Posts Tagged ‘Flashback’

Headlines, Links, & Lies: “I haven’t crashed into anything yet!” Edition

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Well, I am almost done with the migration of the Gate from its current location on the web to its new home with my new hosting provider: Media Temple.  So far, I have been nothing but impressed with what they have to offer and I hope that there are many great things to come in the future here as a result.   I anticipate the “flipping the switch” for the change over in the next day or so, thus, my prior warning about the possibility that the Gate might “go missing” stands for a little while longer.  Such is life.

At any rate, due to being tied up with all my hosting-reconfiguration activities, I haven’t really had a chance to finish up the post I had planned for today. Thus, at a minimum I wanted to pass on a few links and what-not that seemed worth giving a look.

  • The Big Orange Roundtable Returneth: For those of you that remember the Vol-blogosphere’s little foray into collaboration from 2008, the roundtable is back.  Thus, the Big Orange Brethren (myself included) kickoff the 2009 Big Orange Roundtable this week with the first installment hosted by MoonDog.  For those of you who were not around for last year’s roundtable, it is a weekly roundtable discussion where a host poses a series of questions to the collective brain-trust of the Vol-blogosphere who, respond with their BS insightful and thought provoking answers.  At the end of the week, the host provides a round-up of the responses and the comments posted by each of the member Roundtable sites, along with a few parting thoughts.  It is a great series that was a lot of fun last season. Go ahead and check out this week’s questions.   I plan on posting my responses in the next day or so.
  • Ray Nettles and the Long Road to Redemption: Ray Nettles was a linebacker for the Big Orange from 1969-1971, winning All-America and All-SEC honors in 1971.  Over the past 38 years since leaving Tennessee he has struggled with his demons and his own brand of inner-conflict.  Now, however, he talks of redemption and finding his way back home from battles with addiction, marital strife, and now cancer.  Throughout his journey he has been supported by his former teammates in ways that even he has a difficult time understanding.

    Video: Ray Nettles Seeks Redemption

    This is a really powerful story of success, collapse, failure, and recovery which I highly recommend. HTVia: Florida Times-Union • HT: The Vol Historian

  • The 2008 Football Season in Seconds: Joel, “the Flashmaster General” offers up a re-cap of the entire 2008 football season in only seconds.   How, you ask? Through the miracles of the Adobe flash player, that’s how.  Check it out, just in case you forgot… HTVia: Rocky Top Talk

  • At least I drive better than this: I am really not sure why this lady was having such a difficult time driving a golf cart. They are fairly simple inventions.  Two pedals.  One steering wheel.  Four tires.  Needless to say, I won’t be riding with her anytime soon.

    Video: How Not to Drive a Golf Cart

    Now I know where personal-injury lawyers get their clients… HTVia: Fandome

At any rate, I hope to have the Gate migrated to its new home and to finally be set for the upcoming football season soon.

Until then, this will have to do…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Remembering John Ward: Ten years since “Give Him Six!”

Tennessee Football Regardless of how things turn out for the Tennessee Volunteers this fall, the 2009 season represents so very many milestones—it really isn’t even worth the trouble to try and count them all.  There has been so much change lately and so very many new looks and faces that everything seems as if it is in flux.  Some feel this near c-change is long overdue, others decry it as a loss of tradition, others still reserve judgments and simply point to the inevitable movement of the hands of time.  Still, no matter how great the changes may be, the echoes of years gone by still ring in the air around Neyland Stadium.  Thankfully, this will never change.

Vol Network In addition to all of the “obvious” landmark events that have or will occur as part of the 2009 football season, there is one more that may go unnoticed by many.  Though it hardly seems possible, the 2009 season marks Bob Kesling’s tenth year as the “Voice of the Vols.” Since the kickoff of the 1999 football opener against the Wyoming Cowboys, Kesling along with color-commentator Tim Priest, and sideline reporter Mike Stowell (who succeeded Jeff Francis in 2007), have brought the sounds of Big Orange football into our homes via the “Statewide Stadium” that is the Vol Network.

As have I pointed out in previous posts, since I was a child, I have always been a dedicated fan of live sports radio broadcasts.  I learned at an early age that television broadcasters, no matter how good they may be, simply cannot match the style, flair, color, or excitement that a gifted radio sportscaster can bring to a game.  There are few on television that come close—Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried being pretty much the best—but even they cannot quite stay in step with the great radio broadcasters of the game.  Of course, for every Franklin and Gottfried, there are a bevy of lackluster talking suits which do little more than get in the way of the game rather than actually improving your understanding of what is taking place.

