Alontae Taylor opting out of the bowl

Keefus

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I’m not so much worried about Taylor - that was his decision, whether I agree with it or not.

What I find more disturbing (and hilarious) are those that are all up in arms saying that this game is “meaningless”. I doubt you’ll find anyone who have their all on Thursday saying that. Ridiculous statement.
I agree with you, there are several teams that didn’t win enough games to get to a bowl. I would think any bowl game these young men were able to go to was satisfying. I don’t think any opted out because it was a meaningless bowl game! Some ppl……
 

Majors

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What do you not understand about 45 points?
I guess you can argue that if we were perfect on offense and scored 85 we would of won ,
But blaming the offense for the loss is weak as hell!
D was non existent, refs were crap so let’s give them their due credit for contributing to the loss also.
Easy 7 points by not wrapping up where AT would have been.
 

Other_Guy

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How about the University buying some insurance for the Bowl game for those that have a NFL draft rating? Maybe the millions the conference takes in because of these players that some could be set aside for some basic payout coverage if an injury occurs during their 4 years.
I've never played a down of football, let alone have potential to he drafted so it's really hard for me to comment but just listening to them talk about how much tje game means to them etc. Plus how much stock could he have gained had he had 1 of those picks and other breakups? Idk
 

Keefus

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1. When Alontae decided he was going to sit out the bowl (Dec 1st), he had no idea who our opponent would be, what bowl we'd be playing in, who the referees would be, or how the weather would affect the game. The only things he knew were (a) his team would get into a mid-tier bowl game, and (b) he was choosing not to be with them. Which is fine. His choice. But he has to live with all aspects of the decision, including the fact that he didn't give his all for Tennessee in the final game of his college career.*

2. I didn't say Alontae skipping the bowl game "cast a shadow on" his college career. Never said anything close to that. Reading is tough, but you gotta know what I said if you want to debate the points I made.

3. I think Alontae's teammates were probably a lot like us in this regard: they'd all have their own opinions. Some were undoubtedly fully supportive. Others were just as undoubtedly disappointed Alontae wasn't sticking with them. A few might actually have felt angry about it. We will never know what percentage of the lads felt each way. For sure it's not safe to assume they all supported the decision.

4. One can make a pretty strong argument that Alontae's absence did play a big part in costing us the game. Given that the younger defensive backs who filled in for him (mostly #4 Burrell and #13 Hadden, I think) were repeatedly beaten and giving away chunk yardage in the passing game.

5. I don't understand your final point. Are you trying to say everyone but you should stop responding to the thread? That the OP should never have started it? That we should all just keep our opinions to ourselves? What are you trying to say?


* EDIT for clarity: don't misread this. Alontae did wonderful things for Tennessee over his college years. He did a HUGE amount for the program. We should all be very appreciative. But here we're discussing specifically his decision to sit out his final bowl game. See post #124 for my full perspective on Alontae.
Wonderfully said.
 

Keefus

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I can’t speak for them because I don’t know what they were thinking about what some of y’all have called a meaningless bowl game. But I watched this team walk off the field from the front row. Just to name a few it appeared they gave their all. Cooper Mays , Velus Jones , Tillman, Hooker, last but not least Jeremy Banks. They were dirty and appeared tired . I was ( and always have been ) very proud of these young men. I’m excited for the future, and look forward to them becoming bowl eligible next year so I can go to that bowl game.
Original poster that said this was meaningless bowl game, I’ll take your tix to next years and the ones beyond that bowl game.
What do you consider a meaningful bowl game by the way?
 

VFL-82-JP

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As near as I can tell, there are 29 seniors on this team. Impossible to tell yet which will be coming back and which must move on, but we know there are some of each (ex: Hendon is returning; Velus has to move on).

For argument's sake, let's say half and half. about 15 to return in orange, but 14 who have to leave.

Of those 14 or so, maybe half have a shot at an NFL career. The others just played the last competitive football game of their lives.

That final bowl game, that's what will stick with them for the rest of their days. They don't get the opportunity to go make millions of dollars. They're gonna get a job selling insurance, or maybe as a sports talk guy on a radio station. They'll have families, and hopefully happy, fulfilling lives.

But this last season, including this last game, will be the permanent memory of their football days.

Alontae's decision was a personal one. One he had every right to make. But as with most decisions, it had one-off effects on the people around him. His family, yes. Also his coaches. And his teammates.

Would we have won the game if Alontae had been there in place of #4 Burrell and #13 Hadden? I think so. We'll never know for sure, but that's a lot of yards we gave up, and plenty of scoring, off ineffective coverage. Really good chance with Alontae defending, Purdue would have scored one or two (or three) fewer touchdowns.

