Archive for the ‘Complete Bullshit’ Category

HLL: Lane Kiffin Leaves USC For Dream Job At GameStop

More news on Tennessee’s former head coach:

Lane Kiffin Leaves USC For Dream Job At GameStop | Onion Sports

Lane Kiffin told reporters that he would be leaving the school indefinitely to pursue his dream of working at GameStop. “I was approached by a cousin who works at the GameStop on Wilshire Boulevard, and when he said there was an open sales clerk position, I had to take it,” said Kiffin, who then proudly placed a GameStop baseball cap on his head…

HT HT / via: PatrickAry on Twitter

I think that might actually be a good fit for him…

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 8 — The Kickoff Edition

Gate 21 is proud to host this week’s Roundtable!

It’s Time…

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by … ummm … oh, yeah, it’s our week.  We here at the Gate are proud to host the 2009 kickoff edition of the Big Orange Roundtable as we all get ready to tee it up and kick it down for the 112th season of Tennessee Volunteers Football.

With that lovely prospect in mind, let’s get down to business:

Week 8

1) (From HSH)  We’ve talked through the past month or so about just about everything we could talk about regarding this Tennessee team: the quarterbacks, offensive line, freshman, Eric Berry, finding healthy wide receivers, freshman again, etc. So the simple question is this: what do you expect or what specifically are you looking for from the Vols against Western Kentucky this Saturday?

bullet HSH: First things first, Western Kentucky is not going to be anything close to resembling a quality football team.  They were recently a power in 1-AA, but this is their first full year in 1-A, and have the potential to be one of the worst teams to come to Neyland Stadium in a while (yes, I’m including Wyoming).  They went just 2-10 last year (the wins were Eastern Kentucky and Murray State) and return just 12 starters from that team.

So if Tennessee hangs 60 points on the Hilltoppers, oh, well it was just Western Kentucky, right?  Not exactly.  I want to see Tennessee score lots of points Saturday afternoon.  I expect Lane Kiffin will want to pound the rock with the running backs.  I want to see a confident Jonathan Crompton that doesn’t make any mistakes and crisply runs the offense.

Defensively, I want to see which freshmen make an early impact in their first games, and how they handle playing for real.  On both sides, I want to see swagger—OK, it’s WKU, but we could be playing my high school’s team and I would still want to see our players have a wealth of confidence in themselves and their coaches that creates said swagger.


bullet Lawvol: I expect and hope to see a few things.  First, I am not exactly expecting grandeur for this first game of the 2009 season, but what I am expecting to see is poise and purpose.  I am hoping that this team brings their attitude—one which was sorely missing last season—and refuses to play down to the level of their opponent which they should beat under almost any circumstance.

Let’s be honest, Western Kentucky went 2-10 last season which made even the Vols’ 5-7 campaign seem decent.  Prior to 2008, however, Western Kentucky had a streak of 12 straight winning seasons, and look to be on the upswing.  That said, The Vols have got to play with a little spark and bring their best game to their opponent—regardless of the quality of that opponent.  The Vols have to play their game and not let it be dictated to them by their opponent.

Most of all, I am looking to see a team that is glad to be on the field playing once more.  I hope that we begin to see the development of the new Kiffin system and hopefully get a huge relief when the quarterback play is surprisingly crisp and effective.  This is a confidence game which is only a good thing if you perform in a manner that inspires confidence

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New UT Student Ticket System

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

With football season right around the corner, the University of Tennessee has made a second change in as many years to the system of selling and distributing tickets to its students. They just released the information on it today, and I just wanted to share some quick thoughts on the changes, because it’s fairly different from last year’s system.

The highlights and lowlights of the new system and a brief history of my own student tickets experiences after the jump.

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ESPN and Poor Journalism

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

For those that might have missed it, ESPN’s Outside the Lines ran a feature story on Lane Kiffin this morning. In case you did miss it, take a moment and watch it.

Now, I think most of us can agree on the quality of that report in terms of a positive portrayal of Tennessee’s football coach and the confidence (outsiders will say arrogance, of course) he has in his plan. What he says about rivals’ fans and coaches at the very end might be my favorite part of the story – other than the parts with the lovely Layla.

In case you were not aware, am I currently a student at UT, entering my senior year. I am majoring in journalism/electronic media here in Knoxville, and as I get closer to having to go out and start working, I find myself watching all kinds of TV – the local news, SportsCenter, highlight shows, the Tonight Shows with Conan/Letterman – and noticing different specific journalistic and production aspects that most of you probably don’t, simply because I have a better understanding of it (I am studying and doing some of this stuff, after all).

Put another way, what lawvol is to law, I am to journalism – except much less of an expert, obviously.

