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This Week's Roundtable is hosted by:
This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies Buy Macrobid Without Prescription, , who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.
Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:
1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances? Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances? Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?
HSH: I'm not exactly how real Berry's chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle. Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow. I don't think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances. If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.
That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing. Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude. Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I'm glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year...
Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.
First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy. In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country. I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere. That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased. Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman. I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.
That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…
I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak. Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.
There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents. That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.
As for whether I think it is selfish for Lane Kiffin to keep Berry from playing on offense, that one is easy to answer. No, not one bit. In fact, I feel the opposite. To me, changing the way you field a player for the sole purpose of advancing that player’s interests is selfish—even if it adds prominence to the team or the program as a whole. As the old saying goes, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” In my opinion, any coach with a Heisman hopeful should treat that player in exactly the same way he would any other player. To do anything else not only flies in the face of the team concept, but can be woefully dangerous in terms of its effect on team morale—just ask Heath Shuler and the Tennessee offensive line that played in the 1993-94 Citrus Bowl.
Were Kiffin to decide independent of the Heisman race that Berry needed to play on offense, I would have no problem with it, in fact it might be extremely exciting. To do so just for the sake of Heisman balloting, however, is simply not something I think is acceptable.
Furthermore, I question whether suddenly playing a player in a new position would actually help or hinder the chances of winning voters’ eyes. This season is filled with change already—from top to bottom. Berry, just like everyone else on the Vols’ squad, is busy learning new schemes and concepts from the new coaching staff. Furthermore, the sheer size and scope of the playbooks for Tennessee is really quite staggering. I have heard from a reliable source that, up until 1997, no offensive player in the modern era had ever learned the entire offensive playbook until Peyton Manning, and he only accomplished that feat as a senior.
To me, adding a whole new facet—offense—to the game for Berry would likely result in a fall-off in his performance on defense. It adds one more thing that he has to keep track of in his head and doubles the already considerable pressure that being pumped as a superstar brings with it. In then end, I think there is probably more to lose than there is to gain.
2) Do you think Kiffin secretly wishes he would have held onto Taj Boyd?
HSH: Nope, not all, for two reasons. First, as we all know, Kiffin's a confident fellow. He has his plan, he knows what he wants and how he wants to go about it. And he believes in what he's doing.
He evaluated Boyd, saw that he might have lacked pure arm strength and that he made have had some issues coming off knee issues. So he told Boyd what he told him. I think Tennessee's in good shape with Tyler Bray and they might get Memphis' Barry Brunetti to switch his commitment to West Virginia, and the recent run on WR recruiting, what QB wouldn't want to come to Tennessee and throw to those guys?
Lawvol: Well, whether he does or doesn’t, is really irrelevant now. What is, is.
That said, I doubt that the Blackjack General, has given more than a few seconds thought to the matter considering his staff and this no-holds-barred approach to recruiting. I am sure that Boyd probably appreciated the honesty from Kiffin in telling him that he simply didn’t feel that Boyd would fit in the Vols’ system. I know I find it refreshing. Either way, like HSH, I feel certain that Kiffin will find the right person and it’s not like the Vols haven’t started to get looks from some good players. After all, though we do not yet know how a Lane Kiffin-coached team will perform on the field, he has made it clear he knows how to recruit. Furthermore, trying to make a player work when they really are not suited to your system just leads to disappointment for everyone involved.
I say get the right player for Tennessee, even if that means waiting a bit. I for one am glad to see that Kiffin is willing to do just that.
3) Is this the most excited you have been for a football season to start EVER?
HSH: In recent memory, yes. Maybe 2006, Macrobid over the counter, Purchase Macrobid online, because I had just started school up here in Knoxville and the big opener with Cal and Florida coming in two weeks following that. Perhaps 2005, Macrobid blogs, Macrobid cost, because of all the hype and that defense and the "momentum" from the previous season.
But this is different. It seems like it's been a year since Kiffin was hired and we went through the staff hiring and the coups on National Signing Day, the verbal slap of Urban Meyer and the secondaries.
