Monday, November 03, 2008

We'll Miss You

Coach, you've been awesome. You brought us many excellent memories. I wish you well in retirement, and this is the perfect way to go. You can live in reverie forever at Tennessee now.

Thank you.

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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Big Orange Roundtable, Volume 1, Week 4

Gate 21 has the questions this week, and he also picked up his award for Longest Winded Roundtable Member of 2008. (I keed, I keed)

Here are the responses from this week, which certainly are better reads than the answers you'll see here. Give them traffic!

3rd Saturday in Blogtober
Fulmer's Belly
Southeastern Sports Blog
Gate 21

1) Thus far we’ve made a number of predictions for the 2008 Vols. Now, let’s take the next step: What are your pre-season predictions for each of Tennessee’s regular season games this year (along with any explanations you feel are needed)?

DateEnemyOutcomeThe Story
Sep. 1stW 27-13Even before the myriad of injuries, Tennessee was going to be favored. UCLA lost enough players to fill a van meant for illegals, and they weren't very good last year anyway. Tennessee will come into the Rose Bowl, play well enough to get a nice win, save some things for Florida, and get out. We'll find some faults, but overall, we'll be happy. Foster will be our offensive star.
Sep. 13thW 48-6We won't sleepwalk here, no sir. This shellacking, combined with the solid win out west will cause most Vol fans to have some high, high, high hopes for the following week. Crompton will have his big game. UAB isn't as solid a midmajor as they once were.
Sep. 20thL 24-30Florida is my pick to win the National Title in 2008, but if there is a game they lose on the schedule, it's this one. Our boys will certainly be fired up, and this game is a coinflip for me. However, for the same reasons we think the young UT secondary will improve, the Florida secondary will improve. This will feel eerily similar to the 1996 loss to Florida, after being beaten for so long.
Sep. 27thW 20-17 (OT)Another game on the schedule that can go either way. I think a week after facing the best spread option in the country, our guys will be ready for it this week against an inferior offense. Lincoln hits a go-ahead FG with less than 90 seconds left, but we squib the kick and the Aubbies drive down to tie. We win in overtime, 'cause that's what we do. Defensive tackle for UT gets hurt, with panic reigning supreme amongst fans.
Oct. 4thW 38-20This is the week where we have a bit of a lapse - we'll be coming off two insanely hard-hitting, fast-paced, emotional games. NIU has a nice running back in Justin Anderson, and his good day of running on us will set in MORE panic as we deal with losing depth at DT the week before, and Knowshon Moreno on deck.
Oct. 11thL 27-33A yet another game that is a coinflip for Tennessee. Moreno exercises his demons from last season as he does a nice job shredding a tired, depth-deprived defensive line. Crompton cements himself as a top notch SEC quarterback in this game, though. Tennessee just doesn't make enough stops in this game.
Oct. 18thW 30-10I see a lot of people in the Vol World worried about this game, but worry not friends. Mississippi State is in for a rude awakening when they win 6 games, max. They won a boatload of close games last year, and that variance will catch up with them. Defense/special teams score twice.
Oct. 25thW 24-14While it won't be the bloodletting we want after last year, we'll get the win, Alabama fans will still be people I won't piss on if they were on fire, and there won't be a DJ Hall to have nightmares about.
Nov. 1stW 26-23 (OT)A surprise 50/50 game on the schedule. The Fighting Steve Spurriers won't have a great season to this point, so tOBC will want this even more. If he can't win a title, might as well clip the Vols. Carolina will have the ball first in OT and settle for a field goal. Crompton to Stocker on the 2nd play of our drive, and the Vols win amongst silence.
Nov. 8thW 46-3Yawner. Coleman gets some work at QB, and every Chattanoogan raves about how he looks like the next Peyton. Creer has 150+ yards. We all get bored because we face OPEN the next week, and they NEVER win.
Nov. 22ndW 30-13While Kentucky regresses on offense due to losses to the draft and graduation, the defense improves. If their defense doesn't improve, we might score 50. Their offense, now with the iffy Curtis Pulley situation, is really going to struggle. Not a close one this season. Crompton has another big game.
Nov. 29thW 37-9Another game on the schedule where people will be slightly worried due to the 2007 debacle, but we'll make a nice showing in hopes to jump in front of Georgia and Florida in the BCS standings. Why? Because it'll be a 2003 repeat - 3 way tie at the top of the East. Vandy has a very good secondary, so expect Arian Foster to have a huge final regular season game.

