Q and A with UT athletic director Mike Hamilton

Nobody is looking forward to the 2009 football season more than Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton.

After all, he’s the man who fired one of the most successful coaches in UT history and replaced him with a 33-year-old head coach armed with an assorted staff built on a unique and aggressive salary scale.

This all comes during hard economic times nationally and within UT’s academic walls.

Hamilton talked about economics and a variety of topics on the News Sentinel’s radio show, The Sports Page:

You typically don’t see a head coach take less money so his staff can have more. Is there a sense of gratification to have it done?

Yeah, I’m excited to have it done. More than that, I’m excited about the final product and who has been hired.

I think Lane did a nice job of effectively managing the budget and getting us where we need to go and bringing in some guys that we think can help us out and the kind of success we want to have.

How close is this staff to what you guys planned on the first week of December when Kiffin’s hiring was announced?

I think it’s close in a lot of respects. The main thing is starting out with Monte (Kiffin) and Ed (Orgeron) being two of the top targets early on in the first interview we had with Lane in Atlanta and he got that done pretty early.

He got in here and began recruiting in December. He came back to me at some point along the way, and he said 'For some of these positions I’ve decided that now being on the road I need some additional contacts in the South.' That’s why you see these additions that we had after the holidays of some guys who have a little more background in the South and the Southeastern Conference.

A couple of these guys weren’t on the original list that he was going to target, but as he got in the process and decided that was an important part of the equation, he went after it. I think that’s a good indication of his willingness to examine the lay of the land and determine what he needs to have to be successful.

What do you say to those people who say ‘How in the world can Mike Hamilton be spending more and more money on football, paying a coordinator over a million dollars when we are in the economic times we are in?’

With the coordinator, the salary we are paying Monte would not have been paid for anyone else. That was a targeted hire and he was making considerably more than we could pay him in the NFL. Frankly, he wouldn’t have come if it hadn’t been for his son being here and feeling like a place where he would want to live and possibly win a national championship.

This is a unique situation with that particular hire. As it relates to the investment of dollars, while we are higher than our previous staff, we are still about fourth in the league and I do look it at as a line item in our budget.

We are faced with the very real benefit of a new SEC television contract next year. The lion’s share of which is generated by football television, so it stands to reason that you want to continue to invest in football for the benefit of our own university and the benefit for the Southeastern Conference.

Football drives the financial engine of our train and for us to be successful financially, football has to be successful, or then we are put in the situation like most schools in America were they are relying on the institution for dollars. In these times, we cannot do that.

And that’s probably as much of an overriding factor as anything else. It’s almost a protection device to make sure we generate the kind of revenue to prevent to rely on the institution for dollars.

Do you think you will benefit from publicity in this?

I think so. I saw it from the formal conversations with athletic directors at the BCS National Championship game. Folks asking questions and inquiring about it and wanting to know salaries and it obviously got the attention from the guys there.

We’ve seen it from the standpoint of the excitement level of our fan base. Not only in new donors in the month of December, Tennessee Terrace club commitments in the month of December, (but) the numbers we are seeing that are responding to coming out to the recruiting celebration on February 5th, which is our coach standing in front of a room and going through film of guys that have signed with us the previous day.

We have 600-700 people that have signed up in Knoxville. I think the biggest crowd we’ve ever had was around 250-300. It sold out in Nashville at 500 people. It’s got 400-500 people signed up for it at Memphis. That is a testament to the excitement that’s being generated by the staff.

What kind of financial repercussions has the athletic department suffered from a subpar season?

Well, I don’t have the final concessions numbers yet, Dave, but that will be flat or slightly down. On the ticket side of things, we were probably off $750,000-$800,000 in ticket sales from what we had budgeted.

That’s a combination of things. I think the economy did have some bearing on it in addition to performance, but, yeah, there’s a financial impact to where we were last fall.

How do you expect the recruiting budget to be affected by the new staff in this economic environment?