Now it's go-time. Everything's going to be new, fast shipping Macrobid, Macrobid long term, so that adds a bit of intrigue to the whole thing, but the energy Lane, purchase Macrobid for sale, Buy Macrobid online cod, Monte and Coach O have brought certainly have had their effects on the players and us as fans. Amidst all the energy though, we have to remember that Tennessee's not going to win the SEC this year. This isn't going to be a one-year turnaround and we have to be a little patient, Macrobid gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Macrobid schedule, prepare for some of the usual pains and just enjoy the climb. The Vols have 8 home games this year, so hopefully the fans are ready to do their part in helping the team.
Lawvol: That’s a tough question to answer. For me, discount Macrobid, Buy Macrobid without a prescription, the most exciting pre-season run-up to kickoff in my lifetime was getting ready for Peyton Manning’s senior year in 1997. The Vols were picked to be stellar and were ranked in the pre-season top-3 in all the polls. It also happened to be my senior year in Knoxville. I suppose I would still say that there was more “excitement”—in the sense of there being a real belief on the part of everyone that the Vols might win the whole thing—in 1997. If we are talking about just sheer anticipation because you simply have no idea what to expect, then I would have to say that this year is on top.
Of course, ordering Macrobid online, Macrobid maximum dosage, it is worth noting that in 1998 I had very low expectations of what Tennessee would do prior to the season getting under way. What with Manning graduating and a virtual unknown named Tee Martin starting his first game at quarterback, I figured that the Vols would probably find rough going for at least the first few games of the season. That season, get Macrobid, Macrobid use, however, turned out pretty well for the Vols.
Either way, buy cheap Macrobid, Cheap Macrobid no rx, I am always stoked before the first kickoff and it seems to increase exponentially as the first game approaches. There is so much to be excited about this year and—no matter what happens—I feel like this will be a good year for the Vols as they progress toward the future.
After all, a lousy football season is better than no football season at all…
4) A quick diversion from football and onto Basketball, Macrobid mg. Buy Macrobid from mexico, Do you think that Bruce’s style of basketball is a deterrent to the one and done type players, due to the fact one and done-rs and top recruits are looking for more minutes and to be the center of attention?
HSH: I don't think it's Bruce Pearl's style as much as it the fact that we're Tennessee. Just to be brutally honest, taking Macrobid, Where can i cheapest Macrobid online, if you're a a high school kid who has obvious NBA talent, wouldn't you want to showcase that on the biggest stage possible?
I know Bruce has taken our program to heights it's never been before and I hope he never leaves Knoxville. But we're still Tennessee. I know Michael Beasley went to play in relative obscurity at Kansas State and still managed to be the second pick in the draft, rx free Macrobid, Macrobid trusted pharmacy reviews, but the point still remains, at least in my mind.
We're not near the top of the list of schools a future NBA star and one-year college player is going to go to increase his stock. On top of that, Macrobid from canadian pharmacy, Macrobid reviews, there are all of two ex-Vols in the Association right now—C.J. Watson now in Orlando and Marcus Haislip just signed by the Spurs. Watson wasn't drafted and Haislip has spent the last few years in Europe after being a bust of a lottery pick.
The bottom line to me is this: our prestige has gone up exponentially the last four years under Pearl, Macrobid pharmacy, Macrobid dosage, but we're still Tennessee, and we still aren't exactly pumping out NBA players a la places like Carolina, order Macrobid online overnight delivery no prescription, Buy Macrobid online no prescription, Texas, UCLA, effects of Macrobid, Buy generic Macrobid, Kansas, UConn, Macrobid no rx, Macrobid no prescription, Memphis State and so on.
Lawvol: Frankly, I hope it is because I have little tolerance for the one-and-done mentality.
Most of the “in-and-out, australia, uk, us, usa, Where to buy Macrobid, thanks-for-the-cred, see ya!” type of players are not the sort that I want to see Tennessee recruiting. The whole “student athlete” thing should still mean something. I am dedicated to Tennessee and have been since the day I decided that I would attend college there. I expect the players we put on the floor to be not only be great athletes, is Macrobid safe, After Macrobid, but also good representatives for the university, and good people. I am not naive enough to believe that all the players we recruit are completely free of the ulterior motive of wanting to play professionally and perhaps using the Big Orange as the springboard to making that a reality. I also will freely acknowledge that I can hardly blame a player for leaving early when they are all but guaranteed to instantly become wealthy.
