Posts Tagged ‘Great Games’

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The Great Games | Gate21.net


Buy Celebrex Without Prescription, Last year, during the off-season, I began a series on the Great Games played by the Tennessee Volunteers football team over the many years as seen through my eyes.  As I am wont to do, I seem to have lost my focus and have not exactly done a capital job of keep that series going.  Imagine that.


Since the off-season is once again upon us—paired with the fact that I have been coming up pretty spare in terms of ideas lately—I’ve decided it is time to once again take a walk down memory lane and re-live some of the greatest games in Tennessee history.  For those of you who missed the 2008 installments of this series, here are the ones I’ve covered thus far:


In addition to my list, Will, one of the sages over at RTT has been counting down the top-50 games of the Phillip Fulmer era in grand style.  Predictably, some of his favorites are on my list as well.  Trust me, his list is worth a look (and is far better researched, far more thoughtful, far better written, and … well … just far better than my little foray into the ghosts of games past).  Since I don’t want to be accused of stealing his thunder, I will be citing to his accounts of his favorite games liberally.


In fairness, it might be best to just skip this article altogether and just go read his work.  Lord knows I would but for the fact that I have to write it…



22 November 1997


Tennessee Football vs. Kentucky Football


(5) Tennessee 59 •    Kentucky 31


Commonwealth Stadium  •  Lexington, Kentucky



Some folks might think I am crazy for including the 22 November 1997 contest between Tennessee and the Kentucky Wildcats on my list of great games.  I can understand why they might question my thoughts on this (or my sanity).  This game was anything but a flawless game for the Vols and was hardly the Tennessee defense’s finest hour.  In fact, Celebrex samples, the game as a whole was pretty darn sloppy, Celebrex no rx, as was the weather.  Still, for reasons which I will attempt to explain (a feat I will likely fail utterly to accomplish), this game still ranks as one of the great games in Tennessee football history.  The short answer as to why can be summed up in two words:


Peyton Manning


I make no bones about it.  I am a huge fan of the guy  who wore No, Celebrex forum. 16 for the Vols from 1994 to 1998.  As many have pointed out, Buy Celebrex no prescription, both Andy Kelly (1989-91) and Heath Shuler (1991-93) could—in their own right—claim to be the greatest Vol quarterback in the history of the program during the time they wore an orange shirt.  Then, starting only a few snaps into the 1994 game against the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl, everyone in Orange Nation began the process of forgetting everything they ever knew about quarterbacks at Tennessee, Celebrex dose, as true freshman Peyton Manning took the reins from senior Jerry Colquitt, Cheap Celebrex, who quite tragically (and downright depressingly) suffered a career-ending injury in the first series of his first start at quarterback.


The rest, as they say, is history…



Part of the reason I am such a huge Manning fan, Celebrex australia, uk, us, usa, I suppose, Online buy Celebrex without a prescription, owes to the fact that his first game was my first game as a student at UT.  That sort of direct connection makes it easy for me to identify with his career in a way which surpasses most—if not all—other Vol footballers.  I guess those were my four years too.  Of course there is no mention in the official record of the games those four seasons mentioning this fact.  I suppose that was just an oversight by Tennessee’s capable staff of statisticians.  Go figure…


At any rate, by 1997, Manning was a senior and had already achieved legendary status in the minds of many of the Big Orange faithful through his exploits both on and off the field, buy cheap Celebrex no rx, which included breaking almost every single record worth keeping track of and turning down a big paycheck from the NFL in the interest of returning to Neyland Stadium for his senior year.

Video: Vol Network Tribute to Peyton Manning (1997)



By the time time that the Kentucky game rolled around, Buy cheap Celebrex, the No. 5-ranked Vols were 8–1 and—despite having suffered an abysmal 33-20 loss to the Florida Gators—still had a chance to finish the year with an SEC-Eastern Division title (thanks in no small part to the Georgia Bulldogs’ and LSU Tigers’ victories over the Gators).  In other words, the Vols were in control of their own destiny.


With only Kentucky and the Vanderbilt Commodores remaining on the regular season schedule, rx free Celebrex, most Vol fans—myself included—naively assumed that the deal was already done.  The Vols would collect their final two victories and advance to the SEC Championship game without much difficulty.  Well, Celebrex mg, friends and neighbors, we were wrong.


