Comments by BruisedOrange

Written on John Adams: Butch Jones hasn't had enough time to change UT's losing ways:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Another very good post. The only thing I would disagree on is the notion that you have "more talent, less experience." I think with the departures of Patterson, Hunter and Bray, you also have less talent. But still a very good post.

When I wrote "more talent" I was thinking of potential or upside, and also the return of some players we lost to injury last year. But on second thought, I think you're right.

I totally forgot about CP's contributions on special teams for example. Without his return yardage, every possession is starting an average of 15 yards further back. That's a significant piece of real estate, worth maybe 6-8 points per game with a decent offense.

Written on John Adams: Butch Jones hasn't had enough time to change UT's losing ways:

Not being pessimistic... just offering IMHO a reasonable reality check:

COACHES: Much improved. A solid foundation is already laid to rebuild the program.

PLAYERS: More talent, but less experience. More potential, but currently young. Little depth in some key positions.

EXPERIENCE: Remember, this defense has no game experience together playing the 4-3, with several players recruited to fit the 3-4. The skill players on offense have little or--depending on who gets named starting QB--no game experience playing together.

SCHEDULE: First game will provide experience and a chance to make learning errors without a loss. Greatest improvement will be between 1st and 2nd game.
Second game will provide more on-field challenge with the added mental pressure of securing an expected win in a losable matchup.
Third game puts the youngsters on the road, on a national stage, under big-time conditions, with all the distractions and an unfamiliar routine. The Ducks will reveal who plays slow and who plays small. Scheme-wise, it will force us to "pull out all the stops" before beginning our SEC schedule.
Fourth game, we will face Florida as a known entity. They will have all the tape on us. They'll know our schemes and personnel. Whatever weaknesses we've hidden will be revealed. There's little the coordinators can do now. This will be size against size, speed against speed, confidence against whatever we are leaving the west coast.

FINAL RECORD: With several key injuries 5-7 would be a struggle. With no bad luck, 6-6 could be do-able. With a few good breaks, and healthier than average players in November, 7-5 would still be an incredible accomplishment worthy of high accolades.

It's great for fans to get stoked before the season, but keep it in the man cave. Let's not sully the eventual accomplishments of this team by publicly erecting unreasonable expectations in August.

Written on How many wins will the Vols have this season?:

No doubt Butch is the man and has us on the up-swing. But this season we have no depth at key positions to survive this schedule's top tier SEC gauntlet. These Vols will leave it all on the field against Alabama. But I'm afraid then the team we'll take to Missouri will be low in the depth chart and thus (relatively) undersized, slow, young and inexperienced.

Only because of this year's depth problems, I expect our 3 best chances for SEC wins will turn into tough, tough fights since they come late in the schedule.

A much improved program, but we won't see it reflected in this year's won/lost columns. No bowl THIS year... but save your money for January 2015!

Written on Could 'smokey' gray uniforms be coming for Tennessee men's basketball?:

A Tennessee-looking basketball uni that incorporates orange & white with gray is much more doable than the football uni. Keep the orange & white across the chest and back, and down the middle top and bottom. Use the dark gray along the sides to exaggerate the classic male form: narrow hips, harrow waist, V-shaped torso to wide shoulders.

I prefer our traditional look, but I definitely can see O+W+G looking cool on a basketball uni while maintaining much more of our traditional appearance than the football grays.

Written on Reaction to new UT uniforms likely generational:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

The grey uniforms are an outstanding idea, but they're one year too soon. They need to dedicate a home game NEXT year to the 1914 team. Wear the grey for that game, in tribute to that great team. Invite descendants of those players to take part and introduce them on the field at halftime.

Come on people! Google the 1914 Vols football team. They deserve the recognition and the tribute on the 100th anniversary of their great championship season. Help me out here. Flood Twitter and facebook and everywhere else with the idea. It would be fantastic!

Like a diamond at the bottom of a pile of manure, that's a smart post and a GREAT idea!

Seriously, you need to email that idea to the Athletic Dept. Tell them it would help with damage control now if they announced even general plans to do it next year. That would certainly re-attach the gray uni's to our long, rich tradition.

Maybe Underarmour will provide the striped sleeves for it.

BTW: Gotta figure some of that 1914 team must have gone off to war, what with American troops arriving at the front by Spring of 1918. Yeah. There might be more than gridiron stories from that 1914 team that deserve a re-telling.