So, yes, I am predicting a 6-2 three-way tie on top of the SEC East with Florida and Georgia. I'll say this: Tennessee has 4 tossups on the schedule, and I think will go 2-2. We could beat Florida and lose to Auburn. We could lose to Florida and Auburn, then beat Georgia.

2) Gameday routines, we all have them. What are your gameday rituals, especially those that are completely irrational, grounded in baseless superstition, or otherwise defy explanation?

Well, being on the West Coast (big-ups) makes mine pretty strange. I live in Arizona, so we don't do anything for Daylight Savings Time. Thusly, I won't get exact on times. However, I wake up 30 minutes before Gameday on ESPN, head to the local convenience store and buy a couple cold Starbucks Mocha Frappucinos, sometimes more than 2. I make or buy a breakfast burrito and watch Gameday, not for any insights, but only because it's a great buildup for the day. I watch the early ESPN 1 and 2 games, which are generally the Big 10 and ACC middle tier games, like Michigan State/Purdue or NC State/Maryland. I do laundry during this early block, as well as knock out dishes during halftime. During the second half, I start cooking whatever I bought the night before. I like to buy a lunch meal and a dinner smörgåsbord. If I decide against buying for dinner, I'll order a pizza and wings. See, the 3:30 EST games are 12:30 here, so I can have a fantastic lunch during a UT game, or the ESPN night games are at 4:30 or 5:30 here, so I have a nice dinner when we play South Carolina or Auburn. I don't go to bed until after midnight, as I'm drunk and rewatching the game. If the game is on PPV or Raycom, I have to go to the sports bar, where the owners greets me EVERY time with "HEY TENNESSEE!" That's my name to him - Tennessee.

3) Crompton vs. Tebow? Discuss…

Huh? Grenada vs. United States? Tebow, despite his weiner-cutting, roommate-kissing, Crocs-wearing, spikyhaired-styling, LSUfan-taunting, jorts-wearing, squintyeyed-smiling ways, is a fantastic collegiate quarterback. We may dislike him, but we dislike him because he kills us. Crompton is chocked full of Mountain Damn Values (tm LoserWithSocks), so that gives him points. But Tebow is the Flawless.

4) Will the Vols manage to make it to the SEC Championship Game again this season — either outright, or through the backdoor? Why or why not?

If my visions are fruitful, then it will be a tossup. I think Georgia, while 6-2 in the SEC, will be 9-3 overall after an early season loss to Arizona State. We'll be ahead of them in the BCS. The real question is: will we be ahead of Florida? Sadly, I think because SO much weight is put on preseason polls, it will be hard to jump ahead of them, even though we have the harder schedule. So, no, I think we will be a few plays short of winning the East, and thusly, a few plays short of winning the SEC. The SEC East winner will undoubtedly win the entire SEC.

There you go. I have a very specific picture in my mind of how this season plays out. We'll be confused once again. A good season, but not a championship season. If Tebow and Stafford leave for the NFL, 2009 is our National Title season.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fulmer Served Subpoena at SEC Media Days, or not?

I'll be busy all day today, but by now you've heard about this story. It's confusing, but my friend, Vol Freak, site owner of Volnation (best Vol forum on the net) has a great time line of how things have gone today. We still don't know what's up, but again, keep checking at Volnation for Freak's time line. It's worth the click through, seriously.

Fulmer/Subpoena Time Line @