Posts Tagged ‘Heath Shuler’
Buy Periactin Without Prescription, It pretty much goes without saying that Jonathan Crompton’s journey as the Tennessee Volunteers’ quarterback been a long and arduous one. This Saturday, that journey moves one step closer to ending.
This weekend’s contest against Vanderbilt will be Crompton’s final home game for the orange and white and will be his one last chance to show the denizens of Neyland Stadium just how committed he has been to the fortunes of Tennessee football, how dedicated he has been to success as both a player and a leader, how much he has worked to become someone the Vols and their fans could be proud of.
It also represents the last time—perhaps the only time—for Tennessee fans of every stripe to show him just how much they appreciate him for what he has done.
Image via Wikipedia
Thus, I hope that all of you who make the trek to the game on Saturday will consider doing a little something special to show Crompton that we as the Vol Nation do appreciate his hard work, his effort, and his loyalty to the University of Tennessee.
I think it is the least that we as a fanbase can do.
In recognition of this, a special group has been formed on Facebook to celebrate Crompton’s contribution to Tennessee Football and to hopefully do a little something special for him on the Vol Walk this weekend.
For those of you out there who don’t recall, Crompton received death threats last season due to the Vols’ implosion. Then, early this season, there were many who, again, questioned his abilities (including yours truly, I’m sad to say) and openly called for Lane Kiffin to bench the Vol senior in favor of reserve quarterback Nick Stephens. This ignores the furor on the various chat boards. This young man had to endure all of this while still trying to work toward winning games. To Lane Kiffin’s credit, he stuck to his guns and was proven to have made a smart decision when Crompton had his coming out party against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Jonathan Crompton has played under four different offensive systems, and has had to re-learn everything throughout his entire time at Tennessee. Yet, rather than complain or just give up, Crompton stuck it out despite his doubters. He kept working, kept trying, kept pushing to be better. Even though it probably took him a bit longer than he wished it had, he finally found that success that had so eluded him. What’s more, in the process of attaining his goal, he gave the new era of Tennessee Football a fighting chance for respectability in its first year.
Despite his successes this season, it is doubtful that Jonathan Crompton will ever be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks to wear the orange. With names like Peyton Manning, Andy Kelly, and Heath Shuler in the lineage, that is understandable. Still, in many ways, Crompton has shown more determination, more perseverance, and more heart than any Tennessee quarterback in the modern era.
I think that means something.
Thus, I encourage all of you to not only join the Facebook group honoring Crompton’s contribution to Tennessee Football, but to also maybe do a little something on your own this Saturday as he makes his final Vol Walk toward Neyland Stadium—maybe a sign, maybe a salute, maybe a kind word.
In light of the events of the past week and the misdeeds of some of the Volunteers, I think Crompton’s type of dedication and sacrifice stands out all the more.
All I can do is to say that I am proud that Crompton wore the orange…
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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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Toprol XL For Sale, In case you hadn’t heard, the United States Congress has been hard at work lately—tackling the hard-hitting issues that our country is facing. Our representatives in the House have been addressing monumental concerns impacting the daily lives of all Americans far and wide. What, you might ask, is the single most important question in the minds of Representatives Joe Barton (R-TX), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) and Mike Simpson (R-ID)?
Whether the BCS / Bowl system for determining NCAA football championships needs to be replaced by a playoff system.
As a result, these congressmen introduced a House Resolution in April seeking to have the United States Congress and the United States Department of Justice investigate the Bowl Championship Series. In particular, this obscenely overstated meaningful legislation resolves that the House of Representatives:
(1) rejects the BCS system as an illegal restraint of trade that violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;
(2) demands the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigate and bring appropriate action to have the BCS system declared illegal and require a playoff to determine a national champion; and
(3) supports the establishment of an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Championship playoff system in the interest of fairness and to bring parity to all NCAA teams.
