Vols like the Germans at Normandy during WWII?
Near the end of a Monday press conference centered on his team’s youth and inexperience, Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley dug deep to find a real-world comparison for the 2-5 Vols.
He went all the way back to World War II on “D-Day,” when the Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, in a battle that ultimately turned the course of the war on the western front in favor of the Allies.
He assigned UT the role of the Germans, and its weekly opposition as the Americans.
“Here comes the boats, they’re coming. You have the binoculars, and it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, the invasion is coming,’” Dooley said. “They call (German Field Marshall Erwin) Rommel — they can’t find Rommel.
“ ‘What do we do? I’m not doing anything until I get orders,’ ” Dooley continued, as he pretended to look through binoculars. “ ‘Have you gotten Rommel yet?’
“The Americans were the exact opposite. We hit the beach, and we were on the wrong spot. ‘What do we do? I don’t know, but these guys are firing and we better hide over there and blow some stuff up to get up there.’ They weren’t looking for (help). That’s where we’ve got to make that transition.”
Dooley then quickly apologized for potentially offending any Germans.
“I’m not attacking them, but that’s what happened,” he said. “You had one group, they weren’t worried about what the plan was and orders and all that. When the war hits, things change. You’ve got to go.
“You had the other group, and they go, ‘Wait a minute. They told us the invasion was way further north’ where we had the empty tanks and we were hiding (Gen. George S.) Patton out. ‘We weren’t ready for this, now what do we do? We better wait until Rommel tells us what to do.’ ”
Dooley concluded the nearly two-minute long tangent with a disclosure that his portrayal may not have been completely accurate.
“I hope I got my names right,” he said.
Andrew Gribble can be reached at 865-342-6327.