Posts Tagged ‘Rocky Top’

Headlines, Links & Lies: “Shystering is Hard Work” Edition

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Lovin’ ‘da Law

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a bit scarce lately.  Such is the nature of a lucrative, overly time consuming, and somewhat sketchy litigation practice.  For the record, if taking 14 depositions in 16 days is on your list of things to do, take it from me: skip it.

There have been a lot of things going on lately, but, in light of my near-perpetual absence over the last fortnight, I’ve had little to no opportunity to say one thing about any of them.  Thus, here are a few items of interest I felt like passing along:

bullet Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top” is Released:

You’re going to be hearing a lot about this book, including my own review which I hope to post later this week.  In short, Travis’ new offering is outstanding.  I have read a lot of sports books over the years, and this one is one of the best.  What’s more, you do not have to be a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers to enjoy this wonderful look at SEC football and—more importantly—SEC fandom.

You may remember Clay Travis from his days at DeadSpin and as a contributor on CBS  He is also the author of “Dixeland Delight” and “Man! The Book” as well as a contributor to the “Rocky Top 2009” annual published by Maple Street Press (to which I also contributed).

Seriously, if you are a fan of SEC football, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Travis’ new book.  Trust me, you will be glad you did.  “On Rocky Top” is now available at bookstores or through web retailers such as

I’ll be offering up a little more on this one in the near future…

bullet The 2009 CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll

Yes, yes, friends and neighbors, once again the powers that be have elected to allow yours truly to participate in the CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll.  All I can say is that I am truly honored to get the chance to cast my weekly vote for the Top 25 college football programs and to be counted among some of the best of the best in the blogosphere, and, yes, there are a bunch of great blogs involved, including my brethren at Rocky Top Talk and 3SIB.

The format for the 2009 BlogPoll will be the same as in the past.  Each week, I will post a Draft or Preliminary Ballot after the conclusion of the week’s football frivolity (usually on Sunday night or Monday morning) for those of you out there to attack and destroy with all your gusto and might via your comments.  Please, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong or flame me for being an idiot.  Interaction with the fan community is a core component of the BlogPoll philosophy.  I promise that I will consider all comments.  Thereafter (around Wednesday-ish) I will—at least in theory—post a revised ballot noting any changes made as a result of your insults input and epithets suggestions or based upon other developments around the world of college football.  From there, the collective will of blogosphere will be posted for all to see at CBS, along with an analysis of the week’s balloting by the BlogPoll Illustrious Potentate, Brian Cook of the venerable MGOBlog.

In any event, the BlogPoll is a really wonderful partnership between the traditional media and the world of sports-bloggers (dare I say, “the Fifth Estate”?) and is a lot of fun for voters and readers alike.  Look for the first ballot next week.

bullet SEC Power Poll

In much the same vein, as above, Gate 21 will be kicking off it’s participation in the 2009 SEC Power Poll, which brings SEC sports-bloggers together to rank each of the SEC schools on a weekly basis.  Last year this was a ton of fun.  Just like with the BlogPoll, I promise to consider any and all comments from the peanut gallery regarding my weekly ballots.

Once submitted, each week Power Poll is analyzed and sensationalized by the CockNFire of Garnet and Black Attack and Team Speed Kills.  For me, this is one of the best opportunities in blogging.  As a dyed-in-the-wool SEC fan, there is nothing closer to my heart than all things “ESS-EEE-SEE!”  I have also been known to … err … take a bit of creative license with my analyses of the various team, but I figure, what the hell?

bullet RTT College Football Pick ‘em Pool

Though I had given some thought to creating my own weekly college football pick’em contest, I decided that the best option was simply to ride the coattails of the competent collaborate with others.  Furthermore, I just enjoy it more when there are more folks involved, thus, I will be participating in Rocky Top Talk’s College Pick’em Pool which is hosted at Fun Office  The interface and function is easy to use, and it is just a lot of fun to show the entire world just how brilliant or how stupid you are.  Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?  All you have to do is sign up and you’re good to go.  Be sure to jump in before the season starts.

Oh, and I assure you that the College Pick’em Pool does not violate the SEC’s new Media Policy (which is as laughable as it is draconian).

