Archive for the ‘Site News’ Category

A Changing of the Guard…

As I mentioned the other day, any of you that have regularly read Gate 21 have probably notice the deafening sound of the silence here for the past month or so.  That silence was prelude to this post.  There is no better way to say it than to quote the words of the legendary John Ward:

It’s Time…

I started Gate 21 in 2007 not really knowing what I was getting myself into.  I really had no concept of what it was that I wanted to do with the site or, in fact, how I would do it.  I just decided one day that I could write a blog as well as the next guy and within 10 minutes, the original version of Gate 21 was live for all to see over at  Within 2 months, I had over 10,000 visitors and had taken the site to a privately hosted (i.e. I had to pay for it) server and debuted the cartoonish looking site that hung around until mid-2009 when I overhauled the site once again.  You are looking at that version now.

Since that less-than-auspicious beginning in 2007 I have spent literally thousands of hours writing, designing, re-vamping, updating, and otherwise working on producing and publishing Gate 21.  Along the way I have had had the help of many, many, people.  These would include writers HomeSweetHome and VolAmbassador, who have both made major contributions to the site over the past several years.  Then there were others across the blogosphere who have both assisted and collaborated with me on articles, memes, roundtables, Power Polls, BlogPolls, and running jokes.  These would include folks like Ghost of Neyland, MoonDog, LSUFreek, Will, Hooper, and of course—the best of the best—Joel at Rocky Top Talk.  These are but a few of the many with whom I have interacted and with which I have had the pleasure to become acquainted.

Then there are those of you out there across the blogosphere and the wider arc of the internet that have visited my humble site and read a bit of what I had to say.  There are even those of you who have taken the time to leave a comment here and there.  To each and every one of you I offer my sincerest gratitude for more than 2 years of interaction across the divide that is the internet.  I have not always been right about things, I have not always been seriousI have not always been couth, but I have always tried to be honest about my views and perspectives on the world around me and my love for the Tennessee Volunteers.  All I can say is that these last 2 1/2 years have truly been a pleasure.

All things, however, must come to an end…

Thus, while it pains me on many levels, this will likely be the last post on Gate 21, at least for the foreseeable future.  And, now it is time for the Gate to close.

The thousands of hours that I have spent on this site have been a labor of love, as blogging always is.  While I may have advertisements here on the Gate, the fact of the matter is that I have lost money on this endeavour from the outset.  The cost of hosting the site alone has been substantial.  Yet, this exploration of “Life, the Universe, and the Bounce of the Ball” (Thank you Douglas Adams) has been a welcome and wonderful creative outlet for me, and one which has been far more “therapeutic” than I ever imagined.  And to those of you who have visited and taken the time to comment all I will say is that you never know just how much a single sentence left in the comment box or via Twitter really means to folks like myself who are blogging their lives away.

There’s really nothing that makes a writer feel better than knowing what they wrote was interesting enough that someone felt compelled to respond…

Now, however, the demands of my “real” life are such that I simply cannot maintain the Gate in the way that I have in the past.  It is hard enough to run a site with substantial help and a bevy of free time.  It is next to impossible to do that alone while trying to maintain a job, a family, and some semblance of sanity.  As I have said before, the informational cycle on the blogosphere lasts approximately as long as the attention span of a hyperactive 4-year-old who just ate 5 bags of Skittles and washed them down with three cans of Red Bull, and I simply cannot keep up with that.  My lack of timely comment over the past football season stands as a testament to that reality and one which I simply can no longer ignore.

I know, Frank, shocking isn't it?

These sorts of conclusions are not always fun, but they are necessary.  I think Lieutenant Frank Drebin probably said it best:

A Spoonful of Drano sound bite

Okay, enough of the depressing stuff, now for the good news…

For those of you who have enjoyed my writing—though I am certain there aren’t that many of you—take heart!  I am not abandoning my devotion to Tennessee athletics only to go gentle into that good night.  While I may not be able to justify continuing on here at the Gate, I fully intend to continue writing about the Vols.  Why?  Because, in the words of Clay Travis, I simply cannot imagine not doing it.

VolNation Thus, it is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce that, effective immediately, I will be joining on as a writer for the VolNation Blog.  Thus, any of you who wish continue to read my mindless prattling, I’ll still be around.  I cannot overstate how lucky I feel at having the chance to jump on board at VolNation, and I hope to see some of you over there in the near future.  While my time at Gate 21 is now at an end, I am extremely excited about what the future holds in store for me at VolNation.