• 111th Congress, House Resolution 68
Heavy stuff, online buying Toprol XL, Toprol XL schedule, that…
As a result of the tireless grandstanding efforts of these shameless self-promoters champions of the common man, the Subcommittee on Commerce, where can i find Toprol XL online, Toprol XL gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Trade and Consumer Protection held hearings this past week to look into the actions of the BCS in hopes of determining whether something nefarious is afoot. This included taking testimony from: John Swofford (Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series), Craig Thompson (Commissioner of the Mountain West Conference), Toprol XL from mexico, No prescription Toprol XL online, Derrick Fox (President and CEO of the Valero Alamo Bowl), and Gene Bleymaier (Athletic Director of Boise State University).
For those of you out there that hate yourselves, Toprol XL dosage, Toprol XL class, you can view a streaming video of the entire hearing through the committee website. Note: Apparently the Congressional muckety-mucks are too busy to hire someone schooled in the basic art of video editing. Thus, you will want to fast forward to approximately 19:45 to view the hearing (that is, buy Toprol XL without a prescription, Order Toprol XL online c.o.d, unless you just enjoy watching a blank screen for almost 20 minutes).
During the hearing, the Committee specifically looked into whether the BCS amounted to a monopoly, purchase Toprol XL online no prescription, Online buying Toprol XL hcl, running afoul of federal anti-trust provisions. With the great all-encompassing seriousness that can only come from the stuffed shirts of Congress and with the aire of the Watergate hearings, the committee set about digging deep into the bowels of college football’s deep dark secret. Having watched some of the video of the hearing, Toprol XL results, Where to buy Toprol XL, it was obvious, in the minds of some of the assembled officials, Toprol XL overnight, Generic Toprol XL, that they felt the very sanctity of our American Republic hung precariously in the balance.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the idea of a college football playoff, Toprol XL price, Toprol XL street price, in fact I would gladly support such a system—so long as it is fair. The disdain that is oozing from this article comes not from my opposition to the notion that college football needs a playoff, but rather from the nauseating belief by those in Congress that they are the answer to this problem. Oh yeah, Toprol XL canada, mexico, india, Real brand Toprol XL online, there is also the minor fact that the entire nation is passed out from the H1N1 flu in the economic toilet of the world with chunks of last night’s General Motors and Wall Street flavored hot dog still clinging to its mouth while these clueless egomaniacs are wasting their time trying to determine how we end our football seasons.
I’d love to sit around in a fancy conference room with hospitality service and get paid to talk football all day as much as the next guy, there’s no denying that. The thought that our Congressional leaders have nothing better to do than just that, Toprol XL samples, Toprol XL coupon, is more than a little bothersome. The fact that they can do it with a straight face while purporting to represent the best interests of their constituents, makes me think of three words: “explosive projectile vomiting.” I suppose that this sentiment is precisely what led CBS Sports.com’s Dennis Dodd to note that “Retching is common for these kinds of mundane Capitol Hill gatherings.”
To me, discount Toprol XL, Toprol XL without a prescription, how we crown our college football national champions football is an important question. Of course, I’m a person who dedicates an inordinate amount of time, buying Toprol XL online over the counter, Toprol XL pictures, money, and effort into writing about college football, Toprol XL wiki, Toprol XL pics, so I’m not sure that really matters all that much. The fact remains, however, comprar en línea Toprol XL, comprar Toprol XL baratos, Toprol XL images, that Congress has no business trying to legislate the fundamental structure of the college football season. Now, as a lawyer, rx free Toprol XL, Toprol XL dangers, I am not saying they lack the Constitutional authority to do so (although some legal minds do question whether that is the case), but rather as a citizen of the United States and a football fan I am loudly declaring that they have no business trying to do so.
The reasons that Congress has no business interjecting itself into the BCS vs, Toprol XL interactions. Fast shipping Toprol XL, playoff debate is multi-faceted. First, I don’t personally trust the Congress that was charged with safeguarding the American financial markets to have any clue how the college football season should or should not end. This is especially true given the fact that one of its champions is none other than Representative Joe Barton who—based upon the video of the hearings—apparently cannot even learn to pronounce the names of the witnesses correctly despite the fact that they have their names printed—in letters the size of the Empire State Building—on a name card directly in front of them. Barton, Toprol XL mg, Cheap Toprol XL, seething bolt of reform that he is (at least in his mind), however believes that he has the answer to the problem: make the BCS quit billing itself as the "National Championship" game.