Each of the last two games that season were down-to-the-wire events which left many a well-wrung hand in Big Orange Country and no doubt took years off of the lives of many.


[caption id="attachment_3333" align="alignright" width="128" caption="Hal Mumme's hair taunts you..."]Hal Mumme's hair taunts you...[/caption]

In 1997, the Kentucky Wildcats were coached by Hal Mumme.  For those of you who don’t remember Mumme (or were not around, Celebrex no prescription, paying attention, Celebrex class, or sober enough to be able to remember him) Mumme was a bit of a sensation in this era.  His new-look “Air Raid”  offense (which is now the trademark of coaches like Mike Leach) had turned the SEC on its head with its seemingly ridiculous effectiveness.  Furthermore, Mumme’s trademark was his willingness to take huge gambles which flew in the face of conventional football wisdom.  Of course, you kind of have to give Mumme a pass on that one.  I mean, purchase Celebrex online, it was Kentucky…


Early in his time at Kentucky, What is Celebrex, some felt that Mumme’s style of play was little more than smoke and mirrors which, when tested, would lead to complete collapse.  As Mike DuBose and the Alabama Crimson Tide, where to buy Celebrex, among others, Celebrex without prescription, learned that was not always the case.  Sometimes it worked … sometimes.  Kentucky under Mumme was a no-holds-barred offensive machine with a remarkably simple philosophy: outscore your opponent.  To Hal Mumme, defense was a neat idea, but scoring was the key to winning.  And score they did.


Led by gun slinging phenom Tim Couch, buy Celebrex online cod, the Wildcats put up gaudy offensive numbers against their opponents.  On the other hand—while the record book leaves this somewhat open to debate—they apparently fielded no defense of any kind whatsoever.  Still, Where can i find Celebrex online, they won more games than most probably expected them to, and obviously believed that they had a chance to beat the Vols in the “Border Battle” for the first time in 13 years and re-claim the, now sadly bygone, buy Celebrex without prescription, Beer Barrel Trophy.  At 5-5, Celebrex images, this game was going to be Kentucky’s bowl game.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="227" caption="The Beer Barrel Trophy, now sadly a thing of the past"]Beer-Barrel-Trophy[/caption]

Still, most of the Vol fans that rolled into Commonwealth Stadium on that November Saturday in 1997 had no idea what they were in for…


By that point in time, Celebrex over the counter, I had come to expect three absolute certainties from Tennessee / Kentucky match-ups:


  • It is always freezing cold;



  • Some form of precipitation always falls at some point during the game; and



  • Tennessee always beats Kentucky handily in a semi-lackluster display which really leaves you wishing you had watched the game on television rather than freezing yourself to death for four hours.


As it turns out, Australia, uk, us, usa, I got the first two right.  I was pretty far off though when it came to the last one.


It was—predictably—cold, rainy, and windy that afternoon in Lexington.  Hence, Celebrex pictures, after consuming my semi-edible “box ‘o lunch” I was not all that excited about getting off the bus and trudging into the stadium with the rest of the Pride of the Southland.  Part of this was due to my belief that the game would be the typical Tennessee / Kentucky snooze-fest after the first quarter.  The rest was due to the fact that I was sick as a dog.  I had caught a cold as a result of the frigid temperatures at the contest against the Arkansas Razorbacks the previous week in Little Rock (that one was played at War Memorial Stadium).  Over the week, Purchase Celebrex, I had done what any normal college student does—I completely ignored the fact that I was sick.  I would repeat this same routine during the week after the Kentucky game.  As a result, immediately after marching my final home game as a member of the Pride of the Southland the following week versus the Vanderbilt Commodores, I got to make a lovely visit to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with pneumonia.  I guess that is why I had such a hard time hitting the high notes in “March on Mighty Vols, Celebrex coupon,” or maybe I was just a really crappy trombone player.


I digress…


After kickoff, Celebrex interactions, Kentucky scored on their opening possession on a 37-yard pass from Tim Couch to Derek Homer, but the Vols responded with 17 unanswered points in the form of a field goal by Jeff Hall, and two passing touchdowns from Peyton Manning—the first to Marcus Nash and the second Andy McCullough.  Advantage to the Big Orange.