Yeah, I know, not much in the way of substance, but this lawyerin’ is getting to be like having a job…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Coming soon to Newsstands: “Rocky Top Tennessee 2009″

Shoutin Out | Gate 21

Tennessee Football In case you haven’t heard, there’s a pretty great new Tennessee Football preview annual coming out in only a few short days.  It’s from Maple Street Press and is entitled: “Rocky Top Tennessee 2009.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking to yourself “those previews are all the same, a bunch of the same basic statistics and information re-styled to make them appear shiny and new.”  In most circumstances you would be correct, but this preview is a little different than most.  You see, Maple Street Press does not approach these sorts of publications the way that some of the other publishers do.  They turn independent writers and bloggers who are passionate about their team and ask them to write on subjects that are near and dear to their hearts.

The result is a 128 pages of thoughtful insight, analysis, and perspective that the mainstream press simply does not offer.  Furthermore, if your a regular reader here at Gate 21 and other sites across the web, you’ll recognize some of the writers and be pleasantly surprised at the ways Rocky Top Tennessee 2009 differs from the run-of-the-mill preview magazine.

Read the rest of this entry

Our Ushers (Writers)

Yes, just like the real Gate 21, we here at the Gate have our faithful band of ticket-takers to grant admission, to help guide you on your way, and to call the cops if you throw up and pass out on some little old Grandma from Sequatchie County due to all those airplane bottles you snuck into the stadium.

Thus, here are our ushers, ready and willing to serve…

“Lawvol” — Publisher and Editor-in-Chief :

A less than reputable sort, who earns his money as a shyster and evidence manipulation specialist (a/k/a lawyer). A graduate of the University of Tenne-”stand up and smile when you say it“-see, who also attended Tarhead U for his “trade school.” Lawvol claims to be a former member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, but the group has long since disclaimed any such affiliation and is currently seeking a court order to that effect.

A dedicated Tennessee and SEC sports fan, collector of farked (photoshopped) photos, confirmed blowhard, and general pain-in-the-ass who believes if you didn’t want to be made fun of, then you probably should have just stayed in bed. He is best known for his lack of intelligence, inability to use the English language properly, fixation on the use of dashes — “–” — in his posts, and his habit of employing poorly doctored graphics to cover the lack of meaningful content in his writing.

In addition to his efforts as the Illustrious Potentate here at Gate 21, Lawvol has served as a guest writer for various other blogs including the venerable Rocky Top Talk and is currently a voting member of the SEC Power Poll and the CBS College Football BlogPoll (no, he is not above name dropping). He has also been known to design logos and blog themes for bloggers across the blogosphere. You can learn more on this by visiting Gate 21 Graphics.

During football season, Lawvol can be regularly found in the north endzone of Neyland Stadium, quietly cursing under his breath as the Vols do battle on the gridiron. As you might have guessed, he enters the stadium via the real Gate 21. Believe it or not, it has actually been confirmed that he has all of his teeth and, contrary to the claims of some people, those morals charges about that sheep were dismissed.

Lawvol freely invites comments and complaints as well as emails from the complimentary to hysterical…

VolAmbassador | Gate 21“VolAmbassador” — Author and Contributor:

VolAmbassador writes on behalf of all Tennessee expatriates who have been flung to the far corners of the globe.   At present, VolAmbassador is exiled to stationed in Washington, DC, serving as a liaison between  Lane Kiffin and US government.  VolAmbassador also attends law school at American University on the side, a school he specifically chose because it did not have a football team, therefore could never undermine his loyalty to UT football.  While at the University of Tennessee, he was a football player of a different sort, playing rugby for none other than the University of Tennessee Rugby Football Club.  While playing, he appeared in no less than three national championship tournaments and at least seven fights.  He was far more successful in the latter than the former.

VolAmbassador is also an active member of the UT Alumni Association of DC — a motley crew of equally poor repute.  In his free time, he likes to attend game-watching parties at opposing teams’ bars to give public service announcements regarding  Rocky Top’s lyrics and Lane Kiffin’s impending dominance.  This may or may not have resulted in his banishment from several establishments in the DC area.  If you’re ever in the DC area , feel free to e-mail VolAmbassador and drop by the embassy.

