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Shoutin Out | Gate 21


On Rocky Top Viagra For Sale, After living through the unmitigated disaster that was the 2008 football season for the Tennessee Volunteers, I was not so sure I was prepared to take a stroll with Clay Travis down memory lane via his new book “On Rocky Top.”  The 2008 season was the most gut-wrenching experience of my sports-watching life, one which Travis himself likened to having your arm amputated without laudanum.  It was truly painful and not merely because the Vols lost seven games.  Losing comes with competition, I can handle losing.  Watching an entire program, an entire fanbase, an entire state devolve into a constant state of turmoil, however, was the part that made it an experience that I was more than ready to forget.  Even  after nine months of good vibrations—buoyed up by the hopes and energy of new Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin and his band of invincibles—assuming that I was prepared to join Travis’ on his retrospective journey through the 2008 season, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to make that trip into the past.

I suppose, I was just ready to move on.

When first I saw that Clay Travis had written a book on the Vols 2008 football campaign, my reaction was that he picked one hell of a bad year to write about Tennessee.  I knew Clay was a fine writer, is Viagra safe, having read his work for CBS Sports.com, Viagra maximum dosage, Fanhouse, and his book Dixieland Delight.  Still, I remember thinking to myself “Man, purchase Viagra, that really stinks for Clay—all that work to write a book about a 5-7 season.” After all, Viagra no prescription, who wants to read about a team that loses, and loses a lot?

You do.

Clay Travis’ new book “On Rocky Top” is one of the best sports books I have read in a long time.


Obviously, Viagra price, “On Rocky Top” focuses on my beloved Vols, Cheap Viagra, which makes me naturally predisposed to read it, I suppose.  It does not, however, Viagra without prescription, make me predisposed to actually like the book.  In fact, Viagra canada, mexico, india, to date, I do not believe I have ever managed to finish a book written exclusively about the Vols—which is a bit ironic coming from a person who publishes a sports blog dedicated to the team—yet, it is the truth.  In my experience most single team memoirs are either so objective that they read more like a surgical note from a neurologist, australia, uk, us, usa, are so “rah-rah” as a result of the writer being blinded by his or her passion for their team to the point that they refuse to acknowledge reality, Viagra pictures, lack any semblance of an understanding of the English language, or are so mind-numbingly focused on minutiae that reading them is like eating sawdust without butter.  Sometimes they are all of the above.

Then there is “On Rocky Top”…

Clay Travis does not try to draft the authoritative history of one of the worst football seasons ever for my alma mater, he does not attempt to give the clichéd insider's look at what goes on behind closed doors at Tennessee, online Viagra without a prescription, he does not simply re-visit and re-hash the events of the 2008 football season for Tennessee.  No, Order Viagra from mexican pharmacy, in “On Rocky Top” Clay Travis describes every season for every fan of every college football program, and he does it beautifully.


Tennessee is but the lens through which Travis explores not only the comings and goings of life in a big-time college football program, but more importantly takes an honest look at sports and fandom from a perspective that is, buy Viagra no prescription, at times, Viagra wiki, as poignant as it is personal.  He explores a side of the world of sports so often relegated to the back of our minds and that small voice of reason drowned by the noise of a screaming crowd in a raucous stadium.


Travis writes:


I want my team to win more than I want anything on earth right now—even though I know how irrational my desire is, how insignificant this game is in the grand scheme of life.  All of us, we fans, taking Viagra, always say that we realize there are things more important than sports.  Yet, Viagra without a prescription, even still, why do we feel the need to make this claim if we don’t, at some times, Viagra results, doubt whether this is actually true?


Deep down in all of our hearts, Where to buy Viagra, we’re all a bit ashamed, frightened even, by how much we care.



Most examinations of fandom tend to focus on the outward evidence of the passion that fills the heart of the fan.  There are a bevy of books that show the all encompassing mania that some fans exhibit: children named after players their parents never met, Viagra street price, cars and houses bedecked in gaudy school colors, Viagra online cod, logos shaved onto heads and mascots tattooed on bodies, and so forth.  Travis avoids these trite expressions of what it means to be a fan—short for “fanatic”—and looks more at the bonds that hold disparate and far-flung groups of individuals with little or nothing in common together as a “family” of fans.  He takes a journey into his own experiences as a fan and as a writer granted access to the inner sanctum of college football.


