When the subject turned to Derek Dooley on Thursday morning, Tim Bryant's radio show in Athens, Ga., got an impromptu defender of the Tennessee football coach.
An alert listener — Barbara Dooley — popped in to the studio when she perceived two Knoxville sportswriter guests were evaluating her son's coaching performance at UT.
"You've got Mama's rile up now, buddy,'' Barbara Dooley said on the air after driving to station WGAU-AM during the discussion that included (by telephone) Andrew Gribble of the News Sentinel and Dave Hooker of ESPN.com.
Listening to the show, Barbara Dooley apparently believed she heard someone say Derek was on the "hot seat" at Tennessee, only 17 games into his career here.
"I want you to listen about my baby,'' she said after joining the program.
"You have to hurry,'' responded Bryant, "because we've got a congressman standing by.''
"Well,'' said Dooley, "he can just wait. Football is important.''
In the previous conversation, Gribble was attempting to stress that Derek Dooley is, in fact, not on the hot seat because Tennessee fans understand the predicament he inherited.