Mattingly's 'Vault' reopens with a different approach

More photos, inserts prominent features of latest book

Tennessee football fans can go back in the "Vault" and find some surprises.

"The University of Tennessee All-Access Football Vault" (Whitman Publishing, $49.95) is the latest book from UT historian Tom Mattingly and the second he has produced for collegevaultbooks.com.

Why another edition so soon after the 2006 "Vault" debut?

"It's just a whole different deal,'' said Mattingly, a freelance contributor to the News Sentinel. "It has about half the copy (words) and twice as many pictures.

"They had a change in philosophy when they started learning about what people liked and didn't like. They increased the number of pictures and minimized the text.''

The series began with Mattingly's first UT book three years ago. It has grown to football editions at 39 schools and five basketball books (including the Lady Vols), as well as a book on the Kentucky Derby and one on President Obama.

For sure, graphics are the emphasis and the strong suit of the more recent "All-Access" editions. The trademark of the newest "Vault" products is the inserts.

Orange pockets on pages throughout the book include a variety of memorabilia that can be lifted out and perused.

Especially enlightening was a 1937 summation of spring practice that assistant coach Murray Warmath prepared for Robert Neyland.

Warmath gives his report on each player from Bowden Wyatt - "the best-looking athlete Tennessee has had in a long time" - to several whom Warmath candidly characterizes as "hopeless."

Of one player, Warmath says: "For the good of the team I would like to see him leave and never return.''

Another insert is a stat summary of the 1971 Sugar Bowl.

Some of the finds surprised even Mattingly, who spent 18 years in UT's sports information department.

"They (Whitman Publishing) found stuff that in 18 years I had no idea existed,'' he said. "But when people find out you're doing a book, everybody comes up with a bunch of stuff.

"Bill Dye, who was a photographer at the News Sentinel, gave me an envelope full of negatives and that's where we got a lot of pictures from the 1960s.''

The prominently displayed photos capture even the earliest UT squads. You'll see what an 1892 nose protector looked like.

Some of the black-and-white photos have been colorized to good effect.

As for the text, Mattingly was able to use research left over from the 2006 book. While the writing takes a backseat to the graphics, it would be a mistake to skip over it.

For instance, did you know who was the last single-wing tailback in UT's long tradition? Mallon Faircloth, and he gained 179 yards against Vanderbilt on Nov. 30, 1963. Doug Dickey's Vols opened the 1964 season in the T formation.

Mattingly did rewrite the chapter on Phillip Fulmer's post-national championship era, including the bitter ending and the arrival of Lane Kiffin.

"It was a fun book to do,'' Mattingly said. "I'd say we're going to do something every two or three years because these things have sold very well.''

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Comments » 7

Hounddog writes:

Let's play football. Hounddog

TommyJack writes:

Mattingly da man.

Bigger_Al writes:

It's all good.

TommyJack writes:

Maybe I missed it, but when and where available?

mattingly writes:

It's out now at fine bookstores everywhere. Try Carpe Librum, Border's, etc.

TommyJack writes:

in response to mattingly:

It's out now at fine bookstores everywhere. Try Carpe Librum, Border's, etc.

aite, thanks

volboy81 writes:

these books are awesome...keep 'em comin'!

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