All I ask is that the players wearing the orange be committed to Tennessee while they are here, online buy Macrobid without a prescription. Order Macrobid from United States pharmacy, I have no problem with them dreaming of the future or making decisions based upon that future. What I do have a problem with is when players simply see Tennessee (or any other school for that matter) as little more than a way to get their ticket punched as quickly as possible.
But then again, I am a lawyer and am generally a disagreeable sort…
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on our largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):
- Rocky Top Talk
- 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- Vol Junkies
- Pigskin Pathos
- Bleeding Orange
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» Updated: 27 March 2009 -- 4:25pm
Buy Glucophage Without Prescription, Apparently, Gillispie's firing became official about 5 minutes after I posted this. At least I was a little bit ahead of the curve...
» Updated: 27 March 2009 -- 4:42pm
Now, as his comment below points out, HSH has discovered an even more interesting development: perhaps Billy Donovan is going to Kentucky.
Well, Glucophage recreational, Is Glucophage addictive, friends and neighbors, it’s not like it is unexpected, Glucophage trusted pharmacy reviews, Effects of Glucophage, but it appears that Billy Gillispie is out at Kentucky. This comes from WHAS TV in Louisville. Seemingly in response to this report, the Kentucky athletic department issued a public statement which—paraphrased—amounts to their complete refusal to make a public statement. It read, Glucophage samples, Buy cheap Glucophage no rx, "UK mens basketball coach Billy Gillispie has not been fired. There have been no meetings between Gillispie and UK officials today and there is no scheduled press conference tomorrow."
I think a simple “no comment” would have sufficed.
Either way, is Glucophage safe, About Glucophage, this does seriously change the dynamic in the SEC East. Hooper over at RTT has an interesting article on why this prospect scares him as a fan of SEC and Tennessee basketball. The uncertainty at Kentucky will definitely add confusion to recruiting, but what if Kentucky actually gets a “good” coach? With rumors flying about as to who will replace Gillispie, buy Glucophage no prescription, Buy cheap Glucophage, it stands to reason that Kentucky Mitch Barnhart will be trying to save his neck by getting a coach who is a little better fit for the Wildcats this time around than was Billy Clyde. According to the guys at Team Speed Kills, however, online buy Glucophage without a prescription, Glucophage dangers, that new coach will not be Billy Donovan (or will it?).
In the meantime, I suppose we will all be guessing…
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="I suppose we will have to wait awhile for the next album"][/caption]
I share Hooper’s concerns, Glucophage cost, Glucophage photos, over the Gillispie departure—namely that fans are getting a little unreasonable in their expectations when it comes to basketball coaches. On the other hand, I think it is fair to say that the expectations at Kentucky have always bordered on the absurd. Just look at how Tubby Smith was treated. Still, Glucophage description, Buy Glucophage online cod, I do agree that on the whole SEC basketball fans have become a little more hysterical and a lot less reasonable over the past few years. I wonder if this is tied more to the growing belief among many that the SEC can and should dominate every sport every year, or owes simply to the heightened expectations that seem to attend every possible aspect of major sports these days. In the modern era it is all about “What have you done for me lately?”
On a more self-serving level, Glucophage duration, Cheap Glucophage, however, I am a bit fearful that Kentucky and Mitch Barnhart might actually get this hire “right.” The reason I fear this is that, is Glucophage addictive, Taking Glucophage, under Bruce Pearl, Tennessee has taken major steps toward re-establishing itself as a perennial basketball force in the SEC and beyond. I would be the proverbial ostrich with my head in the sand if I were to ignore the fact that much of this has occurred in a time when the SEC’s biggest traditional power—the once feared Kentucky Wildcats—have been less than formidable, Glucophage maximum dosage. Glucophage canada, mexico, india, Thus, a new face in Lexington could serve to squelch some of the gains accomplished under Pearl—especially in the area of recruiting the veritable treasure trove of high school talent in Kentucky. Still, Glucophage over the counter, Glucophage forum, I feel pretty strongly that Bruce Almighty can hold his own.