Then, Celebrex use, in the second quarter, Discount Celebrex, the Wildcats came battling back scoring two more touchdowns.  The first came in the form of a short pass from Tim Couch to Kio Sanford who proceeded to trot 87-yards to paydirt—then the second-longest play in Kentucky history.  The second was a rushing touchdown—that’s right, I said rushing touchdown—by Anthony White (of course it was only a 3-yard run, but hey, Celebrex wiki, that was a lot for them back then).  Meanwhile, Celebrex treatment, Tennessee only managed one, this time in the form of a 66-yard pass from Manning to Nash.  At halftime, the score was annoyingly close from my perspective with Tennessee leading 24-21.


Still, Celebrex trusted pharmacy reviews, in my oxygen deprived mind (See discussion of pneumonia above) I imagined that the Vols would come out and score quickly in the third quarter.  At that point I presumed things would follow their normal course: 35, Celebrex overnight, 000 Kentucky fans would unceremoniously leave the stadium about four minutes into the second half, and the Wildcats would start putting more serious effort into losing.  Mainly, I was beginning to question whether the Great Punkin had been drinking some of Mumme’s Kool Aid, where can i buy cheapest Celebrex online, opting not to field a defense.  While the offensive fireworks for the Vols had been impressive, Online Celebrex without a prescription, the defense had been less than outstanding.  More than anything, I just wanted the Vols to put the game away.


The Vols, in fact were apparently tired of all of this mucking about in the cold and finally decided to take charge.  Led by Peyton Manning (as if it would have been anyone else at that point in Tennessee history), Celebrex recreational, the Vols started running on all cylinders.  First, Comprar en línea Celebrex, comprar Celebrex baratos, Jamal Lewis snagged a short pass out of the backfield and went chooglin’ down a wide-open sideline 50 yards for a touchdown.  Hal Mumme, however was undeterred—that defense stuff was little more than a trifling thing.


After all, the score was only 31-21…for the moment.


Less than eight minutes later, doses Celebrex work, Lewis again scampered into the endzone on a one-yard run.  Tennessee 38, Buy Celebrex without a prescription, Kentucky 21.  Still, Mumme, his pretty hair, and his trademark towel around the neck laughed at the Vols and their silly win by having more points when time expired theory.  Thus, with just under 2:30 minutes to go in the quarter Manning fired a 31-yard pass to Marcus Nash who made a beautiful over the shoulder grab to give the Vols yet another score.  Tennessee’s 21 point onslaught in the third quarter was met with Kentucky’s lone field goal.


End of the third: Tennessee 45, Kentucky 24.


At that point, I figured the show was over and everyone would start settling back to ride out the clock.  Once again, I was wrong.


Tennessee would add two more touchdowns—both credited to Jamal Lewis—in the final period of the game, mainly—I believe—to give Kentucky the back of the hand after the Wildcats managed another trip into the endzone late in the game.  When the proverbial fat lady sang, the scoreboard spoke loudly:


Final score: Tennessee 59, Kentucky 31.


What the scoreboard could not convey, however, was the sense that at all times during the game, it seemed that Kentucky might just steal the game away—yes, including when Tennessee stretched the lead to 28 points.  There are “wide-open” games and then there are “free-for-alls.”  This game falls under the latter category.  For folks who like watching high-powered offenses do their thing, there could hardly have been a better game to watch.  For fans of the defensive game … well … I think there may have been a special on humpback whales on PBS that afternoon.


You don’t have to take my word for it, though, the stats speak volumes.


Peyton Manning threw for five touchdowns and 545 yards—an all-time record at Tennessee—while Tim Couch threw for 476 yards.  That is a total of 1,021 yards passing—which is simply unbelievable.  The most telling statistic, however, lies in the interceptions column: Manning 0, Couch 3.  Without those takeaways, Tennessee likely ends up in a much closer contest fighting down to the wire.  Especially considering that the Vols fumbled the ball twice.


Of course, Manning was not the only person with a banner day.  In fact, he was but one of many.  Marcus Nash had seven receptions for 195 yards (which still ranks in the top-10 single game performances) and three touchdowns, while Jamal Lewis had 21 carries for 128 yards (avg. of 6 yards per carry),  three receptions for 96 yards (avg. of 32 yards per reception) and scored four touchdowns.  Hell, even Jermaine Copeland had seven receptions for 72 yards.


