Sunday, November 02, 2014

In which he quietly says his unpopular opinion into a darkened room

(A stilted disclaimer, in the interest of half-assed disclosure of personal leanings:  I enjoy Tennessee football, and I have a rooting interest, but I have a hard time calling myself a fan, mostly because I don't putting myself in their company*)

So, the University of Tennessee's football team had a big comeback win to beat South Carolina in overtime last night, 45-42.

And from the celebration on the news, on Twitter and on Ye Olde Facebooke feed, you'd think Tennessee just upended the best team in the nation.

Just want to say this:  South Carolina is and was, for all of Steve Spurrier's bluster, a mediocre team at best.  Going into the game, they're another four-loss, bottom-third of the SEC squad who happened to play their best game of the year the previous week in a loss against Auburn.

I don't know where the excitement comes from.  It was a good game (what little I saw, since I was out watching hockey last night).  But cool your jets.  It was one mediocre team coming back to beat another mediocre team in overtime.

I get it, Tennessee fans.  You fucked up with your bandwagon leanings.  You got all riled up about "Fat Phil Fulmer" and you got your gift horse and then it started shitting all over the house and eating the table cloth and now here you are three coaches later having lost almost as many games in the years since Phil left as you did in his entire coaching career at Tennessee.  I know!  It's exciting!  You still have a dream of holding on to that Tennessee will win out and end up with a winning record and get play at a meaningless bowl game somewhere around December 28!

Let me rock back on my heels, being careful not to topple off my moral high ground:  I think the past six years have been just comeuppance.  As a Cubs fan, I was laughing when the "Fire Phil" rhetoric started flying all those years ago.  The Cubs haven't won shit in 106 years.   When the Fire Phil rhetoric started, you weren't too far beyond half a decade from a National Championship.  And yeah, there had been rough years, but there were still quality seasons in there, too.

Anyway,  all that is not to say you don't have things to be excited about.  I think Butch has the program running in the right direction.  Especially on the defensive side of the ball.  Lots of talent.  It's young, and I think you'll really start seeing the benefits of that next year, especially when that O-line has some time to get more muscle on it.

But for now?  Be quiet.  Be classy.  Enjoy your win, by all means.  Just remember that going bananas for an overtime win against South Carolina (even one coached by Steve Spurrier**...and I can't help but wonder if beating that prick doesn't have something to do with the excitement, and if so, more power to you), just shows that you're a little desperate.

Act like you've been there.

Better days are coming.

But for now?  An upset at South Carolina?  Act like you've been there.  And quit throwing things like "Biggest win since Fulmer Left" or "Most important win in ten years" out there.  Stop.  STAHP.

*Most Tennessee fans are spoiled ignoramuses who want so badly to root a winner, and don't understand what it takes to become one.  I don't listen to a lot of people's thoughts on Tennessee football.  Anytime I hear people bashing or singing praises, I'd like to stop the conversation, and ask a simple football question, like:  Can you tell me what the nickel defense is?  Or what Running the option means?  I'm confident that a full on 40% of fans in Neyland Stadium on any given football Saturday could not, and that's only the tip of the iceberg of my problem with Tennessee football fans...

**And yeah.  Spurrier's a prick.  I'm right there with you on that one.  I enjoy seeing him take a shitkicking just like any other right-minded individual would....


Blogger Tommy Williams said...

I think the excitement is not because it's South Carolina or even Steve Spurrier. Most serious Tennessee fans expected the Vols to win this game and needing to push it to overtime is, by itself, disappointing. It's also worrisome just how worn out and tired the defense is--as good as they were early, they don't have enough depth and they just can't keep up.

People are excited because we haven't seen Tennessee show fight like this and an ability to recover from adversity since Phil Fulmer left. And even in his last year or two the team didn't seem to have the fight and the spirit we expected from Tennessee.

So, yes, beating South Carolina doesn't mean much as a result in itself. And I'm sure that Josh Dobbs isn't as good as his record-breaking numbers looked last night--the South Carolina defense was just ideal for an offense like Tennessee's to carve up.

But the way the team came back, the fight they showed, and the enthusiasm they have mean everything.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Tommy said...

Fine points. At the end of the day, they did show me something. Still, not worth this exultation. Just shows how long it's been since they've seen real success.

1:55 PM  

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