Though VolAmbassador has an opinion on everything, he rarely has a point on anything.  So if you ever feel like he deserves an e-shellacking or you just feel like harrassing him, feel free to lay it on him.

Home Sweet Home | Gate 21“Home Sweet Home” — Author and Contributor:

Unlike Lawvol, Home Sweet Home — or “HSH” as he is sometimes called — is an actual writer.  A Journalism / Electronic Media major at the University of Tennessee, this Memphis native hopes to go into sports broadcasting, writing, or something along those lines in the near future.

Home Sweet Home | Gate 21In case you didn’t “get it” his name derives from a line in every Tennessee fan’s favorite song, and is a clear reference to Good Ole’ Rocky Top.

HSH previously edited his own blog, “The View From The Hill” before signing on here at the Gate in the Fall of 2008 in hopes of bringing some actual intelligent content — a nice change from the drivel produced by Lawvol.  He’s a huge Vol fan who has been attending games in Knoxville for many years.  In addition to his passion for Tennessee football and basketball, he enjoys following the NFL and the NBA.

Among other things, HSH is the primary author for the “View From the Hill” feature here at Gate 21.  Basically, sports are a big part of his life.

You can email him, harass him, or offer him money to commit unspeakable acts by clicking the button below.


Big Orange Roundtable Round-Up!

Big Orange Roundtable

Round-Up: It’s Football Time Again

My first week as the host of the totally awesome Big Orange Roundtable has come to a close, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. Actually, the Big Orange Roundtable has just completed it’s first run-through of all the Vol bloggers and it starts back up next week over at Yo’ Mama Slept With Big Wilt. I’m sure Thomas will have some excellent questions as it’s Florida week.


Enough of me, time for me to share the Roundtable’s answers. Since we’re all family here on the Roundtable and I’m just a nice guy, I’m going to include everyone in the round-up. You’re welcome…

(1) So we’re all still pissed off from losing to a UCLA team we would without a doubt beat at worst eight times out of 10, and now a pretty bad UAB team comes to Knoxville before the epic showdown with Florida and the rest of the SEC gauntlet – the deep breath before the plunge, if you will. What I simply want to know is what do YOU want to see from the Vols this Saturday?

Most of the answers to this question involved three things: (1) running the football, (2) some reason to feel positive about Jonathan Crompton, and (3) better coaching.

The always funny Jai Eugene at LWS wants better hands from the receivers (and Arian Foster). Thomas at YMSWWC used this question as an opportunity to bash RayCom’s three Daves. MoonDog wants the coaches to show that they actually can adjust in-game. Ghost over at 3SIB wants our offensive line to find their male parts and lead the way to an unstoppable running attack.

Much like Ghost, Will at SESB wants a reason to believe…and to pound the football only as to prepare for the Florida showdown next Saturday. New Roundtable member Patrick (what a great name!) at C4J uses his days of living in the B’ham and makes it personal: he wants to kick the Blazers while they’re down with a 65-point beatdown an old-fashioned ass-whoopin’.

(2) Flashback to Saturday night in Gainesville: up 23-3, Florida gets a good punt return by Brandon James inside the Miami 20. With 1:56 left, Urban Meyer sends Tim Tebow back in, and, after a screen pass, a throw into the endzone, and a lost-yardage run, Florida kicks a sand-in-the-face field goal with :25 left, prompting a death stare from Cane coach Randy Shannon and eventually a “handshake” at midfield after the game. Thoughts?

I have to be honest, I asked this question for the sole purpose of bashing Urban Meyer and watching others do it too. I hate Urban Meyer. Ghost also hates Nick Saban, but respects him. Urban? Not so much. Thomas calls Urban an asshole. Patrick does wish Randy Shannon had punched Urban’s face off. Jai? He makes the Gators/Patriots comparison.

MoonDog and Will took the higher road and didn’t express dislike for Urban Meyer or his move, with good reasoning. MoonDog points out the Gators’ recent fails against Miami and sending the message that Florida is the state’s best team as good enough reason to kick the field goal. Will went all sneaky – he says Miami should act like it’s not big deal on the outside, but use it for motivation to build up to the next meeting with the Gators and exact revenge then.

