[caption id="" align="alignright" width="115" caption="Tee Martin vs. Florida State"][/caption]
This Saturday, the University of Tennessee will kickoff its celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Vols' 1998 National Championship. As part of that celebration, immediately prior to this week's game against UAB, the Tennessee Volunteers will honor the first in a series of former Vol footballers who played a role in that championship -- quarterback Tee Martin.
Martin was truly one of the unsung heroes of the 1998 squd, who deserves far more credit than he ever received. I found a really great piece by Marvin West which looks at all of the comparisons that were made between Martin and Peyton Manning, which concludes that Martin deserves all the praise he gets this weekend. West writes:
Peyton was the quintessential quarterback, a genuine thoroughbred, great arm, marvelous reads and checks, flawless form. If you look up quarterback in my dictionary, Manning’s mug shot is the illustration.
Tee was just a winner. He wasn't a perfect passer. He was a fine leader but never glorified as a great strategist or field general. What he did was good enough. Effective.
His ring says national champion.
I sincerely hope that all the Vol-faithful will show up to Neyland Stadium a few minutes early, take a moment to remember the "lunch-bucket brigade" that was the 1998 Tennessee Volunteers, and send a big thank you to one of the great players who made the magic of that season possible.
Image Courtesy of: AthlonSports.com Marvin West writes for the Knoxville Shopper-News and is the author of “Legends of the Tennessee Vols”
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