This is going to be a very aggressive staff from a recruiting standpoint but I think they have been very targeted in what they’re trying to accomplish and they’ve got their eyes set on a particular group of guys in this class and obviously building toward 2010 as well.

So I don’t know what that number is going to look like yet in terms of recruiting dollars. I would imagine it would not be appreciably different from our previous staff. You know we already had the highest recruiting budget in America.

I would say these guys might spend a little bit less but I don’t know that. The proof will be in what we see.

Now, the other thing to say on this is, though these guys are coming in late, this three-week period of time, they are going to be spending a lot of their budget over this three-week period of time because the full staff is in place and they’re trying to make up ground with these guys and they’re trying to get some guys flipped to Tennessee as well.

So, the lion’s share of that money is going to be spent in this three-week period, as well.

I have been told that skybox revenue was off a little bit not just for football but for basketball as well. True?

No, that’s not true. The skyboxes for basketball are fully leased out and we have a waiting list in football. We won’t know what that looks like until March. March 1 is the deadline on recommitting on that.

With the economy, I would imagine there would be some people there but I’m anticipating with the excitement, those spots would be filled pretty readily.

How have your first impressions of Lane Kiffin been affected by the time you’ve spent around him since he was hired?

I just told somebody who walked into my office a minute ago, ‘I feel more confident today about Lane Kiffin’s ability to win here than I did a month ago. And I felt pretty confident about it a month ago.’

I think the impression is, that while he is very intense and very focused, he’s more relaxed than he was a month and a half ago because he has his staff around him now.

He knows the people that are around him, he’s got people he can trust around him and he’s got guys to go out and do what he wants to accomplish on the road.

I like him. He’s different from some of our other coaches but an incredibly focused individual who when you tell him you can do this and you can’t do that he understands where the lines are and he moves forward. He’s not really about making excuses about why we can’t win. He’s about why we are going to win.

And everything he told me in November . . . he’s delivered on that. And we’ve had quite a few opportunities to be together one-on-one. We communicate quite a bit by text or phone when he’s on the road but my interaction with him has been very good, very good.

Could you elaborate on the possibility that Dan Brooks, the former defensive line coach, would remain at UT in some administrative capacity?

Dan is very close to achieving his number of retirement years and we’re going to be paying Dan from a separation standpoint. If we can help him get to where he needs to, and he can provide some administrative assistance, then we’ll have him around.

He’s a great guy and he’s been very loyal through the years and we’re very happy to have him around. Now if he wants to coach again and has the opportunity to coach again then we fully support that as well. I think we’re anticipating that he may be rejoining us in an administrative capacity.

With Lane Kiffin trying to be aggressive, what do you tell him and all the coaches about spending from this point forward? Is there any sense of cutting back at all, or do you guys have to move forward business as usual to make sure you win, even in these challenging economic times?

We went through a process with all our coaches and administrative staff back in the fall, where we cut 2½ million gross dollars out of our budget. That was a good process.

Our coaches and administration were extremely cooperative in that effort and they took a real hard look at their budgets. We may have to take another look at that before all is said and done. The fiscal year is not over yet.

The economy is not getting any better, so that remains to be seen. What we told all our coaches is right now it’s about needs, not about wants. You’ve got to be fiscally responsible.

Let’s talk about what it’s really going to take for you to be successful and win and evaluate what’s a want that you feel like you need but you don’t truly need it today.

We always talk to our coaches about thinking forward five years. What do you feel like you are going to need in your program over the next five years and then you roll it forward every year.

Then we will try to allocate dollars for our coaches to try to purchase those items over a period of time and budget it out. Don’t come to me in May and say that you have to buy something and we have two months left in our fiscal year.

Let’s be thinking about it hopefully five years out, but certainly right now, we are about to go into budget time for the ‘09-‘10 year. Now is when you need to tell me what you are going to need in ‘09-‘10 for sure. Don’t tell me what you’re going to need in ‘09-‘10 in February of 2010.

