Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Pregame Speech

Men, the only people who know we're going to win this game are in this room right now. The media doesn't give us a chance. Fans across the country think this game has been decided. But I say to hell with them! The only people who can decide who wins this game are in this locker room, and the other locker room. And guess what? They aren't better than you - they aren't! All of us put our pants on one leg a time. We all practiced all spring, summer, and fall for this moment. They don't have super power abilities. They are men, just like you. The way we win this game is to be the team whose men fight the hardest, the longest, and the toughest. Is that going to be you today? Are you going to be the men on the field today, or are they? Listen, it's going to be tough. It's going to be hard. There will be times where you want to quit, stop, take a rest. Let me relate an old story to you.

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl. One was an optimistic soul. But the other took the gloomy view. "We'll drown," he lamented without much ado, and with a last despairing cry, he flung up his legs and said "Goodbye." Said the other frog with a steadfast grin, "I can't get out but I won't give in, I'll just swim around till my strength is spent, then I'll die the more content." Bravely he swam to work his scheme, and his struggles began to churn the cream. The more he swam, his legs a flutter, the more the cream turned into butter. On top of the butter at last he stopped, and out of the bowl he gaily hopped. What is the moral? It's easily found...
If you can't hop out, keep swimming around!

All the planning, practicing, crying, laughing, fighting, learning, EVERYTHING we've done since January, is about to grow into greatness, men. The days where you didn't want to wake up and lift weights. When you didn't want to run the Hill. When you didn't want to hit the ground anymore. It all pays off today. Take advantage of this situation, and make the most of it.

Men, when the times get tough today, don't just give up - fight for life on that field! FIGHT FOR IT! No, this ain't a war, it's not a battle. We'll all wake up tomorrow with God's blessings. But for right now, you can continue to kick and fight and hold each other up - and etch your names into the history books at the University of Tennessee. When you get hit in the mouth, don't fall to the bottom of the bowl, fight to stay afloat then HIT 'EM BACK! ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK - always attack. Let's go.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Same Junk, Different Year

I'm in the process of "breaking down the film," if you will, but before I post what I see, I want to cover something about fandom.

In the past, I've been railed for being a bit negative about Phil Fulmer and the Vols play (namely, UF and Bama 07). People told me I was a bandwagon fan. I want to address this kind of thinking.

It's very similar to this: when you have a child, you love that child to no end. You put so much faith, passion, love, everything, into that child. You would do EVERYTHING for that child. However, you still get disappointed, angry, and frustrated with that child. It doesn't mean you stop loving the child.

That is the best way I can explain my feelings and posts about Fulmer-UT. I love the Volunteers as much as anybody, and that will never stop. I will also be angry, frustrated, and disappointed when I'm let down.

And right now, I feel angry. Last season I was disappointed, but it's moved to anger. Not just with Coach Fulmer, but with myself. I'm angry at myself for buying all the talk from the players, the coaches, and the pay site writers. I bought it all, because I love our Vols. I'll buy it next year, and the year after, and I'll be upset more often than not. There's only one SEC Champion each year, and at best, a team should be expected to win it maybe every 5-6 years. That's a lot of disappointment. However, you deal with that when you love. And I love our Vols.

We have 11 games left to make something out of this season. Granted, nobody can be too confident after losing to the 6th or 7th best team on our schedule. That UCLA team never looked GOOD, which makes the loss more frustrating. But I say this: never give up. Don't stop cheering the players on. They just do what the coaches tell them (for the most part, Mr. Bread Loaf Carrier). I will root our players on, and will root for the success of the team.


Because you never stop loving.