Interesting perspective.

#26

kbear01

A realist and a VFL
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
837
Likes
800
#26
Tennessee's natural place, in the pecking order, for decades, has been Beating up on mid-level and lower-level SEC Programs(Which varied, season to season), and tightly competing or beating upper level SEC Programs, like Bama, Florida, UGA, Auburn, and LSU.
This has not been the case, on a regular basis, since the mid 2000's. We have been mid-level to lower-level, production wise, for over a decade. Even our potentially great teams, of 15' and 16', stubbed their toes on lesser SEC opponents (Coaching).
It has taken us a decade to fall so far. This rebirth isn't going to happen overnight. It took Johnny Majors three years to get to a bowl game, and five years to begin going to bowl games on a regular basis. With the exception of 83', it took until 1985, for UT to become relevant nationally.
Please be patient with Coach Pruitt. I truly believe he will guide this enormous ship back into fertile waters, once again. GBO
 
#27

unfrozencvmanvol

We Come From France...Alabama
Joined
Jul 3, 2018
Messages
2,377
Likes
3,152
#27
Are you being dishonest or are you ignorant? Swinney won his division and 9 games in year two. That is "early success" and recruiting reflected it. Even so, there was A LOT of grumbling after year 3... until he won the ACC and 10 games in his 4th year. Recruiting then went nuts and he hasn't won less than 10 in any season since.

Swinney is the CLASSIC example of what I'm saying a coach needs to do to "win big".
He went 9-5 in year 2. He won a crappy ACC division before getting blown out by South Carolina and losing the ACC championship to Georgia freaking Tech. He regressed to 6-7 the next year. Many of our "put up or shut up" fans would be ready to run him out of town on a rail in that situation, fortunately for Clemson, they were patient, because they did go 10-4 the next year and win the ACC though they were pistol whipped by South Carolina again and had a 70 burger dropped on them by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.
 
#28

unfrozencvmanvol

We Come From France...Alabama
Joined
Jul 3, 2018
Messages
2,377
Likes
3,152
#28
My wife's family is all Clemson fans and I can assure you many of the Clemson natives were quite restless with Dabo as late as 2014, which I believe was Year 6, when they got curb stomped by Mark Richt in the season opener.
 
#30

BruisedOrange

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
750
Likes
938
#30
While somewhat I agree with the overall sentiment of what you are saying, it is just a game, the kids playing and men coaching determine the true outcomes not us, so sit back and enjoy.

However, your are forgetting the underlying concept of a fan. Fan is short for fanatic.

We will never stop the anticipation of a new season, new recruits and coaches, returning players and coaches, what will the record be, who on our schedule is beatable or should be beatable. That's what makes us fans. If we just sat back and never did anything until comment until after the game is played, well, where's the fun in that?

Anticipation, speculation and mixed in with all that comes with the emotional ups and downs of the season and the reflection of seasons past - These are what makes the game what it is and our fan base what it is.
Well made points, BogeyVol. (I'll extend grace to a fellow VFL and assume you're a Humphrey Bogart fan, rather than a golfer.)

I identify with being a fanatic, if by that we mean devouring every post-practice report, following recruiting, lurking on several forums, and trying to find out which receivers and RBs are showing up voluntarily by what time each summer morning. But being fanatics--even admittedly--takes us right up to the borderlines of psycho-questionable territory. I'm sure I'll catch cyber-hell for making this statement, but I think there's an important line being crossed when we emotionally anticipate or predict how the season will play out. I think it's ultimately self-defeating for the fan, since--even if you're ultimately proven correct--you're most likely to FEEL wrong and frustrated at least half the quarters of the season, and for days after any unanticipated loss.

Now that's each person's business, what they choose. And admittedly, I'm no online counselor, but I've played one in real life. Attaching emotional expectations to future events over which we have no control is a set up for needless disappointment, frustration, or anger. Sure, it gets vented at players and coaches who never have to read or hear it. But more importantly, it splashes out onto people in the real world, like family.

I understand that sometimes when we say how many wins we should get this season, what we're really stating is an opinion of "if we and each team we play is at full strength, and we reach our reasonable potential as a team, here's who I think we would beat." Nothing wrong with that.

But waaaay too many times I see forecast-foiled posters ranting vehemently from Saturday night through Wednesday morning, blindly blaming everyone and the water boy, because his/her narrative didn't play out the way they expected. Is there really any fun in being that frustrated, that disappointed?

I encourage everyone to be fanatics about wearing the orange, culling and sharing information, following the latest developments, getting to know and supporting the players and staff. And--especially if you're blessed to be in Neyland on a Saturday--to yell like crazed Vikings and Visigoths when we're on defense! Cheering proactively (not just when we're personally pleased with the results on the field) is the only time we really have some influence on the outcome of a game.