The coaching staff is selling the NFL. What role should Tennessee’s traditions play in selling the University of Tennessee to prospects or is that naive to think prospects care about such things?

That’s the reality of it. A lot of them are not as concerned about traditions, and probably don’t know our traditions.

Now that being said, I think our coaches will be very cognitive of protecting key traditions. I don’t anticipate you’re going to see a complete turnover in how we do things here in regards to things like Vol Walk, running through the “T,” and that kind of stuff. Orange and white, that’s who we are.

The reality is that a lot of kids that we are recruiting don’t necessarily understand all that. Some of them might if they are from the Southeast. Obviously, they see the checkerboard and running through the “T.” Those are the most distinct things we are known for.

There are going to be some things that will evolve that will become traditions that the new coaches bring to form. When Coach (Doug) Dickey came here as coach in the ‘60’s, that’s when we started running through the “T”. That’s when we painted the endzone with the checkerboard. We didn’t have that before then.

So some things have evolved over time but we will be protective of the key traditions of the university and Lane understands that’s important.

So, no chance of running through the “K”, as in Kiffin?

No chance in running through the “K” - or the “L”.

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Comments » 104

surfmaster writes:

No one ever mentions the maxims. My bet is they are history. Wonder what the Neyland faithful would think of that, if he does away with them.

vollowme writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

now that's funny.

volroadwarrior writes:

Great article.

plzcomebackpeyton writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not gonna lie, I've gone over that one more than once in my head...

Couchdummy writes:

in response to surfmaster:

No one ever mentions the maxims. My bet is they are history. Wonder what the Neyland faithful would think of that, if he does away with them.

Example? Which maxim is so important to keep?

smashmouth98 writes:

You got that right!!!! WOW!!

RUSTYVOLS77 writes:

That's the only thing that fans generally worry about when a new coach is brought in. I'm sure that Coach K will respect the rich history in K-town.

VolPatrick writes:

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE.

3. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

Um, which of these ISN'T important?

I too think these might be gone, but that is a shame because they are one of the few remaining meaningful links the General.

buck_fama writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

Example? Which maxim is so important to keep?

the maxim that def should be kept is: the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins

volunteers4life writes:

What do you mean?

All of the maxims are important and they are an important tradition at UT. More so for the players than the fans, of course. Not to mention the fact that the essence of the maxims are all still 100% relevant in today's environment. Unfortunately, I think some of our on the field performance issues has been due to a lack of focusing on the importance of the maxims in practice. God knows I have been sorely disappointed in our special teams play over the last couple of years. You have to give Neyland credit for devising these maxims so long ago, yet they still remain as integral to the game today as they were back in his day.

volunteers4life writes:

Oh, yeah. GO VOLS!!!!

notoriousBIGorange writes:

CLK is not going to do away with any of the traditions. We are not Bama who insisited on only hiring someone with a link to the bear. Bama finally gave that up and hired the best coach available with obvious results.
Winning is the most important maxim!

deakinbi writes:

The AD would rather sell the NFL than traditions?!... sad day for the University...The University has done very well with a nice combination of excellence in the classroom and on the field.

Why has the AD, The University President and the Board of Regents given away "The University" when they shape the future of the football (all sports that have nice professional leagues I guess)?

I understand CLK going this way, with no attachment to the University...I'd expect the rest to set a better example. The "U" in UT is for University, not "Under Achievers".

Class of 1984

OrangeMagic writes:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

Dude, I respect your opinion but c'mon.
The checkerboard endzones are outdated: when people turn on their tv's and see them, they think UT.
Oh, "oskie" is a term the defense yells after a pass is intercepted.

BillsBrother writes:

The mamims are just as important today as they were sixty years ago. The big difference is that in the past few years they had become all talk and no action.

Go4Two writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

Example? Which maxim is so important to keep?