Yep, after Toprol XL, What is Toprol XL, that’ll fix it. We don’t need a playoff, we just need to change what we call the one we currently have. This coming from a man who also stated that the BCS was “communist.” I’m not so sure that Barton could even academically qualify to play sports with that kind of white-hot intellect. What a typical Washington whitewash that would be: don’t solve the problem, Toprol XL over the counter, Toprol XL maximum dosage, just make it look a little different and smile for the cameras. I guess this is to be expected, however, considering that this band of blowhards immortals in Congress didn’t even bother to include other current or former congressmen who might actually know a thing or two about college football such as former congressman Steve Largent (R-OK) or Representative (and former Tennessee Volunteer) Heath Shuler (D-NC) to name a few.
More fundamentally than their lack of ability, Congress has no business in this arena because—as I mentioned above—there are an alarming number of “real” issues facing our country at the moment, and it would be nice to know that the Congress is not asleep at the wheel like it was for the last … oh … 30-40 years. God forbid that Congress actually do some real work on issues that might actually make the lives of regular Americans a little better, maybe even improving their economic situation a bit so that they don’t have to search night and day for a job just to make ends meet. Maybe working towards the return of the day when folks can find a decent paycheck so they can afford to enjoy life a little bit by taking the weekend off to go see a real football game in person and, likely as not, catch the swine flu along with 80,000 other people due to some idiot in the box seats who “just thought it was a case of the sniffles.”
I guess that would be a little too much to ask.
The fact that the reaction to these congressional antics have been so uniformly negative is hardly surprising. This sort of media-whoring by elected officials is precisely why most Americans lack faith that the government will ever get anything right. Not that Barton, Abercrombie and come-lately compatriot Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are deterred—that just shows the underlying conspiracy. What do you expect from a pig, but a grunt?
Now, I am not meaning to impugn all elected officials in this tirade—there are some fine men and women who serve this country admirably as members of the government. With those individuals—on both sides of the aisle—who follow their convictions and the good-sense that God gave them, I have no quarrel. Just like it is with my chosen profession (shysters a/k/a “attorneys”), I suppose a few bad apples spoil the lot.
In the end, these are not political issues. These are not Red or Blue (state) issues. In the end, the game must right itself. No amount of Congressional interference will correct things—it can only make things worse (although, in fairness, I would support having former Senator Fred Thompson as the commissioner of everything football related, just because he can make anything just sound so damn cool). The perpetual camera-jockeying of the egos on Capitol Hill only complicate matters and take away from the beautiful agony that is college football.
All of these shenanigans really boil down to the reality that football needs to fix its problems before some idiot in Washington screws the whole thing up.
In the meantime, the Surgeon General needs to seriously consider putting a big warning on the foreheads of some members of Congress:
“Warning: excessive exposure may cause permanent and irreversible loss of lunch, bladder control, and the will to live…”
Note: If you'd like to send a message to any of the active members of Congress mentioned in this article (especially Joe Barton), simply click the hyperlink associated with their names above, which will take you to their "official" congressional websites.
Don't mince words on my account...
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This Week's Roundtable is hosted by: Fulmer's Belly
The Off-Season is a Conspiracy
This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Fulmer's Belly who has offered questions of real substance -- questions which seek insight and analysis. That pretty much means I'll be bringing up the rear. Thus, it would probably be best if you just skipped my responses and clicked on the links to the other roundtablers below.
If you are nonetheless determined to waste your time reading my prattling -- losing moments of your life, your lunch, and perhaps your will to live -- here are my thoughts for the week
(Questions in Sort-o-Teal-like color)
1) Knock on wood before answering this question, but let’s assume that Jonathan Crompton goes out with a season ending injury in the 1st half of the first game of the season. Should we just pack it up and wait until next season, or is there a glimmer of hope in any of the young backups?