Written on Butch Jones says Riley Ferguson has 'stepped up,' although he hasn't named a starting QB:

in response to td:

Another thought about the new gray uniforms -- they provide the opportunity for the defense to claim the moniker, "The Gray Wolves." But anytime you start picking labels, you better be able to live up to it. I would think CBJ will name a starting QB early next week to finish out camp before game week.

I would be happier if the defense earned the moniker "Gray Matter."

A few more injuries and we may be referring to our cornerbacks as the Graytful Dead.

Written on Reaction to new UT uniforms likely generational:

[cont'd from above]

What sociologists call totems are symbolic representations of desirable characteristics. Native Americans incorporated feathers, claws and bones of animals whose skills or attitude they coveted. It's also why most football teams were traditionally named after predatory animals or warriors. (Note: if Native American references are fully disassociated from team names, the following generation will associate once proud nations with casinos and alcoholism. I know that's ugly, but Hey--everyone gets stereotyped, so better to encourage the stereotype you'd prefer!) As for the totem value of the volunteers we're named after... they didn't leave home to serve coffee and doughnuts.

But there are some things people dissing traditionalists need to understand. Anybody can do "new." New goes as deep as a coat of spray paint, and can be purchased with other people's money. The people defending tradition are not about fashion--they're defending the VALUES that have come to be associated with those otherwise insignificant symbols and colors.

Tradition is always and only earned by hard work, brick by brick. Tradition takes years to form, built up by successive layers of success-on-success, win after win, those daily battles in practice gradually accumulating over decades to form the hardened identity of a winner. Tradition can't be donated by some rich alumnus wannabe who's never put on pads for anything more than wart removal.

Slipping into a poly-spandex layer of "new" makes you... what?
So what does that make you tomorrow?

But instead, like the ancient warrior preparing for battle, cladding himself with ancestral talismans, eagle feathers, bear claws and wolf fangs strung over his chest, when a player clads himself in the "same ol' boring orange & white" he plugs into something bigger than himself... bigger than just his team... bigger than his coaches and all the fans in the stands. He joins legendary greats and Hall of Famers--and all those who went on to live normal, mundane lives, but are still remembered by name, revered by hundreds of thousands for that one play, one signature moment re-told each fall that makes him part of history and a cherished part of a shared tradition we pass on proudly to our children.

Traditions are too valuable, too long in the making, to fritter away on adolsecent myopia and "look-at-me" value systems. I'd rather see coaches challenge their recruits to man-up to a higher value system. Making big decisions based on something as shallow as "looks" just about guarantees future failure in life. The reason traditions are defended by old people is because only old people really understand how difficult they are to replace, how much they involve, and how many generations it takes to build a new one.

Written on Reaction to new UT uniforms likely generational:

From a fan since the early 60's with careers in graphic design and image consulting, 1 opinion / 2 parts

Having heard about the uni's on the radio while driving back to Tennessee, I was actually a bit relieved when I saw the photos. It could have been much worse. Gray and silver are the colors of machines, not men (a distinction not made by the current generation). UT orange and some grays are compatible colors (sure, I would have preferred a lighter grey personally) and keeping the traditional block numerals helps. Calling it "smokey" gray was brilliant, if inadequate, PR. Overall, the new alt. uni does look like Tennessee wearing gray--and not like a totally different team. As compromises go, the grey uni is about as good as one could hope for. More on compromise in part two.

Some offbeat, generalized, cultural observations on the uni generation gap:

Today's recruits grew up on Batman (dark gray, black, and a little dark midnight blue). The older of us grew up revering Superman (bright red, yellow and blue). Superman didn't even wear a black belt. We remember the introduction of color TV, color computer monitors, and color laser and ink jet printers. We automatically associate vivid colors with progress and excitement.

Today's recruits grew up watching football-players-as-robots open each broadcast segment of "The NFL on Fox." Many of their fantasy heroes have been robots, transformers, or similar. In real life, look at today's soldiers compared to those of WWII, Korea or 'Nam. Modern warriors on patrol look like machine/man hybrids. And, yes, their camo is shades of gray.

When we grew up, anthropomorphic robots in comics, movies and TV were usually tools of oppression (robotics being a threat to well-paying manufacturing jobs) or threats to the uniqueness of our human identity (the borg).


Written on John Adams: Vols prove that inaction can be a virtue:

At least on my screen, the text had lots of odd typographic breaks. But it'll do just fine when formatted for print.

Well done, Mr. Adams! You've highlighted maybe the best news about our reviving program to date.