All of them they are the pillars of a winning football team

bls8617#370509 writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

Blasphemy

Couchdummy writes:

in response to Lostballnhighweeds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would just put them on a plaque somewhere near the stadium and be done with it. They are good words, but the proof of their value is if they are executed on the field. I appreciate tradition, but don't want to get into the mold of Bama where there is a "religious-like" hero worship of Bear Bryant.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

Saw this after my posting just a minute ago. Well said!

bls8617#370509 writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

I would just put them on a plaque somewhere near the stadium and be done with it. They are good words, but the proof of their value is if they are executed on the field. I appreciate tradition, but don't want to get into the mold of Bama where there is a "religious-like" hero worship of Bear Bryant.

Yeah the maxims are basically just common sense anyway. We do make some changes to our traditions though like the midfield logo got changed about 12-15 years ago from the old UT to the T. The checkerboard endzone is perfect though and screams tennessee so gotta keep that. Also, anyone remember those dumb looking unis we had about 5 or so years ago.

NoogaVol55 writes:

Just WIN Baby!!!! And this will be a mostly dead issue.

The Maxims are not going anywhere, the checkerboard is not going anywhere, the T is not going anywhere...

Fans and Programs make traditions...not "one" coach who shows up one day. Lane embraced most of these at his press conference. He is not foolish enough to piss off the fan base be recreating the wheel!

Honestly fellas, if we didn't have a video camera in the locker room showing these players reading the maxims off of a chalk board, who would even know what they were or remember them? If CLK does not want to incorporate them into his pregame speech, I will not lose any sleep over it. They are already written on the wall in the stadium or athletic building???

http://www.utsports.com/photogallery/...

Like I first said, JUST WIN BABY!!! We can make that our next tradition.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

I'd add the maxim:

'if you want a peak at Layla, win the friggin' ball game'

CLK should keep Layla hidden except after wins.

Chartervol writes:

During the Battle/Majors years the rug was worn out and matted so if they heavily painted the endzones, the players couldn't get any traction. So they painted "Tennessee" in one end and "Volunteers" in the other.

I associate that look with an era of dismal football. Anyone can spell their name in the endzone, and anyone does. Keep the checkers.

My main fear is that the new guys will trash the Single Most Distinctive Football Jersey in the World with a bunch of gay swishes, random piping and oddball numerals. Saban honored Bama's uniform. Kiffin should keep adidas' hands off ours.

khelton657 writes:

Fulmer misused the Maxims, he used them as BS slogans....posters on a wall to look like he stood for something...nothing but mty talk

Chartervol writes:

Duke, we hired a new coach, not a decorator. Some things aren't for sale.

khelton speaks the truth. Fulmer just gave the maxims lip service.

Caspian writes:

in response to Chartervol:

During the Battle/Majors years the rug was worn out and matted so if they heavily painted the endzones, the players couldn't get any traction. So they painted "Tennessee" in one end and "Volunteers" in the other.

I associate that look with an era of dismal football. Anyone can spell their name in the endzone, and anyone does. Keep the checkers.

My main fear is that the new guys will trash the Single Most Distinctive Football Jersey in the World with a bunch of gay swishes, random piping and oddball numerals. Saban honored Bama's uniform. Kiffin should keep adidas' hands off ours.

One thing about the uniforms I'm all for changing is the color. I really dislike the flourescent, day-glo orange. Pardon me, but it looks tacky. A flatter, preferably non-radioactive, version of orange would be nice. For example, take a look at the uniforms from the late 60's. Classy. Not tacky. And while am at it, can we settle on ONE shade of orange? (Hint: Should not be borderline yellow).

VolJoe writes:

in response to Chartervol:

During the Battle/Majors years the rug was worn out and matted so if they heavily painted the endzones, the players couldn't get any traction. So they painted "Tennessee" in one end and "Volunteers" in the other.

I associate that look with an era of dismal football. Anyone can spell their name in the endzone, and anyone does. Keep the checkers.