First of all, I don't want to hear any more of this Communist "injury" talk. I'm having questions about your loyalty ...
That said, assuming the awful were to happen, I agree with the collective brain trust, that losing a single player does not mean that it is time to give up on the 2008 season. Even the loss of a quarterback doesn't necessarily spell disaster.
If you remember, back in 1994 the Vols lost starting senior quarterback Jerry Colquitt on the seventh play of the season versus UCLA. The only other quarterbacks on the squad that year were two true freshmen -- Branndon Stewart and some guy named Manning.
Of course, despite his stellar career at Tennessee, even Peyton only managed a 8-4 (SEC 5-3) season. Still, there was a lot of fight left in the 1994 Vols after the loss of Colquitt.
Similarly, we wouldn't currently have any idea what Jonathan Crompton is capable of had it not been for him standing in for Erik Ainge during the 2006 season.
I feel certain that the Vols would manage to finish strong and do everyone proud without Crompton, after all -- on paper -- neither B.J. Coleman nor Nick Stephens are exactly slouches. Furthermore, unlike Manning in 1994, both have had some time to actually learn the offense.
Bearing all of that in mind, I think the loss of Crompton early in the season would likely result in losses at both Florida and Auburn simply due to the need for the new quarterback to get up to speed.
So, I guess my answer is that the Vols would be "okay" but would probably not put up numbers for the record book.
2) Does Erik Ainge have a future in the NFL?
With no disrespect to Ainge, I have never really seen him as a successful NFL quarterback. I simply don't think that Ainge has the flexibility that a quarterback is required to demonstrate to combat the defenses of the NFL. He is a reasonably solid pocket passer, but has limited mobility -- which is not necessarily a killer with most teams in the NFL. He does, however, have the good sense to get rid of the ball when there is no one to throw to -- a fact borne out by the NCAA record of only 4 sacks over the course of the season.
In the end, after getting injured versus Notre Dame, Ainge never really seemed to have the spark that made him seem so great during his freshman year. After that point, Ainge seemed to be a basically an average above-average quarterback. He was efficient, he was capable, he was reliable -- he was not exceptional. Unfortunately, that exceptional ability is usually required to compete in NFL.
3) Why in the hell did you decide to blog about Tennessee football? Aren’t there already enough Tennessee blogs?
Well, that's a tough question to answer considering that I more or less started the Gate on a whim. I had previously tried a little blogging on other more "serious" topics, but none of those ever amounted to anything because they required intelligent thought and at least a limited amount of skill. Thus, I started this little project mainly because I figured it would be a good way to waste time, besides it was cheaper than drugs.
As for why I blog about Tennessee? Well, the reality is that Tennessee is the only team I really follow in any meaningful way. I also live in the bowels of ACC country, which is ... well ... sickening, and blogging about Tennessee and the SEC helps control the nausea.
I suppose I could start a blog on animal husbandry, navel lint, or really stupid things I've done in life. I suppose I could even write one of those "life blogs" where I tell the entire world about my daily life, but I am really a boring person and who the hell really cares how many times I went to the bathroom today and all of the people I'd like to kill.
I have no intention of ever trying to be a "stats" guy because I can barely add -- that is why I am a lawyer. I also have no desire to try and be a "traditional" sports writer. First of all, I live nearly seven hours from the home of the team I write about, which makes it a little difficult for me to actually report on a game I didn't even attend. Besides that's what all the mainstream media types already have a near monopoly on. Thus, all I can really do is offer my own peculiar observations on the world of sports from an orange-tinted perspective and make fun of the more humorous side of the sports world.
Oh, and when I can't think of anything worth writing, I've found that posting juvenile, semi-offensive, poorly doctored, photos will often suffice.