Written on Defensive end Jacques Smith fractures thumb, out 4-6 weeks:

in response to SAMA_BUCKS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)


You should have stopped with the above comment and left on a high note. Everyone would have thought you were a knowledgeable gentleman.

Written on Defensive end Jacques Smith fractures thumb, out 4-6 weeks:

in response to SAMA_BUCKS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Appreciate the correction, Sama. Always nice to learn something from the Comments section. Too much trash talking here lately.

I'd like to see GoVols try something like "Trash-free Tuesdays" where any empty jabbering gets deleted immediately. (I know: takes too much time to monitor and everyone's already overworked and underpaid.)

But we have a lot of informed, experienced Vols out there it would be good to hear more from.

Written on Defensive end Jacques Smith fractures thumb, out 4-6 weeks:

I'm afraid fan optimism and player tenacity are no substitute for a thumb--at least at the DE position.

First of all, the entire hand would have to be immobilized before he could play, so visualize a left defensive end playing with a padded club at the end of his right arm. Since all blows to the head of offensive linemen are now illegal (R.I.P. Deacon Jones), that clubbed arm has no upside.

Now set aside the obvious difficulty of tackling with only one set of fingers. Also set aside the futility of an outside pass rusher with no ability to grab or grasp with his inside hand as he runs harmlessly past the QB. (In today's game, knocking the QB in the head as you pass by m i g h t draw a 15-yard frown from the backfield judge.)

Can anyone think of even one technique for controlling or redirecting a blocker that doesn't require a firm grasp of the jersey by either hand?

Practically speaking, a DE with only one hand is an offensive tackle's dream and a predictable asset for the offensive coordinator. Opposing teams could game-plan their whole offense around that one deficiency.

Heal quickly--but thoroughly. We need a healthy Jacques Smith beyond Austin Peay, certainly for more games than you can count on one hand.

Written on Even if they're freshmen, UT receivers coach Zach Azzanni 'comfortable giving the best players playing time':

Every day brings more confidence that our program is finally turned around and the team is on track. The coaching staff exudes confidence--but with class.

I don't know if all these improvements will be reflected in the win-column THIS season (be realistic--it's a tough one), but if no disaster befalls us we're going the right direction and making good time.

Woodbery, you always deliver. Well done.

Written on Former Lady Vols standout Alicia Manning joins coaching staff at John Carroll:

in response to fake_basketball:

What is an LVFL?

Lady Vol For Life?
Las Vegas Fracking License?
Living Vicariously From Lithuania?

Written on Former Lady Vols standout Alicia Manning joins coaching staff at John Carroll:

Those girls will work and hustle--that's for sure! But they will also exceed their own expectations, with carryover into their adult lives.

A nice picture of Alicia with Pat accompanies the announcement at Her face (and competitiveness) always made me wonder if she was related to Kevin "Happy" Harvick.

(Confession of Ignorance: When I heard she had been hired by John Carroll University... my first thought was surprise that a school of cosmetology has its own basketball team.)

Written on RB Brandon Powell rescinds commitment to Vols:

I've heard it said that Fulmer's staffs excelled in gaining last minute commitments. It makes sense that the only commitment that counts is the final one.

That said, Butch Jones has a unique task this year. He has to rebuild the brand as well as the team, so the "flash and sizzle" of early commitments--even if they don't all eventually wear the orange--helps to re-establish the Tennessee name, which opens the recruiting door to 4- and 5-star households.

Obviously, there are key recruits and key positions at which the loss of any recruit is damaging. It also hurts if a recruit decommits to go to a school further away from home than Tennessee would be.

We're doing well, with a long road of wins and losses ahead of us.

Best of luck to young Mr. Powell, with wishes that he can enjoy 4-5 scandal-free years at Miami, and that closeness to home will provide good influences, not bad.

Written on Raijon Neal says running back battle is 'wide open':

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Pickett..142 yards on 69 carries?? That's so bad it must be a misprint

If not, maybe he's a fourth-and-inches specialist.

With only 3 TDs it's evident he's not the second-coming of Sam "The Bam" Cunningham.

But running back has always been a position where something inside happens--maybe vision, technique, and confidence all come together--and a kid suddenly goes from zero to hero.

We could use a surprise at that position this year.

Written on 5 Big Things as Vols start camp:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

Peterman looks like a Lepricon, almost Tyler Bray looking.. does this mean???

That's "leprechaun"... and stop making fun of the Amish boy!