In the process, Travis does, buy generic Viagra, in fact, Viagra over the counter, chronicle the exploits of the 2008 Vols, and chronicle them well.  Yet he does so through the eyes of a fan, rather than from the dispassionate roost of the pressbox.  In so doing, buy cheap Viagra no rx, he explores the reality that fans judge players and coaches—people they’ve never met—by a set of rules that is irrational, Is Viagra addictive, erratic, and wholly unfair.  Travis takes you inside not only the Vols locker room but inside the lives of the players and coaches—humanizing them is ways that are uncommon in the world of “superstar” athletics and modern sports media.


In particular, he looks at the effects of fan anger and outrage on Tennessee center Josh McNeil, buying Viagra online over the counter, former Vol running back Arian Foster, Effects of Viagra, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, and former coach Phillip Fulmer, among others.  Travis shows how morally unfair the actions of anonymous fans can be when launching faceless attacks.  Talking with Josh McNeil, cheap Viagra no rx, Travis writes:


In the wake of games, After Viagra, fan anger now mixes with player frustration.  Junior center Josh McNeil confesses, “I listen to the radio shows on my way home too.  I listen to the fans.  Sometimes I want to call in and talk with them. I want to say, purchase Viagra for sale, ‘Oh, Viagra dosage, yeah, well, you think I suck, ordering Viagra online. Well, Viagra class, why don’t you come tell me that to my face?  Here’s my address, come meet me here and we’ll talk about it.  Just you and me.’  I wouldn’t ever do it, but I want to.  Sometimes I want to real bad."



Travis’ concludes that oftentimes fans bask in the comfortable anonymity of the stands—noting that no one ever says anything negative to the team on the Vol Walk when they are face-to-face, Viagra duration, saving those barbs for the internet and call-in shows.


Finally, Viagra pics, Travis takes a long look at the end of the Phillip Fulmer era in a way that, again, lifts the objective veil and shows that the players and coaches involved are real people—human beings—and not merely pawns on a chessboard.  He chronicles the measured implosion of Fulmer’s final season, buy Viagra from mexico, the back-room conversations leading to his ouster, Viagra description, and Fulmer’s own post-hoc perspectives on his firing.  Travis’ also details Mike Hamilton’s James Bond-esque “operation” to find the Vols new Head Coach Lane Kiffin.  An excerpt of this is available on FanHouse.


Travis book is a joy to read and beautifully covers the gamut of the sports-fan emotional spectrum.  His insights into college football and fans are sometimes laughably hilarious:


I don’t care how Tennessee wins. … If Jonathan Crompton gets under center, steps back from the line of scrimmage, Viagra no rx, removes his mouthpiece, Where can i find Viagra online, and subsequently shoots Auburn defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks with a poison blow dart, I’m all for it.  Anything to win.



sometimes disturbing:


Arian Foster, seated on the bench, buy Viagra online cod, is approached by a UT fan. Viagra from mexico, … The fan, who is wearing orange from head to foot and appears to be in his thirties, dog-cusses Foster to his back. … Foster does not bat an eyelash, pretending not to notice the fan, and eventually a member of the Georgia security staff leads him away from the fence behind the bench.  It’s come to this—Georgia security guards protecting Tennessee players from their own fans.



and sometimes moving:


My dad came to my house and sat next to me on the couch where I was feeding my 5-month-old son a bottle. … Finally, he turned to me and said, “You know, I read an article in the newspaper the other day about a dad’s funeral.  The son said, ‘We never really talked unless it was about sports.’  That’s really sad, isn’t it?”


My dad put his hand on my shoulder.  I continued to feed Fox.  “Yes,” I said, “that really is.”


We were both silent for a long time.  While Fox drank his bottle my dad smiled at him and occasionally made faces.  Finally my dad spoke again.


“I’m not as optimistic about this year’s team as you are,” he said.


He reached out and grabbed Fox’s bare foot.  “One day we’re going to get this little guy to a game too,” he said.


It occurred to me then that fathers and sons talk about a lot more than sports when we’re talking about sports.  And maybe in the end that’s why most of us are sports fans.



Clay Travis paints a vivid picture of the game and team that I love and follow as a fan.  In a broader sense—without pretension—he provides a wonderful image of what I like to describe as the "beautiful agony" that is college football.


In the end, Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top is a truly enjoyable book, one which fans of SEC and college football—and definitely all Tennessee fans—should read.


Trust me, you will enjoy the ride.


