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This Week's Roundtable is hosted by:


Vol Junkies



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:

Week 4


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?


bullet 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...



bullet 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?


bullet 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?



bullet 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?


bullet 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.



bullet 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?


bullet 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.



bullet 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):


-- So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters and About Home Sweet Home... … to me.

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Modalert For Sale

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

Vol Network In addition to all of the “obvious” landmark events that have or will occur as part of the 2009 football season, Purchase Modalert online, there is one more that may go unnoticed by many.  Though it hardly seems possible, the 2009 season marks Bob Kesling’s tenth year as the “Voice of the Vols.” Since the kickoff of the 1999 football opener against the Wyoming Cowboys, Kesling along with color-commentator Tim Priest, Modalert schedule, and sideline reporter Mike Stowell (who succeeded Jeff Francis in 2007), Purchase Modalert online no prescription, have brought the sounds of Big Orange football into our homes via the “Statewide Stadium” that is the Vol Network.

As have I pointed out in previous posts, since I was a child, Modalert without a prescription, I have always been a dedicated fan of live sports radio broadcasts.  I learned at an early age that television broadcasters, Order Modalert from United States pharmacy, no matter how good they may be, simply cannot match the style, flair, doses Modalert work, color, Modalert wiki, or excitement that a gifted radio sportscaster can bring to a game.  There are few on television that come close—Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried being pretty much the best—but even they cannot quite stay in step with the great radio broadcasters of the game.  Of course, for every Franklin and Gottfried, there are a bevy of lackluster talking suits which do little more than get in the way of the game rather than actually improving your understanding of what is taking place, generic Modalert.

Thus is the curse of television…


It is one thing to verbally recount what viewers just saw on their screen; it is an entirely different thing to narrate—paint a word picture—that which listeners depend on the broadcaster to pluck from the ether and make real.  It is remarkably easy to be sloppy and boring when broadcasting a game on television—the images speak for themselves.  With radio, Modalert class, however, the broadcaster creates those images and the world in which they exist.

That is why I will always be a fan of radio play-by-play broadcasters…

Thus, cheap Modalert, for the past ten years, Modalert long term, we in Orange Nation have depended upon Bob Kesling to paint those pictures and to create those images—he has been the one to guide us through every play of every game.  On the whole, I have to say that Kesling has done a good job.  While I will be the first to admit that Kesling’s early broadcasts seemed to me a bit “sterile” and deadpan, over the past decade he and his gameday cohorts have steadily improved and I think they do a fine job of broadcasting Tennessee Football.  Suffice it to say that I listen each week, Modalert natural, even if the game is on television or even if I am in Section Y7 watching it for myself.

This decennial milestone, however, is less about the ten years that Kesling has served as the chief broadcaster for Tennessee, and more about the man he replaced.  I still can hardly believe that it has been ten years since last we heard the inviting and familiar baritone sounds of John Ward as the “Voice of the Vols.

Though Bob Kesling does a fine job, I still miss John Ward.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="148" caption="John Ward & Lowell Blanchard"]John and Lowell[/caption]

John Ward served as the Voice of the Vols in some capacity from 1963 until 1998, starting out as the host of the Tennessee coaches shows and as the PA announcer in Neyland Stadium.  Ward first began Vols play-by-play announcing when he began broadcasting Tennessee basketball games, along with the late Lowell Blanchard, in 1965.  Then, in 1968 veteran Vol Network broadcasters George Mooney (who started the Vol Navy) and Bob Fox decided to pursue other endeavors, paving the way for Ward and color-commentator Bill Anderson to assume their position behind the microphone, Modalert For Sale. Modalert description, I first heard Ward when he broadcast the now legendary 1985-86 Sugar Bowl—where an underdog Tennessee Volunteers squad bested the No. 2 Miami Hurricanes by 28 points.  That game was, and remains, about Modalert, one of the most significant Tennessee football games of all time.  Ward, Buy Modalert without a prescription, however, made it even better.  After hearing just one broadcast by John Ward it is fair to say that I was hooked.

After that first experience, where to buy Modalert, I could be found crowded around a radio whenever the Big Orange took the field.  I longed to hear John Ward and Bill Anderson relay the plays to me and the thousands of others out there in their own distinctive style.  To this day, Modalert blogs, I am a religious believer that if I am watching Tennessee play on TV, the sound goes off and the radio turns on.  However, in the era before satellite radio and internet webcasts, Modalert overnight, tuning in the Vol Network from my hometown of Asheville, Is Modalert safe, North Carolina was not always an easy proposition.  There was no Vol Network affiliate serving my area.  Still, I found that if I was lucky, and if the game was at night (when the ionosphere makes radio signals carry farther) I could pick up the scratchy signal of the broadcast emanating from a station near Murphy, buy Modalert without prescription, North Carolina.  Though my mother thought I was crazy constantly trying to tweak the radio to get just a bit more clarity, Modalert maximum dosage, I always tried to find the broadcast.  She also thought I was about half-cracked when, as a student at Tennessee, I figured out a way to mount a tiny radio inside my marching band hat while I was in the Pride of the Southland, Modalert treatment, thus enabling me to listen while in the stands.  John Ward made it worth my while. Modalert for sale, [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="John Ward & Bill Anderson host the "Kickoff Call-in Show" in 1997"]ward_hands[/caption]

