Thank you to VolNation

#1

preacherman20

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#1
I pretty much went back to not coming on here for a few days and then just reading. Too many NegaVols for me after a great season. I want to say Thank You from myself, my family, and Kirby for the great support last season. Did not end the way any of us wanted but it was a part of a great journey to this point. My take away from last weekend was that some times there are too many distractions in our lives to succeed and distractions at the wrong time can be fatal. I will not go into a list of those distractions but you have seen most of them on here in the past two weeks. I believe the NCAA got what it wanted and was for the UT team to not be Omaha. Problem is there is no story now except a tournament of teams that we beat or would beat but when you don't take care of business that you can control you don't get where you belong.
Kirby had a very good season and plans on coming back. I think next year's team will have a different make-up and it will be interesting to see what that is after everything falls out. There will be some coming in that will change that make-up and some leaving that will also. Some coming in that many do not expect through transfer portal but also some leaving through transfer portal that many don't expect. If you did not have the playing time that you wanted this year, it is a gamble whether you will get it next year. And some will take that gamble and others will not. The draft will also dictate next years team since there will be some who will be drafted that will go and some who will be drafted or not drafted that will stay. When you have as big a turnover as we will have you never know whether it will be good or bad.
One of the most saddening parts of the last two weekends for me was the fans. There seemed to be a lack of enthusiasm when we needed it. I watched live on Friday and Saturday and by tv on Sunday and in key moments the fans were just sitting. I don't get that especially with the money some of them paid to be there. It was not the students or GA seats but the ones behind home plate from dugout to dugout. I don't know if they got so used to us coming back that it had become a show and didn't feel the need to get involved or what. I don't know if they fully understand the impact they have on their own players, sometimes too focused on hollering at umpires and the other team, to cheer for their own team.
Thank you again individually and corporately for supporting my kid this year. He is not playing summer ball due to innings pitched and coach's goals for this summer. He will be staying in Knoxville working out, helping with camps, being a mentor to incoming freshmen and transfers, and being an ambassador for UT baseball. Go Vols.
 
#2

Volprofch05

Educating and celebrating the Vols
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#2
I pretty much went back to not coming on here for a few days and then just reading. Too many NegaVols for me after a great season. I want to say Thank You from myself, my family, and Kirby for the great support last season. Did not end the way any of us wanted but it was a part of a great journey to this point. My take away from last weekend was that some times there are too many distractions in our lives to succeed and distractions at the wrong time can be fatal. I will not go into a list of those distractions but you have seen most of them on here in the past two weeks. I believe the NCAA got what it wanted and was for the UT team to not be Omaha. Problem is there is no story now except a tournament of teams that we beat or would beat but when you don't take care of business that you can control you don't get where you belong.
Kirby had a very good season and plans on coming back. I think next year's team will have a different make-up and it will be interesting to see what that is after everything falls out. There will be some coming in that will change that make-up and some leaving that will also. Some coming in that many do not expect through transfer portal but also some leaving through transfer portal that many don't expect. If you did not have the playing time that you wanted this year, it is a gamble whether you will get it next year. And some will take that gamble and others will not. The draft will also dictate next years team since there will be some who will be drafted that will go and some who will be drafted or not drafted that will stay. When you have as big a turnover as we will have you never know whether it will be good or bad.
One of the most saddening parts of the last two weekends for me was the fans. There seemed to be a lack of enthusiasm when we needed it. I watched live on Friday and Saturday and by tv on Sunday and in key moments the fans were just sitting. I don't get that especially with the money some of them paid to be there. It was not the students or GA seats but the ones behind home plate from dugout to dugout. I don't know if they got so used to us coming back that it had become a show and didn't feel the need to get involved or what. I don't know if they fully understand the impact they have on their own players, sometimes too focused on hollering at umpires and the other team, to cheer for their own team.
Thank you again individually and corporately for supporting my kid this year. He is not playing summer ball due to innings pitched and coach's goals for this summer. He will be staying in Knoxville working out, helping with camps, being a mentor to incoming freshmen and transfers, and being an ambassador for UT baseball. Go Vols.
As always, the words and information are greatly appreciated, especially since I'm sure the last week has been a very difficult time of thought and reflection by the players and parents. There will surely be change, but hopefully it will be for the best. It will be great to have Kirby out there and as always we appreciate his different contributions!