On a personal note, if I had a chance to breathe lately, at least I would have been able to post a little something of substance every now and then. I really hate it when my job interferes with my asinine hobbies. That part is frustrating -- almost as frustrating as Tennessee's 2005 football season ... but not quite. I suppose in the perfect world I'd be able to spend all my days writing for this rag so everyone could ignore it.
In the end, I suppose the main reason I write is because I am a lawyer and, by default, a blowhard who likes to hear himself talk (or write as the case may be). I guess I write about sports because I really lack any real ability to write about anything of real substance. It's funny, I've been doing this for a while now, and I'm still not sure what I am doing.
I'm sure both of my readers would agree ...
4) If you could be one player in one game in Tennessee history, which player and which game would you pick? Why?
This is a tough one. There are so many great choices which would be on my short-list. Here are a few (in no particular order)[caption id="" align="alignright" width="118" caption="George "Bad News" Cafego"][/caption]
Dale Jones vs. Miami -- 1985
Condredge Holloway vs. Clemson -- 1974
Peyton Manning vs. Alabama -- 1995
Al Wilson vs. Florida -- 1998
Peerless Price vs. Florida State -- 1998
Heath Shuler vs. Florida -- 1992
George Cafego vs. Anybody -- 1938/39
These are but a few -- this one is just too tough to call.
5) Which is your favorite rivalry and why? (Not necessarily limited to Tennessee teams)?
Well, I pretty much said it all about this one a few weeks back when it comes to Tennessee rivalries.
I hate to lose to Alabama, I absolutely loathe Florida.
For me, the key to a true rivalry is respect. I have no respect for Florida, so -- predictably -- it's Bama for me.
In terms of other rivalries ... umm ... I would probably list the following:
The Memphis Tigers vs. "The Crazy UAB Fan"
The Chicago Cubs vs. Cold Hard Reality;
The Philadelphia Eagles vs. The Eagles Hoodlums Fans;
The People of the State of Florida vs. All Current and Former Members of the University of Miami Football Team, and John Doe, co-conspirator, et. al, Criminal Docket No. 07 CVS...;
Ron Artest vs. the Crowd.
Yeah, I know, not much in terms of effort on my part...
Bonus) Who will win the national title this year? And by how many points will Tennessee win?
Two answers -- my hope, and my head:
Hope: Tennessee 28 - USC 14
Head: Florida 21 - Clemson (Yeah that's right, Clemson) 10
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on my 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):
- 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- Fulmer’s Belly
- Loser With Socks
- Rocky Top Talk
- SouthEastern Sports Blog
- The View From the Hill
Images Courtesy of: The Redzone Report • GoVolsXtra • The VIB • TalkWeather Forums • Hoopedia
The next in my series of flashbacks -- this time to 1992...
19 September 1992
(4) Florida 14 • (14) Tennessee 31
When I rolled into town for the contest between the Florida Gators and the Tennessee Volunteers in September of 1992, things were abuzz. Johnny Majors was in the hospital recovering from heart surgery. "Temporarily" at the helm was a longtime assistant coach who was -- at the time -- untested as a head coach. His name was Phillip Fulmer. As if that were not enough, tensions were still high after the 1991 "fax-gate" incident where disgruntled former Tennessee assistant coach Jack Sells was caught faxing the Tennessee playbook to Steve Spurrier and then Florida defensive coordinator, Ron Zook.
Needless to say there were a lot of questions swirling around as to exactly what could be expected when the Vols and Gators faced off in Neyland Stadium that Saturday afternoon. As uncertain as the situation was, Mother Nature had a few ideas of her own which would push the game farther into the realm of the unknown (and borderline absurd).
This gameday began rather inauspiciously for me -- I didn’t have any tickets. After declining several offers for tickets at $150 a piece (which was an even more absurd price in 1992 than it is today), my Father and I found one "kind" soul who was willing to sell us two seats on the second row of the East side upperdeck on about the 35 yard line for $75 each.