To this day, I am still a dedicated Vol Network listener and always have my earphones with me when sitting in Neyland Stadium. Modalert For Sale, From 1986 to 1998, I listened to as many broadcasts as possible.  I learned a lot about the game of football, about Tennessee, and about communicating an image.  I learned that often I could see the game better with my eyes closed and my ears open.  John Ward’s words became my eyes, and they never saw things as clearly as they did when he was painting the picture word by word.  I learned that Tennessee football was as much John Ward as John Ward was Tennessee football.  I learned that a true professional needs no introduction, no pomp, and no showy entrance.  I learned that class is a commodity not often found among broadcasters.  I learned that mistakes in public are not a bad thing if you can have a good laugh about it.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Cartoon of Ward from 1998"]number1[/caption]

Both prior to his retirement at the end of the 1998-99 basketball season and since that time, Where can i buy cheapest Modalert online, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with John Ward on several occasions, and found him to be every bit as genuine and every bit the gentleman he was on the radio.  For me he truly was—and remains—the voice of Tennessee.  He told us the story and let it unfold across the airwaves.  He not only told us what was happening, but he managed to make it real, buying Modalert online over the counter, to make the excitement palpable. Modalert canada, mexico, india, Now, it has been ten years since he last sat behind the microphone in the communications center which bears his name inside the pressbox of Neyland Stadium.  Though this is difficult for me to imagine, I am sure there are many Tennessee fans today who have never heard Ward’s broadcasts and some who may not even know who he is.  On some level, buy Modalert online no prescription, that is very sad for me.  Yet, Where can i find Modalert online, traditions are made over time, and each generation has a hand in forming and re-forming those traditions.  They are not static.  For me as a child and a young man, John Ward was a tradition.  Over the past ten years, Modalert without prescription, however, Buy Modalert from mexico, Bob Kesling, Tim Priest, Bert Bertelkamp, Modalert from canada, and  Mike Stowell have started a new tradition for the Vol Network, Online Modalert without a prescription, one which I am sure in years to come will be remembered just as fondly as I remember Ward’s.

Still, as we prepare for the 2009 football season, herbal Modalert, on the cusp of a great undiscovered country, Modalert results, the hopes of the future, it seems only appropriate that we look back ten years and remember the man who came into our ears, into our homes, Modalert used for, into our lives to bring us the story of Tennessee.  That past is prologue for the future to which we all look.

In recognition of this little reminiscent look back, I have put together a little soundboard of a few of John Ward’s memorable calls and catchphrases.  I plan on finding a permanent home for this soundboard here at the Gate, but for now, here are “21 Things” from the John Ward Era that still make me smile, Modalert For Sale. Modalert forum,

Rest assured, Where can i cheapest Modalert online, I’ll be listening this fall from my perch in the North Endzone, from my home in North Carolina, or wherever else I might find myself on a gameday.  That is the primary reason why I own an XM Satellite Radio.  Yes, Modalert pictures, I still listen to the Vol Network every chance I get.

So here’s to all the folks at the Vol Network for giving me and countless other Vol fans across the globe a reason to tune in.  Thank you for giving that experience to all of us who wear the orange.  Thank you for building and maintaining that wonderful tradition

…and a special thanks to the man who started that tradition for me: John Ward.

-- So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters




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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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Buy Nasonex Without Prescription

Buy Nasonex Without Prescription, No, I didn’t quit writing, join the circus, get attacked by Somali Pirates, or decide to take up ad hoc piloting of random airplanes falling pilotless from the sky.  I just decided that it was time for a few days off.  This was due to a number of things.  First there was the fact that—after the conclusion of the Final Four—there wasn’t much to talk about last week.  Secondly, I have been working on trying to get a few things done which, hopefully, will improve a few things here at the Gate in anticipation of football season (and I do really hope that this is the case).  Furthermore, my non-blogging life has required that I do things other than fixate upon football season which, according to the tell-tale little widget over on the right sidebar (that’s this way right arrow for those of you who are directionally challenged), is still more than 140 days off.  Finally, there were three big points which put me in bit of a funk, one which I decided to wallow in for a day or so, those points are as follows:

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="127" caption="Pretty much sums up my luck..."][/caption]


  1. Florida Gators, National Champions;

  2. North Carolina Tarheels, National Champions; and

  3. Connecticut Huskies, National Champions.


I guess 2008-09 just wasn’t meant to be my year.  So it goes…


Anyway, all of that said, here I am back again with a number of stream of consciousness observations that I wanted to chase down, and now seems as good a time as any…

Who knew that Home Depot was a hotbed of College Football Conflict…


I live in Eastern North Carolina, I am within 20 miles of the University of North Carolina (a/k/a “Tarhead U”), Duke University, and NC State University.  I am anywhere but in the heart of SEC country and quite a distance from anything resembling real football.  The closest team of consequence would probably be the Carolina Panthers, which is not exactly the same thing.  For this reason, I was a bit surprised this weekend at a brief exchange I had in the parking lot of my local purveyor of all things home improvement related:  Home Depot.