I hadn't said anything about it, but I agree with your take on the crowd. My read was that everyone fully expected us to win without much trouble, even going into game 3 as a winner-take-all, and it started out as a festive environment. However, when the game was close and then ND took the lead, it felt like everyone surrounding me was just in shock and/or nervous and was sitting on their hands, which is too bad because that is when the team needed us most. Ultimately, with such a dominant record, everyone expected us to win every game/series, and that's just not realistic.

Nevertheless, it was an amazing season that my boys and I greatly enjoyed and we're looking forward to an exciting future for the baseVols!
 
#4

GiveHim6InSC

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#4
I’m proud of Kirby and all he stands for, and I appreciate your honesty and insight on here. It has to be an absolute gut punch for everybody associated with this program to have the season end the way it did. I’m thankful that he is coming back, because it’s players like him who are good for UT and for baseball, in general. I pray he has a great off-season, that the entire team returns rested and focused and can go all the way next year.
I’m thankful that you are raising him right.
GB🍊
 
#5

VolPack22

Jessica Alba is my wife
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#5
Thank you for raising such a great young man @preacherman20. He always takes the time to interact with fans and he truly cares about this program. I look forward to him being our closer next season. It will be a different looking team but I’ve got faith that Tony and leaders such as Kirby will uplift this team. The record will almost assuredly not be the same, but we will still have a quality team in the top half of the SEC imo. I pray for your son and all the others a happy and healthy off-season 🙏
 
#6

cobbwebb0710

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#6
I pretty much went back to not coming on here for a few days and then just reading. Too many NegaVols for me after a great season. I want to say Thank You from myself, my family, and Kirby for the great support last season. Did not end the way any of us wanted but it was a part of a great journey to this point. My take away from last weekend was that some times there are too many distractions in our lives to succeed and distractions at the wrong time can be fatal. I will not go into a list of those distractions but you have seen most of them on here in the past two weeks. I believe the NCAA got what it wanted and was for the UT team to not be Omaha. Problem is there is no story now except a tournament of teams that we beat or would beat but when you don't take care of business that you can control you don't get where you belong.
Kirby had a very good season and plans on coming back. I think next year's team will have a different make-up and it will be interesting to see what that is after everything falls out. There will be some coming in that will change that make-up and some leaving that will also. Some coming in that many do not expect through transfer portal but also some leaving through transfer portal that many don't expect. If you did not have the playing time that you wanted this year, it is a gamble whether you will get it next year. And some will take that gamble and others will not. The draft will also dictate next years team since there will be some who will be drafted that will go and some who will be drafted or not drafted that will stay. When you have as big a turnover as we will have you never know whether it will be good or bad.
One of the most saddening parts of the last two weekends for me was the fans. There seemed to be a lack of enthusiasm when we needed it. I watched live on Friday and Saturday and by tv on Sunday and in key moments the fans were just sitting. I don't get that especially with the money some of them paid to be there. It was not the students or GA seats but the ones behind home plate from dugout to dugout. I don't know if they got so used to us coming back that it had become a show and didn't feel the need to get involved or what. I don't know if they fully understand the impact they have on their own players, sometimes too focused on hollering at umpires and the other team, to cheer for their own team.
Thank you again individually and corporately for supporting my kid this year. He is not playing summer ball due to innings pitched and coach's goals for this summer. He will be staying in Knoxville working out, helping with camps, being a mentor to incoming freshmen and transfers, and being an ambassador for UT baseball. Go Vols.
Thanks for the update, I’ve been looking for you but assumed you were taking some time away.
We fans should be thanking the players and families for one of the most awesome, fun seasons I’ve ever experienced with ANY Tennessee sport!
I posted a few days ago that this thing is not over, it’s only just beginning and we merely have a little time off between games. I am very much looking forward to next season and am glad Kirby is hanging around the program this summer, he is a leader now and will make a great one, on and off the field!
No, the season didn’t end how we wanted, but I am proud of our baseVols and the ride we experienced this season.
Give Kirby a high five from Volnation, get some rest and then get to work on next season!
Thanks @preacherman20 for all of your info and insight.
GBO!!
 