My Dad and I thought we had really made out like bandits ... until we realized about 15 minutes later while getting ready to enter the stadium that the tickets we bought were student tickets and required a student ID -- which neither of us possessed. Undeterred, our plan was to wait until there was a big crowd at the gate, split up, and then try to just slide on in without the ticket-taker noticing we had student tickets.
It worked for my Dad, who handed over his ticket, and walked right on in ... my situation was somewhat different.
I handed my ticket over, and then heard the dreaded words, "Student ID, please?"
I could see my Dad -- 10 feet away, but already in the stadium -- drop his head, knowing that I was caught. Instinctively, however, I reached for my wallet and pulled it out.
"Sure, one sec..." I took my time waiting for the line to get a little longer behind me. "Hmmm, it’s in here somewhere ... hold on. Damn! I must have left it back at the dorm. Do you want me to go run back and get it?"
He looked at me, then to the growing crowd, then to me, then to the crowd.
"Just remember to bring it next time, okay."
"Yessir! I promise I won’t forget it next time..."
And a young boy began the path down the road to a shameful and reprehensible career as an attorney ... (sigh)
In the stadium, we made our way to our seats which were great, except for the fact that "Mister Two-Bits" from Florida was about 15 feet away where the upper level visitor’s section met the student section. While his constant cheerleading did quickly grow old, the ... pointed comments of some of the students -- (along with their friends Jack, Jim, and George) were highly entertaining.
During the first half, Tennessee struck first with an 11 yard run by Heath Shuler, which they would follow-up with a scamper by James Stewart to make it 14-0. When the teams hit the locker rooms at the break, however, Tennessee's lead had been cut to 7, with a score of 17-7 and momentum seemingly swinging Florida’s way.
During the halftime, Col. Tom Elam was honored for his $1 million dollar donation to the university by having the press box at Neyland Stadium formally named after him.
When the teams came back on the field, there was great tension due to the fact that Florida had appeared to "find" itself late in the second quarter, and there was uncertainty in the hearts of many Vol fans as the second half approached.
Then the dynamic changed...
Since the morning, the skies had looked a bit ominous -- heavy clouds hanging in the air. Early in the second half I remember looking over the single deck of the North endzone to see Clement Hall (a place I would call home a few years later), and all of the sudden, I saw the light colored concrete edging the roofline become dark -- and fast. The rain was headed straight toward us.
The rain that hit the stadium came down with such force and intensity, that the upperdeck drains simply couldn’t keep up. Within about 5 minutes after the rain hit, I was standing in water half-way up my calf and the first row had water to their knees. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not see the west side upperdeck at all -- the only sign of its continued existence was the glow from the powerful stadium lights that had been on throughout the game. I later learned that the ABC broadcast was actually knocked off the air by the storm. Without a doubt, that storm was the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen two teams try to play through. I can also say that I have never been that wet, and not actually been in the bath or a pool.
More importantly to the Florida coaching staff was the fact that -- with the Tartan Turf surface -- all of the water drained to the sidelines. Apparently the Neyland Stadium grounds staff had "forgotten" to pull the drain covers off of the drain grates on the Florida sideline. Thus, a small lake began to rapidly grow in the middle of the Florida bench. I got a great laugh out of watching one of the grounds crew members in his rain coat pointing to a spot obscured by about 2 feet of water while one of the Florida assistant coaches got down on his hands and knees feeling for the cover. ("Yeah, it oughta’ be somewhere in that area .. just feel around. It’s a real shame that you’re getting your nice clothes all messy like that...")
Two points to the grounds crew...
With the amazing volumes of rain, everyone in the stadium assumed that no one would possibly throw a pass -- not only would it be nearly impossible to catch, but the sheer force of the rain would kill the momentum of the ball making the act of aiming immensely difficult. Heath Shuler and Phillip Fulmer, however, had another idea.
Heath Shuler threw a short swing pass out to Mose Phillips who proceeded to run as flat-footed as a duck for a 66 yard touchdown.
Florida was deflated and never got close again -- Tennessee had bested the No 4 Gators. Final score Tennessee 31 Florida 14.