In the meantime, the Gate will not be disappearing (though, after the next few days, I really won’t be monitoring comments any longer).  It will still be here and you will still be able to send me hate mail via the contact form here on the site, at the email address listed in the sidebar and on the Ushers page, or via Twitter.  For those of you who have subscribed to the RSS feed here at the Gate, you can now follow me via the feed at the VolNation Blog.  The Gate will now take its place among the so-called “dotsam and netsam” that floats across the web.  Everything will stay right where it is—most notably, my tribute to Sam and Andy’s.

As for me, I am on to a new home on the web and new challenges.

So, for the last time, I bid you farewell from Gate 21.  To each of you out there with whom I’ve come in contact as a result of my time publishing Gate 21 over the past 2 1/2 years, I say thank you for reading, best wishes, and Godspeed.  Now, more than ever, I suppose my signature “tagline seems appropriate.  Thus, I will end this final post as I have ended those that came before it.

Until we meet again … Go Vols!

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Changes Afoot

For those of you who are regular readers around here, you have doubtless noticed that it’s been pretty quiet around here at Gate 21 lately.  The phrase “brisk as the tomb” comes to mind.  Part of that owes to the ebbs and flows of life in the 21st century, part from my laziness, and part from the fact that changes are afoot here at Gate 21, well at least in a manner of speaking.

All I can tell you at the moment is:

  1. No, I am not dead;
  2. No, I have not given up on the Vols in the wake of Lane Kiffin’s departure; and
  3. Once again, there are about to be a bunch of changes here at the Gate—big changes—which I hope will be for the best.

At present, all I can tell you is that things are afoot and that I should have a big announcement later in the week or early next week.  Until then, it’s going to be a bit quiet around here.

For now, however, here is a little YouTubification of the Vols Winter workouts, courtesy of

Video: Tennessee Football Winter Workouts: Day 1

bullet HT / via:

In the meantime, thanks for understanding…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

And now, a word from the Ambassador…

Well, given my complete inability to manage my schedule and keep up with regular posting, I recently threw out a request for additional writers, I am pleased to say that I have managed to bribe browbeat dupe attract another writer to join the Gate.  Though he is likely crazy for agreeing to join on with the likes of me, I am nonetheless thrilled to announce the newest member of the Gate 21 family of Ushers (nee‘ “writers”): direct from “the big desk” at the Volunteer Embassy, it is my pleasure to introduce “The Vol Ambassador.”  He has even agreed to grace the Gate with the official embassy seal.

Purty', isn't it?

At any rate, I’ll allow him to introduce himself and get to know you out there.  I would imagine that you might begin seeing a little something from him in the next day or so.  With any luck, I’ll actually manage to get around to posting his biography on the Ushers page soon.  In the meantime, please make him feel welcome.

After all, the happier you make him, the more likely it is you’ll get read something of substance instead of the junk that I write…

– So it goes…About Lawvol

An open call to readers of Gate 21 … Writers Wanted

Lawvol, attempting to overcome obstacles to writing

In case you haven’t noticed, I have been pretty sparse with my posts lately.  Part of that is my fault—solid time management has never been one of my strong suits.  That said, I have been so busy of late, that I have hardly had a chance to breathe, let alone finish the 20+ odd posts that I have started and had to abandon due to the other requirements of life.  I suppose I have tried a little too hard to keep the bar high.

Thus, while I am somewhat reluctant to do this (but ignoring it would be the most foolish sort of ignorance and an out-an-out lie), it is time for me to admit that I simply cannot manage a daily posting schedule.   Therefore, I would like to publicly invite anyone that think they might be interested in writing for the Gate to drop me a line.  I am looking for at least one, but potentially more writers to join on.  I’m looking for someone who is passionate about the Vols and likes to talk about that passion.  Beyond that, I am flexible.

If you think you might be interested, contact me and I’ll be glad to fill you in on all the lurid details…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Lawvol on “Team Speed Kills NOW!”

Check out my amazing ability to makes stuff up about SEC Football and the Tennessee Volunteers as a guest on Team Speed Kills NOW!

Podcast: Team Speed Kills NOW!: Midseason Reports

Special thanks to the guys over at Team Speed Kills for having me on, and for not hitting the kill switch in the middle of things.

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

2009 SEC Football Power Poll: Week 6

Check out the Full Poll Results at
Team Speed Kills!

Week 6

Through 11 October 2009

Here’s my ballot for this week in the SEC Power Poll, along with a feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron.  Not a whole lot of ways to separate between some of the teams in the middle of the pack, but at least I thought up some excuses for my decisions.

Here they are, my darlins:





Alabama Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide is playing better than anyone in the country right now. Their defense is brutal, their offense effective. Now, if they could just figure out how to defend a kick return. Fortunately for Alabama, Tennessee is actually worse at this the Tide.