#7

VOLfrombama

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#7
Kirby had some great moments and probably had some moments he wished he had back. But I never saw anyone or heard anyone wish anything but the best for him. Please let him know we support him and will be cheering for him next season too.

Vol fans are a fickle bunch, but we all want the same thing. Some of us just don't know how to act when we don't get out way. BVS has only made that worse since we haven't had a whole lot to cheer for besides a few good seasons of basketball and now baseball for going on 20 years.

As far as the Super Regional. I can't speak for the fans as a whole, but I can certainly speak for myself.

I watched every pitch, every at bat, and iyam, the entire team felt too tight. So did the crowd. I don't know if it was the pressure, the lights, the cameras, the stage, the coaching inexperience, the lack of their pitching coach, or the bat flipping/cursing at umps. I would bet big money it was all of the above. This team slowly backed themselves in a corner, specifically a corner they weren't used to being in.

When Notre Dame took the lead Sunday, you could feel the wind come out of the entire place's sails. They had been cruising all day behind Burns and when they got punched in the mouth, they didn't respond correctly imo. That includes the crowd AND the team. We WERE used to seeing them fight back and pull it out. But the more they failed to do so, the tighter they seemed to get.

When ND took a commanding lead, they looked lost, shocked, and beaten. The crowd did too. It only got worse with each at bat.

I hate it, but sports in general is not always fun. Losing is not fun. It's especially hard for Vols because of BVS. They gave us all something to cheer for again, and for that I'm thankful. As disappointing as it was, we did it to ourselves. We all hyped this thing up into something unstoppable, becasue frankly, it had been all season. Hopefully, we can all learn from that lesson.

Again, jmo.
 
#8

tn4elvis

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#8
I pretty much went back to not coming on here for a few days and then just reading. Too many NegaVols for me after a great season. I want to say Thank You from myself, my family, and Kirby for the great support last season. Did not end the way any of us wanted but it was a part of a great journey to this point. My take away from last weekend was that some times there are too many distractions in our lives to succeed and distractions at the wrong time can be fatal. I will not go into a list of those distractions but you have seen most of them on here in the past two weeks. I believe the NCAA got what it wanted and was for the UT team to not be Omaha. Problem is there is no story now except a tournament of teams that we beat or would beat but when you don't take care of business that you can control you don't get where you belong.
Kirby had a very good season and plans on coming back. I think next year's team will have a different make-up and it will be interesting to see what that is after everything falls out. There will be some coming in that will change that make-up and some leaving that will also. Some coming in that many do not expect through transfer portal but also some leaving through transfer portal that many don't expect. If you did not have the playing time that you wanted this year, it is a gamble whether you will get it next year. And some will take that gamble and others will not. The draft will also dictate next years team since there will be some who will be drafted that will go and some who will be drafted or not drafted that will stay. When you have as big a turnover as we will have you never know whether it will be good or bad.
One of the most saddening parts of the last two weekends for me was the fans. There seemed to be a lack of enthusiasm when we needed it. I watched live on Friday and Saturday and by tv on Sunday and in key moments the fans were just sitting. I don't get that especially with the money some of them paid to be there. It was not the students or GA seats but the ones behind home plate from dugout to dugout. I don't know if they got so used to us coming back that it had become a show and didn't feel the need to get involved or what. I don't know if they fully understand the impact they have on their own players, sometimes too focused on hollering at umpires and the other team, to cheer for their own team.
Thank you again individually and corporately for supporting my kid this year. He is not playing summer ball due to innings pitched and coach's goals for this summer. He will be staying in Knoxville working out, helping with camps, being a mentor to incoming freshmen and transfers, and being an ambassador for UT baseball. Go Vols.
You did a great job with Kirby.
 
#9

malibuvol

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#9
Kirby had some great moments and probably had some moments he wished he had back. But I never saw anyone or heard anyone wish anything but the best for him. Please let him know we support him and will be cheering for him next season too.