To be clear: football is a TEAM sport. No one person can win a game, and no one person can lose it. But every stand-out player (including Alontae) can make a significant difference.

If they're there. For the TEAM.

Remember the other 104 fellas, when you argue in favor of Alontae's individual interests. The other lads matter, too.

So he should have practiced hurt? And eliminated his chance to get healthy before the opportunity to persue his dream of playing in the NFL? Is that what @VFL-82-JP and you believe? That's what you would have your own sons do?
Vollygirl, you keep putting words in my mouth (and Keefus' too). You're starting to make me feel like Jordan Peterson up against that British TV journalist. Heh.

I never said anything about Alontae practicing hurt. He needed to heal. He did not need to sit out the bowl game. Those are two related, but separate, decisions. He could've been healthy enough to play by the time of the game.
 
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rickyyrs

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Shows a lack of character to abandon your teammates when this game could help the program move forward with a win. I wish him well in the future but its disappointing to see him not step up. The lack of loyalty will come back to bite him eventually.
If the kid didn't want to play that's his decision. We are dealing with college kids. Not NFL players. I am pretty sure you have called into work before and didn't show up.
 

Keefus

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So he should have practiced hurt? And eliminated his chance to get healthy before the opportunity to persue his dream of playing in the NFL? Is that what @VFL-82-JP and you believe? That's what you would have your own sons do?
I never saw he was hurt , all I saw was he opted out. If he was hurt certainly not…… dead horse you’re trying to beat. Our opinions differ.
 

VOLINVONORE

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As near as I can tell, there are 29 seniors on this team. Impossible to tell yet which will be coming back and which must move on, but we know there are some of each (ex: Hendon is returning; Velus has to move on).

For argument's sake, let's say half and half. about 15 to return in orange, but 14 who have to leave.

Of those 14 or so, maybe half have a shot at an NFL career. The others just played the last competitive football game of their lives.

That final bowl game, that's what will stick with them for the rest of their days. They don't get the opportunity to go make millions of dollars. They're gonna get a job selling insurance, or maybe as a sports talk guy on a radio station. They'll have families, and hopefully happy, fulfilling lives.

But this last season, including this last game, will be the permanent memory of their football days.

Alontae's decision was a personal one. One he had every right to make. But as with most decisions, it had one-off effects on the people around him. His family, yes. Also his coaches. And his teammates.

Would we have won the game if Alontae had been there in place of #4 Burrell and #13 Hadden? I think so. We'll never know for sure, but that's a lot of yards we gave up, and plenty of scoring, off ineffective coverage. Really good chance with Alontae defending, Purdue would have scored one or two (or three) fewer touchdowns.

To be clear: football is a TEAM sport. No one person can win a game, and no one person can lose it. But every stand-out player (including Alontae) can make a significant difference.

If they're there. For the TEAM.

Remember the other 104 fellas, when you argue in favor of Alontae's individual interests. The other lads matter, too.


Vollygirl, you keep putting words in my mouth (and Keefus' too). You're starting to make me feel like Jordan Peterson up against that British TV journalist. Heh.

I never said anything about Alontae practicing hurt. He needed to heal. He did not need to sit out the bowl game. Those are two related, but separate, decisions. He could've been healthy enough to play by the time of the game.
So are you saying you can determine when he has healed or even if he has healed. If so, you should form a company to supplement the medical community.
 

vollygirl

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I never saw he was hurt , all I saw was he opted out. If he was hurt certainly not…… dead horse you’re trying to beat. Our opinions differ.
Here it is from the horse's mouth.

“I think for Alontae – I had an opportunity to sit down with him on the back end of it – he’s very thoughtful, took information, understood potentially where he was slotted and made a good decision for him,” Heupel said. “At the end of the day, you guys have heard me say this the back half of the year as you guys started asking those questions, you want to be able to give good, concrete information to kids and have them make a really sound decision for themselves and I feel like Alontae did that. We’re going to help and support him in every way as he goes through the draft process, excited about his future. It’s a kid that has been a great leader from the time that he stepped on campus for us. For me, he’s been a great resource in just helping build the foundation of Tennessee football.
“A guy that battled through injury the last three weeks of the season and really those are things that not very many people knew. It’s an opportunity for him to get back and get healthy here before he ends up in that draft process.”
 

Keefus

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As near as I can tell, there are 29 seniors on this team. Impossible to tell yet which will be coming back and which must move on, but we know there are some of each (ex: Hendon is returning; Velus has to move on).

For argument's sake, let's say half and half. about 15 to return in orange, but 14 who have to leave.

Of those 14 or so, maybe half have a shot at an NFL career. The others just played the last competitive football game of their lives.