Home DepotMy goal was simple: collect 18 bags of mulch for the yard.  My mind was focused on trying to figure out if there was a way to get out of spending the rest of the weekend playing with wood chips and was less than attuned to matters related to football.  I had already dumped 12 bags of the stuff, and thus was less than cognizant of my “yard hat” which has “Tennessee” emblazoned upon it in letters which could be read from across the room … a large room.


Thus, I was a bit taken aback when I stepped out of my truck to a firm and slightly louder than it should have been greeting from a man in a jeep with a huge-ish Gator head on the spare tire cover:


BOOOOOOO!!  Kiffin!


Again, not fully in command of my football fightin’ instincts at the moment, the best response I could muster was a thumbs up in my heckler’s direction, paired with a wink, and a half-perplexed “How ‘bout ‘cha?!


The point of this seemingly inane tale of my trip to the hardware store (ahem, “Home Improvement Warehouse”) is not meant to warn of the pitfalls attending minor maintenance tasks, to assail Home Depot’s loyalties (I know they are based out of Atlanta, but their colors are orange and white, after all), or to provide a convenient excuse for getting out of those “Honey-Do” lists.  It’s far more subtle than that...


Lane Kiffin is in the Gators’ heads.


At least in my semi-unbalanced mind, my harmless little weekend run-in—paired with the profusion of “Tennessee” signs seen in the video posted by HSH—it seems that Kiffin’s little barbs have hit their mark far beyond the confines East Tennessee.  Some of the Gator faithful agree.  Of course, as the Hoopmaster General discovered, the sparring does come at a bit of price in the form of craziness from the less than sane and those with an axe to grind (or a deadline to meet). Still, as John Pennington pointed out the Blackjack General’s messages are not simply confined to sound bites and quips, but are rapidly approaching the point of real tangible substance.


With no disrespect to Coach Fulmer, I’m betting that in April 2008 my assailant says nothing at all.


I like it!

Moving Right Along … to the Orange & White Game


It’s Spring Football Time in Tennessee!


Yes, you can get a small football fix this weekend by attending the Orange & White Game, scheduled to start at 3:00 at Neyland Stadium.  All sorts of information on the game is available over at UT Sports.com.  Tickets are $5.00 and all proceeds will go to benefit UT's Hodges Library.  Besides, when else can you get to see the Vols play for $5.00?


For those of you planning on attending the game, I would encourage you to consider meeting up with the guys from Rocky Top Talk who will be meeting in front of the hallowed ground of the Real Gate 21 on Saturday, for more information check out the faux-schedule for the meet-up.  Sorry to disappoint everyone, but Joel, Hooper, and Will will not be signing autographs, but many of the 2009 Vols will be, so don't get too upset.


On a more substantive note, the Spring Outlook / Team Breakdown is now available for download as well PDF Document.  It is full of stats and perspectives on the squad coming into the Orange & White game.


Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, but hope to find somewhere to catch the game on the web.  The Orange & White Game is sponsored by Dish Network, however, apparently it will not be televised anywhere, including Dish Network.


Either way, this is the best chance for Orange Nation to get a glimpse of the new look Vols…

Finally, an amazing story from the non-sports world worth giving a look…



“Are you using the autopilot, or are you flying the airplane?”

• Southwest Florida Int’l Air Traffic Control

Me and the Good Lord’s Hands are flying this one…

• Airplane Passenger, Doug White


Those are not words you like to hear from a pilot trying to guide a plane in for landing, but that is what airplane passenger Doug White had to say during his brush with fate earlier this week.  If you haven’t heard about this story, you really should check out the article posted at CNN.com.  White, along with his family were flying home to Louisiana on a twin engine plane when the pilot unexpectedly died shortly after taking off from Fort Meyers, Florida.  There was no co-pilot on board.  As a result, White—who had flying experience, but only in single engine planes—was forced to land the plane on his own.


Fortunately, with the assistance of Air Traffic controllers, White managed to land the plane safely.


For me, the audio recording of White’s conversation with the tower are particularly compelling.  The FAA released the audio recording earlier today.  It is a little on the long side and has several periods of extended silence (5-10 seconds), but giving it a listen will remind you just how great it is to be alive.  From the tension and relief in White’s voice near the end of the recording, I am pretty sure that he is glad.  Seriously, if you have a few minutes give the full recording a listen.

AUDIO:  N559DW — Emergency Landing at Southwest Florida Int'l Airport (Ft. Myers, Nasonex samples, Nasonex forum, FL)  |  FAA.gov


Emergency Landing at Southwest Florida International Airport in Ft. Myers, buying Nasonex online over the counter, Nasonex gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, FL | Federal Aviation Administration


That one makes my birthday seem like a blessing…


-- So it goes…About Lawvol



Image(s) Courtesy ofUTAD / UT Sports.com •  Home Depot / The Auto Blog ||  Audio Courtesy ofFederal Aviation Administration ||   Statement on Fair Use
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Vermox For Sale

No Pass Out Checks | Gate21


Then I'm walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel

• “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn


Vermox For Sale, Well, it seems that Bruce Pearl will be staying in Knoxville for the foreseeable future, which is good.  The question, however, remains: What are we to make of this “Memphis Incident”?