In the end, about every offensive record possible was tested that day by the Vols.  The defensive side of the game—with the exception of the three interceptions and four sacks—however, was far less memorable.


Still, in the end, this game was an offensive clinic by both Tennessee and Kentucky.  The final score really does not do the game justice.  It was anything but the “typical” Kentucky game and—all things considered—made sitting through a detestably cold rain with a burgeoning case of the plague worth it, at least for me.


Exciting, it was, thus it’s one of my great games…


-- So it goes…About Lawvol



Hal Mumme Image Courtesy ofSmart Football
.

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Flashback: The Great Games — The 1996 Citrus Bowl

Flashback

The Great Games | Gate21.net

1995-96 CompUSA Citrus Bowl

(1 January 1996)

Tennessee Football vs. FB-OhioState[1]

Tennessee 20 Ohio State 14

Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium

Continuing on with 1995, after beating Bama soundly and ending the 10-year drought against the Crimson Tide, the Tennessee Volunteers finished out their regular season at 10-1. Their only loss coming at the hands of the Florida Gators in a 62-37 drubbing which tarnishes the 1995 team’s otherwise exemplary record. Tennessee finished the season ranked 4th, but in the days of the so-called Bowl Alliance, the "premier" bowls were reserved only for conference champions, thus, Tennessee received a bid to the "first outside the money" CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl to take on the similarly situated Ohio State Buckeyes, who lost their last game of the season against arch-rival Michigan, and with it the Big 11 10 title, and ended the seasons ranked ... uhh ... 4th also.

1996 Florida Citrus Bowl

Cover from the Official 1996 Citrus Bowl Program. Ohio State later sued the bowl committee for omitting "THE" (in all caps and 72 pt font) from their name -- the matter was ultimately resolved in a settlement whereby Ohio State received a case of oranges and an autographed photo of Mickey Mouse.

The fact of the matter remains, no matter what either school would claim publicly, neither Tennessee nor Ohio State wanted to be in Orlando on New Year’s Day. Both had completed 1-loss seasons, and both came within a half of playing for the National Championship or, at a minimum, playing in one of the top-tier Alliance Bowls. Ohio State wanted to be in Pasadena and Tennessee in New Orleans or Tempe. Regardless of what they wanted, they were set to play one another in a game which -- in my book -- ranks as one of the best bowl games I’ve ever watched in person or on television.

Ohio State came in smarting from the late season wrench Michigan had thrown into their "destiny" to play in the Rose Bowl. Despite this failing, Ohio State running back Eddie George had won the Heisman Trophy only weeks before the game in Orlando -- which made them feel a whole lot better about having their entire season implode in Ann Arbor -- as it did so regularly under then coach John Cooper.

Tennessee on the other hand, found itself on the outside looking in as Florida waltzed into a date with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Fiesta Bowl. In retrospect, however, Tennessee is probably glad it didn’t make the trip to Tempe, since Florida took it the hard-way in a 62-24 slobberknocking by Nebraska, which led Steve Spurrier to ask in a halftime interview, "Can someone ask that scary man with no facial expressions and his corn-fed boys to stop hurting us. Please... "** Still, at the time Tennessee was highly disappointed at being left out of the big one, and all they had gotten to make them feel better was a few free passes to Disney World courtesy of the bowl committee.

By the time the teams, fans, alums, bands, and hangers-on arrived in Orlando, both had several weeks simmer and let the bowl slight fester.

One thing that became immediately apparent to me when I arrived in Orlando was that many Ohio State fans had very little respect for Tennessee. Now this is not meant as an indictment of the entirety of the Buckeye Nation, but at the time it seemed that Ohio State not only felt that they had been slighted in terms of bowls, but also in terms of opponents. In the interest of full disclosure, it is worth mentioning that my better half is an Ohio State graduate and -- when not playing Tennessee -- I pull for the Buckeyes. Still, at the time, in all of my interactions with Buckeye fans during the run-up to the New Years Day game, it seemed that Ohio State was assuming that they would simply show-up and beat Tennessee handily.

In all honesty, at the time, I thought they might be right...

