John Adams: Time for 'serious' changes at Tennessee

John Adams

Colleague Mike Strange pointed out the beauty of a fresh start a few weeks ago. I concur.

And as Tennessee football begins a new era, the time is right to make changes.

It should be noted that I've made recommendations before. It also should be noted that none of those changes were ever considered, much less implemented, by the powers that be.

But with new coach Butch Jones, perhaps UT will be more receptive.

More Vols Walking: Jones sparked my first idea at his introductory news conference when he stressed the significance of former players. He said they're welcome to watch practice anytime (although I assume he would make an exception for an ex-Vol now coaching at an opposing school).

He could further embrace former players by including them on the Vol Walk. It's not as though 30 or 40 more large men traipsing toward Neyland Stadium on game day would crack the pavement. What's the harm?

Tradition is one of UT's greatest attributes. You could accentuate it by having current and former players united for all their fans to see.

Twin Mascots: I've always thought UT has under played its blue-tick coonhound mascot. That's why a second Smokey would be a welcome addition.

Since Smokey IX just retired, you could call them "The Twin 10s." Imagine all the airtime they would get in Year One.

Better to have television commentators talking about your dogs than your defense.

Name Recognition: Fans no longer fill up Neyland Stadium on a regular basis. But those who are willing to pay for tickets, make donations and fight the crowd should be recognized for their efforts.

Have public-address announcer Bobby Denton name as many season ticket holders as he can in pregame, at halftime and during time-outs.

Promote Your Success: Winning — often by big margins — was taken for granted at Tennessee in the 1990s. Now that success occurs less frequently, it should be amplified.

An opponent goes three-and-out: sound a siren. Vols make a first down: shoot a musket. Vols score: fire a cannon.

Vols win: Sound the siren, shoot the musket and fire the cannon simultaneously; follow that with a 21-gun salute.

Reward Noise: Neyland Stadium can be very loud or very quiet. The loud

ness should be encouraged.

Just have a crowd monitor notify the concession stands. When the volume goes up, the prices should go down.

Play To Recruits: The JumboTron is a great tool. Use it.

Rather than just show highlights of past Tennessee games, show highlights of former UT players in the pros. The UT-to-the-NFL message is the best pitch you could make to a visiting recruit.

Scoreboard Watching: Scores of other games are standard on the JumboTron, but UT needs to take it a step further since some games mean more than others.

If Alabama is losing, show Nick Saban on the JumboTron with a recording of him saying "aw-right." If Southern California is losing, flash a picture of Lane Kiffin on the scoreboard with a recording of him saying "USC is a powerful place."

The crowd might make enough noise to lower the price of popcorn.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 106

Razor784 writes:

Best article ever by JA, I think announcing the season ticket holders would be a bore for anyone who is not, but the rest of the ideas sound great

pcorange writes:

Very good ideas, although I agree with Razor that trying to read off season ticket holders' names would get pretty monotonous.

imw8n4u writes:

I'm pretty sure the fans with bags over their heads don't want their names called out over the PA System.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

Most of these are good ideas but John...

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN EX-VOL!!!!!

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

That is unless they were dismissed.

VFLVFLVFL writes:

in response to Razor784:

Best article ever by JA, I think announcing the season ticket holders would be a bore for anyone who is not, but the rest of the ideas sound great

agreed

Ayres_Hall writes:

Adams needs a girlfriend.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Really wierd!

RockyMtnVol writes:

John,

You wrote the other day about how fans have the same right as you to speak their opinions. Not sure I agree, when your paid for yours and ours are free. Anyway, I can only go by how someone conducts themselves in person and on paper. It's easy for someone on the electronic media to be bold. However, I have observed you in public, and I would say, your not what I would call approachable, and you seem bored or disinterested. I would not call you a UT Homer, that would be far from the truth. I also would say, you try to "stir the pot" with UT Fans for for kicks and giggles. I've read your articles for years, and one thing is very apparent. You don't have anything really insightful or original. You always appear to feed off the other writer's ideas. I don't believe you try and provide another side to a story. Your paid to put words on paper and I never feel smarter after reading your articles, and I ask myself, why even read them anymore. If ever there was a person trying to justify their place in society, it's always you that defends.....well you, I've never seen one person stand up and say John Adams is a...............anything. So, most people are judged by the company they keep.......enough said.