For starters, I am greatly relieved that Bruce Almighty will still be wearing orange next season.  That is the good news, not that there is necessarily some “bad” news, but keeping Pearl on the sidelines in Knoxville is definitely very good.


That said, what exactly are we to take away from the brief and furious flirtation (so brief and furious that I never even got a chance to comment before it ended) with the notion that Coach Pearl might bolt to the Pyramid City to take the reins as head coach of the Memphis Tigers?  The real answer is probably “nothing.”  Still there are a few thoughts that jump out to me—random observations, I suppose—which seem relevant, if less than timely.

Bruce Pearl is Happy at Tennessee…


It seems to me that Bruce Pearl sent two messages yesterday.  The first is a very positive one, namely that he is happy as coach of the Tennessee Volunteers and has no desire to leave behind what he has begun.  Bruce Pearl likes it here.


Why do I say that?  Well first of all is the obvious: he is staying here.  More importantly, however, is the what he said in his public statement last night.  To me, it makes it clear that Pearl is truly happy to be at Tennessee.


I truly love my job, and I want it to be clear that I'm not interested in any other job.  There's no place in the country I'd rather be than the University of Tennessee.  My children are happy here in the Knoxville community—one is in high school, one is in middle school and two are currently attending the university.


My staff and I are building a consistent top-25 program and I'm honored and privileged to serve the greatest fans in the country. Tennessee has all the resources necessary to win championships, order Vermox online overnight delivery no prescription, Vermox natural, from our recently upgraded facilities to our ability to schedule.


It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!

Bruce Pearl commenting on rumors of him leaving Tennessee | UT Sports.com


Now in the era of sports double-talk and lip service (See Bobby Petrino at any point in his career), it is rarely advisable to take public professions of loyalty at face value.  I understand that.  Still, Vermox pictures, Order Vermox online c.o.d, there are different degrees of lip service and there are different types of coaches.  Pearl’s statement was anything but tepid—it was largely unequivocal and pointed.  In other words, he could have simply said “I’m staying, Vermox forum, Purchase Vermox online, ” and left the other assurances out of the discussion; he didn’t.


Second of all, for reasons unknown to me (considering I have never met Pearl), Vermox interactions, Vermox mg, I trust the man.  Maybe that owes to the side of him that exudes infectious enthusiasm about everything to which he is tied; maybe it is because of his well documented history of loyalty at Iowa and Wisconsin-Green Bay; maybe it is because he is a con man and I’m snowed.  Regardless of the reasons, Pearl is unique in my mind because I do believe that he is both loyal and trustworthy as a coach.  My gut tells me that if he was not happy and was considering a move, buying Vermox online over the counter, Vermox alternatives, while he might not come out and say it, he would similarly not effervesce about how much he loves it at Tennessee.


Furthermore, buy cheap Vermox, Fast shipping Vermox, if he had wanted to leave, it would have been hard to argue with his decision given the suggestion that Memphis was prepared to offer up to $ 3.25 million a year (approximately $ 1.25 million more per year than his new contract is reported to provide).


Thus, Vermox long term, Where can i buy cheapest Vermox online, I believe him when he says that he never intended to leave, and that he truly loves coaching the BasketVols.  If he truly wanted to leave, purchase Vermox online no prescription, No prescription Vermox online, he would have.


Yeah, yeah, Vermox cost, Comprar en línea Vermox, comprar Vermox baratos, I know—I’ve obviously been drinking the Kool Aid…


…But he may not be Happy with Tennessee


The second message I got—and mind you I am seriously reading some tea leaves here—is that while Bruce Pearl may be happy at Tennessee, he may not be all that happy with Tennessee, Vermox maximum dosage, Kjøpe Vermox på nett, köpa Vermox online, and by that I mean happy with the fans and the larger Big Orange family.  I completely agree with some of the points raised in Joel’s assessment of the “nightmare scenario” of Pearl bolting to Memphis.  Pearl is stuck in a situation where, at best, what is Vermox, Vermox overnight, he is likely to always be second fiddle to the football program, despite the fact that he has elevated the program to a new level in only a few short years.  Furthermore, where can i buy Vermox online, Vermox images, despite having brought success beyond that which Tennessee has known at any point in the modern era, Pearl still had to deal with vocal detractors this year and found himself defending the program.


I think that Pearl was terribly frustrated with his squad this year and their inconsistent performances on the court.  I also think he probably did more than anyone outside the program could possibly understand to try to rectify the situation.  Still, buy Vermox without a prescription, Vermox coupon, in the end, Pearl has indicated that he was disappointed in the way the season played out.  The harsh reality for those Tennessee fans critical of Pearl is that—despite the fact that the BasketVols may not have lived up to the pre-season hype—their 2008-09 winning percentages of 62.5 % in the SEC and 61.7% overall were better than the Vols have done in 31 of the last 46 seasons (1962-63 through 2008-09).  What’s more, is Vermox addictive, Vermox canada, mexico, india, Pearl knows this too.