Tennessee had turned the early-season disappointment of getting absolutely slaughtered in the second-half at Gainesville versus the Gators (which is right near the top of my all-time least favorite games), into something really special. Still, there was a lot of uncertainty about how the Vols speed would match up with the strength and running ability of the Buckeyes (where have I heard that one before?). While I was never one to open doubt that team, in my mind, I felt there was a distinct possibility that Tennessee could lose ... and badly.

There was so much going on that week, in preparation for the game, that I didn't have too much time to worry about it ...

If you’ve never been to a game, you really should go, at least once. They can be one hell of a lot of fun, and are wonderful experiences. I must say, despite the misgivings surrounding the 1996 Citrus Bowl, it is (and remains) one of the best run bowls anywhere. Regardless of whether Tennessee and Ohio State thought they deserved to go elsewhere, the City of Orlando really knows how to host events, and they do a bang-up job when it comes to the Citrus Bowl (now known as the CapitalOne Bowl). There are more events, parades, parties, pep-rallies, and so forth than you could possibly attend (unless you actually have to play Rocky Top till you’re blue in the face at each one, that is). In the days leading up to the game, I had a blast ...

... at least that’s what everyone tells me.

At any rate, after several beautiful sunny days in the high 70’s, New Year’s Day arrived, and the weather that day -- more or less -- reflected the physical and mental states of many who had "Given Their All for Tennessee" in the New Year’s Eve Debauchery category. It was foul. The temperature had dropped, and it rained incessantly throughout the 12 hours leading up to the game. By the time I arrived at the Citrus Bowl, along with 350 of my dear friends (the Pride of the Southland Marching Band) it had already been determined that the bands would not be permitted to perform their pre-game shows as planned, because the field -- just like those New Year’s partiers -- just wasn’t up to it.

So, there we sat -- all 70,000 football fans, clad in Orange or Red Ponchos -- in the rain, waiting for the mud to start flying...

The game started and Ohio State scored first, taking a 7-point lead over the Vols, in the first quarter, who were really unable to get things going on the offensive side of the ball. During this time, every time the Buckeyes had the ball all that could be heard was a constant chant from the Buckeyes of "Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die!!!" which, got old real fast for Tennessee fans. I also thought that the other 10 guys on offense for Ohio State -- out there busting their hump as a team -- were probably getting tired of it as well.

Then, in the second quarter, Ohio State drove down inside the 5, and looked as if they might add to their lead, putting Tennessee even farther behind. The Tennessee defense, however, held, and Ohio State was faced with 4 and goal. Rather than kick the field goal, the Buckeyes chose to try and run it in on the legs of "Ed-die" and put the game out of reach for the Vols. When the snap came, however, it was Tennessee’s Bill Duff who grabbed the spotlight -- and the momentum in the game -- as he clotheslined "Ed-die" a good yard behind the line of scrimmage and trounced him down to the grass.

At that moment, the entire complexion of the game shifted, and Tennessee began to stretch its legs...

Soon thereafter, Tennessee was on the board with as Jay Graham rumbled 69 yards to knot the score at 7. Peyton Manning added to that in the third-quarter, and Jeff Hall sealed the deal with two field goals in the fourth. Here’s John Ward (along with Fred Thompson) with the highlights:

As for "Ed-die," the Heisman trophy winner was held to a season-low 89 yards rushing, and was effectively stopped from the second quarter on. In an altogether more humorous note, after the Tennessee defense stopped him on the 2 yard line, the crowds shifted and it was the Tennessee fans who started chanting "Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die!!!" which ended up being even louder than the Ohio State fans, and far more exuberant.

To their credit, however, the Buckeyes bowed their backs and fought to the very last. In the end, however, it was Tennessee’s tenacity on defense which won the day, as they fought down to the wire to keep the Buckeyes from finding the endzone again, and potentially stealing the game away. Until the final second was off the clock, the game was never a sure thing for either team.

Final Score Tennessee 20, Ohio State 14.

ohiost95paper[1]

The win over Ohio State was one of the hardest fought victories against long odds that I ever personally witnessed the Vols record. Finishing the season 11-1, propelled the Vols to final ranking of No. 3 in the AP Poll and a No. 2 ranking in the final coaches poll -- ahead of Florida. That final ranking made the Citrus Bowl seem like quite a prize indeed, and looked far better than the beating that the Gators took in the desert of Arizona.

