Loyd McIntosh

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Posts tagged with "birmingham alabama"

March has been a good month for me in terms of freelance writing, with four pieces in three different magazines. This one for Birmingham Magazine titled Birmingham Sportsville, U.S.A., is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive. A story I began working almost a year ago, I wanted to learn how, over the last decade and a half my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, has become a go-to city for an array of special sporting events. Since the mid-1990s Birmingham has successfully the following:
An annual event on the PGA Senior/ChampionsTour
Soccer matches during the 1996 Olympic Games
Davis Cup Tennis matches
The 2011 and 2012 NCAA College Cup Mens Soccer Championships
IZOD IndyCar series racing at Barber Motorsports Park
Professional Bowler’s Association tour stops for two years
The city is also preparing to open the new downtown baseball complex, Regions Field in the middle of downtown Birmingham. The stadium will be home to the AA Birmingham Barons, marking the first time the minor league club has been in the downtown area since it left Rickwood Field back in the mid 1980s. All of this is happening in a city that has called itself the Football Capital of the South for almost a century.
That phrase can still be seen painted on the side of Legion Field, an aging football stadium known around football circles as the Old Gray Lady - old being the operative term. The stadium which hosted decades of epic University of Alabama football games while Bear Bryant roamed the sidelines hasn’t hosted a Crimson Tide game in almost ten years. These days, Legion Field hosts UAB Blazers home games to tepid crowds, and lost the state high school championships which left for to Auburn and Tuscaloosa (alternating years). Meanwhile, Birmingham struggles to gain support for a multipurpose domed facility that city leaders have wanted to build for close to 20 years.
I had a chance to attend a some cool events, including the 2012 Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama, and I was able to interview some of great drivers including Charlie Kimball and Joao Barbosa for the story. Take a few minutes to read the story and drop me a line to let me know your thoughts.

March has been a good month for me in terms of freelance writing, with four pieces in three different magazines. This one for Birmingham Magazine titled Birmingham Sportsville, U.S.A., is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive. A story I began working almost a year ago, I wanted to learn how, over the last decade and a half my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, has become a go-to city for an array of special sporting events. Since the mid-1990s Birmingham has successfully the following:

The city is also preparing to open the new downtown baseball complex, Regions Field in the middle of downtown Birmingham. The stadium will be home to the AA Birmingham Barons, marking the first time the minor league club has been in the downtown area since it left Rickwood Field back in the mid 1980s. All of this is happening in a city that has called itself the Football Capital of the South for almost a century.

That phrase can still be seen painted on the side of Legion Field, an aging football stadium known around football circles as the Old Gray Lady - old being the operative term. The stadium which hosted decades of epic University of Alabama football games while Bear Bryant roamed the sidelines hasn’t hosted a Crimson Tide game in almost ten years. These days, Legion Field hosts UAB Blazers home games to tepid crowds, and lost the state high school championships which left for to Auburn and Tuscaloosa (alternating years). Meanwhile, Birmingham struggles to gain support for a multipurpose domed facility that city leaders have wanted to build for close to 20 years.

I had a chance to attend a some cool events, including the 2012 Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama, and I was able to interview some of great drivers including Charlie Kimball and Joao Barbosa for the story. Take a few minutes to read the story and drop me a line to let me know your thoughts.

If I could find a place to plug in my iPod I’d love to have this cool old radio. I’ve actually heard of companies that will refurbish old electronics to handle modern devices, which is a really cool thing considering how much style radios like this still have.
This is another cool piece I saw for sale at Urban Suburban today in Crestwood. I’m working on an Around The Block column for Birmingham Magazine and was out getting interviews and taking a few photos earlier this afternoon. Urban Suburban is just one of the places I’m writing about in this revitalized community.

If I could find a place to plug in my iPod I’d love to have this cool old radio. I’ve actually heard of companies that will refurbish old electronics to handle modern devices, which is a really cool thing considering how much style radios like this still have.

This is another cool piece I saw for sale at Urban Suburban today in Crestwood. I’m working on an Around The Block column for Birmingham Magazine and was out getting interviews and taking a few photos earlier this afternoon. Urban Suburban is just one of the places I’m writing about in this revitalized community.

IndyCar racer Charlie Kimball’s show car, Honda IndyCar Grand Prix, Birmingham, Alabama.

IndyCar racer Charlie Kimball’s show car, Honda IndyCar Grand Prix, Birmingham, Alabama.