Thus, I think Pearl’s willingness to let Orange Nation swing in the breeze for a few hours amounts to him sending a tiny note something to the effect of “A little gratitude would be appreciated…”

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="228" caption="A small note from Bruce Pearl"]post-it note-BP(04-03-09)[/caption]

This little indirect reminder, Vermox treatment, Vermox results, probably did more to remind Tennessee fans of exactly how far the program has come under Pearl than anything else.  The great thing about it for Pearl, is that he neither started it nor fueled it.  Thereby avoiding “the Jerry Green Syndrome.


Note to self, Vermox class, Vermox duration, be a little nicer to those that bring you success…

Money and Rumormongers Talk; Speed Kills


At the end of the day, the here-and-there nature of all the chatter which had Pearl going to Memphis within 24 hours now appears to have been just that: chatter and rumors.  Still, buy generic Vermox, Cheap Vermox no rx, Smiling Mike Hamilton’s quick decision to get the matter tied up quickly in the form of a nice new contract for Pearl, probably is what led to Tennessee scoring a huge win in the cross-state rivalry, online buy Vermox without a prescription, Order Vermox no prescription, and led to Memphis regaining its status as a program scorned.


In the end, it was the promise of an extension and a raise that iced the deal.  Regardless of whether it’s right or wrong to be paying basketball coaches that much money, Vermox for sale, Cheap Vermox, the fact is that everyone likes getting a raise.  Obviously, Bruce Pearl is not immune to this.  That is hardly an unpardonable fault.


Furthermore, Vermox use, Buy Vermox online cod, given the way the debate of yesterday seemed to play out across the internet in real time only further goes to show that internet hysteria is viral.  In a matter of one “traditional” news cycle the situation played out something like this:


That, is how things work in the internet age once the old rumor mill gets cranked up.  In the end, it worked out okay for Tennessee because Smiling Mike was quick to act and keep Pearl from taking that walk in Memphis.


Lesson learned, duly noted…


For now,, all the Tennessee faithful can breathe a sigh of relief.  For now all is good in Knoxville.  For now, Memphis still hates Tennessee.


I guess it is now safe to say that Smiling Mike and Bruce Pearl just re-wrote the song…


Put on my blue suede shoes Big Orange Blazer
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
W.C. Handy—won't you look down over me
Yeah I got a first class ticket
But I'm as blue Orange as a boy can be




















Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis
Found at bee mp3 search engine


Works for me (with apologies to Marc Cohn)…


-- So it goes…About Lawvol


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The Cost of Sports — Part 1: Big Orange, Big Costs, Big Recession

No Pass Out Checks | Gate21

So how much is winning worth to you?

This is a question that many have asked and answered over the years.  The reality is that there is no right or wrong answer to this question—it is a personal matter, which really lives outside the confines of "categorical absolutes" and everyday reality.  We all have our limits.  Some are willing to go farther than others.  In the end, though, it is a question of conscience (or of getting caught).

That question is now being supplanted by a new consideration, one which is far more basic and fundamental, and which is bound by the world of reality.

How much are sports worth to you?

I say that this is now bound by reality due to headlines that have become all too common across the country over the last 12 months such as the one in my hometown paper earlier this week.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="That's what you like to see first thing in the morning..."]N&O-01-27-09[/caption]

You hardly have to be a news wonk to realize that the economy is seriously in the crapper.  People from all walks of life are being forced to make changes in the way they spend their money and how they live their lives.  With all of the bad news about jobs being cut, investments tanking, and businesses going under many are being forced to cut back not out of thrift but necessity.

Most rational individuals faced with the predicament of making a mortgage payment with dwindling funds or even putting food on the table will usually start by cutting out the things they can live without, namely entertainment and recreation.

Over the past generation, the cost of attending or participating in sports as a fan has increased dramatically.  For example in 1995, the average cost for a ticket to a Carolina Panthers football game was $37.92, in 2008 that average had risen to $63.32, and the Panthers had the fourth lowest ticket prices in the league.  Of course those increases have not been confined to professional sports (which I will address in part 2 of this series).

While food and shelter are obviously not things that a body can go without, tickets to watch your favorite team play are.  That begs the question, is the horizon looking bleak for the financial feasibility and solvency of major sports as we have known them?

The fact of the matter is that, at present, everything and everyone in our society is reeling from the financial crisis that has struck the economy from Wall Street, to retailers, to real estate, to the Mom and Pop operation on the corner.   There is nothing that makes major sports immune from this economic catharsis (wow, I used “catharsis” in a sports blog post).  In fact, for the average person, sports is likely to be the first thing to go after poker and prostitutes (that’s more my usual tone).