But given all of the ridiculous fan expectations that Hooper pointed to, can Tennessee hold on to Pearl?
As HSH documented earlier this week, buy Glucophage from mexico, Real brand Glucophage online, the 2008-09 Tennessee BasketVols were somewhat of a mixed bag. Some would say they were a disappointment. I think that is a little unfair and shortsighted. I personally believe that the 2008-09 squad represents a continuing work in progress on several levels. First, the team was full of freshmen and sophomores who will only get better as they continue to benefit from Pearl’s coaching and guidance. Second, where can i cheapest Glucophage online, Cheap Glucophage no rx, from a big picture perspective, it seems that Pearl is still laying a foundation at Tennessee for a program that can perpetually compete at the highest level. I imagine that, get Glucophage, Glucophage images, if asked, Pearl would admit that there are a few more steps to be taken in that process. Thus, buy generic Glucophage, Glucophage use, while this season may not have been all that Tennessee fans hoped for, it was hardly a bust. After all, Glucophage for sale, Glucophage dose, it was not all that long ago that Tennessee was so dismal that it was not even under consideration for a bid to the NIT.
Still, there were a number of loud and noisy fans who called Pearl’s abilities into question this season. It was that same type of fan that escalated the situation at Kentucky such that Gillispie more or less had to go. Seriously, online buying Glucophage, Buy cheap Glucophage no rx, who would want to coach in such a poison environment. In many ways this resembles the tenor of the conversation surround the departure of Phillip Fulmer. In Gillispie’s defense, generic Glucophage, Order Glucophage online overnight delivery no prescription, however, he only took over at Kentucky 2 years ago. Then again, where can i buy Glucophage online, Glucophage steet value, it is Kentucky we are talking about.
I worry that the increasing pressure being placed on Pearl by suddenly fanatical Tennessee basketball fans (which only a few years ago would have seemed like an oxymoron) paired with a smart hire by Kentucky (which given Gillispie’s situation also seemed oxymoronic a few years ago) could put Coach Pearl in a difficult position not on the basketball floor, but with his own fanbase.
This is, of course, all doom-and-gloom speculation…
In the meantime, we will all have to wait and see what, in fact, does happen at Kentucky. I for one will miss Gillispie, mainly because it was really easy to make fun of a guy with a name like “Billy Clyde.” I doubt that a lot of Kentucky fans will miss him all that much.
Still, Kentucky fans need to be careful, you can scare away quality coaches who simply are unwilling to put up with a borderline-psychotic fan base where they eat their own on a regular basis. That is a quick way to whittle the pool of available coaches down to the point that you really find yourself in the same situation you just left.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Preach on, Sister!"][/caption]
On second thought, speaking as a Tennessee fan, maybe that is a good thing…
Image(s) Courtesy of: SmashSouthSports .
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Despite falling behind by 10 points with just over 12 minutes to play in the second half, the Tennessee Volunteers managed their ninth consecutive victory over the Georgia Bulldogs this past Saturday, 86-77. With this win, the BasketVols improve to 10-4 overall, and kicked-off conference play with a win.
But was it enough?
By most measuring sticks, Georgia is either the worst or second-worst team in the SEC—unquestionably the worst team in the SEC East. Despite their weakness as a team, the Dawgs gave Tennessee all they could handle. In a game which—on paper—should have been a rout, Bruce and the Barbarians found themselves behind with only minutes to play. To their credit, the Big Orange refused to go down and played with tenacity down the stretch—perhaps spurred on by Bruce Pearl losing his suit jacket in the second-half as the Vols continued to flounder. Whatever gave them the edge, credit their hustle and effort in helping to secure the victory.
Many have recently opined that this team is simply not as good as the 2007-08 squad. I would not necessarily disagree with this estimation, but would add the qualifier “at this point.” I add this slight caveat because I am still not entirely convinced that—at least from a talent perspective—this team is not in the same class as last year’s squad individually. Of course, their play so far really does call that into question.