Thus is the curse of television…

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Five Reasons I Hate Alabama

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Of Course There’s More Than Just Five…

As a current student at the beloved University of Tennessee, I guess I fit into that whole “new breed” of Tennessee fan. You know, the one that woos in Rocky Top (click here for all that) and hates Florida more than anything else.

While my hatred for the Gators is obviously high, I’ve gone and accepted the fact that the Vols just can’t consistently ever beat Florida. I hate Georgia quite a bit as well thanks to my venture down to Athens my freshman year (2006). It’s pretty much those three and a gap to everybody else, at least in terms of my SEC hatred. However, as I realized it’s Alabama week and Tennessee’s 0-for-2 against the aforementioned teams I hate, I came to this conclusion:

I really really hate Alabama the most.

To crush any hopes they have of an unbeaten season would be the highlight of this otherwise awful, painful football season. So, in an attempt to fire myself – as well as you, the faithful readers here at Gate 21 – up for Saturday night’s showdown, here’s my five major reasons I hate the Alabama Crimson Tide

1. Alabama cheated/cheats and blames Phil Fulmer for it.

Obviously, cheaters never prosper. It’s funny that Tide fans hate a man who was simply doing his civil duty. Not only that, but it wasn’t like any other SEC coaches weren’t behind Fulmer’s turning in the cheating Tide to the NCAA.

Of course we all know well Alabama’s history of cheating. It’s hilarious to me that they get caught. Look, “helping out recruits” goes on plenty of places. Remember, it’s only cheating if you get caught. It’s much like speeding down I-40 between Knoxville and Memphis for me…

The outward excuse of the Tide fans for hating Fulmer is of course his part in turning them in. I think it’s much deeper than that. I know Alabama’s won two of three, but Fulmer has a great record against them. Either that or they deny that there was ever any cheating was done…

No, you do not

2. “Got Twelve?” t-shirts and Houndstooth apparel…

I actually saw some guy in TRECS – that’s Tennessee’s rec center for students (it’s WAY nice) – with one of these on, which reminded me of this. It’s so typical of an Alabama fan: it involves lying/cheating, since the Tide (a) haven’t won 12 legitimate national titles and (b) it involves living in the past. In my lifetime, Alabama has been a middle-of-the-road SEC program, much like Tennessee is becoming, sadly enough.

I remember the Tide losing to Northern Illinois and Central Florida. I remember their 1997 loss to Tim Couch and Kentucky. I remember beating them 9 out of 10 years. One of my earliest Tennessee memories was the 1995 rout in Birmingham (below = owned). They’ve had something like seven different head coaches in my lifetime.

It looks stupid...

The houndstooth crap goes right along with it. Houndstooth reminds Bammers of the Bear Bryant days, when they were relevant (I will state the obvious that they are becoming relevant again…crap). Hats, shirts, Bear Bryant hats – it makes me sick.

And of course there’s those two Bammer fans with the toilet paper/Tide box on-a stick. I wish I was them, they are so incredibly cool…I hope I see one in Knoxville Saturday so I can laugh at them…

YouTube Preview Image

3. 2006

Flashback time. Third quarter, underdog Alabama has just scored thanks to a “catch” from D.J. Hall to take a 13-9 lead on Tennessee. Ensuing kickoff, LaMarcus Coker gets tackled along the far sideline from me, and doesn’t get up. Turns out it was a knee injury that took him out of the game.

During the injury timeout while Coker is being tended to, the stadium is quiet as it usually is for injuries. That is, until the Bama fans start get their stupid “Rooollll Tide!” chant going. While a Tennessee player is hurt. That’s class, folks. Hell, even the Georgia fans were quiet when Jason Allen was nearly cut in half by Leonard Pope the year before, and I don’t know if I’ve actually ever met a classy UGA fan.

If you saw the game or were there, you of course remember the UT students’ response: a loud, resounding, lengthy “F*** You Bama” chant that had to be heard on CBS. Tennessee went on to win that game, and I wasn’t nice to any Bammers I saw afterwards – old people, women, adults, anybody.

4. 2005 and 2007

I’ve made two trips to Tuscaloosa in my life, for both of the past two Tennessee games. The 6-3 loss in 2005 was the one that really doomed the rest of the season in my opinion, since Tennessee did everything but win that game.

Cory Anderson’s fumble happened in the end zone right in front of me. I thought it was six and bye-bye to Alabama’s then-unbeaten record. Of course, shortly after that, Brodie Croyle – how he was still alive after the beating he took that day I’ll never know – throws a prayer to Hall which sets up the game-winner.