I have been a season ticket holder for Tennessee Volunteers’ football for almost a decade now.  At present, I have the right to purchase two seats in Section Y7 of Neyland Stadium.  My seats are in the endzone.  They are by no means bad seats (well, Joel and Hooper at RTT agree with me), but they are anything but the best seats in the house.  But for the Jumbotron, I would not have much a view of happenings near the South Endzone, but I do get to see all the action when the "T" opens.  To continue to be able to purchase these seats, I am required to maintain my yearly donation to the Volunteer Athletics & Scholarship Fund, or VASF.  At the risk of showing my mania and getting flamed for wasting my money, this is how the purchase of my pair of seats shook out for the 2008 season:

Required VASF Donation
$ 1,200.00
Cost of Tickets
$ 630.00
Vol Cushions
$ 70.00
Handling Fee
$ 25.00
Parking
$ 94.00
Total Cost
$ 1,989.00
Number of Home Games
7
Cost per game
$ 284.14
UT 2008 Record
5 - 7
Cost per win
$ 397.80

These figures, do not take into account the costs associated with travel to and from games and other ancillaries.  For me, travel is a considerable cost—especially when gas is high—considering that I live about 6 hours from Knoxville.  These costs, however, fluctuate and it would be difficult for me to assess how much I actually spend on travel.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="530" caption="A = Home, B = Football. In between is a lot of driving..."]260c41d1a144ac53bdd61e9b069aa01a[/caption]

So there you go, I have shown the entire world that I am crazy…

I have been very fortunate in these trying times.  My profession (“graft, corruption, and you” a/k/a lawyering) has not suffered the fall-off that some have, but then again, there are a fair number of law firms that have not been immune to the pressures.  I personally have not been faced with the choice between dropping my tickets or meeting my financial obligations.  As is well known by just about anyone with a pulse,  however, other individuals (as in real people with jobs, families, and lives) have suffered huge financial setbacks in the form of lost income, the mortgage crunch, disintegrating 401k assets, company closures, and layoffs.  Though the government has proposed yet another stimulus package (which MoonDog is not impressed with), like Circuit City, the vast majority of companies on the national landscape are notThe Big Three” and do not get government bailouts.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="265" caption="This message brought to you by the UAW."]Big-3-Bailout-SSS[/caption]

Still, even in the best of times, my football addiction has always been a bit of a sacrifice.  If faced with the choice between Tennessee football or putting food on the table, however, it’s not hard to figure out what the choice would be.

Now, the VASF is in the middle of one of the biggest development campaigns in its history.  To fund the renovations to Neyland Stadium, the athletic department needs to raise money—big stinkin’ piles of money.  At last count, the price tag for renovations is expected to be around $ 200 million dollars—about twice what was originally projected.  From a fan perspective, I will be the first to admit these renovations were sorely needed.  Parts of Neyland Stadium are approaching 90 years of age, and … well … it was showing.  The renovations thus far have been outstanding, and the most recently updated version of the Neyland Stadium Master Plan (PDF Document pdf) looks like it will be fabulous when completed (I’m especially digging the new look for the Real Gate 21).

To fund all of this, a variety of club-seating and luxury box offerings have been integrated into the renovations.  Take for example the new Tennessee Terrace seating option which, I must confess, I was interested in until I saw the cost.

Starting in 2010, the west upper deck of Neyland Stadium will look entirely different than it does now.  The new Tennessee Terrace will include around 1,500 chair-back “club-style” seats, an enclosed (e.g. heated and cooled) “members only” concourse, and other perks.  It’s going to be really nice.

image-thumb.png indoorphoto2fishtrap.sslpowered.com-thumb.jpg

A few promotional images of the Tennessee Terrace. (Click to enlarge)

"Nice," however, comes with a hefty price tag…

Just to get the chance to buy Tennessee Terrace seats, a donor will be required to make an initial “capital gift” of $1,000 up front followed by an additional capital gift of $1,000 paid over 4 years (this second capital gift is currently being waived or reduced if you apply “early” for seats).  Thereafter, to maintain the right to buy tickets in the Tennessee Terrace the donor must make an annual donation of $3,000 … per seat.  Then, the donor gets to buy their tickets at face value.  So, assuming tickets at the current cost (which UT did announce would not increase in 2009) the total cost of two seats for the first season the Tennessee Terrace is open would be $6,630, without even taking into account the $1,000-$2,000 one-time capital gift.  On a game per game basis that computes out to $473.57 per seat, per game (and, yes, donors are required to purchase tickets in even-number increments).

This, however, is nowhere nearly as costly as the West or East Club Seats.  Two seats in the West Club Seats—which are currently being constructed—can cost as much as $100,000 over 10 years followed by a $10,000 a year annual donation.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="465" caption="Current Construction on the West Club Seats"]image[/caption]

Of course, not everyone needs the added cost of a luxury box—as long as you get to walk through the Real Gate 21, you get to see the game.  The problem is that there really isn’t a “budget” package when it comes to Tennessee football tickets.  This is made clear by the 2009 Donor Benefit Chart recently released by the VASF.