My main fear is that the new guys will trash the Single Most Distinctive Football Jersey in the World with a bunch of gay swishes, random piping and oddball numerals. Saban honored Bama's uniform. Kiffin should keep adidas' hands off ours.

Agreed. leave the uniforms alone.

Or we could change back to the late 90's "show your mid-section" style. Nothing says Big Orange Country like Rocky Top and Al Wilson's abs.

The checkerboard haters cannot possibly be vol fans.

newtonrail writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe so, but as a contributor, I have my say. It still chaps my ---- to read Hooker or posters say Kiffin took less money so the staff could be paid more. Notice Hamilton didn't say that. Never has. When asked, Kiffin never has. He and every other coach gets every dime of pay they can to take care of their family. And I would do exactly the same thing.

OMike writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What has he changed? Not calling you out. Im just not aware of anything. The article states he understands and respects the evolved traditions such as the checkerboard. Just because he is promoting the NFL does not mean he will not respect tradition. IMO he will embrace it.

txsvol#372416 writes:

I wish the webmaster would edit all these leering comments about CLK's wife, which are tasteless and are usually posted by anonymous sources, such as 'gutlessvols'. SAVol

Vol4life77 writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

What is oskie? O lord we know this guy has never played football....

richvol writes:

The coaches I had in high school played at Tennessee for Neyland and Wyatt. They taught us to yell "Oskie" whenever an interception was made so that you would know to start blocking instead of continuing to play defense. It's just a code word to start blocking...nothing more.

Press the kicking game...that's where the breaks are made. More football games have turned on the execution of the kicking game or the failure of it than any other component. The lack of proper coverage on kicks is part of it and just look at how Tennessee's performance in that area has destroyed us the past few years.

For someone who claimed to believe in Neyland's fundamentals it sure didn't transfer to the field for Fulmer's teams. They were poor at blocking,tackling and execution of the kicking game and any one of those will get you beat.

Neyland was the first to teach stripping the ball from the runner and came up with the idea of the tearaway jersey that worked so well for many years. The NCAA finally did away with the jerseys after Coach Dickey used them with much success. The General was an innovator and a genius.

drwfocus#660070 writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He is gone Millerman. He ain't coming back. Get over it--move on.

volfan1967 writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

You know what I think? I think your an idiot that knows nothing about Tennessee football.

volfan1967 writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

Saw this after my posting just a minute ago. Well said!

You also can join this idiot.

McLifetimeVolfan writes:

in response to surfmaster:

No one ever mentions the maxims. My bet is they are history. Wonder what the Neyland faithful would think of that, if he does away with them.

Maxims are fine , they're a joke if your team as bad as Vols have been last 7-8 yrs,Go Vols

McLifetimeVolfan writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

I like the way you think,Lose the checkerboard Go Vols

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to VolPatrick:

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE.

3. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

Um, which of these ISN'T important?

I too think these might be gone, but that is a shame because they are one of the few remaining meaningful links the General.

Well, it seems Fulmer forgot all of them, especially the 60 minute part

Docrok writes:

in response to deakinbi:

The AD would rather sell the NFL than traditions?!... sad day for the University...The University has done very well with a nice combination of excellence in the classroom and on the field.

Why has the AD, The University President and the Board of Regents given away "The University" when they shape the future of the football (all sports that have nice professional leagues I guess)?

I understand CLK going this way, with no attachment to the University...I'd expect the rest to set a better example. The "U" in UT is for University, not "Under Achievers".

Class of 1984

Since you obviously are very misinformed or just plain ignorant, CLK is not selling short the University and is already demanding more in the classroom from his players than Fulmer did! Secondly ALL student athlete holding scholarship offers from several Division I schools think of college as a stepping stone to a professional sports career so why not sell that we are the best place to achieve that? And trust me without Football and the dividends it pays the University would likely be more of a community college.

wtvol writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

I wish the webmaster would edit all these leering comments about CLK's wife, which are tasteless and are usually posted by anonymous sources, such as 'gutlessvols'. SAVol

I do agree. I use to read firefulmer.com until it got so trashy, that I stopped. This site is getting that way quickly. People please, stick to football, and leave the smut somewhere else.

