Our Students…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

From One of Their Own…

First off, let me say some stuff: I am currently a student at the University of Tennessee. This is my third football season here, and in the previous two years I’ve missed one home game (Kentucky 2006 because it was on Thanksgiving weekend) and been to five away games. I was in Athens in 2006. I witnessed the embarrassments at Florida and at Alabama last year. I saw the heartbreak of letting and SEC title slip away in ATL last December.

Proof I witnessed the beatdown in Gainesville last year (more on that trip Friday. I also saw the one in Tuscaloosa and the heartbreak in Atlanta...

So going back to last April, when The Daily Beacon broke the story (yes, it was their one occasion of actually printing new news) that students were going to have to begin to pay for football tickets, I hardly cared. I had spent probably close to over $300 on the three trips (hint: getting tickets from my dad and staying with people you know helps), what was $90 more?

The rest of my fellow students didn’t take the news so well. There was Facebook group that got up to 7,000 members in anger of what Mike Hamilton was doing. There were threats of boycotts of the UAB game, and a rally at the Orange & White Game, a rally that never occurred.

Personally, I got a kick out of watching everyone get so pissed off. I was actually happy in a way, because having to pay for tickets would get some of the people who don’t care enough anyways (dead weight, if you will) out of Neyland Stadium. It’s nowhere near impossible to save $90: like, say, spending less money on alcohol and the “going out” that I generally hardly ever take part in. Not only that, but I knew what getting tickets post-graduation was like, and we still have it pretty easy.

What does this have to do with anything? Well let me be blunt: on the whole, our students suck. Yes, I think we get pretty loud (the “F*** You Bama” chant in ’06 was pretty good too) and I thoroughly enjoy sitting in the student section on Saturdays, have always enjoyed it, and will continue doing so. That’s about it.

It started with the whole unnecessary uproar over paying for tickets, the people who either show up late/leave at halftime, and the clingy couples who exhibit more PDA than interest in the actual game, and continued with this weekend’s nonsense. First, the booing – which unless my hearing is deteriorating (it’s not, that’s my sight) – began in the student section. After two incomplete passes and an interception.

I’m pretty adamant about this: NEVER BOO THE HOME TEAM. Not the players. The coaches I’ll give some leeway on, but never the players. Did Luke Stocker deserve to be booed after his drops? Probably. Does Jonathan Crompton‘s play deserve the boos he got? Maybe. Still, there’s no reason for that – from the students, from anybody. I can’t count how many times Erik Ainge was cussed out last year around me – and we were undefeated at home!

Our moronic students need to be more aware that recruits on official visits come in and see that, and it’s duly-noted. Who wants to go where if they potentially screw up get booed? By their fellow students? Especially this week, when our recruit list is pretty phenomenal – not just limiting it to football recruits either. This is a big weekend for Bruce Pearl as well.

Then there’s the above picture, taken by my dad from his seats in XX3. Notice this is at the time the “T” is opening up. From D, I had no idea that was even there. It’s pathetic. Yes, it was UAB. Yes, it was a 12:30 game. Yes, it was on TV. Yes, it was really freaking hot. Yes, we lost to UCLA. Say what you want, give your excuses, whatever. That’s just awful and there’s no other way around it. I showed the picture to my friends later that night and they felt the same way.

I know attendance on the whole was pretty bad, but the last place I honestly would expect to see a decline in attendance would be the students. Out-of-towners, yes. Students, no. I know there are actually people here that came to UT and the whole football scene didn’t factor into their decision. Seriously, though, how hard is it?

You don’t have to live and die with every play. You don’t even have to know what the hell is going on. You don’t even have to know what a UAB is or name a Tennessee starter. Treat it like a social event for all I care (those types need to go in the upper deck, though). It’s not hard, and most of the time the games are pretty enjoyable – especially any win.