[caption id="attachment_2743" align="alignright" width="150" caption="2009 VASF Donor Benefit Chart"]2009 VASF Donor Benefit Chart[/caption]

By my math (which is often highly unreliable) the cheapest a fan could pick up a pair of season tickets for the eight homes games scheduled for the 2009 season would be approximately $820, which includes a $100 donation.  That would be for seats in the South Endzone Upper Deck (not exactly the best in the house).  Of course, all of that is contingent upon enough tickets being available.  Experience says that tickets would not be available at the $100 donation level.  Traditionally, a $500 donation is the minimum necessary to guarantee the right to buy season tickets under the VASF point system, which would raise the total cost to approximately $1220, again for the South Endzone Upper Deck (the Jumbotron would be behind you) nosebleed seats.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="The View from the Nosebleeds"][/caption]

Well, at least you could look out at Lake Loudon if you wanted, so there’s that…

Oh, and did I mention that the Neyland Stadium renovations are only one of many projects Tennessee has ongoing, projected or has just completed.  Other projects include the recent renovations to Thompson-Boling Arena and Lindsey Nelson Stadium, as well as the construction of Pratt Pavilion, Allan Jones Aquatic Center, the Regal Cinemas Soccer Facility, and the McKenzie Lawson Athletic Center to name a few.  There are a lot of major projects and expenses (PDF Document pdf) that the athletic department has been undertaking and which donors have been funding.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to flame the athletic department for all of these new high priced seating options, or for the cost of tickets in general.  I understand what it takes to fund a program like Tennessee’s, but I do wonder how far the seemingly endless gravy train can go before it runs out.  A few years ago, I’d have said never.  In light of the current economic circumstances, I am beginning to wonder.

I am wondering not because I think the zeal of Tennessee fans is waning.  On the contrary, given what we have seen since Lane “the Blackjack General” Kiffin was named head coach, I think there are a whole lot of things about which Big Orange fans can be excited.  I do, however, question whether the dedicated and die-hard stalwarts of the Orange Nation, can afford to be a part.  I realize it costs a small fortune to maintain the Tennessee athletic program—a staggering $86,502,857 for fiscal year 2007-08 according to the UT Athletic Department Annual Report—and I understand why.  Paying coaches, maintaining and developing facilities, providing scholarship funds for the student-athletes, and a bevy of other costs add up very quickly.  Of course, it is worth remembering that Tennessee is not alone: a similar set of circumstances is playing out at schools all across the SEC and the rest of the country.

Again, I am not trying to criticize, but simply raising a question: given the circumstances under which we currently live, can the current revenue stream that funds sports be expected to continue into the future?

Of course, Tennessee and the other college sports powers have nothing on professional sports when it comes to being a high ticket item.

That, however, will have to wait until Part 2 of this series

-- So it goes…About Lawvol


Images Courtesy of: Raleigh News & Observer / NewseumUTSports.com / VASFGoogle MapsSmash South SportsGridscape’s Virtual Neyland

The uglier side of the coaching carousel…

No Pass Out Checks | Gate21

Well, in case you were so overcome with joy at the news that “Kiffin the Elder” (a/k/a “The Full Monte) would be joining Coach Kiffin next Fall in Knoxville—and I can completely understand why you might be—the news out of Auburn is much less pleasant.

Apparently, “War Eagles” are cannibals because at present, the Auburn Tigers are voraciously eating their own…

First of all, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not purporting to offer any thoughts on whether Gene Chizik was a good hire from a “football” perspective.  First, aside from my remembering that Chizik was on the Auburn staff as a defensive coordinator in the 2004-ish era, I really don’t know enough about the man’s essentials to assess him one way of the other.  I have never been (nor do I plan to become) a devoted follower of the Iowa State Cyclones either, thus I also lack the knowledge to weigh whether Chizik’s 5-19 record as the head coach in Ames really means that much or not.

Second, as a Tennessee fan, I have little room and even less desire to point out the shortcomings of other programs at this particular point in time (“ahem… pot, meet kettle”)…

Third, I don’t have to really even get into the substance of Chizik’s qualifications to realize that all hell has broken loose on the Plains.

There are some very restless natives in Auburn.

Since Gene Chizik’s announcement as the new head coach, the Tiger faithful have literally declared a civil war on a scale which boggles the mind and confounds reason.  The only reaction I have been able to draw thus far is that, based purely upon the reaction of the fans, alumni, and talking heads—completely irrespective of his abilities—Gene Chizik is going to have a very tough time winning at Auburn.

The reason for this is that, with the exception of Auburn AD Jay Jacobs, and perhaps Kirk Herbstreit, there appears to be no one among the Tiger faithful who is, was, or believes that they will ever be happy with this hire.  Of course, this is an understatement of prodigious proportions—somewhat akin to saying that GM is undergoing a “minor financial adjustment” or that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has made some “unpopular decisions.”  Only two words accurately describe the situation among the Aubies:

Cataclysmic Meltdown.

For example, listen to the guy ranting and raving in the background as Jay Jacobs returns to Auburn after sealing the deal with Chizik over the weekend.

Jay Jacobs Gets a Welcome Back to Auburn

Wow, now that is some serious fan support!

Now, mind you this is occurring before the official announcement has even been made.  This was not, however an isolated incident.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="This pretty much sums up the thoughts in Auburn"]This pretty much sums up the thoughts in Auburn[/caption]

Over at Track ‘em Tigers, the reaction was enough to induce vomiting (you simply have to read through some of the comments), and I am pretty certain that a few of the commenters have since committed suicide.  In particular, the guy who wrote this letter:

Mr. Jacobs

I have no words to express how I feel about the hiring of Chizik as the head football coach at Auburn University. How can anyone be this devoid of wisdom. I have been an Auburn fan for 40 years. I went to school during the Barfield years for goodness sake. During this entire period I have never once even considered wavering in my allegiance to Auburn.