This team just seems to have a hard time playing together—especially in tight spots. By all appearances, this inability to gel as a team does not owe to ego, a lack of cooperation, or a lack of effort. To the contrary, with a few small exceptions, this team clearly wants and tries to play together as one unit. For some reason, however, it just does not seem to click.
At times, some of this confusion seems to arise from the annoyingly “inconsistent inconsistencies”—one night it’s defense, the next transition, and the next free throws. Each game seems to feature the debut of yet another weakness, along with the departure of an already established one. It is the proverbial “one step forward, two steps back,” type of situation.
In other words, the ball keeps moving…
This every changing cycle of strength and collapse exacerbates the team cohesiveness problems. To some extent, this is understandable—especially for the coaching staff as they try to fix what is not working. Furthermore, if the teammate you count on to be a clutch free throw shooter suddenly goes 2-22 from the charity stripe, well that’s going to have a negative impact on both chemistry and confidence for the team as a whole.
In some ways, these changing problems which (in most cases can be fixed) are worse than consistently un-fixable ones. If you know as a team that no one can hit a 3-point shot to save their life, then you can adjust by simply working that much harder to push the ball inside for the sure-thing 2 points. When the problem seems to change every game, however, things get much more challenging since you simply cannot be sure where the obstacles will arise.
In the end, it seems likely that—for the time being—there are going to be very few “easy” wins for this team. That said, I do have faith in this team—and more importantly this staff—and believe that they will find a way to get things running on all cylinders. I just do not know when.
It didn’t hurt that Tyler Smith—who was not even expected to play against the Dawgs—took it upon himself to drag the BasketVols to victory with his 24 points (13 in the second half) and 11 rebounds. All of this after he was on crutches on Friday afternoon. So far this season, the Vols have had a real habit of relying on a single leader to pull them through games. While that isn’t how it should work, for now it is working.
And a win, after all, is still a win…[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Smith Grabs Rebound vs Georgia"][/caption]
With the Kentucky Wildcats coming into the Tommy Bowl on Tuesday night, the Vols are going to have to find a a way to rise to the challenge, not as a collection of talented individuals, fraught with intermittent failures, and teetering on the edge of disaster. The Vols are going to have to find a way to rise together, and meet the Wildcats as a team. The Wildcats are sure to put the Vols to the the test.
Prior to the Georgia game, Cameron Tatum was quoted as saying: "This is our season now. This is what we've been working for."
Hopefully, he is right.
Image Courtesy of: KNS / AP / John Curry
Well, I am beginning to think that some of my concerns about the loss of the “family” feeling at Tennessee due to the departure of the Great Punkin may have been unfounded. It appears that Coach Kiffin is dead set on keeping the family side of Tennessee alive—albeit in a slightly different way than I envisioned.
The more I look at things the more the Tennessee Athletic Department mirrors the Soprano family…
[singlepic id=905 w=540 mode=web20 float=center][caption id="" align="alignright" width="111" caption="James Cregg"][/caption]
Thus far, Coach Kiffin has been more than happy to keep it “inside the family,” hiring both his father, Monte Kiffin (longtime defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) as well as his brother-in-law David Reaves (Steve Spurrier’s quarterbacks’ coach / recruiting coordinator at South Carolina). On top of this, last week he added an additional hire off the South Carolina Gamecocks’ staff in the form of new strength and conditioning coach Mark Smith, along with new offensive line coach James Cregg, who served under the Blackjack General when Kiffin was coaching the Los Angeles Oakland Raiders, and was currently working under Raiders’ coach Tom Cable.
So, is all of this a good thing, or a bad thing?
Well, I am honestly not sure. That said, I like the fact that Kiffin seems to have a plan about what it is he is trying to accomplish—he’s not just randomly selecting coaches that are “available.” In fact, with the exception of the few members of Coach Fulmer’s staff that Kiffin has retained, none of the coaches he has added to his first staff have been “available,” as Tom Cable plainly noted. It is nice to be back in the position as a program to be able to pull people away from other programs, instead of the opposite.
Furthermore, thus far the choices that Kiffin has made to assist him in his first campaign at Tennessee appear to be quality hires. First of all there is the Full Monte, who is the "Godfather" of the Tampa 2 defense and arguably the best defensive coordinator in the toughest football league in the world. The venerable patriarch.