Go Vols!!

secondcreek writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

John,

You wrote the other day about how fans have the same right as you to speak their opinions. Not sure I agree, when your paid for yours and ours are free. Anyway, I can only go by how someone conducts themselves in person and on paper. It's easy for someone on the electronic media to be bold. However, I have observed you in public, and I would say, your not what I would call approachable, and you seem bored or disinterested. I would not call you a UT Homer, that would be far from the truth. I also would say, you try to "stir the pot" with UT Fans for for kicks and giggles. I've read your articles for years, and one thing is very apparent. You don't have anything really insightful or original. You always appear to feed off the other writer's ideas. I don't believe you try and provide another side to a story. Your paid to put words on paper and I never feel smarter after reading your articles, and I ask myself, why even read them anymore. If ever there was a person trying to justify their place in society, it's always you that defends.....well you, I've never seen one person stand up and say John Adams is a...............anything. So, most people are judged by the company they keep.......enough said.

Go Vols!!

You confuse the word "your" for "you're" which is a contraction for "you are."

Something about people in glass houses applies here...

iowavol writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

John,

You wrote the other day about how fans have the same right as you to speak their opinions. Not sure I agree, when your paid for yours and ours are free. Anyway, I can only go by how someone conducts themselves in person and on paper. It's easy for someone on the electronic media to be bold. However, I have observed you in public, and I would say, your not what I would call approachable, and you seem bored or disinterested. I would not call you a UT Homer, that would be far from the truth. I also would say, you try to "stir the pot" with UT Fans for for kicks and giggles. I've read your articles for years, and one thing is very apparent. You don't have anything really insightful or original. You always appear to feed off the other writer's ideas. I don't believe you try and provide another side to a story. Your paid to put words on paper and I never feel smarter after reading your articles, and I ask myself, why even read them anymore. If ever there was a person trying to justify their place in society, it's always you that defends.....well you, I've never seen one person stand up and say John Adams is a...............anything. So, most people are judged by the company they keep.......enough said.

Go Vols!!

Loud applause, thunderous applause, fans going wild over this comment. You, sir, are spot on (although your is you're).

I have an alternative idea to JA's suggestions - all of them. Make a replica of John Adams and drag him on the Vol Walk, hang him by the cheerleaders and let Smokey, the only Smokey, P on him. Now that will generate some enthusiasm by most well informed Vol fans.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say Adams takes a beating when he writes "real" and we all love him when he writes homer articles. Witch Doctor still want to punch Adams in belly for some reason but now want to help him up after Witch Doctor do. lol
* Witch Doctor got no problem with Adams him and Strange go more tenure at Tennessee as anyone the last 6 years.! haha
Bones never lie.

vq4nfo writes:

I understand why no one has taken up your past ideas!

spvol writes:

Can't imagine Denton pronouncing season ticket holders' names correctly; he can't even get the players' names right.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

Most of these are good ideas but John...

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN EX-VOL!!!!!

Very true. Once a Vol, always a Vol!

BobbyJones writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Really wierd!

Are you saying you are really wired? When I used to do a lot of speed I'd get wired sometimes too.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Adams needs a girlfriend.

That might be asking for the impossible.

Agreed, he clearly needs love. I suggest he find a new friend at the Animal Shelter. Dogs tend to love unconditionally.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I agree with including alumni players in the Vol Walk. I also like the higher noise, lower prices thing -- it could work. Definitely should highlight NFL Vols a lot, specially when recruits are in the house.

tuvol4u (Inactive) writes:

Im sorry but I looked up and down that piece and I didn't see "a new sports writer to replace JA" included in these "changes".

Someone help me out here.

798orange writes:

Adams apparently thinks he is much funnier and cute than his audience does. His repeated sarcasm gets tiresome to read, maybe too much eggnog.

WaVol writes:

I have long been a defender of JA. I don't have a problem with him saying it like it is, and lets be honest, it has been awful. That said, it would be nice to see one positive article from him this off season. Its mostly been sarcastic put downs of the team he writes about. I'm as hard on the Vols as anyone....especially these days, but would it kill you to at least have an encouraging thought at this point in time?

born2ride writes:

This may be the best JA article ever.

