Healthy Smokey takes a 'nip' at backup long snapper

Smokey runs through the end zone after a Tennessee touchdown in the second quarter against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Smokey runs through the end zone after a Tennessee touchdown in the second quarter against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Ruff recovery: Smokey on the mend

Smokey IX walks down Peyton Manning Pass with his handlers during the Vol Walk outside Neyland Stadium before the Tennessee Vols' matchup against the Georgia State Panthers Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Smokey IX walks down Peyton Manning Pass with his handlers during the Vol Walk outside Neyland Stadium before the Tennessee Vols' matchup against the Georgia State Panthers Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee isn't just more aggressive on defense this season. It's also more aggressive at the mascot position.

Backup long snapper Matt Giampapa experienced that firsthand last Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

"Smokey did nip Matt on the hip coming back on the field after halftime," said Jimmy Stanton, UT's associate athletic director for communications. "I am told that nothing remotely serious resulted from that."

Smokey is doing OK, too. UT's bluetick hound mascot has made a successful recovery from off-season knee surgery on his right rear leg.

He first experienced knee problems in the second game last season. After his injury was diagnosed, his game-day activities were limited.

"He has looked great the first two games," said Dr. Darryl Millis, orthopedic surgeon and section chief at UT Veterinary Medical Center.

Although Millis observes Smokey during games, he said he didn't notice the halftime nip.

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 » 24

VolFanInMO writes:

Good for Smokey. Let's hope all of the Vols have that same ornery streak in them on Saturday.

TheVolSnake writes:

Maybe he thought he was a Gator, get them Smokey.

Vol's by 14

OrangePsyched writes:

Smokey's got his game face on. I hope the fans,staff and players take some of Smokey's attitude into this game. ROCKY TOP all night long.

volnbig11land writes:

A sign?

Go Vols!

All_vol14 writes:

Sounds like he likes the specials teams about as much as I do. Go vols

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

If Im Not mistaken, Smokey also bit a Bama player after he fell on smokey during pre game warm ups. The player also B**** about it latter and was claiming smokey bit him for no reason. As far as him biting backup players on Tennessee, well thats just his version of the hustle up butt slap. Hehe! Go get'em smokey!

*Im always watching*
*Shock the world*
*The curse is lifted*

allvol8 writes:

in response to All_vol14:

Sounds like he likes the specials teams about as much as I do. Go vols

It was a reminder to do it right..hehe... GBO!

orangecountyvols writes:

Smokey is ready for the kickoff.

Go Vols

MikeTheTiger writes:

This dogs eyes just don't look quite right. Inbreeding?

volhome writes:

in response to MikeTheTiger:

This dogs eyes just don't look quite right. Inbreeding?

Ah, a Tiger asking about inbreeding. How ironic.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

If Im Not mistaken, Smokey also bit a Bama player after he fell on smokey during pre game warm ups. The player also B**** about it latter and was claiming smokey bit him for no reason. As far as him biting backup players on Tennessee, well thats just his version of the hustle up butt slap. Hehe! Go get'em smokey!

*Im always watching*
*Shock the world*
*The curse is lifted*

Actually it was South Carolina. The following year Steve Spurrier petitioned the SEC from allowing Smokey to travel to SC. Slive 'nipped it in the bud' (No pun intended) and told Smokey to pack his bags and Spurrier to quit his whinning.

snoopbob87 writes:

Smokey

"keeping it real"

CrankE writes:

Somebody put a picture of Will Muschamp on Matt Giampapa's backside.

Smokey knows what to do on Saturday. You know, should the leash just happen to fail during a Muschamp meltdown or anything.

fratricide08 writes:

Just a little nip to remind Giampapa to always be aware of his surroundings and that even on the sidelines when your team is up by several scores there's still no time or place for slacking. If Smokey was truly being aggressive and wanted to hurt anyone he would've done it.

I used to have a cat who would get so excited when she was being loved on that she would give little love nips. I also had a dog that did the same and he was so big that if he wanted to damage he could've and nothing could've stopped him. Some animals nip when they're excited or happy -- it's not meant to harm their human pets.

givehim6 writes:

Was wandering how Smokey was doing, think he is doing fine. hay smokey gator is a bite chewy but rather tasty, get ya some!

Olddogsrule writes:

MY MAN!!!!! This DOG'S got attitude!!
An Smokey's jus lettin' this kicking team know they better Git 'Er Done!!

Go Vols Go Dooley Go SEC ... and

GO SMOKEY!!!!!!!!!!!

SMOKEY RULES!

VolGrad writes:

in response to volhome:

Ah, a Tiger asking about inbreeding. How ironic.

I guess he would know, eh?

VolGrad writes:

in response to CrankE:

Somebody put a picture of Will Muschamp on Matt Giampapa's backside.

Smokey knows what to do on Saturday. You know, should the leash just happen to fail during a Muschamp meltdown or anything.

Maybe Matt's backside actually favors Will.

Go Vols!

MurfVol77 writes:

He just mistook that backside for ol' Muschumps face is all, lil misunderstanding no biggie...

VFL!! GBO!!

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

in response to MikeTheTiger:

This dogs eyes just don't look quite right. Inbreeding?

Oh yeah, like you and your cajun swamp loving sister? haha!

Theo writes:

in response to MikeTheTiger:

This dogs eyes just don't look quite right. Inbreeding?

Being from Louisiana you would know.

10ACfan100 writes:

I think we need a new dog handler.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

Get em Smokey....and finnally a subject johnboy can speak about....DOGS!!!! ROTFLMGDAO

dvols writes:

aaaaaaaaooooooooooooooooooooooo.....aaooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....aaaaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooa

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