Okay, I think that can work…
Then, there is Mark Smith, who was thought by many to be one of Spurrier’s indispensable aides at both Florida and with the Thunder Chickens. In the past, it was thought that Smith would never leave Spurrier due to the fact he rejected overtures from, among others, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith has been at the heart of every successful team that Spurrier has fielded.
Apparently, Smith decided that loyalty to Spurrier could not overcome the pull of “the family”…[caption id="" align="alignright" width="96" caption="David Reaves"][/caption]
Then there is Reaves, who was been surprisingly successful as the Head Ball Coach’s recruiting coordinator, a fact that Tennessee fans had been acutely aware of over the last few years. Obviously, as Lane Kiffin’s brother-in-law it is hardly surprising that Reaves decided to head to more orange-tinted pastures. Still, Spurrier has never been one to let his coaches or recruits go to others quietly. Thus, it also appears that there is about to be a second-round of the Tennessee vs. Spurrier battles that marked the early-to-mid 1990’s—the rumblings are already out there.
Ahh, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…
If (and that is a big “if”) you trust the rumors, the oft maligned Ed Orgeron (currently serving as defensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints) is next up for Kiffin as he works toward filling out his staff. Coach “O” did not exactly wow the world with his performance as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, but continues to be thought of as one of the premier defensive line coaches and a crackerjack recruiter. Given that all of the rumors of Monte Kiffin joining “Kiffin the Younger,” proved accurate, it appears that the chances are good that “O” will be “hnaw-hnawing” on the sidelines in Neyland Stadium this fall.
Now whether ticking off NFL owners and other SEC coaches is a bad thing, I cannot say. I will say that it is nice to see Lane Kiffin out using his credibility and Tennessee’s tradition to get the people he needs. While I realize there is something to be said for extending certain courtesies to other coaches and teams, sometimes you have to simply make folks an “offer they can’t refuse” and let the chips fall where they may. This is especially true when it comes to re-tooling a program that has bottomed-out of late. Kiffin, responding to questions regarding his tactics, summed it quite matter-of-factly:
“I got a job to do in our athletic department and that’s to put together the best staff we can put together and the best players we can put together. I’m not really concerned about that stuff.”
• via: GoVolsXtra
Kiffin’s coaching-coups, appear to be making a difference as well, as Tennessee has now sewn-up several choice recruits, and appears to be getting the inside track on several more.
So far, so good. Is Kiffin going in the right direction? I think so. Is he destined for greatness? Only time will tell. Is there plenty more to be done to cement Tennessee’s position as a contender once again for the SEC? You better believe it. Is Kiffin done mixing it up with the other coaches across the country yet?
Images Courtesy of: Raiders.com • GameCocksOnline.com
Information contained in this post courtesy of: Volquest.com • GoVolsXtra
That Make it Great to be a Tennessee Volunteer
Now that I am finally done with my trial, I can begin to get back to things that really matter, namely spending endless hours blogging…
Needless to say, this has been a football season which could drive a Tennessee fan to drink, sniff glue, use leeches, beat up little old ladies on the side of the road, or some similar vice. Between mounting losses, SEC and BCS irrelevance, the controversy over the legacy of the Great Punkin, and bickering among the fans, the battle for the soul of Big Orange fans has never been more feverishly pitched.
That said, I am still convicted—perhaps even more so—that there is no other team I’d ever follow and that it is truly great to be one of the many Tennessee Volunteers. Thus, I thought I’d offer up a little list—just to remind the doom and gloom crowd that life really isn’t all that bad (and for reasons which should be fairly obvious, “21” is the top of the list).
Thus, here are 21 Things that make it great to be a Tennessee Volunteer:
Full Version after the Jump...
** Many images, may load slowly on dial-up connections
1. The Great Smoky Mountains
All of nature’s glory for the senses to behold.
2. Fort Sanders
I mean, it’s pretty cool to have your college be right in the middle of a battlefield—and a super cool neighborhood.
3. The Sea of Orange!
Such a sublime hue, chosen due to the American Daisy which used grow on the Hill.