That final bowl game, that's what will stick with them for the rest of their days. They don't get the opportunity to go make millions of dollars. They're gonna get a job selling insurance, or maybe as a sports talk guy on a radio station. They'll have families, and hopefully happy, fulfilling lives.

But this last season, including this last game, will be the permanent memory of their football days.

Alontae's decision was a personal one. One he had every right to make. But as with most decisions, it had one-off effects on the people around him. His family, yes. Also his coaches. And his teammates.

Would we have won the game if Alontae had been there in place of #4 Burrell and #13 Hadden? I think so. We'll never know for sure, but that's a lot of yards we gave up, and plenty of scoring, off ineffective coverage. Really good chance with Alontae defending, Purdue would have scored one or two (or three) fewer touchdowns.

To be clear: football is a TEAM sport. No one person can win a game, and no one person can lose it. But every stand-out player (including Alontae) can make a significant difference.

If they're there. For the TEAM.

Remember the other 104 fellas, when you argue in favor of Alontae's individual interests. The other lads matter, too.


Vollygirl, you keep putting words in my mouth (and Keefus' too). You're starting to make me feel like Jordan Peterson up against that British TV journalist. Heh.

I never said anything about Alontae practicing hurt. He needed to heal. He did not need to sit out the bowl game. Those are two related, but separate, decisions. He could've been healthy enough to play by the time of the game.
Buddy you’re just spitting in the wind trying to rationalize with her, she reads and interprets things to fit her agenda.
 

vollygirl

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As near as I can tell, there are 29 seniors on this team. Impossible to tell yet which will be coming back and which must move on, but we know there are some of each (ex: Hendon is returning; Velus has to move on).

For argument's sake, let's say half and half. about 15 to return in orange, but 14 who have to leave.

Of those 14 or so, maybe half have a shot at an NFL career. The others just played the last competitive football game of their lives.

That final bowl game, that's what will stick with them for the rest of their days. They don't get the opportunity to go make millions of dollars. They're gonna get a job selling insurance, or maybe as a sports talk guy on a radio station. They'll have families, and hopefully happy, fulfilling lives.

But this last season, including this last game, will be the permanent memory of their football days.

Alontae's decision was a personal one. One he had every right to make. But as with most decisions, it had one-off effects on the people around him. His family, yes. Also his coaches. And his teammates.

Would we have won the game if Alontae had been there in place of #4 Burrell and #13 Hadden? I think so. We'll never know for sure, but that's a lot of yards we gave up, and plenty of scoring, off ineffective coverage. Really good chance with Alontae defending, Purdue would have scored one or two (or three) fewer touchdowns.

To be clear: football is a TEAM sport. No one person can win a game, and no one person can lose it. But every stand-out player (including Alontae) can make a significant difference.

If they're there. For the TEAM.

Remember the other 104 fellas, when you argue in favor of Alontae's individual interests. The other lads matter, too.


Vollygirl, you keep putting words in my mouth (and Keefus' too). You're starting to make me feel like Jordan Peterson up against that British TV journalist. Heh.

I never said anything about Alontae practicing hurt. He needed to heal. He did not need to sit out the bowl game. Those are two related, but separate, decisions. He could've been healthy enough to play by the time of the game.
You wanted him to play in the game without practicing then? I guess I don't understand what you mean.
 

vollygirl

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Buddy you’re just spitting in the wind trying to rationalize with her, she reads and interprets things to fit her agenda.
What's my agenda exactly? You are saying you didn't know he was hurt. Now you know. Do you still feel the same about his decision?
 

VFL-82-JP

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He made the best decision FOR HIMSELF, which is what anyone should do.
I don't believe that, Yankee. And I'm betting that as a general rule you may not believe it, either.

Think of all those soldiers, sailors, marines, air force pukes, coast guardsmen and women, fire fighters, police, teachers, doctors, nurses, and on and on who live to serve others. Who often make decisions NOT in their personal best interest, but to serve society.

We could not function without them. You know that. You're one of them.

Being on a football team is about entertainment, not security and safety. Got it. It's not as "important." Got it. But it's still about being a teammate. About depending on 104 other fellas and your coaches, and them depending on you.

Any time one is part of a team, of any kind, the decisions one makes will affect a lot more folks than just them. How they balance all those needs and interests and desires is part of what defines a person.
 
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Delmar

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So he should have practiced hurt? And eliminated his chance to get healthy before the opportunity to persue his dream of playing in the NFL? Is that what @VFL-82-JP and you believe? That's what you would have your own sons do?
These folks who are whining about AT not playing would have fit in real well with the Romans at the Coliseum and the gladiators. Those guys gave it that old college try and they gave everything they had-literally. If they didn’t get killed by another gladiator, then feed them to the lions for the spectacle. “Are you not entertained?” Again and for the last time, it was AT’s and his family’s opinion and decision and nobody else’s counts. It’s a different game now. Deal with it or find something else to watch. End of discussion.
 