But if you're only trying to "feel" the excitement of the season before it begins... well, that's just self-medicating your way into a neurotic fanatasy. I'm saying keep it together, Vol Nation. Stay in the real world, wait impatiently for football to begin (which is it's own delicious feeling that I've enjoyed every summer since 1963), and then enjoy being fanatics together in real time. Let Nostradamus rest in peace, and embrace your inner-Visigoth!
 
Last edited:
#31

sjt18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2006
Messages
37,195
Likes
16,247
#31
He went 9-5 in year 2. He won a crappy ACC division before getting blown out by South Carolina and losing the ACC championship to Georgia freaking Tech. He regressed to 6-7 the next year. Many of our "put up or shut up" fans would be ready to run him out of town on a rail in that situation, fortunately for Clemson, they were patient, because they did go 10-4 the next year and win the ACC though they were pistol whipped by South Carolina again and had a 70 burger dropped on them by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.
Again, did you not follow their situation or are you being dishonest?

Clemson was hardly patient. There were IPTAY folks who wanted his scalp after that 6-7 season. And yeah, some of those same voices were heard after the bowl blow out. He had early success regardless of whether you think it was a "crappy" ACC division or not. He had something to sell.

You are free to delude yourself but this is a repeating pattern at high level programs. A coach has to prove something within those first 3 years or fans begin to doubt and the better recruits move on. Jones won 9 and because of how he lost... recruits still started to doubt him.
 
#32

SmokinBob

(♀) Team chargervol
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
5,413
Likes
7,485
#32
I don't know if it came from 24/7 sports yakking, or if we've all just become "entitled" to having our fantasies fulfilled, but...

Today almost every fan seems to anticipate the season with a narrative.

"Here's what I want to happen," or "Here's what I expect will happen." Which produces the two Vol nations we regularly see acting out on our LCD screens: the film noir negavols and the Hallmark channelling orange-tinteds.

Once summer practice begins, it's hard to find (among the posting class) Vol fans who are content to sit back and enjoy the story being written in real time, daily determined by boys-becoming-men under the direction--but not control--of coaches in the top 98 percentile of their profession. For fans like us (who hold lofty goals for our team--but don't hold them as expectations) the story is not determined by the ending, but by the journey.

It really is all about the players. How will they respond to adversity? Who will rise to the challenge, and why was one ready to embrace it, and another not?

Thirty-four years ago, in a tight game at Legion Field, Tony Robinson went down with a season-ending ACL injury. Having already lost to #7 Florida, every VFL felt that our high expectations narrative for that season had ended. Everyone's story for the season got shredded with number 10's ligaments.

But how did the story write itself? An improbable defensive play by Dale Jones saved the 'Bama game. An unheralded but eventual hero* was introduced in 5th year senior, backup QB Daryl Dickey.

* Imagine what story negavol nation would have posted the following weekend, after Dickey could only manage a 6-6 tie against Georgia Tech

But the story continued to write itself, to an ending that no amount of Vodka-laced orange kool-aid would have dared anticipate in pre-season. Decades later we still tell our stories about the magic season of the "Sugar Vols."

Fans with preseason narratives want every season to be as special as '85 or '98. But the truth is, it's the average seasons, the disappointing seasons, and the seasons that begin with low or no expectations that lead us to those special, memorable seasons we will recount for decades.

The players always write their own season's story, regardless of the narratives we try to place on them before they don pads for the first time. We are fans. This is a game. Our self-image is not determined by what others achieve. Relax and enjoy. Our summer days of running wind sprints are over. It's someone else's turn now to do the tough work. Appreciate them and respect their effort.

Watch, cheer, and let the players do the writing.
Well said.
 
#33

MWAVolfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
5,045
Likes
3,109
#33
He went 9-5 in year 2. He won a crappy ACC division before getting blown out by South Carolina and losing the ACC championship to Georgia freaking Tech. He regressed to 6-7 the next year. Many of our "put up or shut up" fans would be ready to run him out of town on a rail in that situation, fortunately for Clemson, they were patient, because they did go 10-4 the next year and win the ACC though they were pistol whipped by South Carolina again and had a 70 burger dropped on them by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.

Tennessee is gonna have to do far better than Clemson did back then. The ACC wasn't good. Yes Dabbo won big in yr 2. In the SEC Pruitt will have to work even harder and do even more to compete.

However all of the great coaches of the SEC were winning big early.

We need a great coach of the SEC and not a midling program builder "brick by brick" guy. We need a crew that can build that wall in less than 3 years.

Sorry that's the game today. You either got that guy or your wasting 5 years before a new rebuild begins.
 

VN Store



Sponsors
 

Top