OrangeAppeal writes:

Slow day at the office? Amazing to get paid for spewing this tripe.

eVOLved writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Adams needs a girlfriend.

Or even some dude if it'd make him happy and take the edge off. This article is unfunny. JA is not very good at sarcasm, but keeps trying to pull it off.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I've read plenty of JA's articles that I thought were unnecessarily negative, but I don't really see that here. The guy has a job to do, which includes publishing his column every day. When there really isn't anything happening, he has to come up with something to write. It doesn't always have to be biting news. I think a couple of his ideas in this one have merit, and others are (in my opinion) stupid/impossible. I don't think there's any reason to just automatically trash the guy on this one, and it seems like there are some on here who may just post their anti-Adams comments without even reading what he's written.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

I've read plenty of JA's articles that I thought were unnecessarily negative, but I don't really see that here. The guy has a job to do, which includes publishing his column every day. When there really isn't anything happening, he has to come up with something to write. It doesn't always have to be biting news. I think a couple of his ideas in this one have merit, and others are (in my opinion) stupid/impossible. I don't think there's any reason to just automatically trash the guy on this one, and it seems like there are some on here who may just post their anti-Adams comments without even reading what he's written.

I should have added:

Don't let it bother you that Adams gets paid to write this stuff, even if you could do better. That's just the way the world works. Case in point: Justin Bieber is a rich, successful "singer," getting it from the likes of Selena Gomez.

6972 writes:

"Better to have your commentators talking about your dogs rather than your defense." John, now that you stuck the knife in, I would appreciate it if you will not break it off in me. Real touch of class with that line.

strops writes:

Thank you Rocky Mtn and Iowa,You have put into words the way many, many feel about little john.

He wants to continually run down the Vols and then rub out noses in it because there is no alternative newspaper. He spouts his trash on radio simply because the news rag sponsors it.

He doesn't do interviews because no one on the Vol coaching staff wants anything to do with him.

Someone from Chattanooga does the insightful reporting while little john simply tries to be cute with his snide remarks.

john, if you want a roar from the Big Orange crowd let Bobbie Denton announce that you are gone.

rb4346 writes:

John, I don't always agree wih your idea's but after reading this story I for one think you have some great one's. I hope someone will actually start the ball rolling on idea's such as having ex-players join the current players on the Vol walk. Firing a cannon and having two mascots seem like a great thing also. I will probably get pounded by making these remarks but I like them. VFL

ARANGEVOL writes:

JOHN You are such a CUDDLE BEAR!!!

ncvol17 writes:

firing a cannon and shooting a musket seems bush league to me. why not Sumo wrestling between quarters....just another minor league baseball ripoff..

SeaBassHauling writes:

Good article

RichmondKyVol writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Adams needs a girlfriend.

Why do you hate women?

RichmondKyVol writes:

I remember when the Vols would fire a cannon stationed on the hillside looking into the open end of stadium every time the team scored and at the end of games we won. The custom was ended not long after a student at another school lost her hearing when she walked in front of the cannon just as it fired.

RoadTrip writes:

UT and the football program are not the only places that need regime change. It's true for KNS and their sports columnists as well.

And to think JA makes a living doing this silliness.

OrangeAppeal writes:

I think we should start a tradition of having a KNS "Columnist" stand in as a tackling dummy during warm-ups for each game. Guess which dummy should go first... and second... and third... etc.?

fearthehound writes:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's not that Adams doesn't have writing talent, it's just that he is all in love with this idea of being clever. It almost always comes across as sarcastic and critical of the Vols--thus, the majority of true Vol fans find him to be nasty and consider him an enemy.

Make up your mind Adams, either you're a Vol fan, a Vol hater, or an unbiased journalist. You can't have it all ways. Right now, most fans see you as a Vol hater.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Wow. Bring it, Adams!

