>UT vs South Carolina

>I have to admit I’m still in a lot of denial that last week’s game happened. It’s not that I can’t believe we lost to Alabama, it’s how we lost that is the puzzler. It’s just embarrassing when your team goes flat in the second half. I guess someone didn’t give them the memo that even though you’re ahead in the second quarter, that doesn’t mean you’ve won the game.

It’s lead to a lot of debate all week on the should we or shouldn’t we keep Fulmer. About half the radio guys in town are the biggest bunch of change course whichever way the wind blows bunch of guys I’ve ever heard. Last week, they loved UT. This week, they can’t wait to pile on, call for Fulmer’s head, tell us all how silly we are to like UT. I’m guessing that Vandy upsetting South Carolina had a bit to do with that. (On a side note, I can’t wait for that DVD to come out….and you know it will. This is Vandy, where we win one big road game a year but can’t do squat at home.)

I’m sure some of you are wondering where I stand on the whole “fire Fulmer” thing. I know this because everyone who sees me out and around wearing orange this week has asked me that question. My thoughts are these–I’m not sure who this magical savior everyone thinks is out there, lurking around just waiting to take the job, should a coaching change be decided upon by those in the position to do so at UT. Of course, then again, who saw Bruce Pearl coming? And that’s the thing–with the success the men’s basketball team is having and what Bruce Pearl is building, suddenly there’s some competition. Before now, basketball season was looked forward to see the Lady Vols contend and to hopefully pull an upset or two. Now, basketball is on the upturn, we’ve got a coach who is dynamic and commands attention and a team ranked in the top ten in some polls with huge expectations. Dear heavens, is this what it’s like to live in Kentucky, minus all the horse racing?

My thing is this–I really have no say on if they fire Fulmer or not. I’m not entitled to a vote. I’m a fan and I go to some games when I can. This doesn’t entitle me to decide if we should or shouldn’t make a coaching move. So, I’m not going to sit here and call for the head of Fulmer because a)the man is a recruiting genius and b)he’s elevated the program to places it had never been before. Also, I have this image of if I were to call upon people at UT to fire Phil, that somehow Phil would show up at my office and demand I be fired. It’d only be fair, wouldn’t it? Kind of like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry shows up to heckle the woman in her office to see how she feels.

How awesome would it be if Phil went and campaigned outside the businesses of all those asking he be fired that those people lose their jobs?

Actually, now that I think about it, it sounds pretty cool.

Which brings me to the point that this is a pretty big game this weekend. For one thing, the dreaded Steve Spurrier comes to Knoxville. And as we all know, I can’t stand Steve Spurrier. His pain is my joy. OK, not his pain, but his wincing when his team bungles something is my pure delight. His expressions of frustration at his team–love it. I don’t wish ill upon the man…well, not much, anyway. He did coach my favorite NFL team for two years–and what a painful two years those were. Trying to convince myself that I could somehow love Steve….yeah, that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Had he gone 4-0 against Dallas, I might have had some small smidgeon of love for the man. But when he left town having not even come into the same zip code as the playoffs I was happy.

And it’s the Gamecocks. Which I still have nightmares of that game back in the fall of 92 when we went over to Columbia and Steve Tannyhill was QB and it was just ugly. Terrible. Of course, we got our revenge on Steve Tannyhill when he revealed he hated Rocky Top (seriously, how can you hate the greatest song outside of Amazing Grace ever written?!?). I enjoyed how the next year when they came to town, we beat them and we played Rocky Top after EVERY SINGLE PLAY.

When I was in school, I was convinced that a lot of guys liked to say they were for South Carolina so they could get away with wearing the word Cocks on their hat and attempting to convince us that it had some socially redeeming value. Other than that, I can’t see any reason you’d root for South Carolina. And then they introduced that damn rooster crowing sound in their stadium. Seriously, the only thing more ridiculous is the Gator chomp. (On a side note, how many more fan bases can I alienate in one post?)

And, of course, I recall two years ago, Steve’s first year back when he beat us. I still feel sick to my stomach thinking about it. I feel sick to my stomach anytime I think of Spurrier triumphing over my beloved Vols.

So, tomorrow is a big game. A huge game. Three weeks ago, we made a big step toward reclaiming the home field advantage that is the greatest college football stadium in the world (sorry Michigan, sorry Georgia, but you just don’t compare…oh look, two more fan bases to post hate comments). I am hoping to see the team that came out and took care of businesses against Georgia come out tomorrow. I’d love to see the Vols defense shut down South Carolina and our running game rip off about a 300 yard rushing game. And to see Spurrier in agony. Oh sure, he doesn’t wear his visor anymore to throw, but in my mind he will be. And he’ll be throwing it often and wondering why he bothered to come back….

So, here we go…let’s go Vols.

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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