Written on Ejections will be jarring penalty for 'targeting' hits in 2013:


If the tackler/blocker launches a legal hit and the other player instinctively lowers his shoulder and helmet just an inch to deflect the blow, who gets the penalty for creating an illegal hit? Will that slight lowering even be perceptible in real time?

In a nanosecond, with no forethought or intent to deceive, the "victim" has turned a legal hit into a 15-yard penalty and (albeit temporary, we hope) ejection.

Furthermore, how can the ejection be reviewable but the 15-yard penalty NOT be--for the same act and for violation of the same rule?

This rule is UNWORKABLE, and my sympathies are with the zebras who cannot possibly enforce this rule under game conditions with accuracy or fairness.

In any arena of human activity, once rules, products or services get redesigned to limit lawsuits... "fairness" loses, reason loses. With apologies to my attorney friends, there IS a reason for Shakespeare's famous quote regarding lawyers.

Written on Dan Fleser: New report assesses the state of women's college basketball:

Yes, the WNBA is unwatchable. But as for the NCAA only caring about making money... if it isn't financially viable, women's college basketball will cease to exist. If Title IX comes up against Chapter 11, women's basketball goes backwards--half a century backwards.

What I see in the stands at Lady Vols games is an older demographic with a predictably and rapidly diminishing future. The cost of live attendance keeps going up, but today's young families have less disposable income. In less than 100 days Obamacare kicks in, forcing more family income into insurance and more workers into part-time work status.

I'm not dragging politics into a sports discussion--it's all part of the same discussion: how will we pay for it all? There's nothing more popular than SEC football, but they're just as worried over the same issues.

TV was once the cheaper fan experience--it's now the better experience. You see more and know more watching on TV. Every trend points toward more empty seats. Sure, TV revenues increase with each new contract, but what happens when huge stadiums are half-full? Does it break even?

The issues Ackerman and Fleser raise are not interesting to every sports fan, but solving them IS necessary to every fan.

Written on Dan Fleser: New report assesses the state of women's college basketball:

The competitive strength of the ladies' game has traditionally been fundamentals and passing. Currently, the men's game is surpassing it in those categories.

Increasing physicality in the ladies game is a lose-lose development. Great players go unseen for seasons due to injuries, some never reaching their potential. And isn't it time we recognize that anything that spotlights "women able to do it just like men" is a novelty that quickly begs the question, "Okay, now what? Is it better?" Ultimately, the most threatening irony to the women's game is that the men are more graceful, even balletic.

Instead of making college athletics the cultural arena for fighting gender stereotypes, embrace the differences. Accentuate game aspects that more female players do better. Political correctness and this "like the men do it" mentality will kill the game and further exacerbate the issue of transgendered* players. It will also bring more lawyers into the game, and that's never good for a sport.

Seems to me rules that encourage transition play, a spread court, more exciting passing, both long- and mid-range shooting, and diminished dominance by still-rare physical specimens, would make the ladies' game more enjoyable for fans while increasing parity among teams.

*I'm not taking a shot at "less-feminine" players--I'm taking a shot at anything off the court (or under the uniforms) that is a distraction from the game itself. Broad competition (no pun intended) by its nature requires restrictions. It's okay if you just think of it as enforcing a more equal kind of equality.

Written on Dan Fleser: New report assesses the state of women's college basketball:

in response to MikeNPS:

What an incredibly boring article. Does the newspaper actually pay a salary to the person who wasted our time with this garbage???? I would suggest that the person who wrote this should be sent to the unemployment line.

I guaran-darn-tee you Fleser's article is 10x better reading than the white paper he's reporting on / reacting to!

If the subject bores you, be honest and say that. This is a panoramic assessment of an entire sport. Dan Fleser knows more about more aspects of the college women's game than 99% of sports writers. A lot more critical thought went into this article than the typical post-game wrap-up. This kind of article also requires more thought from the reader.

Anyway, since it IS our tradition here... I'll bring my ignorance to the table too:

- 10-second backcourt rule for sure. But it must be attached to a restriction on TV directors requiring that they SHOW THE GAME during a full court press! We miss more exciting basketball while directors are switching to "glory shots" of players, crowd shots (we can hear them, okay?), and those psychologically revealing shots of coaches looking stoic.

- a wider foul lane, but I'm ready for universal adoption of the FIBA style lane (wider at the baseline than at the foul line).