After all, Orange juice tastes much better than Cactus juice ...

-- Go Figure …


** The quote from Steve Spurrier is complete bullshit, but I would have given real money to hear him say that.
Images Courtesy of: UTSports.com • The VIB

Flashback: The Great Games — Alabama 1995

Flashback

The Great Games | Gate21.net

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.

I always referred to Legion Field as "Gray Lady Down Stadium," because it had a remarkable resemblance to a WWII vintage US battleship sunk into the ground up to its gunwales, with the exception of its hood-ornament. This was shortly after the Mercedes-Benz plant had opened in Alabama and, as a result, the stadium was festooned with an obscenely large Mercedes hood-ornament over the scoreboard in what I think was the South Endzone. It was probably somewhere between 30 and 50 feet high (and according to the New York Times weighed 5600 pounds). Apparently, the locals liked to refer to the stadium as "The Mercedes Benz of College Football" -- I always thought it was more in the class of "The 1977 AMC Eagle with Bondo Fenders and a Cracked Engine Block of College Football," but that was just me.

Mercedes Benz Symbol vs. The AMC of College Football

Mercedes or AMC? You decide.

A few years later, the hood-ornament disappeared from the stadium after Logan Young stole it and had it made into a necklace which he gave to Albert Means in return for Means agreeing to play for the Tide.**

Good Old Logan Young ... Good Times

Many people also think the area around the stadium is also a little rough. I have always felt this is an unfair characterization. In 1995 it wasn’t a little rough -- it was like stepping into Dresden after the Air Force carpet bombed it for several months. Think Baghdad, but without the "local color." I’m not trying to be pissy toward the Bammers, but I have never understood why in the name of God the Tide chose to play at Legion Field when they have a great facility in Bryant-Denny Stadium situated on campus in Tuscaloosa. Fortunately, since 2003 all Alabama home games have been played at Bryant-Denny since Legion Field was declared partially unsafe and the upper deck was demolished.

Moving right along...

On that particular Third Saturday in October, I sat on about the 10th row of the North Endzone because I was in the Pride of the Southland. I had a friend who had decided that it was unlucky for him to actually watch the game since everytime he watched Tennessee lost. Thus, he resolved that he would sit in the stands facing away from the field. It was funny, until the game started, and after the first play from scrimmage, everyone in my section decided he was absolutely right and forcibly restrained him from turning around for the next 4 quarters.

Tennessee got the ball on the 20 due to the touchback, and the offense came up to the line to get things going, then this happened (Ron Franklin with the call):

I can still remember watching Joey Kent running straight toward me, and thinking that I must be dreaming. When I saw the referee’s arms go up, however, I knew it was for real. Tennessee scored on the opening play, and never let up the entire night.

It was less than 11 seconds into the game and -- truthfully -- it was over ...

Bama never came back, and never really even made it a game. Tennessee went on to rack up 41 points that night, including a touchdown off of Peyton Manning’s beautifully executed bootleg ...

... and another off of a fabulous run by Jay Graham to put the game away.

The 1995 Alabama game was literally a virtual highlight reel as the Vols absolutely pounded the Tide and found themselves back in the saddle again -- finally scratching that 10 year-itch

bama95paper[1]

I can honestly say that the 1995 Tennessee-Alabama game was one of the most electrifying displays that I have ever seen from a Tennessee team. That night was truly memorable.

In my own way, I did my part to let loose on the Crimson Tide that night as well. More accurately, I actually "let loose a Crimson Tide." At halftime, I got hit in the mouth by a cymbal as the Pride of the Southland performed the 1995 iteration of the Circle Drill. I swallowed about 5 inches of my horn (hey now, no comments from the peanut gallery) and managed to bash both of my lips into a bloody pulp. I finished the show (pretending to play as I bled like a stuck pig), but by the time I came off the field, my once white glove and the front of my uniform were covered with blood. I ended up being unable to play for almost 2 weeks after that little crunch, and I still have scars in my mouth from that one...

... but you know what, it was worth it.

-- Go Figure …


** The bit about Logan Young stealing the Mercedes symbol is, of course, complete bullshit, but you believed it for a second, didn't you?
Images Courtesy of: The VIB ESPN.com Cascade Ramblers
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