It is Friday, November 24, 2023. Hope you had a blessed, happy and not too much of an overeating Thanksgiving. After a week of advertisements, news stories and general conversation about it, "Black Friday" is here.

Many retail stores began "Black Friday" sales weeks ago. Some chains like Walmart and Target are already starting some 30% and 40% off sales to help bring people in the doors. Because of that, some people report they have already completed their Christmas shopping.

Still, stores are expected to be crowded all day today, the day before the Iron Bowl. And while "Cyber Monday" is still ahead, big box and local retail stores are expecting the bulk of their Christmas shopping sales to come from in-person shoppers.

Contrary to the belief of many, the day after Friday has not always carried the moniker "Black Friday". There are several inaccurate myths, but the true story is more mundane than internet invented myths.

Popular belief is the term derives from the concept that businesses operate at a financial loss, or are “in the red,” until the day after Thanksgiving, when massive sales finally allow them to turn a profit or put them “in the black.”. Another myth is southern slave holders could buy black slaves at a discount the day after Thanksgiving.  However, according to the Smithsonian Institute, both are untrue.

The term dates back to the 1950s, when police officers in Philadelphia began using the phrase “Black Friday” to describe the chaos that resulted when large numbers of suburban tourists came into the city to begin their holiday shopping and attend the annual Army-Navy football game the next day. The huge crowds created a headache for the police, who worked longer shifts than usual as they dealt with traffic jams, accidents, increased shoplifting, and other issues.

Retail associations learned of the term, and it spread nationwide as a catchy term to lure shoppers into stores.

Early reports are that stores are reporting brisk business this morning. Some stores opened earlier than usual with customers already waiting to get the early best buys or that must have toy.

Shoppers are able to take advantage of pretty good weather today. Although there are clouds, no rain is expected, and temperatures could edge into the lower 60s.

The Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 60. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

High School Football Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 38. North wind around 5 mph.

Iron Bow Saturday at Auburn: Mostly sunny with 63 degrees at kickoff dropping into the 50s by the second half.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 44. East wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday: A 50 percent chance of showers, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. East wind 5 to 10 mph

Sunday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Next Week: A new surge of colder air arrives Monday, and temperatures will be below freezing over the northern half of the state Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.


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Topping the News:

Tuscaloosa's annual Tinsel Trail will conduct its delayed "Grand Opening" Monday at Government Plaza behind city hall. The event was originally scheduled to take place this week, but Monday's forecasted severe weather forced the one-week postponement.

The 5:30pm event will include holiday music, refreshments, Santa, visit with sponsors, and see all of the trees that light up downtown Tuscaloosa for the holiday season. (Checkout the Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa tree).

The annual ice-skating rink is already open and will remain open until January 15.

Admission to Holidays on the Plaza is free to all guests. Skate pass tickets are required for skate rental and access to the ice rink. Tickets are available for purchase onsite from the event’s ticket booth or online.


The number of wildfires still burning across Alabama continues to shrink. 29 wildfires, all contained are still burning after soaking rains helped extinguish almost 50 since last week.

Four fires are still burning in West Alabama: one each in Fayette, Tuscaloosa and Pickens Counties and two in Lamar County.

Alabama Forestry officials hope the forecasted rain Sunday will help continue to diminish the number of fires.

The commission has ended the "No Burn Order" for all but a portion of East Alabama.


A United Methodist Church in Demopolis along with 44 others in the denomination's Alabama-West Florida Conference are appealing a Montgomery Circuit Court ruling that refused to hear an appeal of a decision by the bishop of the conference David Graves.

The churches have a year-end deadline to disaffiliate from the denomination, but Graves is refusing to allow it, despite hundreds of other churches disaffiliating from the United Methodist Church.

Circuit Judge Brooke E. Reid dismissed the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order, saying it was an internal church matter and the court did not have jurisdiction.

Lawyers for the 45 churches claim Graves erred in his refusal and they are seeking a State Supreme Court decision that will uphold their "right" to disaffiliate. The state high court is refusing to expedite a hear as the deadline rapidly approaches.

248 churches of the conference have already disaffiliated from the UMC. 348 churches have disaffiliated from the North Alabama Conference which includes Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Lamar, Fayette and Walker County churches.

The disaffiliations follow decades of battling over a UMC Book of Discipline's rule banning same-sex marriage and ordaining openly gay clergy.



In Sports:

High School Football Playoff action continues tonight with a few area teams still in contention for a state title. Hillcrest will travel to Saraland in Class 6A. In 5A Demopolis will host Eufaula. In 2A TA is at Fyffe and in 1A Pickens County will entertain Wadley.


The line on the Iron Bowl opened last Sunday with Alabama as a 15-point favorite to beat Auburn. It dropped to 14.5 at midweek and is now down to13-points the day before the big game at Jordon-Hare.


Tomorrow's Iron Bowl marks the 10th anniversary of the infamous or famous, depending on who you cheer for, "Kick Six" miraculous Auburn win over Alabama.

For those of you who have been in another world, the Crimson Tide lined up for a potential game-winning 57-yard field goal and the kick was short, allowing Auburn's Chris Davis, who had been positioned near the goal line, to catch the ball just in front of the goal posts. Davis ran across the entire field through players from both teams to the opposite end zone, improbably scoring the winning touchdown for Auburn on the last play of the game.

Auburn fans are hoping for another Jorden-Hare miracle Saturday.


From UA Athletics: The Alabama women's basketball team is in Katy, Texas to play in the 2023 Betty Chancellor Classic starting today at 11:00am.

The Crimson Tide (5-0) will begin the event when it squares off against No. 20/15 Louisville on Friday. Alabama will then face Gonzaga on Saturday before finishing the event by taking on Liberty on Sunday.


 

From UA Athletics: The No. 17/15 Alabama men's basketball team will play its first game away from Coleman Coliseum this season when it faces Ohio State in the first round of the Emerald Coast Classic tonight at 6 p.m. CT.

Catch the game on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on 95.3 The Bear and 100.9 The Tide. The game will also be televised by the CBS Sports Network.


 

Have a great holiday weekend and ROLL TIDE!!!!!