We're a generation away from seeing two dozen Brittany Griners on NCAA rosters. I think the FIBA lane would keep the rare Griner from being such a singularly dominant factor until then. It would also reward quickness and athleticism from all post-players--definitely a plus for spectators. But I have no idea how the FIBA lane shape effects today's dribble-drive game.

If outside shooting is down because of better defense, I'm okay with that. A dozen years ago, simply running a shooter through two screens was enough to create 50% trey shooting. It was fun to watch, and opened the game up for more shorter players, but defenses adapted. The next adaptation we should see from the ladies would be NBA-like pick-and-roll passes.

[split post --long winded poster]

Written on Pops Ndiaye hopes to make up for lost time at Tennessee:

Always appreciate your thoughtful perspective, Johnlg00. As Jimmy Durante would have put it, "Ya soitanly class up da joint."

BTW: If you need someone to confirm your alibi...

"Mrs.lg00, John was with me at a meeting of the Nostalgic Analysis and Online Social Club the whole time. The only time he stepped away from the keyboard was to do some dusting and repair some things he didn't think you knew needed fixing."

Written on Former Vol Nick Reveiz to work with Carson-Newman running backs:

Nick is a terrific influence, on or off the field. His career should be one worth watching.

Gotta admit, my first mental picture upon reading the headline was a Three Stooges-like scene:

[cue the foley artist]
"Now you running backs, never let a linebacker do THIS to you... or THIS... or THIS. And whatever you do, don't EVER let 'em do THIS!"

Written on Pops Ndiaye hopes to make up for lost time at Tennessee:

Watching Duncan in the NBA playoffs has made me appreciate more how the game has changed. Posting a big man in the middle is simply no longer intimidating.

Unless he's really quick and has a high basketball IQ, the proverbial "aircraft carrier" of old is like having a billboard posted in the lane that says:
"FREE blocking fouls & assists!
Get 'em now before he's back on the bench!"

Seems to me the subtleties involved with getting a charge called instead of a blocking foul are as nuanced and numerous as the referees who must make the call.

If you take on the role of shot blocker/intimidator, you risk forfeiting any psychological edge you might have with the refs in getting that charging call.

If Rawane could establish an early reputation with refs as a player who anticipates well and is quick enough to be in position before contact, that would be great. It's such a tossup call (for refs to make in real time) that you've gotta figure reputation is worth at least one favorable call per game.

Hopefully Rawane's soccer background will be an asset with footwork and position. But nothing is as quick as anticipation, and this is still a new game for him.

Written on Robert Hubbs, Darius Thompson, A.J. Davis becoming Tennessee's "Three Amigos":

in response to miketn6:

I missed the first game that Davis played in.
Thompson is thin and looks really young, but he also looks pretty good. His contribution will grow over time.
I watched the first half of Hubbs' game, and while he was sort of feeling his way into it, he is super-athletic. Once he gets comfortable, Hubbs has stud potential, but he needs to work on the mid range jumper.

McRae is ready to go, and his progression over 4 years has been amazing. He can play.

Ahhh, yes... the mid-range jumper.

Back in the day, my favorite shot--pretty as Sweet Lou Hudson's.

Now it's the "sasquatch" of basketball skills: much discussed, believed in by most people, yet seldom seen except in grainy, '70s film footage and low-res phone videos taken by freelance recruiters in backwater gymnasiums.

With nostalgic sadness I expect we'll see "long-range teardrops" before we see a return of the mid-range jumper into the standard player's arsenal.

In fairness, the way current offenses divide the floor and distribute defenders, the mid-ranger has been relegated to big men forced out-of-position and fast breaks well-defended. To the teardrop's credit, it avoids the inner-ear issues that fast-break mid-range pull-up jumpers must contend with.

So how did Gail Goodrich make it look so easy?

Written on Robert Hubbs, Darius Thompson, A.J. Davis becoming Tennessee's "Three Amigos":

Any game stats on assists? Steals?

Probably too many to count, huh.

Ahh, just being cranky this morning. There really is long-term value in seeing what your teammates do well, what their preferences and instincts are, all those intangibles that eventually coalesce into "team chemistry."

Written on Poll: Which position on Tennessee's offense are you most concerned about next season?:

Looking at that schedule... the op-position.

Written on David Climer: College football recruiting reaches new low:

Odd, ambiguous column from Climer today. For all his bellyaching, he never explains WHY he thinks this is "too much."

Is it bad for the kids? Does it impede their maturation? Is it counter-motivational to their athletic development? Climer never says.

