|Half the Volunteers’ misery is now over as season reaches midpoint |
|Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 11:46 am |
| Good news files |
Requests have literally been pouring in, well trickling actually, for some good news about the football program at the University of Tennessee. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is good news. That is to say that news you find to be positive may not be such great information when it is assimilated by your neighbor, your first cousin or your ex-wife.
But enough of that, the first bit of good news that can be served up hot and fresh here is that the football season is officially 50 percent of the way to the finish line. For those in Grundy County who may not be counting or who just don’t care anymore, that means half the regular season schedule is now completed.
Since Phil Fulmer’s team is now in dead last place in the SEC East and has been eliminated from any chance to play in the conference title game, some more very good news is that there should be plenty of tickets available for new Tennessee fans who have not, in the past, been able to get into Neyland Stadium.
Since the students are also refusing to allow the athletic director to fleece them by forcing them to purchase tickets, that means even more folks who want to get into a game should have no problem whatsoever, especially since some observers that seem to know these things expect that there are upwards of 50,000 tickets available for most of the remaining games in Knoxville this year. That, of course, would be tickets available from your friend’s brother-in-law, on the Internet and from those ingenious entrepreneurs, the street corner ticket brokers, also known as scalpers, who are said to be wallowing in a sea of red ink this season as the Vols fortunes on the field have taken another turn for the worse under the leadership of Fulmer.
Ah, but there is some better news out there as well. Athletic Director Mike Hamilton can expect at least one more full house to help generate income for his department this year. Word is that Alabama football fans are gobbling up every ticket they can locate for the Tide’s visit to East Tennessee. For you see, in less than two years, Nick Saban has taken the downtrodden Tide program and has it positioned for a run at the national championship this season. A quick turnaround such as this is always such great news for all those involved, a feel-good story about how a tradition-rich former football power brought in a new coach to get the school back to its rightful place among the elite teams in the nation.
One of our sources in Knoxville believes that Bama fans are already holding upwards of 25,000 seats for the Tide’s visit, and that is more good news for the local economy. Between the Bama fans and those even more fanatical followers of Taylor Swift, Knoxville merchants and restaurants should receive a huge economic boost. Swift is scheduled to perform in concert the evening before the football game.
Here’s some good news that is more target specific to the football program. After watching Nick Stephens for two games now, we can cheerfully report that in our humble opinion, the redshirt sophomore from Texas will one day be a very good SEC quarterback. Stephens has a big league arm, moves well enough to avoid the rush and has made some very good decisions despite the fact that Fulmer forced him to sit and watch four straight seminars on How Not to Play Quarterback conducted by the aforementioned Fulmer and Jonathan Crompton. In fact, we agree with those who contend that if Fulmer had inserted Stephens into the UCLA game in the second half, then the Vols might be 4-2 now instead of 2-4. The thinking is that Stephens might have somehow pulled out the nail biter against the Bruins and then he would have led UT to victory over Auburn. But alas, the stubborn Fulmer and his seniority system would not allow it. Oops, sorry, this is supposed to be a piece about good news only, please forgive the negativity that attempted to seep into this piece of work.
And the final tidbit of really good news is that we have saved the best news for last. Fulmer will soon be into the month of November, his favorite month on the calendar I might add. November has allowed Fulmer to amass a small fortune from a bloated salary, endorsements and a comfortable, long-term contract at Tennessee. November is the month where he has built his glowing winning percentage on the backs of the various cupcake homecoming opponents plus his favorite victims of all time, South Carolina, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
Yes, it’s always good news for Big Orange football fans when the calendar reads November, for that is the month for renewed hope, false conclusions that Fulmer has righted the ship and turned things around and finger wagging threats to the SEC big boys that next year, 2009, will be our year.
Ah, November, in Tennessee it should be known as simply Fulvember, the month when Phil flourishes once more and rocks the fans to sleep until another evil September rolls around.
All kidding aside
Basketball practice is ready to kick off (no pun intended) another exciting season of hoops at UT. Pat Summit’s coaching ability will be sternly tested this winter as the veteran Lady Vol leader fields, perhaps, her youngest team ever.
On the men’s side, Bruce Pearl’s Volunteers are loaded. On paper, at least, this is the most balanced and talented team of the short but sweet Pearl era in Knoxville. Hey guys, we actually have two true points guards this season!