Anyways, this is a really good piece from a journalistic point of view, and credit Wendi Nix for doing a good job. It covers the recent stories surrounding Coach Kiffin and the program very well, and gets added input from other sources – the Raiders, Ed Orgeron, Mike Hamilton, Layla, and USC head coach Pete Carroll. The piece is very visual, with clips from Kiffin’s various public appearances to shots at the spring game and spending time with his daughters at World’s Fair Park in downtown Knoxville.

However, the part in question (and where I find issue with ESPN) comes with just under two minutes left in the story. In Coach Kiffin’s office, you see him and assistant coach Eddie Gran speaking with a couple of recruits. It isn’t in the video linked above, but after the completion of the feature, Bob Ley, the host of the show and longtime ESPN personality, says that the clip is actually a secondary violation. Media members cannot witness the contact between a coach and a recruit.

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UTAD Announces Naming Rights Sold, Neyland Stadium to be Renamed

Neyland Stadium is in the process of getting a new face, but now it is also getting a new name…

At a press conference early this morning, UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton announced that starting this season the Home of the Vols—known since 1962 as Neyland Stadium—will have a new name: “Nissan Stadium at Neyland Landing

Nissan-Stadium

New logo for Nissan Stadium at Neyland Landing

Joined by UT Acting President Jan Simek, Athletics Board leader Jim Haslam, head football coach Lane Kiffin, and Nissan representatives, Hamilton unveiled preliminary designs for the new stadium logo and explained why Nissan was ultimately chosen as the new principal naming partner for Tennessee’s most visible icon.

This is an historic opportunity for athletics at Tennessee and for the stadium that we all love.  Furthermore, this partnership assures the financial future of this program for many years to come.  When we began the process of exploring a naming alliance, from the outset, we were committed to forging a pact with an organization that was both committed to this great state, but also one that fans and alumni could be proud of.  That is precisely what Nissan could offer.  Furthermore, this historic alliance only serves to amplify the national respect for Tennessee football and for the university as a whole.

• Mike Hamilton, commenting on UT / Nissan Partnership

In total, Nissan will contribute over $1.1 billion to the UT athletics program over the next 5 years.  Though unconfirmed at this time, there were indications that Nissan is considering a re-branding of its products to feature an orange and black color scheme.

Since the start of the athletic department’s master plan renovations to Neyland Stadium in 2004, the project has been funded by private funding sources.  UT Athletics Board leader Jim Haslam noted that, while largely relying upon VASF donors, the scope and size of the project was such that corporate partners were envisioned from the beginning.   “While it was never publicly advertised, the naming rights for the stadium were always available,” said Haslam.  Haslam also indicated that other companies were considered, but none could provide what Nissan ultimately offered.

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Lane Kiffin Names New Staff Members

According to Basilio and  GVX, Lane Kiffin has named former-Vol Inquoris “Inky” Johnson as a graduate assistant.  Johnson was a key member of the Vols’ defensive backfield prior to his career ending injury in 2006.  Johnson will be coaching the defensive backs.

Inky Johnson in 2006

Inky Johnson in 2006

It was also announced that Kiffin has named Leonidas of Sparta as the Vols new Kicking and Hurling of Sharp Objects Coach.**

Kiffin and Leonidas.png

(click to enlarge)

As you can see from the press conference, Leonidas is pumped!

Hmm… wonder how long I can keep this Sparta thing going?

– So it goes …Email lawvol


Image Courtesy of: UTVol.com
** Disclaimer:  As if it were not completely obvious, the discussion of Leonidas of Sparta is a humorous depiction (a/k/a “Fark”) and is a complete fabrication of the mind of the author (e.g. it is complete bullshit).  Some parts of this post do not reflect the views of the University of Tennessee.  Furthermore, neither the author of this post nor this blog are in anyway affiliated with the University of Tennessee, and all discussion of adding a “Hurling of Sharp Objects” coach is intended solely as humor.  So please don’t have your lawyers send me a bunch of nasty letters…

Ugly, Yet Effective…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Vols Outlast Marquette

Vols 80, Marquette 68

At least it wasn’t another loss.

It was another start, but fortunately Tennessee was able to fight their way back to a halftime tie Tuesday night in Nashville. As I was sitting watching a halftime show featuring two contestants who hit a combined two three-pointers in 35 seconds (no joke, one guy did not move his feet the entire time, not even jumping), I was expecting a battle in the second half. Honestly, I was excited for the promising outlook of a quality basketball game.

A small band of Marquette students made the trip and perched themselves right behind Section 120. Notice the guy on the left who at first glance appears to be painted completely gold and wearing just a Speedo (I was told it was actually a leotard)...