-- So it goes…About Lawvol






CBS Sports Fantasy Football

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Big Orange Roundtable: Week 2

This Week’s Host: The Power T

Week Zwei

(That’s German for "2")

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by none other than The Power T, who has served up a heapin’ helpin’ of questions for we "Volggers" to consider. Being that I am all about riding the coat-tails of others (and the fact they haven’t kicked me out of the Roundtable ... yet) here are Gate 21’s thoughts on all that is this week in the world of Tennessee Football.

(Questions in Sort-o-Teal-like color)

1) A position of strength for the Vols this fall should be wide receivers. Which 2 guys will emerge from the pack to start the opener against UCLA alongside Lucas Taylor? Why?

First of all, I think that Lucas Taylor is going to be a starter -- probably from start to finish. He is the most tested and reliable of the receiving corps this year. As for the other spots, well, it gets more difficult there.

The conventional wisdom would be to go with Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe (not to be confused with Briscoe Darling) -- both have had significant playing time and key catches. They were solid down the stretch (especially in the overtime win against Kentucky, where Rogers saved the day with a huge 2-point conversion catch), however, they both had a few key weaknesses which hampered their overall production. Both had some big drops at key moments, and both appeared to have some shortcomings at times when it came to field awareness. That said, both of these upperclassmen now have an additional year of experience under their belt, and will no longer have to live in the shadow of the amazing and talented Robert Meachem.

The "Other" Briscoe

That said, I really like what I saw from Gerald Jones in his limited playing time last season, and something in my gut tells me that this talented sophomore will secure -- at a minimum -- 50% of one of the remaining starting spots. Based upon what I understand Dave Clawson’s offensive model to be, it seems that Jones would make a perfect fit -- especially when it is time to go deep.

I am a huge fan of using the Tight End as an additional passing threat (something that I have a feeling we may see under Dave Clawson’s tricked-out-offense), and I hope that we end up using Jeff Cottam more in that role to complement and build upon the strengths of this year’s receivers -- thereby making the Vols less one-dimensional and tougher to defend against. Either way, it seems to me that -- despite losing a gamebreaker like Meachem -- the receivers will be much stronger as a unit this season on the whole, largely due to experience and having more than just one go-to receiver. I feel this is especially true considering that, with Jonathan Crompton under center, it is fair to assume that opposing defenses will now have to honor the possibility that No. 8 may come running at them "Straight Outta Crompton" as well as throw to one of the wide-outs.

2) Which game on the schedule do you, as a fan, need Tennessee to win for your own sanity and happiness? Why?

For me, it’s a matter of whether the question is "Which game Tennessee simply cannot lose?" or "Which game Tennessee most needs to win?" While those appear to be the same, they really are quite different.

In terms of not losing, the choices are obvious: UAB, Northern Illinois, Wyoming, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. With the exception of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats, lose any of these games, and it is probably a sign that Tennessee is in serious trouble for the rest of the season. The Kentucky game is more a matter of keeping Tennessee’s 22-game winning streak -- dating back to a 12-17 loss in 1985 -- against the Wildcats. Kentucky is a good team, as they proved last year, so that one is hardly assured. Of this group, I think the game Tennessee can least afford to lose would be the game against Northern Illinois -- if the Vols lose that one, well ... they suck (I just call ’em like I see ’em).

In terms of games Tennessee most needs to win, as my last post made clear -- by my mind Tennessee’s biggest rival has always been and will always be the Alabama Crimson Tide (yeah, call me old-school). Thus, that one always matters. The other candidates would be the Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, and Georgia Bulldogs.

From my perspective, not having the benefit of yet seeing whether the Vols actually know what they are about or simply lay down and die when you look at them sideways, I think there’s a strong chance that Tennessee loses to Auburn regardless of what I hope for. Having lost 3-in-a-row versus the Tigers, I’d like to see this year's contest end in a win, but that might be a stretch.

As for Georgia, well, they look to be hell-on-wheels this year, but they have an absolutely brutal schedule -- a fair part of which occurs before the 11 October game in Knoxville. I think Tennessee will have to bring it versus the Bulldogs, but I think that one is winnable. That said, though I do not want to see the Vols drop one to the Dawgs, I wouldn’t curl up in a fetal ball and drool for days if we lost.