As tough as that was, last year was worse. Here’s why: the Firehouse Subs right by Bryant-Denny screwed my buddy out of his sandwich, making us nearly miss kickoff; the game was at freakin’ 11:30 in the morning; our seats sucked; our coaches forgot how to coach; we lost 41-17.

There would be a book about it...

Unlike ’05, you don’t have to deal with the stupid Bammers when you leave with 10 minutes left in the game as opposed to right after a close one. The loss appeared completely catastrophic at the time, but even looking back it’s still bad, especially after having been to Gainesville earlier that year for the 59-20 beating the Vols took…

5. And finally, as a result from Reason #4, that stupid Rammer Jammer chant.

It’s still ringing in my head. For as stupid as Ole Miss’ Hotty Toddy is, this Bammer chant sucks so much more. I heard it nonstop leaving BDS in 2005 and I could hear it during the long walk from the nosebleeds through the parking lot last year. If I have to hear this crap ring through Neyland Stadium late Saturday night, I’m going to become really belligerent.

Of course, I can’t not post this YouTube video of this Alabama fan hating on Tennessee. I laugh every time I watch it, and I know it’s old and cliche, but I feel compelled to post it, if, for no other reason, than the feelings are reciprocal…

YouTube Preview Image

Well there you have it. There’s of course plenty more reasons I hate the Crimson Tide (an Elephant? Seriously?). I hope Smokey bites another Tide player in warmups, as he did to Mike McCoy (who’s still playing, actually) in 2006. I absolutely cannot wait to boo them Saturday night, and I hope and pray we miraculously dominate them.

Of course I’m leaving some out, so I encourage you the reader to leave some comments with your own reasons for hating Alabama.

Images Courtesy of: thecollegestore.comRobert H. Spain / Bleacher ReportBarnes and Noble

Flashback: The Great Games — Florida 1998

Flashback | Gate 21

The Great Games |

19 September 1998

Florida Football vs. Tennessee Football

(2) Florida 17(6) Tennessee 20

Neyland Stadium

Due to exceptionally bad planning on my part, I graduated from the University of Tennessee in four years — making my trip across the stage to collect my diploma in May of 1998…


Cartoon Courtesy of the Detroit News

I say it was bad planning because, as fate would have it — after traveling across the country with the Pride of the Southland for four years, following the Vols to every game — when Tennessee’s 1998 “season of destiny” rolled around, I was living more than six hours away in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I was a student at Tarhead State (UNC) engaged in my “Trade School” studies (I call law school that mainly to annoy all the Tarhead grads who infest the area where I now live) and quite far removed from my passion for Tennessee Volunteers Football.

Thus was my lot…

For what it is worth, I blame all of this on Joel at Rocky Top Talk since, as he and I both realized a few months back, he was my “teacher” in a crib-course on how to do well on law school entrance exams, and thus Joel is totally responsible for my entry into this sordid profession and my departure from East Tennessee exactly one year too early (This all makes perfect, well-reasoned, and orderly sense in my mind, in much the same way that Alabama coach Mike DuBose ultimately concluded that “Jesus wanted us to lose to Tennessee”).

Anyway, Tennessee opened the season versus the Syracuse Orangemen, and managed to hang on to victory by the absolute narrowest of margins — namely, Jeff Hall’s foot. The Gators, on the other hand, had beaten the living hell out of some school whose name eludes me, but I am sure it has “North“, “South“, “Central” “Left“, “Up“, or “Sideways” in its name.

After the 34 to 33 victory in the Syracuse game, I was somewhat less than hopeful about the Vols chances of winning against “Lord Spurrier and his Reptile Renegades.”

Nevertheless, given my incurable and uncontrollable addiction to traveling great distances, at considerable expense, to have your dreams crushed and your soul scarred, I climbed in my Volkswagen and headed back toward Knoxville for the showdown between the Florida Gators and the Vols. This was the first time I drove from Eastern North Carolina to Tennessee for a football game — it was a new experience. Now, however, I have made this journey so many times that I have all but memorized every single exit along Interstate 40 between the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and Knoxville, and now I can (and on occasion do) drive it while sleeping.

As you might imagine, when I arrived in the Volunteer City, I didn’t have a ticket. After searching up and down Cumberland Avenue for an hour-or-two, I finally managed to find a single ticket, in return for all of the remaining money I had to eat on for the rest of my first semester of law school (making sure not to repeat my 1992 mistake of buying student tickets).

