans and Manning were in the process of hammering out details. I'm sure that negotiations and contact with the Broncos continued all day as well. So it's no surprise that media in both cities continue to be funneled updates from those inside at both places.
Communication was ongoing yesterday between both these teams even as Manning eliminated other teams from contention.
Why is Manning communicating with two teams now?
Because any seller wants more than one bidder.
Right now the Titans have offered substantially more money than the Broncos. But the Broncos have more cap room on the front side. So they could offer much more money -- and probably will.
3. The Titans are the leader right now.
They were also the leader yesterday after Manning considered all his options.
Have you ever stood on a median and craned your neck to look for movement on someone else's property?
Hopefully you haven't.
Yesterday I spent hours doing that at the Titans facility. The highlight of the evening -- aside from the approximately two minutes when Manning was actual visible -- was when Twitter followers showed up with a 32 pack of Keystone Light. Which we then drank, tailgate style, outside the Titans facility fence.
Today March Madness officially begins, but in the meantime, it's Manning Mania in Nashville.
If you aren't on Twitter -- and I will reiterate again, if you're a sports fan and you aren't on Twitter then you're wasting your life -- here was a gallery of pictures and video that I posted yesterday.
And, again, follow me on Twitter and follow the people I follow. Your life will be better.
Could today be the day that Manning returns to Tennessee?