It has been bitterly cold all week, and most of Nashville has a full blown case of cabin fever after being trapped in their houses the whole time. As temperatures top freezing for the first time in many days, and everyone is looking for something fun to do, we have got you covered.
Sports fans this is your weekend! While getting out of the house, but without having to stay out in the cold all day, you can experience all you ever wanted to and more this weekend in downtown Nashville. Hear from all your favorite local sports personalities and teams at 104.5 The Zone’s Sportsfest and take in Tennessee’s rich sports history at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame where the goal is to connect local sports fans to local coaches and athletes who’ve had exceptional achievements over the span of their careers.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, tucked into the front entrance of Bridgestone Arena, offers much more than meets the eye. If you have kids that love sports, or are new to Nashville yourself, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is a great way to learn about Tennessee’s very diverse and rich sports history.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame does this perfectly by illuminating individuals who have surpassed normal physical capabilities and who have pushed the limits to overcome both physical and mental challenges. Let’s take a closer look at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the athletes it honors.
“The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame offers a picture of the past, as well as telling the story of what’s happening today in Tennessee sports,” commented Dr. Bill Emendorfer, the executive director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame has been inducting members since 1966, when a small group gathered in Manchester, Tennessee to honor its first members.
The spirit of sportsmanship was the driving force behind this new venture, and the volunteers believed it would promote values among small communities. The prep sports writers and sportscasters spent their last $300 to finance the first banquet. Their motto, chosen in 1967 and still in use today, speaks to their goal of increasing cooperation and community through sports.
“We find that our problems are increased and intensified by one constantly growing necessity; to find and use means by which we can get along with each other, individually and collectively. Learning to live together in a competitive situation…is a must.”
Though the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame had been active for more than 28 years, it wasn’t until 1994 that legislation was passed to officially create the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
“We induct athletes from many sports in Tennessee, from Eddie George for football to Bill Dance for fishing,” explained Emendorfer. “We induct around 11 members each year, and they are usually scattered across the state of Tennessee.”
The 2015 members, first announced in November, include Isaac Bruce, John Cropp, Bob Cummings, William (Billy) Buchanan Dunavant Jr., Jim England, Henry and Alice Hooker, Galen W. Johnson ,John Pierce Jr., Jamie Rotella, Jake Rudolph, and Lifetime Achievement Inductee William Mack Brown.
With their annual inductees and outreach programs, such as their youth development “Champion Within” program, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame continues its mission to celebrate the successes of Tennessee athletes and provide examples to Tennessee’s youth of today to reach for the stars and see that success is possible, both in athletics and in all walks of life.
To finish your full sports day in downtown Nashville, head over to 104.5 The Zone’s Sportsfest at the Music City Center and see a number of people who could one day end up being Hall of Famers themselves. Sportsfest will features interactive games for kids, booths for the adults (including a Music City Taps Beer Garden) and some of the biggest names in sports on the speaker’s stage, including Tennessee football coach Butch Jones, Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason, Tennessee Titans Zack Mettenberger and Taylor Lewan.
In what has become a must-attend event for sports fans in Nashville, Sportsfest brings the biggest names in Tennessee sports right to you and allows fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with the stars they watch on the field or television each week.
The highlight of the day though is the impressive lineup of speakers at this year’s Sportsfest.
9:30 a.m. – Butch Jones, Tennessee Head Football Coach
10:30 a.m. – Hannah Curlee & Olivia Ward, NBC’s The Biggest Loser
11:15 a.m. – JP Dumont, Former Nashville Predator
Noon – Zach Mettenberger & Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans
1:00 p.m. – May Wood-Freeriksen, LPGA Golfer
1:45 p.m. – Inky Johnson, Vol for Life and Motivational Speaker
3:30 p.m. – Brian Jordan, Former MLB Star
4:30 p.m. – Dawn Davenport, WKRN anchor and ESPN sideline reporter
5:15 p.m. – Derek Mason, Vanderbilt Head Football Coach
While all would certainly be interesting to hear from, if you can only make it for a part of the day, we here at S&E Nashville encourage you to go hear Inky Johnson speak. Even if you are not a Tennessee fan, it is nearly impossible to hear his story and the inspirational message he spreads and not feel inspired.
To lead you into the weekend, we leave you with a small sample of what you are sure to hear from Inky Johnson today at Sportsfest.