Left to Right: My Ticket to the 1998 game • My friend’s ticket to the same game • My infamous student ticket from the 1992 game when I wasn’t yet a student

Despite the fact that my ticket told me that my butt was supposed to be planted in Section ZZ15 in the North Endzone Upperdeck, I chose Row 18 of Section D — the heart of the student section — as my vantage point for the game, since all of my friends were on the “5-year plan” (or 6, or 7, or …) and that is where they were situated. Considering that there were somewhere between 250 and 5,000 people crammed into that row, and each of those around it, apparently I wasn’t the only one bending the rules — or the bleachers on which we all stood, until they finally gave way and broke off of the concrete risers in the 4th-quarter.

The contest opened with the Challenger,” the bald eagle soaring his way down from the North endzone across the Pride of the Southland during the National Anthem. How exactly that beautiful bird could find where he was supposed to go amidst the screaming of nearly 108,000 fans with flashbulbs turning the stands into a bank of strobe lights, is beyond me. What a way to start a hot and steamy fistfight.

And boy was it hot and steamy that night…

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Flashback: The Great Games — Alabama 1995


The Great Games |

The Third Saturday in October, 1995

(14 October 1995)

Tennessee Football vs. Alabama Football

Tennessee 41 Alabama 14

Legion Field

There are a fair number of people in Orange Nation who — ignoring the whole “national championship thing” in 1998 — are of the opinion that the 1995 Tennessee Volunteers may have been the best football team fielded by the Big Orange in the modern era. Regardless of whether they were better than any other team — the 1995 Vols were pretty darn good, and were a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Thus, a few of the games from that season make my all-time list.

It’s probably not all that hard to figure out the first one (No, I’m not referring to the stinkin’ East Carolina Game)

I don’t know that I necessarily agree or disagree with the folks who think the 1995 team is better than the 1998 team. I think there are strong points that can be made for both squads, but hardly settle the issue. After all, who is “best” is really a matter of opinion. This is the sort of debate which leads Basilio to offer his catch phrase of deepest profundity:

Hmmm …. Interesting.

Translation: “I really don’t feel like arguing with you about this because I can’t prove you’re wrong, and you can’t prove you’re right.Of course, some folks love trying to prove their opinions are fact or — at a minimum — are superior to your opinions (“Oh, but I can prove it! Really, I can — with a crayon, a note from my Mother, and this bit of string…” ). The type of people who seem to gravitate toward that sort of behavior are usually a little short on knowledge and a little long on ego which, while annoying at times, is forgivable. The rest are just egomaniacal degenerates, politicians, and lawyers (ugh)…

… but I digress (sigh).

By the time 1995 rolled around Tennessee had managed to keep from beating the Alabama Crimson Tide for nine (that’s right, I said “NINE”) utterly abominable years. To that point, Tennessee had only beaten Alabama four times in my entire lifetime, which — from my perspective — sucked. The Vols came within a hair of beating Alabama in 1993, only to tie (that game was later forfeited to Tennessee due to Bama having offered big piles of cash to their players from 1958 until … well … minutes before the sanctions were imposed. Still, a forfeit on paper is hardly a win.). In 1994, my freshman year on the Hill, another freshman — some Manning kid — didn’t see an open passing lane to James “Little Man” Stewart who was standing in the endzone, all by himself, and practically sending smoke signals begging for the ball on the final play of the game. Victory to the Tide. Needless to say, I — along with every other Tennessee fan — was ready for that streak to end.

The game, like every other Tennessee-Alabama contest played in the state of Alabama from 1932-1999, was played at Legion Field in Birmingham.

If you’ve never been to Legion Field … skip it.

Read the rest of this entry

Flashback 1982: “You’ve Got to Be There!”

Flashback | Gate 21

Continuing with my non-sports posts during the off-season, here’s another little flashback … to 1982.

1982 World's Fair Logo26 years ago this week, the Volunteer City was counting down to its big debut on the international stage — the opening of the 1982 World’s Fair.

Yeah baby, the World’s Fair had arrived!

Ahh, Ronnie Reagan — a man of few words…

Before it was all said and done, more than 11 million people would visit and — for the briefest of periods — Knoxville became known as more than simply “a drinking town with a football problem.

The fair was a success by most benchmarks. The Fair was profitable, albeit to the tune of a whopping $57.00. This was a rare feat for World’s Fairs — the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans actually declared bankruptcy before the that fair was even over. It was one of the highest attended Fairs in history. It also boasted having pavillions from some countries which were hardly best friends with the United States at the time (several of the participating countries were already on George W. Bush’s nascent “List of Un-nice Weirdo Meanies” — later to be known as the “Axis of Evil”).