4. Bobby Denton urging us “to pay these prices, and please pay … NO MORE!”
I doubt that I would ever intentionally pay more than the advertised price for a watered-down cup of sort-o-Coke-like-substance, but I appreciate the reminder. Not sure where is came from, but I like it!
5. The Sunsphere
Sure, Bart Simpson said it was a wig shop, but we know better…
6. Painting the Rock
The joys of conveying a spirited message, paint fumes, and geology…
7. The Vol Navy
Arrrggh, life on the High Seas of … er… Lake Loudon!
Can you guess which of these photos inspired the chekerbaord endzones? Love ‘em, no ifs, ands, or buts.
9. Counting the sides on Hodges Library
I’ve always lost count after about a million or so…
10. Cumberland Avenue
Our ramshackle but welcoming little strip.
11. Rafter Banners
Don’t they look nice?
12. The Pride of the Southland Band
Gotta love those circle drills and that “Pregame tradition unrivaled in college football” which leads to the opening of the “T”!
Also known as “the Torchbearer,” he and I go way back, thus I call him by name (after all, the statue was fashioned in the likeness of Tennessee’s own Victor Davis).
14. Ayres Hall & The Hill
Ahh, the traditions of the Hill and Ayres Hall, not least of which would include me barely passing Calculus…
Such a cute pooch, unless you’re an Alabama player, that is…
16. Bruce Almighty
In Bruce we Trust!
17. The Wizard of Knoxville
Best in the World—no contest, no discussion, no argument.
18. Rocky Top
Don’t you just love the fact that our “unofficial” fight song is about moonshine … and that opposing fans hate it so much? Despite having played Rocky Top over 4000 times while in the Pride of the Southland at Tennessee (yes, we did keep track with the hallowed “clicker”), I still never grow tired of hearing it.
19. The Tommy Bowl
It used to be simply “the Big Brown Box,” but thanks to Bruce and the Barbarians, it’s got a whole new name.
20. Neyland Stadium
How could you not stand in awe of the fort known as “Neyland” along the banks of the Tennessee?
21. The awe inspiring beauty of Gate 21 (Yeah, I’m biased)
Just look at it, makes you want to cry, doesn’t it?
Anyway, now that you’ve had a chance to look at my little list, maybe some of the folks out there will realize that things really aren’t all that bad, and will smile a bit.
Oh and, yes, you guessed correctly—I hope for this to become a new feature here at the Gate.
Now, it’s time to get ready for the ThunderChickens…
Images Courtesy of: (Flickr) CessVass • Major Vols • Joelk75 • ladyvols1’s • deanna515 • MagnoliaJazz • Merelymere • abthompson • Dr. Reelgood & Co. • Michael Wender • asm.photo • JW Photo • ut9099 • MikkiAllen29 • Grant.Harley • Cesarito85 • DavidCFoster • Cliff Michaels • Rusty Tanton
(Other) Nial in America • SECSportsFan.com • ChotoMarine • pBase • ThinkLia.com • Dynamic Art Photography • Friends of the Fort • Encyclopedia Britannica • GatorTailgating.com • AP • Sports Illustrated • Reeves Maps • Sabir 265 • f8 and be there • Worlds Fair Photos.com • The University of Tennessee • PhillipFulmer.com • TheLinkery.com • The BruceBall Blog.com • BrendenLoy.com • Replay Photos • Legions of the Miserable • Fulmer's Belly • PlanetWare.com • Pics4.city-data.com • UTSports.com • Pride of the Southland Marching Band • Go Vols Xtra • Knoxville News Sentinel • TNJN.com
Audio Courtesy of: The University of Tennessee / Vol Network / IMG • University of Tennessee / Pride of the Southland Marching Band / House of Bryant Publishing
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I somehow managed to miss these yesterday in the run-up to the game against Louisville, but the boys over at Awful Announcing have discovered a site with pictures of Bruce Pearl from his high school yearbook, with a Superfly afro.
All I can say to that hairdo is ... "Baaauun-Chicka-Baaun-Chow"
Man, I find more reasons to like Bruce Pearl everyday...