GO VOLS!!

bosscat writes:

"It should be noted that I've made recommendations before. It also should be noted that none of those recommendations were ever considered, much less implemented, by the powers that be."--John Adams. What a flaming ego this man has! And what a mind-reader he is to know that none of of his recommendations were ever considered. But, then again, maybe the powers that be should take note. Unfortunately, he gets to spew forth whatever he pleases in the paper and on sites such as these. And sometimes, he will even go on radio talk shows to trash UT, their coaches or players (such as going on Paul Finebaum's show years ago to trash Fulmer--that's called "Sleeping with the enemy"). But, despite his ability to be able to publicly attack anyone he puts in his crosshairs, if I were among the powers-that-be, I would take the advice of the devil incarnate before I would take the advice of John Adams, no matter how good the suggestion was. And, lastly, I would not honor any of his "suggestions" with a response. If any of this stuns you, read the body of his work over the years.

gobigorange5090 writes:

Since many of you hate Adams, why do you read him?

GerryOP writes:

in response to fearthehound:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's not that Adams doesn't have writing talent, it's just that he is all in love with this idea of being clever. It almost always comes across as sarcastic and critical of the Vols--thus, the majority of true Vol fans find him to be nasty and consider him an enemy.

Make up your mind Adams, either you're a Vol fan, a Vol hater, or an unbiased journalist. You can't have it all ways. Right now, most fans see you as a Vol hater.

You think "...the majority of true Vol fans find him to be nasty and consider him an enemy?"

Interesting! I feel the same is true about many GVX posters. All they want to do is trash our Vols, in language much stronger and "nastier" than what Admas uses.

tovolny writes:

Hey John Adams advocates, listen up, Adams is smart enough to bait the traps; and, you are going to get caught. You'll have two choices: wait for the trapper to come and skin you, or chew your leg off before daylight. Adams writes this stuff for the amusement of himself and his Dennis Miller Fan Club. >>>>For goodness sakes, mascots at UT are fine the way they are. Mascots have never won a game and have never scored a point. I love Smokey as much as anybody, but at this time in Tennessee Football, we don't need to be spending much time talking about Smokey. >>>>>

I just finished watching Duke play Cincy. For some reason, I am glad the Cincy defensive guy is coming to "KNOCKS VILLE" and Coach Cut is happy with the Blue Devils. However, if Duke hadn't fumbled near the goal line, they probably would have won the game.

Did you notice Coach Cut's comments about his feelings regarding coaches leaving one school for another? He said those (I believe) as a dis on Butch Jones and Cincinnati. Remembering what he did to Tennessee in '98, I was surprised at what he said. If I am not badly mistaken, Tennessee never asked or even considered Cut this time around (2012). Cut, it appears, is trying to suck up to the Duke fans with his “I turned down Tennessee” shinola. We have enough DECEPTION in politics and don't need much in coaching circles. BUT, Butch Jones could really take advantage of Cuts little hand-grenade and toss it back before it goes off. Right now, though, Coach Jones will probably exercise the “discretion is the better part of valor” concept.

I am ready for the FLYING ORANGE to look like flames again. I believe, we will ORANGE all over some people in the near future. You can't squeeze the ORANGE too much without getting JUICED.

GerryOP writes:

in response to bosscat:

"It should be noted that I've made recommendations before. It also should be noted that none of those recommendations were ever considered, much less implemented, by the powers that be."--John Adams. What a flaming ego this man has! And what a mind-reader he is to know that none of of his recommendations were ever considered. But, then again, maybe the powers that be should take note. Unfortunately, he gets to spew forth whatever he pleases in the paper and on sites such as these. And sometimes, he will even go on radio talk shows to trash UT, their coaches or players (such as going on Paul Finebaum's show years ago to trash Fulmer--that's called "Sleeping with the enemy"). But, despite his ability to be able to publicly attack anyone he puts in his crosshairs, if I were among the powers-that-be, I would take the advice of the devil incarnate before I would take the advice of John Adams, no matter how good the suggestion was. And, lastly, I would not honor any of his "suggestions" with a response. If any of this stuns you, read the body of his work over the years.

You may not like what he says, but always remember, he gets paid for saying it. Guys like you offer similar mindless rants for free! Now, who's smarter, Admas or you? Uh huh!

TommyJack writes:

Adams is ok by me.