Here’s a little more information about the World’s Fair than you probably could ever want…

Man those are some snazzy graphics … makes me wish I still had a Commodore 64…

I have limited memories of the actual Fair itself even though I did attend (I was 6 years old at the time, and still have my World’s Fair Activity Book to prove it), but remember much of the pomp and fanfare that accompanied it — such as the rockin’ television ads which played all across the country.

So, just where exactly were they proposing to land the Space Shuttle — on Kingston Pike?

There were so many things to see and do: talking robots, the first Petro’s Stand (yum), the Imax Theater, have a swig of World’s Fair Beer, and even watch some guy making … Moonshine!!!

World's Fair Beer

1982 World\'s Fair Map

World’s Fair Map — Click to Enlarge

The World’s Fair also included what was then the World’s Largest Ferris Wheel, an NFL exhibition game, and near constant entertainment. The high water mark for the Fair — or more importantly for Knoxville — came on the Third Saturday in October, when less than two weeks before the Fair ended, Knoxville hosted not only visitors from around the world at the Fair, but also the Alabama vs. Tennessee game at Neyland Stadium. On that day — 16 October 1982 — it is estimated there were more people in the downtown area of Knoxville than at any other time in history. When the game ended, and the Tennessee Volunteers had defeated the No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 35 – 28, the goalposts came down, and all hell broke loose. (See, I managed to get something in here about sports…)

Despite these successes, however, the momentum of the Fair ultimately flamed-out — just like the Fair’s Logo.

Actually, it would be more appropriate to say that the Fair, and the City of Knoxville, both abruptly hit a brick wall while travelling at the safe and prudent speed of 150 mph one day after the Fair ended. That was the day that FDIC agents marched past the Sunsphere, up Main Street, and through the front door of the United American Bank Building (now First Tennessee) for the sole purpose of commencing their audit of the bank’s assets and uncovering the fraud that had been going on behind the scenes for several years. This would lead to “Stinky Jake” Butcher spending 10 years in prision, and precipitated the 4th largest bank failure in US history.

With that, all of the work, effort, planning, and money that had gone into ensuring the World’s Fair helped Knoxville propel itself into the future pretty much up and vanished like the Tennessee offense under Col. Dandy Sanders.

Still, the subsequent bust aside, the Fair was Knoxville’s moment in the sun (no pun intended).

Now — more than a quarter century later — some of the re-re-development intended to follow closely on the heels of the World’s Fair is finally occurring. World’s Fair Park now looks like something other than a gravel parking lot. The Convention Center has given people a reason to return to the downtown area. The Sunsphere (despite my claims to the contrary) has been shored up, and has re-opened for visitors. Most importantly, however, the City of Knoxville has finally acknowledged one important thing…

“Malfunction Junction” on I-40 was never a good idea …

Huh-huh, watch ‘er go BOOOM!!

Of course, it would have been nice if they had figured this out a little earlier, and made the process of improving the roads beyond the status quo ala’ 1982, a little more gradually. I suppose a little progress is better than none, but apparently “Tennesssee Smart Fix” is the one perpetual legacy of the World’s Fair.

TN Smart Fix Project Map

If anyone has any idea whatsoever exactly what the hell this map purports to show, please let me know…

God help us all when we face traffic this football season with half of the roads into downtown Knoxville closed. I guess we’ll all just have to look up, pray for patience, …

… and let the Sunsphere be our guide.

– Go Figure …

Images Courtesy of: ExpoMuseum.com1982WorldsFair.comThemeParkBrochures.netKnoxville ChamberBabyBoomerBobCity of KnoxvilleKnoxville News SentinelTennessee Dept of Transportation

Cas Walker Would Still Whip Your Ass!!!

Thumpin' GoodA little blast from the past for those of you out there who were in East Tennessee from 1954-1971. If you were around during that time, then you remember Cas Walker’s Home and Farm Hour on WBIR. Cas Walker — the proprietor of Cas Walker’s Supermarkets — was a genius when it came to promotion, and was tireless in getting the name of his store into the public eye.

Cas was a flamboyant as he was successful and he grew to be a giant in the political arena of East Tennessee. In fact, once he got into a fistfight at a Knoxville City Council meeting.

Cas Dukin' it Out

Serving up a little High Quality Farm-Fresh Cas Walker Whup Ass

Cas passed away in 1998, but I am convinced that, if it came down to it, Cas would still whip the ass of anybody who’d take him on — even though he has been dead for 10 years. Here’s a little flashback of Cas for those of you who remember him:

Just to think Cas was going to jail all that time, just to get the publicity.

But after all, as Cas always said:

Nobody Can Beat My Meat

You tell ‘em Cas!

– Go Figure …

Images Courtesy of: The Ole Coon Hunter – Cas Walker
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