As for Florida and Alabama, that’s a tough one. Since these two represent the Vols’ biggest rivals in my eyes, losing either one of these would rank right up there with having a colonoscopy with a fire hose, I’d just as soon win them both. Losing to the Gators -- especially after last year’s 59-20 annihilation -- will unquestionably ruin my sunny and pleasant disposition. This is especially true since I’ll have had to listen to those god-awful Florida fans for 4 hours, which in itself is enough to cause a body to lose the will to live.

That said, since Tennessee is inching closer and closer to evening the all-time series versus Alabama (currently Tennessee is 38-44-7 all-time), and the fact that I think Bama is beatable this year, I would have to say that a loss to Alabama would be a much greater disappointment. Losing to the Tide would make it that much harder for the Vols to even things up versus the Bammers any time soon. Thus, predictably, it’s Bama by a nose.

3) What are your thoughts on the 8-win clause in Coach Fulmer’s new contract that automatically rolls his contract over another year if he wins 8 games in a season?

Well, I am a homer. I like coach Fulmer, and I always have. Until someone can show me a the coach that they think is going to do a better job, I am not inclined to try and replace Fulmer just because people are getting tired of his tenure as coach. That being said, an automatic renewal of the contract is a bit much in my book -- especially at the 8-win level. If the contract provided for an automatic extension at 11 wins, or maybe even 10, then I suppose it would make more sense to me. Of course, if you just had a 10 or 11-win season, it would be unusual for you not to get an extension automatically.

I can understand why Coach Fulmer would feel a bit threatened and uncomfortable -- especially after John Adams’ piece earlier this year calling for his head. Thus, he asked for some security, which Mike Hamilton provided. No revelations there.

My gut tells me, however, that there is a story behind the story here. I think it is reasonable for Fulmer to ask for some guarantees, I also think it is reasonable for Hamilton to ask for some in return -- which I bet he got, but only via a personal promise from Fulmer. My guess is that Fulmer probably gave Hamilton the 2 magic numbers -- the number of years and/or wins after which he plans to retire. Let’s be honest, Phillip Fulmer is not exactly a young buck, and I don’t see him trying to be the next Joe Paterno. My guess is he told Hamilton his exit strategy, and Hamilton agreed to that idea by giving Fulmer enough security to make that happen. If all of my speculation is accurate then I have less of a problem with the deal.

Again, purely speculating, I’m willing to bet that Fulmer has his eyes on General Neyland’s all-time wins record at Tennessee, and then maybe a year or two more, but not much more. I honestly think that Fulmer is growing weary of the dog-and-pony show which revolves around the football program and is generally expressed most vociferously by those who scream for his head if the hot dog they order at the stadium doesn’t have enough chili on it. I think the hiring of Dave Clawson plays into this. I strongly believe that Coach Clawson was hired not just as the Offensive Coordinator at Tennessee, but potentially as the next Head Coach at Tennessee. That hire has all the marks of Fulmer taking steps to name a successor.

From my perspective (which, in case you haven’t noticed, is worthless) and based upon what I’ve seen so far, I think that Clawson has the potential to be the next head coach, but who knows what will happen down the road. I can say that, of all of the staff coaches Fulmer has had during his tenure, Clawson is the only one that I could ever see as assuming the mantle as head coach at some point in the future.

There are a few ironic things about this deal though. Most notably, all of the whiners and complainers who have moaned and yelled to have Fulmer fired for the last 400 years, can thank themselves for this contract. Had they given Fulmer a little more credit (and thus a little more comfort when it comes to his job security) then I doubt Fulmer asks for this deal. More importantly, unless there is something that Fulmer can point to which makes his feelings of peril credible, I doubt that Mike Hamilton agrees to it.

Thus, all of you who have been caterwauling to have Fulmer fired can pat yourself on the back -- you just got him a sweetheart of a deal!

The other ironic thing is that, again all of the anti-Fulmerites (you do realize that they chased Moses and the Israelites through the desert and all ... oh yeah, it’s in the Book of Hank, Chapter 41) have been de-crying this new contract as a travesty -- the worst thing since the free substitution rule, akin to stealing babies in the night, sleeping with pigs, and worshipping a statue of Bear Bryant. The fact of the matter is, however, this contract actually makes it more likely that Fulmer actually could get the axe.

For the first time in his career at Tennessee, there is a benchmark in his contract. The contract simply speaks of an automatic-extension if he wins 8 games -- it is silent with regard to what happens if he does not. Failing to hit that mark -- as a practical matter -- would make it nearly impossible for Mike Hamilton to defend Fulmer, because in that situation Fulmer would have failed to meet the only quantifiable benchmark in his contract. While I realize that the extension does not call for him to go if he wins 7 or fewer, the reality is that his departure would likely be the result.

