Adams: Remember, it's not Big White Country

John Adams

Adams vs. Hyams -- Football's greatest minds square off

You have media-types designated as head coaches for Saturday's Tennessee spring football game - though I won't mention any names.

You have former players participating in a flag football game at halftime.

And you only have to pay $5 to watch.

So it's not exactly a Florida-versus-UT kind of afternoon. But even if the atmosphere seems more conducive to bouncing a beach ball around Neyland Stadium, it's still serious business for the principal figures.

It's the last chance for players to impress their new coaching staff before preseason camp begins. It's also their last opportunity to solidify their status on the depth chart before the freshman class revs up the competition anew in August.

A spring game isn't the best format for judging synchronized performances. Scrimmages offer a better measuring stick in that you have first-team units working together.

Yet the individual match-ups can't be ignored. If you prove yourself down after down against the player in front of you, the coaches will notice; they've got all summer to review the video.

First-year UT coach Derek Dooley also will notice the players who raise their level of play in a game situation. He said he has been surprised throughout his career by how differently some players perform - good and bad - when the competition is transported from the practice field to the stadium, and a coterie of onlookers no larger than a football family is multiplied hundreds of times by the influx of the general public.

No competition is more significant than at quarterback. For what it's worth, both junior college transfer Matt Simms and freshman Tyler Bray threw the ball well at times in Thursday's practice. Bray was particularly impressive when he hurriedly scooped up a low shotgun snap before hitting a receiver in stride 20 yards down field.

And that's the last nice thing I will have to say about anyone on the White team. I would expect UT fans to follow my lead.

Eric Berry meets fans at Houndogs

How can any true UT fan cheer for the White team?

Answer: You have a relative on the team, or your boss has a relative on the team.

Otherwise, it makes no sense for you to muster so much as a polite clap on behalf of the White.

You don't live in Big White country. You're not a member of the Big White nation. Bruce Pearl doesn't don a white sports jacket for rivalry games. He didn't paint his chest white.

Who wears white jerseys in Neyland Stadium? The opponents. That's who.

Cheering for the White Saturday is no different than cheering for the Tide or Gators. You might as well do the chomp and shout "Roll Tide!" while you're at it. And if you're planning on wearing a white shirt to the stadium, complete your outfit with a red baseball cap with a white "A" on it.

But I will be wearing orange.

Orange 27, White 7: Don't get the wrong idea. The game prediction has nothing to do with my coaching allegiance to the Orange team. It's simply an objective evaluation of what I saw in practice Thursday, coupled with an in-depth analysis of the two rosters.

While perusing those rosters, I figured out how the players conducted Wednesday night's draft. Seniors drafting for the Orange and White teams took selecting their first three players. The Orange then drafted the next 35 players.

The White took what was left.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 11

punkin writes:

I hope both celebrity head coaches meet at the 50 yard line and beat the cr@p out of each other.

ThaiVolFan writes:

What a goof ball

pridebone writes:

I love it. Wish I could be there, i"m working. Will definitely be listening. Though, this might be the one time that, in reference to my beloved VOLS, i do yell "GO BIG WHITE!"

TommyJack writes:

Adams on one side, Hyams on the other. May pull for a 0-0 tie.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

I could be totally wrong, but reading this article suggests to me that Adams is celebrity coach for the Orange Team. But why did Dooley name Adams instead of Elvis Presley, who Volunteered to coach the Orange Team after recovering from personal combat with Bubba Ho Tep? Nothing against Adams, but this does incline me to wonder if Dooley appreciates the great Volunteer fans in West Tennessee...and the power of Rock and Roll!

dvhill100 writes:

Funny article just like his last one on running through the T. Everyone needs to lighten up and just enjoy the article in the spirit it was meant. Can't get to the game, but will watch it on the web.

Fulton_Vol writes:

I understand Mr. Adams' take on today's Orange and White game. He is trying to be light hearted and show his support for the side he is coaching. There is a huge flaw in his thinking, because the White team may be wearing white jerseys today but I am fairly certain that those young men bleed ORANGE so I am going to be pulling for a good showing on both sides.

I want to see a solid defense and a promising offense. Grind it out with Poole and Oku, then let Simms and Bray take solid shots down field. Let's see the defense offer a strong rush that makes the new OL work hard and coverage that makes sure the QBs and receivers on the same page or makes them pay. I want see a hard scrimmage that is more than just fluff. I wish both teams and every player well that is able to play today. This is a huge stepping stone for next fall. Go Orange & White.

rockytopatl writes:

Check out the video link to the right of Adams selecting his game day wardrobe. It's very funny stuff!

I am very thankful about the online feed because I can't come up for the game. I can't recall that ever occurring before. Has an O&W ever had more than a live radio broadcast? Anyone know?

rocky_topper writes:

Having TWO of the biggest NON-UT fans to fill the role was as stupid as having the Bama SARA EVANS perform at a UT function. I wonder if the AD people even know what Tennessee is all about. Stop kissing their a**!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

Considering that Dooley chose Adams over Elvis Presley as Orange Team Celebrity Coach, you'd think the man might experience some increment of humility. But no. Lookit, I don't want to question Dooley's decisions as a Head Coach, but this one gives me pause. Why did Dooley discount the talent of West Tennessee? Why didn't he name Elvis to coach our Orange Team? Was it because Elvis didn't write newspaper columns or talk Volunteer Football on the radio? Give me a freaking break. Elvis Presley's blood runs pure Orange. Maybe the media doesn't tell you that, but all of his close personal friends know it's true. And don't kid yourself; Elvis gave up football for Rock and Roll when Sam Phillips hired him at Sun Studio. Ole Miss wanted to offer him, but the Rebel Alumni was up in arms against him. Tennessee didn't have a clue. UT didn't recruit Memphis then, and it does not much recruit Memphis now. You don't believe me? Ask Elvis!! !!! Maybe Coach Dooley doesn't recruit players or coaches who are into Rock and Roll. Maybe he wants to cut off Western Tennessee because it is the cradle of the Blues and Rock and Roll. Somebody needs to tell Coach Dooley that really sucks, and it's way, way wrong!

rusty_shackleford writes:

Adams lost the only game he coached. Let's see if humility will be added to his toolbox.

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