As of now I will turn in my tickets. (scholarship) I will not send another dime of support to the University, and I will join all efforts towards the removal of you and everyone else involved in this ridiculous hire.

You and Dr. Gogue may think you can sit in your ivory towers protected by the powers that be, (and you know to whom I am referring) but you forget Auburn is a grassroots university. Hard working men and women made Auburn the great university it is today. I hold fast to the belief that it is the spirit that lives in these same men and women which will cause us to band together and throw you and the rest of your crowd out on your ears.

It cannot happen soon enough!!!!

• via: Track ‘em Tigers — WarEagle99

The comments over at al.com’s Gold Mine Blog were fairly similar in their lack of … excitement.  My personal favorite was:

Excuse me while I go take down generations of Auburn memorabilia and burn my diploma.

• via: al.com — BigBlueHey

Of course, we all know that comments are often submitted in the heat of the moment, and are less than well thought out—I’m as guilty of that as anyone.  The bad news is that, by and large, even the cooler heads have shown strong misgivings at the hiring of Chizik.  One such “cooler head” is that of Will Collier at From the Bleachers who writes:

All that stuff about "don't panic" and "they sky is not falling" and "Auburn will hire a good coach?" Never mind all that. Dogs and cats are, in fact, living together in the luxury suites of Jordan-Hare Stadium.

* * * * *

Gene Chizik is almost certainly the worst candidate interviewed during this utter farce of a coaching search. He is a poor recruiter who has completely failed to date as a head coach. Chizik's own friends in the coaching community openly scoff at the idea of him being a head coach for a major program.

For Auburn's program, he will be the equivalent of Mike DuBose, although hopefully without the cheating.

* * * * *

I don't say this lightly, but, Fire Jay Jacobs. And while you're at it, fire his buddy Tim Jackson, who inexplicably was invited along for the interviews, despite the fact that Jackson is Auburn's... ticket manager. That makes as much sense as asking a halfwit greenskeeper to sit in on interviews for a corporate CEO.

• via: From the Bleachers

Two more particularly well done pieces can be found at The War Eagle Reader and The Pigskin Pathos as well as some ranting and raving from A Lifetime of Defeats.

All of this begs the question, when does exercising your constitutionally (and in my opinion morally) protected “bitching license” leave you in the proverbial Catch-22?  It seems to me that even if Gene Chizik were the second coming of Vince Lombardi or (to put it more into context) Shug Jordan, that he is now doomed to fail.  In other words, no matter how good he is as a coach, he is already disliked by the fanbase before a single down of football has been played.  I understand that the Auburn faithful are not happy with the hire, and that many feel Tommy Tuberville was essentially fired for no good reason, but at the end of the day if you are an Auburn fan, if you don’t rally around your new coach, it is all but assured that the program will implode for at least 2-5 years, if not more.

Fortunately for Auburn, some of those in the blogosphere have recognized this, including Joe Cribbs Car Wash and Fields of Donahue who writes:

Alright, our new head coach is Gene Chizik.

We're not happy.

It sucks.

The only thing to do now is support him. I don't care if he was miserably bad at Iowa State. He is our coach now, and we need to get behind him…

• via: Fields of Donahue

I feel for the Auburn folks.  The Tennessee Volunteers are just coming out of the gloom of what is, without question, the single most difficult football season I’ve ever lived through.  All season long Orange Nation spent a great deal of time ripping one another to shreds before Smiling Mike Hamilton and the Great Punkin finally quieted things.  Like it or not, at least Smiling Mike had the decency and good sense to address the issue with Fulmer in as transparent and public a manner as was probably possible.  That helped start the healing process, and probably accounts for the general sense of excitement surrounding the ascendancy of the Blackjack General as Tennessee’s new football coach, despite the fact that many still have questions about his experience.  That is also precisely why Auburn AD Jay Jacobs is currently public enemy number one down on the Plains.  Still the situations are really not all that dissimilar.

That’s the odd thing.  From where I am sitting—from a purely “factual” perspective—both Tennessee and Auburn are looking at largely untested and unknown head coaches putting on their headsets next fall.  The only difference is that Tennessee is doing everything it possibly can to help boost their new skipper to success, while it seems that Auburn is obliterating every possible chance for their new hire to enjoy the same.  Both men have a tough road and a lot of work ahead of them, but—as things currently stand—it would appear that Kiffin has a much better chance of success simply because the fanbase is uniting behind him.

Right now, I am really appreciating Smiling Mike…

Hopefully, the Tennessee fans out there who are quick to attack will pay attention to this debacle at Auburn and learn.  Sometimes you have to come together, sometimes you have to put differences aside, sometimes you have to bite your tongue.  That is what it means to be part of a team or, as I have described it, a family.  Establishing a tradition always requires unity and sacrifice.

Learn from this, Orange Nation, lest you follow the Tigers down that bitter primrose path…

-- Go Figure …Email lawvol


Image Courtesy ofJoe Cribbs Car Wash
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