Is it bad for recruiting? Bad for college football? Does Climer believe recruiters have no legitimate basis for projecting who's going to be a 5-star in four years? He never says.

Climer offers no protest that a major part of recruiting is salesmanship, branding, and getting your program into the national spotlight. He even acknowledges that offering to 13-year olds is consistent with those goals.

If coaches are just using kids as PR props, and have no intention of honoring their word to these kids and their parents--sure, everyone should have a problem with that. Is that what Climer's getting at? He never says.

Maybe this is one of those two-fer articles. Monday's ambiguous whine begs the question so Wednesday's column can respond, "Well, now that you ask..."

When The Tennessean was locally owned, the editor might have returned this to Climer, said it's a good IDEA for an article, told him not to worry about submitting anything for Monday, do some research and come back with something special for Wednesday.

I'm guessing the only ones today with that kind of authority sit in the home office of Gannett Company outside D.C., and all they say is "fill the column with words before deadline as per your contract!"

Bottom line: Disappointed with the article ... sympathetic with the writer ... curious to learn something more about the issue.

Written on Sea of crimson in Big Orange country for Nick Saban speech:


...a pond of crimson.

Written on Former UT graduate assistant Marc Gesualdo: Stop burying Julie Hermann:

in response to goldengate:

Nice post, BO.

I weep for those who have grown up in this daddy-ball-protected, everyone-gets-a-trophy generation.

Thanks goldengate. But I gotta ask... are you from San Francisco?

Y'all probably HAVE a trans-gendered bovine community out there! Who do they share office space with, LGBT or PETA?

Written on Texas A&M gets commitment from No. 1 QB Kyle Allen:

Texas A&M is the SEC's new Florida--only worse.

In addition to now having "play in the SEC" and "play before the conference's largest home crowd" appeal, A&M has...

1) a larger, richer in-state recruiting area than Florida;
2) a superior out-of-state recruiting reach--geographically they can appeal to families along the entire west coast ("Did you know Tuscaloosa is nearly 50% farther from Los Angeles than College Station?");
3) impressive game day traditions with probably the best, most disciplined fans in the NCAA.

AND they now have a first-year SEC record that says "we are here, and here to win SEC/national championships!"

The center of power in the SEC has shifted. These Aggies are no joke, and that's news for any SEC team.

Written on Former UT graduate assistant Marc Gesualdo: Stop burying Julie Hermann:

Not taking sides in this matter, but I had wondered if her father was a coach, and she grew up with that coaching style.

Back when I was coming up, the prevailing model (probably based on military drill instructors) was to verbally and physically tear down individuality until individuals bonded into a team identity. It was common to hear players speak of their relationship with a coach as a mixture of love and fear.

In my mind I can still playback the gentle memories of my adolescence: "when are you going to turn in those pink panties for a jock strap?" and "you're as worthless as tits on a bull!"

There was a certain literary quality to coach-speak back then, rich with metaphors and similes. Sadly, I'm sure they've all been removed from the school board lawyer-approved list of coaching phrases.

But at least we can be thankful we live in a time when people are finally taking a stand on behalf of the trans-gendered bovine community.

Written on Former UT grad assistant Marc Gesualdo backs Julie Hermann, calls accusations 'a glorified witch hunt':

I wondered if her father was a coach.

Back when I was coming up, that was the prevailing model (probably based on military drill instructors), using verbal "abuse" to tear down individuality until they identify themselves as a team.

I can still playback the gentle memories of my adolescence: "...worthless as tits on a bull" and "when are you going to turn in those pink panties for a jock strap?"

There was a certain literary quality to coach-speak back then, rich with metaphors and similes.

I wonder if today's public school coaches are given a list of "school board/lawyer-approved" phrases?

Written on UT preferred walk-on kicker Andrew Gantz going to Cincinnati in same capacity:

The young man said, "... I had to make the best decision for my family and myself," and getting on the field soon was the reason to switch.

I have no inside information, but it does strike me that this is what one might do if there was reason to believe someone in your family might not be around to see you play 3 or 4 years from now.

Written on Josh Dobb's calls now will be with Tennessee Vols:

in response to CoverOrange:

The young guys, Evan, Patrick, Brendan, seem to do all the grunt work (like actually go to practices, interview people) while the older guys take the perks (like go to Destin every year) sit back and write what they thought about rolling out of bed that morning with little research or fact finding. My point is is that it is not a KNS vs TFP thing but a young reporter vs old opinionator thing.