A stylized shot of one of the vintage cars on display during the 2012 Honda IndyCar Grand Prix, Birmingham, Alabama.

A stylized shot of one of the vintage cars on display during the 2012 Honda IndyCar Grand Prix, Birmingham, Alabama.

Here’s a cool photo I shot earlier this week of the Paramount Restaurant, a sandwich shop also specializing in frozen yogurt, Belgian waffles and cupcakes in a historic building on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 20th Street North in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. This is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Birmingham, erected in 1887.
It’s housed several businesses over the years, including a grocery, drug store, soda fountain, and a cigar shop. The Paramount opened up in 2012 and has a really neat retro look and feel. I took this photo with my iPhone 4s after grabbing a slice of pizza from a joint across the street on my lunch break. Make sure to swing by for a bite to eat or just a snack if and when you’re in town. 
Image created with #Snapseed

Here’s a cool photo I shot earlier this week of the Paramount Restaurant, a sandwich shop also specializing in frozen yogurt, Belgian waffles and cupcakes in a historic building on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 20th Street North in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. This is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Birmingham, erected in 1887.

It’s housed several businesses over the years, including a grocery, drug store, soda fountain, and a cigar shop. The Paramount opened up in 2012 and has a really neat retro look and feel. I took this photo with my iPhone 4s after grabbing a slice of pizza from a joint across the street on my lunch break. Make sure to swing by for a bite to eat or just a snack if and when you’re in town.

Image created with #Snapseed

Jan 9
Sixteen Tons And What Do You Get …
Today on the $2 discount record rack at Jim Reed Books, downtown Birmingham, an old record by Ernest Ford Jennings, better known as Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Sixteen Tons And What Do You Get …

Today on the $2 discount record rack at Jim Reed Books, downtown Birmingham, an old record by Ernest Ford Jennings, better known as Tennessee Ernie Ford.

More College Cup Soccer
I’m finally getting around to posting more of my photos from the Maryland-Georgetown semifinal match from the NCAA Mens College Cup Soccer Championship last weekend in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve been around soccer my entire life, but was quite possibly the most exciting game I’ve ever seen live. After Maryland scored about 15 minutes into the first half, Georgetown pretty much took over, building to a 4-2 lead by the midway point of the second half.
Then, Maryland caught their second wind and scored two additional goals within a few minutes late in the game to even the score at 4-4. There was no winner after the two overtime periods, sending the game into to penalty kicks. After Maryland’s keeper saved a shot on the Georgetown’s first attempt, Maryland took a lead into the PKs, only to miss their last two shots. Georgetown won 4-3 in penalty kicks in a game that already saw eight goals in regulation.
Even though the Hoyas went  on to lose in Sunday’s final to Indiana, 1-0, this was the game of the tournament. Period.
I’ll post a few more photos and some additional thoughts on the sport of soccer in the coming days. In the meantime, you can see my photo album from the tournament here.

More College Cup Soccer

I’m finally getting around to posting more of my photos from the Maryland-Georgetown semifinal match from the NCAA Mens College Cup Soccer Championship last weekend in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve been around soccer my entire life, but was quite possibly the most exciting game I’ve ever seen live. After Maryland scored about 15 minutes into the first half, Georgetown pretty much took over, building to a 4-2 lead by the midway point of the second half.

Then, Maryland caught their second wind and scored two additional goals within a few minutes late in the game to even the score at 4-4. There was no winner after the two overtime periods, sending the game into to penalty kicks. After Maryland’s keeper saved a shot on the Georgetown’s first attempt, Maryland took a lead into the PKs, only to miss their last two shots. Georgetown won 4-3 in penalty kicks in a game that already saw eight goals in regulation.

Even though the Hoyas went  on to lose in Sunday’s final to Indiana, 1-0, this was the game of the tournament. Period.

I’ll post a few more photos and some additional thoughts on the sport of soccer in the coming days. In the meantime, you can see my photo album from the tournament here.

Nov 3
Gear Head Getaway
Continuing my run of automotive-themed magazine articles in 2011, I have a new piece on a hidden oasis for gearheads in the November issue of Birmingham Magazine - Millcreek Motocross Park.
Located just off Interstate 20 in Pell City, Alabama, the park’s founder, Alan McWilliams established Millcreek about 10 years ago and has quietly established the park as one of the southeast’s premiere tracks for Motocross racing. In the spring, for instance, Millcreek hosts the ATV Pro tour as well as the The American Motorcycle Association Spring Motocross   Championship.
Alan’s son, Alex, just earned his pro card and is starting to make a name for himself on the tour as well. If you’re a fan of motorcycle racing and would like to check out some racing close to home, you should make the drive to to Pell City on a weekend to check things out.