The main point of my post is this: from this point on, I won’t be defending the students when the awful attendance and not picking up 1,500 of the allotment or anything else gets criticized. I know it’s not everyone and there are plenty of true fans on this campus, but I’m done. And with all that done and said…


About the Author: I'm from Memphis but I'm now entering my third year at the University of Tennessee here in Knoxville. I am majoring in Journalism/Electronic Media and hope to go into sports broadcasting/writing/something like that. I'm a huge Vol fan and have been going to games for as long as I can remember. I started my on blog called "The View From The Hill" but moved here to Gate 21 for bigger and better things. In addition to my passion for Tennessee football and basketball, I enjoy watching the NFL and the NBA as well. Basically, sports are a big part of my life. >> Read more from this author

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5 Responses to “Our Students…”

  • lawvolNo Gravatar says:

    I agree completely. I was completely shocked by the lack of class shown by the students this weekend by booing the players.
    You wanna boo the decision not to go for it on 4th and 1-inch on the opposing 1-yard line, have at it. You want to boo the coaches for taking a knee with 30 seconds to go when Tennessee is up by 50, go right ahead. You want to boo the officials for … well … just being there, be my guest. What you don’t do is boo you own PLAYERS on their home field.

    If that’s what you want to do, then just stay home. I mean, it’s not that hard to just do nothing. The players make great sacrifices to “entertain” us by giving it their all, even if that isn’t enough to win. Remember, they’re not getting paid.

    I know a lot of alums who pay a ton of money, travel great distances, and still sit in less than great loocations in Neyland Stadium. Most would kill to get seats in the student section. If the students keep showing their backsides, then the VASF donors (like me) might just get that chance.

    Great post…

  • RenegadeNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been going to UT games since I was in the 1st grade with my dad. He always taught me NEVER BOO. It doesn’t matter if its the home team or a visiting team. It just shows no class.

    There are only 2 exceptions: Florida and Alabama

  • BlakeNo Gravatar says:

    I sent this letter to the editor of the Daily Beacon. It was printed in yesterday’s paper…

    UT fans boo own team, prove inhospitable to guests

    I was absolutely appalled by the antics of some of the “fans” at UT’s home opener against UAB. I could not believe my ears when I heard the boo birds come out. Is that the message we want to send to our team? To the visitors at our university? To the national audience watching the game? That the students (and other “fans”) at UT boo their own players? Have we now sunk to the level of Alabama fans? I had written out a nice long argument of why this is so stupid, but I don’t think any further elaboration is necessary. It’s simple. Booing your own team (constituted of amateur athletes – not to mention our friends, classmates, and peers) exhibits absolutely no class, and just makes us look like a bunch of cry babies. Come to Neyland Stadium to cheer and support our team, or just stay home and coach from your sofa where no one else has to suffer your presence.

    Blake Hitchcock
    Junior in Computer Science

  • Home Sweet HomeNo Gravatar says:

    thanks for the comments guys.

    I don’t go to campus on Wednesdays since I don’t have class, so I missed that letter. I hope people get it and see how stupid booing is. they should look at our recruit visit list for this week, it’s big on quality and quantity.

    a win and great atmosphere this weekend could pay big dividends on down the road potentially.

    that said, booing Florida is encouraged. I know I’ll be booing those punks…

  • GrahamCNo Gravatar says:

    man that picture of DD, EE, FF, is absolutely pitiful.. I am jr at ut and sat in Q with a friend of mine and I just remember looking at that and being so pissed.. Honestly Mike Hamilton just needs to take away those tickets because I promise you there are plenty of people who would LOVE to sit there..

    regardless, I witnessed some awful awful student commentary during the game.. let’s face it, Tennessee fans are dumb (case in point, redneck lady screaming “put in Joey!” at Tee Martin in the ’99 season, a year after he led us us to the national championship) and the students aren’t much better..

    I really just want us to go nuts for this game.. Im sick of the “it’s hot” complaints.. im sick of people making out in D20.. Im sick of fans who are more excited about their cool “300″ “Gladiator” “Troy” outfits, and playing with their plastic swords, than watching Nick Stephens complete a 40 yard pass to Brandon Warren.. im sick of fans leaving at halftime.. im sick of students complaining that 15 bucks a game is a travesty.. and here’s my last point on that.. I have seats 1&2 in D22, in my opinion, the BEST seats you can have at Neyland Stadium.. I payed 15 bucks for my ticket.. The equivalent “normal” ticket would be in C.. so i decided, hey lemme see how much a ticket in C would be.. here’s what i found.. http://www.stubhub.com/tennessee-football-tickets/tennessee-volunteers-vs-florida-9-20-2008-526399/... STUDENTS QUIT COMPLAINING, its worth much more than 90 dollars for a season!

    here’s a pic from my camera phone..enjoy..

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