(3) And finally, a question that I’m not sure has been so directly asked in the course of the Roundtable, but one that needs answering: the “woo” in Rocky Top…do you “woo” and why do/don’t you “woo”?

This question sparked quite a bit of debate, as I thought. We actually had a comment on Gate 21 saying a trumpet player back in ’92/’93 “woo”ed once. The band caught on and started doing it, then the stadium followed and the rest is history. Whether that’s true or not, the “woo” has been a part of Rocky Top as long as I can remember. But the consensus on the Roundtable? The “woo” sucks.

Thomas says “woo”ing is only for Ric Flair (see below…). MoonDog wants to shoot the aforementioned trumpet player for starting it. Patrick went with the gutsy admission of his love of the “woo,” expressing his inner Mike Gundy. Will? admits he enjoys the “woo,” but also defaulted to Ghost, whose answer was nothing short of epic…

This is going to bring into question my manhood, but I’m OK with that. I’m confident in my sexuality, but I must answer this with a story.

My wife — Mrs. Ghost — is a beautiful but immature lady. I love her, but she’s a Bama fan, No. 1, and No. 2, she absolutely loves 1980s music. Now, I’m not talking about the Thompson Twins, Howard Jones, Africa and all the tolerable stuff. No, no, no. My wife loves the New Kids on the Block. (I have another name for them … Yes, it’s the same as yours.) Well, Mrs. Ghost has been beside herself about the release of NKOTB’s new album — which since I download … er… bought, she HATES by the way — because she loved, loved, LOVED that new song about the Girls of Summer, or something like that.

So, I got the CD for her Sunday afternoon and on the way to church that night, she proceeds to pop in the CD and play the song that is on the radio right now. It is a terrible song with no vocal quality at all, but it’s got a catchy beat. Now, when I say that sentence right there, my wife says, “You know you like it.” And I hate it. The “B-A-N-A-N-A-S” song by Gwen Stefani was horrible. The “My Humps” song is my least favorite song of all-time. Going back even further, I despise “Love Shack” by the B-52’s. But it’s those songs — THOSE HORRIBLE SONGS — that get in your head. So, sure enough, when we were waiting for preaching to start standing on the front porch, I began humming the song. My wife gets a little half-smile, looks at me sideways and says, “See, you DO like that song.” I wanted to punch her.

Anyway, all that brings me to this: I’m completely and whole-heartedly against the WOO! in Rocky Top. I hate it. I think it’s stupid. If we wanted a stupid cheer, we’d have adopted Two Bits from the Gators or not let Ole Miss steal “Hotty Toddy” from us. I hate stupidity. And the “WOO” is our stupidity.

But, but, but in the heat of the moment after we score a touchdown and we’re dancing in the aisles and high-fiving complete strangers and clapping, I’ve caught myself WOOING before. I’m completely and abashedly ashamed. My fandom should be revoked.

That said, I hope there are thousands of WOOs! come Saturday.

Ghost, that took guts. Jai, not to be outdone, gives us his own history of the “woo,” and discusses how 14 year-old girls view the “woo.” I’m still laughing at his answer.

As I commented on 3SIB, I think everybody – even the toughest of the “tough” guys – deep, deep, down, knows they have “woo”ed before – they’re just in denial. And as my last act as Roundtable host, I’m going to plain straight overload on the “woo”…

YouTube Preview Image

Guys, it’s been fun. Maybe lawvol – who also answered my questions here – will let me answer next week…

Big Orange Roundtable: UAB Week

Big Orange Roundtable

Big Orange Roundtable: Week 10

It was supposed to be my turn to host the continuing Roundtable over at my old site (The View From The Hill), but obviously I’m no longer there. Nevertheless, I’m sticking to my repsonsibility and I’m just running it from my not-so-new place here at Gate 21.

I’ll try not to complain about not having a bad week – with “mighty” UAB coming up after a bye week…after a loss to a middling Pac-10 team…on national TV… – and just do my job: ask some questions, answer them, and hope the rest of the Roundtable members remember (I have faith they will).

