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You hear it all the time when talking about the game of football. It’s a war out there. Survival of the fittest. Kill or be killed. Use whichever cliche you want; they all mean the same thing. And they’re all true. It’s what separates football from baseball and basketball. Even hockey isn’t as violent in its objective. It’s why I don’t feel sorry for players who get their worlds rocked. That’s what you sign up for. In some ways, I think you almost have to play the game to understand it. It’s not normal to run into somebody as fast as you can with the intent to inflict bodily harm. Some are up for it; others aren’t. Three games into this 2009 season, I’ve begun to notice the guys on Tennessee’s squad that I’d want to go to war with. Read the rest of this entry »

To understand the nature of my being a UT fan, you probably should know how I was raised. Off the top of my head, I count eight immediate family members that have gone to school at UT. That’s a pretty large number when you consider that my entire family is from a small town in West Tennessee that’s five hours away. With Memphis and the Mississippi schools much closer, you’d think Big Orange Country might not extend all the way across the state. That’s not the case, however, and it’s something about Tennessee that has always made me proud. Even though its known for its three very different and unique Grand Divisions, anywhere you go in Tennessee, there will be more UT fans there than any other. That’s just the way it is. Read the rest of this entry »

The University of Tennessee and I were married on September 19th, 1998. I was a scrawny soon-to-be ten year-old and was attending my first Tennessee game against Florida.  I can vividly remember stopping in at Rocky Top books and getting a Jamal Lewis #31 jersey that came down to my knees. I would wear that jersey until it fit me like something Jessica Alba might wear (though my stomach is slightly more chiseled). As we made the trek up Cumberland Avenue, the feeling in the air was palpable. The mass of people in Orange, Rocky Top breaking out randomly across thousands of screaming voices created a sense of community that I had never before experienced, and have yet to find duplicated anywhere since.  There is simply nothing like a game day in Knoxville, TN in late September. Read the rest of this entry »