So, everybody lighten up a bit...

In the end, I am neither angry nor elated at the new contract -- mainly due to my speculative suspicions. It is not what I would have agreed to if I were Mike Hamilton, but it is not un-thinkable.

Of course, Mike Hamilton never really asked my opinion...

4) What is your favorite gameday recipe, whether for tailgating or in your own kitchen? Explain why in delicious detail.

My trip to any game in Knoxville consists of: 1) Driving from Eastern North Carolina to Asheville after work on Friday; 2) Driving from Asheville to Knoxville with my Father on gameday morning; 3) Returning to Asheville immediately after the game (which is late for those 8:00 p.m. kickoffs); and 4) Driving back across the State of North Carolina on Sunday. Considering I travel about 6 1/2 hours each way to come to the games, I don’t get to spend a lot of time tailgating and so forth. Thus, like Will at SESB, my gameday fare is somewhat less grand than that enjoyed by others.

Up until the pretentious jackasses that run McAlister’s Deli closed it down, I used to go to Sam & Andy’s religiously on gamedays and enjoy a Kielbasa Sub on dark bread with spicy mustard, mayo, and provolone. They’d steam it up for me and throw a pickle in for good measure, until it was a work of art. Those sammiches were a Vol fan’s greatest dream -- and a cardiologist’s worst nightmare. Of course, once the Carpertbaggers hit town, that all ended.

Be that as it may, there is one recipe which jumps out to me as being particularly appropriate for stank-nasty football gamedays:

The Magna-rita:

I suppose most folks enjoy a good margarita every now and then -- especially when celebrating with friends. Mixing up a batch of the good stuff, however, takes time, effort, numerous bottles of mixers and tequila, cups, ice, salt, and a sombrero. The "Magna-rita" solves all these problems and is great for gamedays. Even better, it’s super-easy to make and -- most importantly -- dirt cheap. To make one of these beauties up, you simply:

  • Take one 40 oz bottle of of your favorite Malt Liquor -- the distinguishing whino gentleman generally prefers "Magnum," but feel free to use you own favorite brand, such as Colt .45 (just like Billy Dee Williams) or Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull. Actually, now that I think about it, you could use any kind of alcohol you can find: from a 1972 Dom Perignon to a 3-week old half-empty bottle of Ripple -- heck, if you got enough of those little alcohol wipes and squeezed them hard enough, you might even get enough sauce that way.
  • Next take one large bag of Skittles candy, and pour them out on a table, in a bowl, on the floor -- wherever, but make sure to save the bag.
  • Now pick out all the lime flavored Skittles and put them back in the bag, securing the bag tightly.
  • Jump up and down on the bag for about 3-4 minutes, or bash the hell out of the bag with a tire iron until the lime Skittles are broken into pieces.
  • Now pour the sort-o-lime flavored dust into your 40, and give it a swirl or two with a straw, a pocket knife, a coat hanger, stick, or whatever you can find.
  • Drink and enjoy.

  • Optional:
    • for a "Big Orange Magna-rita" substitute orange Skittles for lime
    • for those of you craving the salt around the edge of your Magna-rita, simply steal a few salt packets from McDonalds (or an actual salt shaker from McAlister's) and rub them around the mouth of the bottle after licking it a few times.

Most "Magna-rita" drinkers find that they enjoy this drink more if they drink 5-6 of these in rapid succession -- such as over a period of approximately 30 minutes or so.

5) You have a tag team championship match against the Legion of Doom coming up. Which current Volunteer do you choose as your tag team partner? Why?

Well, this one is a tough one. I’d have to say that -- if limited to the current members of the team -- I’d go with either Tennessee Center, Josh McNeil (6’4" / 280), or Defensive Tackle, Dan Williams (6’3" / 310), both of whom are some serious specimens when it comes to the smackdown. I’d take that action any day of the week.

If not limited to current players, then I’d take the Great Punkin himself -- who has been known to mix it up in the wrestling ring in the past -- against even the most dreaded Mark "the Man Beast" Mangino.

Phil Battling it Out!
Of course, I know absolutely nothing about wrestling (which is about the extent of my knowledge when it comes to football as well).

The Rest of the Roundtable:

Having wasted your time on my largely meaningless, juvenile, 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):

Don’t you wish you’d just stood in bed?

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


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