OrangeMagic writes:

in response to volfan1967:

You know what I think? I think your an idiot that knows nothing about Tennessee football.

So your best defense is to call me a name? I know nothing about TN football because I don't care for the checkerboard?

Come on, I thought we saved our name calling for the Gator and bama interlopers. I merely stated an opinion, one that I would hardly think would be worthy of expatriation.

philfan writes:

I picked up on two key points from the Hamilton interview:

The main reason Lane Kiffin was hired was to get his father, Monte, in as defensive coordinator, a man who is 68 years old and possibly nearing retirement. He will not be at Tennessee too long. Then who will tell Kiffin how to coach? Lane certainly did not do too well in the NFL.

Tennessee has the largest budget in the nation for recruiting, yet as of today we rank 15 or 16 in the nation and 6 or 7 in the SEC in recruiting. I say he is not working hard enough.

I will apologize to everyone for this negativity when I see Tennessee defeat Florida, Alabama, and Georgia most of the time.

bloodrunsorange writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

You didn't play college or even high school football, did you?

Couchdummy writes:

in response to bloodrunsorange:

You didn't play college or even high school football, did you?

Using your logic, are you saying that players need a roadmap in order to part their hair? I think that maxims are fine, but really shouldnt need a "ten commandments" plastered on the wall to know the football principles.

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to philfan:

I picked up on two key points from the Hamilton interview:

The main reason Lane Kiffin was hired was to get his father, Monte, in as defensive coordinator, a man who is 68 years old and possibly nearing retirement. He will not be at Tennessee too long. Then who will tell Kiffin how to coach? Lane certainly did not do too well in the NFL.

Tennessee has the largest budget in the nation for recruiting, yet as of today we rank 15 or 16 in the nation and 6 or 7 in the SEC in recruiting. I say he is not working hard enough.

I will apologize to everyone for this negativity when I see Tennessee defeat Florida, Alabama, and Georgia most of the time.

Well...at least your username is correct. Not sure about anything in your post.

Beating UF, UA, and UGA most of the time...I would be happy with that as well. You see, we haven't beaten them consistently in a very long time!

OrangeMagic writes:

in response to bloodrunsorange:

You didn't play college or even high school football, did you?

What does that have to do with liking or not liking the checkerboard end zone?

What percentage of UT fans have played high school/college football? They can't be fans or have an opinion now?

So, I'm assuming you did play high school or college ball. How does that increase the value of your opinion and should we equate the value of your opinion based on your success?

TommyJack writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

What true football person needs to be told these maxims over and over? Do you think the average football fan really cares about this? and what the hell is oskie? I like the running through the "T" but I think the checkerboard endzone is a little dated. The first time I saw it, I thought it was an ad for Purina dog chow. I think "Vols" painted in the end zone would look better.

You cannot be serious. Checkerboards are an identifiable tradition recognized by millions.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to TommyJack:

You cannot be serious. Checkerboards are an identifiable tradition recognized by millions.

Correct. My dog, Doofus, recognizes a Purina Dog Chow bag.

Bass_Vol_1998 writes:

Personally, I like the Maxims. It would get me fired up to chant these just before running through the T. But i don't know if it sends chills up these younger players spines. Same goes with the Lords prayer.

If it doesn't, then we should still say them- maybe just at a different time (Sat morning or to close out the final practice of the week). I heard Herbstreet dissing the maxims on gameday one time- saying that they were too old school and that no one got fired up for them.

Oskie. Take it easy on the guys who don't know this (his other comment is stupid, but this is reasonable). If you have never played, or had older brothers who played- how would you know it? But I would bet that everyone who played ball (even pee wee league) has heard of this.

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