Result: ALA 22 • MISS 3


Florida Gators

Florida Gators‘ coach Urban Meyer has proven that he will do anything to win — including risking St. Tim on a QB dive late in the game against LSU.

Still, they are undefeated, that is until they likely meet Alabama in the SEC Championship game, where it’s anybody’s guess.

Result: FLA 13 • LSU 3


LSU Tigers

I was actually impressed with the LSU Tigers’ showing against Florida in some respects.

Their defense — in classic bend but don’t break fashion — held the Gators to only 13 points. Their measly 162 yards and 23:30 time of possession, however, did them in.

Still, they are better than many other SEC squads so, they stay put at number 3.

Result: LSU 3 • FLA 13


South Carolina Gamecocks

The South Carolina Gamecocks should have beaten Kentucky badly. Instead they simply kept from losing.

Still, at 5-1, they are finding ways to win games. Props to Stephen Garcia for his herculean effort to drag the Cocks to victory.

Result: SC 28 • KY 26


Arkansas Razorbacks

The Arkansas Razorbacks are an offensive machine that is a thrill to watch.

Defensively, however, they are weak and cannot rely upon simply outscoring their opponents. Still, great progress thus far, which Florida hopes to blunt … smartly

Result: ARK 44 • AUB 23


Tennessee Volunteers

I cannot decide whether the The Tennessee Volunteers‘ win reflects a huge step forward or simply another bit of small progress paired with Georgia’s complete ineptitude.

Either way, the victory over the Dawgs was huge for the program. It’s hard to believe that Jonathan Crompton — paragon of fail only weeks ago — is now the SEC offensive player of the week. Nice to see that the Blackjack General does know a lot more than the rest of us armchair geniuses

Result: TN 45 • GA 19


Ole Miss Rebels

Defensively, the Ole Miss Rebels did everything they could to beat Alabama, but their offense continues to be wobbly at best.

Apparently, the Wild-Reb offense had been in the White Lightning again.

Result: MISS 3 • ALA 22


Auburn Tigers

Well, the party is over for Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers, courtesy of the Razorbacks. Auburn has a solid core, but needs to learn how to play defense — which no one (including the Vols) really require them to do previously.

That whole tackling thing, that is important.

Result: AUB 23 • ARK 44


Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats were weaving through the season like a bourbon soaked drunk — in and out of competence and suck.

Now, with quarterback Mike Hartline gone for the season, it’s looking like the it’s looking like the hangover will stay, and the Cats’ fans will have to start getting ready for basketball season.

Result: KY 26 • SC 28


Georgia Bulldogs

I can honestly say that I have never seen a Georgia Bulldogs team with less spark than they showed in Knoxville. It’s looking like a long season for Dawgs with, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech to come.

I imagine the fire under Richt’s backside is for real now.

Result: GA 19 • TN 45


Mississippi State Bulldogs

One of these days, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Dan Mullen are going to manage to win one of these things. They keep putting up valiant efforts, but keep coming up short.

While their record hardly reflects a departure from their legendary suck of 2008, they are a far better team and continue to improve..

Result: MSU 24 • HOU 31


Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt Commodores losing to Army. Man, what to say?

In the words of the Late General Anthony General McAuliffe (in response to a German demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge) “NUTS!

Result: VU 13 • Army 16

Yes, I know, rank incompetence on my part…

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Team Speed Kills, where the round-up will appear later this week.

Also—further confirming that the standards of the Power Poll have slipped—I will be joining in the “Team Speed Kills Now! ” podcast tonight at 9:00 ET to discuss the state of the SEC at mid-season.  I know you simply cannot wait to hear my brilliance unleashed.  I’ll be posting an embedded player and link to the podcast later today.

Onward and upward …

– So it goes…About Lawvol

Introducing: The Tennesseeum

As part of this summer’s renovations here at the Gate, it is my pleasure to introduce a new area of the site which, though small and simple at present, will hopefully become something very special as additional content is added.  Thus, it is my pleasure to introduce:

The Tennesseeum

The Tennesseeum is to be my attempt at a “virtual museum” of Tennessee featuring all manner of information, exhibits, records, images, sounds, stories, and statistics related to the Tennessee Volunteers, the University of Tennessee, and the Volunteer State.

For now, it houses little more than a few basic collections—the primary ones being the roster for the 2009 Tennessee Vols and links to HSH’s 2009 SEC Football Previews—but over the coming weeks and months, I hope to greatly increase the size and scope of the “exhibits” found inside.

Thus, feel free to give it a look, it can always be found via the menu bar at the very top of the page.

As always, I welcome any thoughts and comments from anyone…

– So it goes…About Lawvol

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