Alright, here’s my trio of questions…

(1) So we’re all still pissed off from losing to a UCLA team we would without a doubt beat at worst eight times out of 10, and now a pretty bad UAB team comes to Knoxville before the epic showdown with Florida and the rest of the SEC gauntlet – the deep breath before the plunge, if you will. What I simply want to know is what do YOU want to see from the Vols this Saturday?

First and foremost, nobody gets hurt. We’re an untimely injury at a couple of different positions away from being in some hot water before getting into the SEC. We’re gonna need to be as healthy as possible to avoid disaster.

Offensively, I just want to see better execution. For example, how about we give the ball to Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty oh, say, about 40+ times, or until we’re up comfortably? Don’t even use the G-Gun – save it for Florida. I wouldn’t care how “vanilla” the playcalling is – Tennessee should be able to just run over, through, and around UAB (For a brief look at UAB, click here and scroll down…to the very bottom)

For Jonathan Crompton, just give Tennessee fans some hope that you’re gonna be able to get it done…as in not one-hopping balls to wide-open receivers and pretending to be throwing to Yao Ming.

Defensively, some adjustments in case UAB starts moving the ball against the Vols (they shouldn’t). UAB shouldn’t score double-digits on offense and a shutout would be nice. Like Crompton, just give the fans some hope that stopping the Gates is possible.

All this said, I expect a boring game where we play around with the Blazers for a little while before finally pulling away. We hardly blow any non-Sun Belt people away anymore, and though UAB lost to a Sun Belt team last week, we’ll probably “take it easy” on them.

(2) Flashback to Saturday night in Gainesville: up 23-3, Florida gets a good punt return by Brandon James inside the Miami 20. With 1:56 left, Urban Meyer sends Tim Tebow back in, and, after a screen pass, a throw into the endzone, and a lost-yardage run, Florida kicks a sand-in-the-face field goal with :25 left, prompting a death stare from Cane coach Randy Shannon and eventually a “handshake” at midfield after the game. Thoughts?

I hope to see some interesting answers for this one (or at least better than mine). Some say he had no other choice. Other use the “BCS Beauty Pageant” argument as if beating Miami 26-3 instead of 23-3 will make that much more of a difference in determining Florida’s postseason fate. Yet others say it was for the south Florida/Miami-area recruits who were in attendance – yeah not sure that is workin’ for ya, Urban. And finally some say he did it for the betting Gators (the kick covered the spread).

Miami coach Randy Shannon clearly wanted to slug Urban Meyer for that late field goal...he should have

I’ll say two things about this: first, say what you want but Urban ran it up on Tennessee last year, though fortunately I was out of the Swamp when he was doing it. That doesn’t really sit well with me and I’m sure our coaches and players remember. I’m not a fan of running it up unnecessarily. Now if you’re scoring with your backups that’s one thing, but when you put your starters in up 20 and try to score, that’s egotistical and annoying.

Secondly, this will backfire on him soon enough – it has to. Someone really important to the Gates will get hurt and people will unleash on him a la Mike Shula with Tyrone Prothro in 2005 (though hopefully nothing that awful happens to anybody).

(3) And finally, a question that I’m not sure has been so directly asked in the course of the Roundtable, but one that needs answering: the “woo” in Rocky Top…do you “woo” and why do/don’t you “woo”?

I pretty much never “woo” simply because I just don’t like it. Me “woo”ing is like an eclipse – it’s just not something I do. As for why, I just don’t like the addition. It takes away from the beautiful song that is Rocky Top. It seems too sorority girl-ish, though I’m all about the sorority girls…well, uh, some of them. I have no idea how or when it started, but whoever thought it was cool probably wasn’t.

I will say this about the “woo”: fans from other SEC schools hate the song, and if the “woo” was originally meant to be even more annoying, then it was good idea. But I sincerely doubt that’s the case…

As the Roundtable goes, as the other Vol blogs respond to my lousy questions, check back and I’ll have them linked:
- Third Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- NEW MEMBER!! Curveballs for Jesus
- Losers With Socks

Images Courtesy of: AP / John Raoux
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