...because when the old guys were young guys, they did all the leg work, and by their persistence (survival), earned a little less stress.

Sure, some of the old guys write like they know where the publisher buried all the bodies. But give those other old guys their due: they have a storehouse of memories, insights, historical perspective, and insider relationships they can call upon--and no amount of legwork and internet research can match that.

As for why the T-FP might have better quality Vol articles... they don't write as many. T-FP can not only choose which story, they don't have to publish it a day before it's polished.

I moved from Chattanooga to Knoxville for 2 years back in the '80s. "WooHoo!" I thought. "Two newspapers writing UT stories every day!" Well, yeah, kinda. But mostly, it was just wall-to-wall criticism and second-guessing. Same thing when I lived in an NFL town.

I think it's a universal rule: The most fan-satisfying team coverage begins in the newspaper that's at least two hours from the stadium.

Written on John Adams: Recruiting will condition Lady Vols for basketball success:

The usual way to have a deep but happy bench is having role players.

Seems to me like a long time since we've had role players (other than point guards) coming off the bench. We tend to just have "do it all" players of different sizes, shapes and skills.

But maybe that's the current state of the ladies' game at the top level.

Written on John Adams: SEC basketball could use a Bruce Pearl or a 'Funny Sonny':

In the saturated marketplace of sports info-tainment it's a tougher world for print journalists. Sports talk radio hosts can fill an hour by opening their show making an indefensibly stupid remark, then sit back and answer phone calls from incredulous, irate, and aghast listeners the rest of the hour.

Print guys online can do something like that (gaining hits via the Comments section), but gaining and maintaining a reputation for insight, accuracy and inside-knowledge counts much more in their game. The radio guy can say anything, as long as he eventually admits, "I see your point, and I may have to reconsider mine." Then he closes the show bragging that he has "the smartest audience in all of radio"--though he's just duped them into filling his hour for him.

Unlike the TV boys, writers can't say "Roll the videotape..." and fill five minutes describing for everyone what everyone can plainly see for themselves.

Preachers have a week to prepare the next sermon. Comedians hone a routine over months and take it from town-to-town. Writers have to write something new, interesting, and informative EVERY day, for the same audience.

So maybe the truthier headline would be...

"John Adams: SEC basketball BEAT WRITERS could use a Bruce Pearl or a 'Funny Sonny'"

Honestly, I sympathize.

Written on Point guard Antonio Barton commits to Tennessee:

in response to oldster:

I do not know what those reasons are, but they are pretty obviously not academics. A basketball player at any major university who graduates in 3 years is a pretty rare bird. It certainly seems to speak well for his overall, if not basketball, intelligence. Hopefully, the bb IQ is high as well.

Rules Question:

Must he begin work on a Master's Degree, or can he enroll seeking a second undergraduate degree?

I'm sure he's got the ability for a Masters... just curious about the rule.

Written on Kara Lawson wins WNBA Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award:

The start of a great coaching career continues to be delayed...
by consummate performances on and off the court.

You continue to make Vol Nation proud, Kara.

Written on Changes don't change course for UT men's basketball:

Maybe I missed it, but I haven't heard any real discussion of finding PG help out of the JC ranks.

Are there any worthy (on court and off) JC candidates out there?

Is there any interest from CCM in going that route?

Seems I remember CPS went that direction one year and collected another Championship because of it. A lot of stars have to align just right, though.

Written on David Climer: Titles can't erase SEC football's weaknesses:

Good grief! You people are still going at it?

Happy Mother's Day...

Written on David Climer: Titles can't erase SEC football's weaknesses:

How many posters even read the article? At issue is the best conference TOP-TO-BOTTOM.

Statistically, we're not. Sagarin uses a formula that weighs the middle third more than the top or bottom. Or you can just add up the rankings and divide by the number of teams in the conference. Either way (weigh?) Big12 comes out ahead of SEC. (Oh, how the middle have fallen! But recruiting says that will change over the next 2-4 years.)

Out of curiosity I'd like to see how it comes out using power rankings. You gotta figure there should be a difference if a team's 4 losses were to Bama, A&M, LSU and South Carolina.

Has anybody seen a conference comparison based on power rankings?

Written on David Climer: Titles can't erase SEC football's weaknesses:

Admittedly the bottom of the SEC has been larger (than the traditional and perennial bottom two) AND worse than usual the past 6 or so years. I blame that on loss of program stability as so many middle-tier programs have been starting-and-stopping their trains to change coach cars on the "GottaBecomeCompetitiveInThisNewEra Express."