Well, then the men in striped shirts came out of the tunnel…

Seriously, great win for Tennessee and all, but I drove three hours in a cloudy, misty fog to watch Tennessee and Marquette play basketball, not for the referees to take over the show and call 54 fouls. If this doesn’t count as a “free-throw shooting contest” – 71 combined freebies – then I don’t know what is. And it wasn’t one-sided really or anything like that. It was just atrocious.

OK, enough of that rant. Amidst all the fouling, the game was entertaining to watch. The large Tennessee crowd was into it, and Marquette probably definitely had more fans in the Sommet Center than did Vanderbilt. Marquette is located in Milwaukee; Vandy is five minutes down the road. Fortunately for me, I didn’t get to the arena until the last four minutes of the South Florida-Vanderbilt snooze-fest the preceded the Vols-Eagles game. Even in those four minutes, I might as well been watching a couple D-2 schools…

OK, enough fun at Vanderbilt’s expense (oh yeah, our worst football team ever beat their first bowl team in 25 years…). As Ghost over at 3SIB so eloquently put it, this Tennessee team is frustrating to watch at times. For example, the three or four turnovers on alley-oop attempts that are clearly not there. Missed open and contested threes, which we fans aren’t used to (late first half comes to mind, when Maze had a WIDE-OPEN look from the wing in transition…and missed it). Failure to switch on some pick-and-rolls, leaving open looks at three for the opponent. Heck, even when Scotty Hopson chased down a loose ball right under the basket – and proceeded to not properly secure it and score two easy points – you can’t help but not be a little flustered.

All that said, this team fought through it – the fouls, the poor outside shooting, the stifling Marquette defense on Tyler Smith, the night Wes Matthews had, the late runs Marquette made, the last of which was silenced by this unlikely source…

After feeble and failed attempts at catching something YouTubeable and postable, Josh Tabb makes my night and essentially seals the win over Marquette. So, from all of us here at Gate 21 me, thank you, Josh Tabb.

YouTube Preview Image

And also a huge, HUGE thanks to Wayne Chism. Smilin’ Wayne showed up to the tune of 27 points, 11 board, 8-of-11 from the field and the line, and a pair of huge second half threes. After Marquette had made a mini-run to take a 48-46 lead, Chism scored 15 of Tennessee’s next 19 points, to forge the Vols to a 65-58 lead.

Tyler knocking down a pair of free throws from the Dominic James technical

Actually, you could argue that the Dominic James technical foul more or less turned the tide, as Tennessee took a six-point lead thanks to the pairs of free throws converted by Tyler Smith and Chism. After Lazar Hayward hit the three that Tabb answered, Marquette did not score.

As for the judging of Tennessee’s play, the defense was better, if only statistically. Yes, Marquette got too many open looks, a few of which Tennessee was fortunate to have not go down, but the Eagles made 8 threes and only 10 twos, and shot under 40% for the game, and in each half. It may have been a little iffy at times, but there were improvements in that area.

Three-point shooting is going to be an issue all year. Honestly, Renaldo Woolridge might be the most consistent guy in that aspect. He’s certainly not afraid of shooting. We’ve seen Cam Tatum go off. Still awaiting Scotty Hopson to have a “breakout” game with his beautiful, rainbow, nearly-hitting-the-center-hung-scoreboard it’s-got-so-much-arc J. It was good to see Tabb, the defensive stopper (kudos to him on guarding James most of the night), hit a big three in a tough spot.

Offensively, the Vols had no answer to Marquette’s trapping 1-3-1 zone until they started to attack it with the dribble. I think having J.P. Prince, who’s value as an experienced wing player and defender should no longer be underestimated, likely would have helped in that regard. Bobby Maze still isn’t quite there yet, but his play Tuesday was better than Saturday.

Yes, the JumboTron was high-quality, but showed NO replays all night, though I am not totally sure why...

But finally, back to Wayne. He has the upside, he just now needs to put solid performances together. And I wish people would quit groaning everytime he lines up a three. Like it or not, it’s part of the offense, people. He hits one of his four or five attempts each game, which is about what the other guys are doing anyways. That said, I think he needs to utilize his post game more, and look to earn trips to line, because he’s obviously worked on his free-throw stroke.

The Vols now have two home games to close out 2008, against Belmont Saturday afternoon and Louisiana-Lafayette the 29th. Then of course is the 2009-opening trip out to Lawrence to play Kansas January 3rd. I would say that’s the next test, but let’s not sleep on those Bruins. Just in the last week, Cleveland State won at Syracuse, Texas struggled with two in-state schools and Memphis beat Arkansas-Little Rock by all of 8 points. Let’s hope the young Vols can build off this W…

Vols getting pumped up before the game

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