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Keefus

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What's my agenda exactly? You are saying you didn't know he was hurt. Now you know. Do you still feel the same about his decision?
Do not know, that does not say he was hurt so that he couldn’t play. Said he was battling injuries the last 3 weeks and this would give him time to get healthy before draft. What did you expect CJH to say? He’s not gonna throw his players under the bus.
 

vollygirl

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Do not know, that does not say he was hurt so that he couldn’t play. Said he was battling injuries the last 3 weeks and this would give him time to get healthy before draft. What did you expect CJH to say? He’s not gonna throw his players under the bus.
OK. Happy New Year!!! Hope you have a great year and we get to enjoy a great 2022 season!!
 
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VolFreakJosh

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I don’t think it would have made much of a difference even if AT ended up playing.

Iowa was throwing the ball towards Burrell every time cause he couldn’t cover anybody.

Not to mention, we still would have gotten screwed over that obvious TD from Wright.
 

WestTennesseeVol

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I don't believe that, Yankee. And I'm betting that as a general rule you may not believe it, either.

Think of all those soldiers, sailors, marines, air force pukes, coast guardsmen and women, fire fighters, police, teachers, doctors, nurses, and on and on who live to serve others. Who often make decisions NOT in their personal best interest, but to serve society.

We could not function without them. You know that. You're one of them.

Being on a football team is about entertainment, not security and safety. Got it. It's not as "important." Got it. But it's still about being a teammate. About depending on 104 other fellas and your coaches, and them depending on you.

Any time one is part of a team, of any kind, the decisions one makes will affect a lot more folks than just them. How they balance all those needs and interests and desires is part of what defines a person.
Why shouldn’t he believe it? I left the military because it was what was best for me and my family. I got the same “team” speech trying to keep me in, but after several awful and toxic leaders, we walked away. I’m sure someone whined that I abandoned them or whatever, but it’s really none of their concern.

I currently work in law enforcement, guess what, 99% of people do it for the paycheck and benefits. You can preach about service and teamwork till the cows come home, but when rubber meets the road, if you stopped paying these officers, they’d walk in a heartbeat. Hell, most of them are already.

My wife is a teacher. She’s looking for another job because she is underpaid, under appreciated, and over worked.

People makes decisions on what is best for them all the time, which is what anyone should do, and does not reflect on their character in any way.
 
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VFL-82-JP

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You wanted him to play in the game without practicing then? I guess I don't understand what you mean.
As with much of this discussion, we need to see levels of complexity beyond white and black. If you only get black and white, on and off, you're never going to understand the world very well.

Life is not an on-off switch.

Alontae injured his foot in the Kentucky game...the game where he scored the pick-6 and then showed everyone how to dance Coffee County style in the end zone. Heh.

He kept playing through that nagging injury for the rest of the season. We're not talking a debilitating injury; more an annoyance. This is not me trying to be a doctor; I'm just repeating the words used to describe his injury at the time. Words uttered by Alontae, and his coaches, and the media who interviewed them.

Could he have given the foot time to heal well, while STILL working out in other ways in the month+ between the Vandy game and the Music City Bowl? Absolutely. Remember, we're not talking about a debilitating injury. And then he could have played, healthy, on the 30th of December.

He's also playing in the Senior bowl about a month from now. He'll be fine.

Something Alontae said when interviewed after the Vanderbilt game rings ironic, now. He said, “I have battled through an injury these past two weeks but I couldn’t let my teammates and coaches down by sitting out. I signed here to Give My All and that I did.”

If only he'd kept that spirit up through the last game of his career.

Love Alontae to death, but as you can clearly see, I think he made the wrong call on the bowl game.
 
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VFL-82-JP

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Why shouldn’t he believe it? I left the military because it was what was best for me and my family. I got the same “team” speech trying to keep me in, but after several awful and toxic leaders, we walked away. I’m sure someone whined that I abandoned them or whatever, but it’s really none of their concern.

I currently work in law enforcement, guess what, 99% of people do it for the paycheck and benefits. You can preach about service and teamwork till the cows come home, but when rubber meets the road, if you stopped paying these officers, they’d walk in a heartbeat. Hell, most of them are already.

My wife is a teacher. She’s looking for another job because she is underpaid, under appreciated, and over worked.

People makes decisions on what is best for them all the time, which is what anyone should do, and does not reflect on their character in any way.
You might be very self-interested and self-serving. I don't know you.

But I do know this: you can't paint all of the millions of folks who serve others with the same brush you use to describe yourself.
 

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