But something tells me there's also a statistical tipping point at work here. If the top third of the conference is undefeated or one-loss in regular season matchups, aren't the middle and bottom thirds left between .500 and winless?

In the old Big-10, where typically undefeated Michigan & Ohio State met in December to decide the conference champion and Rose Bowl representative, there was a greater statistical (and practical) opportunity for the middle of the conference to finish well over .500.

Say you're the fourth best team in the SEC East--there's 3 losses. If you also play 2 of the West's top 3--that's now 5 losses in-conference. Throw in a season ticket holder pleasing non-Conference game against a national power... and your middle-of-the-pack team that would finish .750 in most conferences is a .500 team at best.

But what do I know? I'll ask my Calculus teaching friends. They'll appreciate the opportunity to use their knowledge for the good of mankind.

Written on Source: Trae Golden's departure 'based on academics' and 'repeated plagiarism':


UT's men's basketball program graduates only 55% of its participants. Ole Trae's academic chances were a coin-flip and best.

Women's basketball graduates 100%. Clearly, there is correlation between academic and athletic success. Wondering if there is causation.

According to a Class of 2010 survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the graduation rate for colleges in Tennessee were:
* Graduated in 4 years - 19.7%
* Graduated in 6 years - 45.5%
(The national rates were 31.3% and 56%.)

For women the rates in Tennessee were 23.3% and 47.9%.
For men the rates in Tennessee were 15.2% and 42.6%.

Sad as it is, by comparison our athletes are performing far above their non-athlete cohort. If you compare statistics according to race, their performance has been exceptional.

Just offering some additional perspective.

Written on Tyler Summitt interviews for Chattanooga opening:

in response to SneakyPete:

I don't remember Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman being fired or quitting. It would be best to not comment on another school's sitiuation if you know nothing about the matter.

DOHT!!! I know that!

Can't believe I did that! I know better--basketball, basketball, men's BASKETBALL coach--not football coach. Shulman's gone, not Huesman.

But at least you were gracious in your response to my error.

Written on Tyler Summitt interviews for Chattanooga opening:

In a bad economy, UTC must in short order hire an AD [check], head football coach, AND women's basketball coach.

There's no way UTC can afford the cost of replacing the esteemed Wes Moore with another, already established "Wes Moore."

Hiring Tyler Summitt would be a bold play, but think about it...

What other hire would generate national interest and sustained coverage, attract the attention of quality recruits, and most importantly for UTC at this moment, put more fans in seats?

I've never been across town to see a Lady Mocs game. If Son of Summitt became head coach we would be Roundhouse bound first game!

Chattanooga has long been a hotbed of Lady Vols support. Most of them consider Tyler to be--in the sincerest Southern sense--FAMILY. I can't imagine a more supportive community than Chattanooga in which that particular young head coach could begin his career.

Professionally, for him it would not be as big a jump as taking the same position at a school withOUT an established program. Remember, the one situation Tyler has no experience with is having to build from the ground up.

For UTC it would be a bold play, but think about it...

Written on UT releases Travon Landry from men's basketball letter of intent:

in response to frblalack:

Not a very proud moment for the U of T. I am disappointed at the disingenuous behavior on the part of our basketball coaches. Whatever may have been gained in athleticism is lost to some degree in integrity. Sportsmanship and loyalty have been leveraged by one upmanship and winning potential. It may be a sign of the times; it's not a sign of CLASS or HONESTY which we've grown to expect from our athletic department and University. If this is the prevalent practice of our new coaching regime, I am saddened by the absence of ethics. From a football point of view, I sure hope this isn't the modus operandi of Coach Jones' new staff. Bottom line if you offer a young man a scholarship, (and he hasn't done anything to disparage the contract or been overcome by injury) then you honor it. Period! Big Orange Forever!


College athletics is, by nature and intent, a competitive game.

A National Letter of Intent ends the competition among recruiters for a player's commitment.

But an NLI does not end the competition by players for a spot on the roster.

Written on UT releases Travon Landry from men's basketball letter of intent:

in response to VFL70:

College Athletcis has become a commodity game; either produce or move on. Coaches and players alike.

If I might humbly disagree...

College athletics is a COMPETITIVE game, in-season and out. Only difference now is it's 365 days a year.

A letter of intent does not end the competition for a spot on the roster.