GerryOP writes:

in response to tovolny:

Hey John Adams advocates, listen up, Adams is smart enough to bait the traps; and, you are going to get caught. You'll have two choices: wait for the trapper to come and skin you, or chew your leg off before daylight. Adams writes this stuff for the amusement of himself and his Dennis Miller Fan Club. >>>>For goodness sakes, mascots at UT are fine the way they are. Mascots have never won a game and have never scored a point. I love Smokey as much as anybody, but at this time in Tennessee Football, we don't need to be spending much time talking about Smokey. >>>>>

I just finished watching Duke play Cincy. For some reason, I am glad the Cincy defensive guy is coming to "KNOCKS VILLE" and Coach Cut is happy with the Blue Devils. However, if Duke hadn't fumbled near the goal line, they probably would have won the game.

Did you notice Coach Cut's comments about his feelings regarding coaches leaving one school for another? He said those (I believe) as a dis on Butch Jones and Cincinnati. Remembering what he did to Tennessee in '98, I was surprised at what he said. If I am not badly mistaken, Tennessee never asked or even considered Cut this time around (2012). Cut, it appears, is trying to suck up to the Duke fans with his “I turned down Tennessee” shinola. We have enough DECEPTION in politics and don't need much in coaching circles. BUT, Butch Jones could really take advantage of Cuts little hand-grenade and toss it back before it goes off. Right now, though, Coach Jones will probably exercise the “discretion is the better part of valor” concept.

I am ready for the FLYING ORANGE to look like flames again. I believe, we will ORANGE all over some people in the near future. You can't squeeze the ORANGE too much without getting JUICED.

I think you are over reacting to Cut's comments. I believe he was making a general statement about the lack of loyalty of coaches and used his experience only as an example. As a matter of fact, he spoke very highly about the folks at UT.

DRORANGELOVE writes:

John, Haven't always agreed with some of your articles, but I must admit this is a great article with some very good ideas. I would like to offer what I think is a very good suggestion and one that would help the VOLS tremendously.

I remember when Neyland Stadium was considered one of the most noisy and difficult stadiums for visiting teams to play in the nation. Broadcasting networks would show decible readings showing that it was louder down on the field than 747 jet engines at full throttle. Not so anymore. My Suggestion : Do you remember the summer olympics in Johannesburg a few years ago and how very, very, loud those things were that the fans were raving around, it was totaly deafening. I don't know what those instruments were called but I would love to see the UT Athletic Dept hand out one of those to EVERY UT Vol fan dressed in UT Big Orange that walked thru the gate. (only fans wearing VOL clothing, none for the visitors) can you imagine what a nightmare it would be for opposing teams to contend with. If MISS ST can have their cow bells. why couldn't UT have those noisemakers. Then even the many thousand older UT fans could help generate a lot of noise without fear of hurting their health or over exausting themselves.

I have absolutely no doubt that making Neyland LOUD again would do nothing except HELP our team. GBO

tovolny writes:

in response to GerryOP:

I think you are over reacting to Cut's comments. I believe he was making a general statement about the lack of loyalty of coaches and used his experience only as an example. As a matter of fact, he spoke very highly about the folks at UT.

Good deception looks like diplomacy at first. Let it sit for awhile, and then return for another viewing. What did he say, when did he say it, and what might be the intended purpose? Surface analysis doesn't even work with teenagers, else the parent gets duped and presented with large surprises. Politicians and football coaches have honed their craft to the cutting edge. However, (believe it or not) I hope I am wrong and you are right.

golfman1975 writes:

I bet he wants the band to stop playing Rocky Top too. Maybe they can play....CHARGE! The musket and cannon thing? We have fireworks! We have the Vol Navy. We have The Pride making our noise and firing up the crowd! It has worked forever so why tear down a tradition? Maybe...Whoop..dar-it-is! Instead of Down the Field...Down the Toilet. We are a passionate bunch and love traditions! Why all the changes now? Sure...add to the Vol Walk....but this other sack of stuff you are peddling. So high school...

Snapshot writes:

in response to gobigorange5090:

Since many of you hate Adams, why do you read him?

Exactly! It is amazing how many people say they can't stand him, yet look at the response from his articles, so they are reading them.

I have been a Vol fan for many years, but I still can appreciate his sarcasm and quirky sense of humor. Oh well, maybe it's just me!

LIBDESTROYER writes:

in response to GerryOP:

You may not like what he says, but always remember, he gets paid for saying it. Guys like you offer similar mindless rants for free! Now, who's smarter, Admas or you? Uh huh!

Zing! Me likey.

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