Gear Head Getaway

Continuing my run of automotive-themed magazine articles in 2011, I have a new piece on a hidden oasis for gearheads in the November issue of Birmingham Magazine - Millcreek Motocross Park.

Located just off Interstate 20 in Pell City, Alabama, the park’s founder, Alan McWilliams established Millcreek about 10 years ago and has quietly established the park as one of the southeast’s premiere tracks for Motocross racing. In the spring, for instance, Millcreek hosts the ATV Pro tour as well as the The American Motorcycle Association Spring Motocross Championship.

Alan’s son, Alex, just earned his pro card and is starting to make a name for himself on the tour as well. If you’re a fan of motorcycle racing and would like to check out some racing close to home, you should make the drive to to Pell City on a weekend to check things out.

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Art In The Woods
Check out my newest piece in the October issue of Birmingham Magazine on the tree carvings a neat little park in the college town of Montevallo. This section of Orr Park is known for several dozen tree carvings by Terry Tingle, a rather interesting and eccentric local folk artist who also moonlights as a coal miner.
Tingle is also an author and a world-traveler, but most people in the tight-nit communities south of Birmingham know him as an incredible wood worker. Over the last 20 years, Tingle has carved dozens of faces, woodland creatures, and even a dragon into the dead cedar trees throughout the park. If you’re ever in the Birmingham area - Shelby County in particular - be sure to spend some time in Tinglewood. 

Art In The Woods

Check out my newest piece in the October issue of Birmingham Magazine on the tree carvings a neat little park in the college town of Montevallo. This section of Orr Park is known for several dozen tree carvings by Terry Tingle, a rather interesting and eccentric local folk artist who also moonlights as a coal miner.

Tingle is also an author and a world-traveler, but most people in the tight-nit communities south of Birmingham know him as an incredible wood worker. Over the last 20 years, Tingle has carved dozens of faces, woodland creatures, and even a dragon into the dead cedar trees throughout the park. If you’re ever in the Birmingham area - Shelby County in particular - be sure to spend some time in Tinglewood. 

I’ll Give You 2-1 Odds You’ll Like This Story

Gambling shotIf you’ve thought about placing a few bucks down on a college football game, or asking around for a good - ahem - reputable bookie, take time to read my two new pieces on sports gambling.

Centered around my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, known as the college sports capital of the world, I spent some time in college working for a sports handicapper, running the daily lines to clients as they would call in to the office.

As you can imagine, many of my family and friends weren’t sure what a handicapper did and were convinced I was working for a bookie. To be clear, I have never accepted a bet or placed a bet, but the job was part of the sports gaming industry that has a shady reputation - and for good reason.

About a decade after I left this job, got serious about my studies and graduated college, I began hearing stories about an uncle of mine who got ‘crossways’ with some underworld types in the city. As the story goes, it was around 1980 and when he ‘lost’ $15,000 or so in CASH, and was given two choices - get out of town or enjoy nice, long dirt nap. He joined the Army lickety split and not much was seen of him for at least 10 years.

I always thought this story was a tall tale, but I had a chance to ask him about it about 8 or 9 years ago while staying with some family as he attempted to deal with issues with alcohol. He said the story was completely true. I have my doubts.

Unfortunately, he lost his life a couple of years ago from those same demons. At the same time, I’ve put a greater emphasis on my Christian faith and even teach a Sunday School class for fourth grade boys. I think about this job I had in college and about my uncle’s situation often and, frankly, it all saddens me greatly. So I decided to take a look at the issue, writing two pieces on gambling for B-Metro magazine.

In the first, I talk in more detail about working for a handicapper and some of my family’s history with sports gambling. In the second, I interview a recovering gambler, a current gambler, a counselor who specializes in addictions, and a former bookie, giving readers some insight into the world of illegal sports gambling.

In addition, fellow B-Metro writer Jesse Chambers takes a look at the issue, interviewing the general manager of one of our local sports radio stations, the one place guaranteed to feature radio ads of the nation’s top sports handicappers. Jesse’s piece comes first, followed by my first-personal recollections and then my interview-based piece. Also, be sure to check out the photos by Birmingham-based photographer Liesa Cole.