Vol fans are a fickle bunch, but we all want the same thing. Some of us just don't know how to act when we don't get out way. BVS has only made that worse since we haven't had a whole lot to cheer for besides a few good seasons of basketball and now baseball for going on 20 years.

As far as the Super Regional. I can't speak for the fans as a whole, but I can certainly speak for myself.

I watched every pitch, every at bat, and iyam, the entire team felt too tight. So did the crowd. I don't know if it was the pressure, the lights, the cameras, the stage, the coaching inexperience, the lack of their pitching coach, or the bat flipping/cursing at umps. I would bet big money it was all of the above. This team slowly backed themselves in a corner, specifically a corner they weren't used to being in.

When Notre Dame took the lead Sunday, you could feel the wind come out of the entire place's sails. They had been cruising all day behind Burns and when they got punched in the mouth, they didn't respond correctly imo. That includes the crowd AND the team. We WERE used to seeing them fight back and pull it out. But the more they failed to do so, the tighter they seemed to get.

When ND took a commanding lead, they looked lost, shocked, and beaten. The crowd did too. It only got worse with each at bat.

I hate it, but sports in general is not always fun. Losing is not fun. It's especially hard for Vols because of BVS. They gave us all something to cheer for again, and for that I'm thankful. As disappointing as it was, we did it to ourselves. We all hyped this thing up into something unstoppable, becasue frankly, it had been all season. Hopefully, we can all learn from that lesson.

Again, jmo.
I think not having Frank Anderson hurt...
 
#11

cthvolsfan

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#11
@preacherman20 Thanks for your thoughts on the season. I sit in the area you mentioned. For me, once ND took the lead, then added to it the next inning after we didn't respond, I felt a bit deflated and didn't get real good vibes about the game from myself, the crowd, and frankly the team too. I thought we should have added several more runs earlier in the game and that came back to haunt us on that day.

But, I'm very glad to hear Kirby is coming back. Get to see him catching all those first pitches and chasing down foul balls again. And, he's a darn good pitcher too (and while I don't know him personally, I've heard several first-hand stories and it's easy to infer he's an even better human being). Great to have you back in LNS again next year. Have a great offseason.
 
#12

TrumpedUpVol

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#12
One of the most saddening parts of the last two weekends for me was the fans. There seemed to be a lack of enthusiasm when we needed it. I watched live on Friday and Saturday and by tv on Sunday and in key moments the fans were just sitting.
This is definitely a byproduct of stadium size and ticket prices. It's really hard to capture the same atmosphere that made LNS so exciting during the regular season (and even last year with the limited capacity) when prime seats are allocated to well-heeled newcomers interested in attending because it's the place to be and the rest of the seats are trading for the highest secondary market prices of any Regional/Super Regional.
 
#14

ETCvol4life

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#14
Thank you [B]preacherman20[/B] for your words and insight and for raising such a wonderful young man. Love vol baseball and love this season regardless of the ending. This team was fun to watch and had the best chemistry of any team I have ever witnessed. I look forward to next year and years to come. Please let your son know we love him and wish him the best at UT and in life, thank you.
 
#16

Volprofch05

Educating and celebrating the Vols
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#16
Kirby had some great moments and probably had some moments he wished he had back. But I never saw anyone or heard anyone wish anything but the best for him. Please let him know we support him and will be cheering for him next season too.

Vol fans are a fickle bunch, but we all want the same thing. Some of us just don't know how to act when we don't get out way. BVS has only made that worse since we haven't had a whole lot to cheer for besides a few good seasons of basketball and now baseball for going on 20 years.

As far as the Super Regional. I can't speak for the fans as a whole, but I can certainly speak for myself.

I watched every pitch, every at bat, and iyam, the entire team felt too tight. So did the crowd. I don't know if it was the pressure, the lights, the cameras, the stage, the coaching inexperience, the lack of their pitching coach, or the bat flipping/cursing at umps. I would bet big money it was all of the above. This team slowly backed themselves in a corner, specifically a corner they weren't used to being in.

When Notre Dame took the lead Sunday, you could feel the wind come out of the entire place's sails. They had been cruising all day behind Burns and when they got punched in the mouth, they didn't respond correctly imo. That includes the crowd AND the team. We WERE used to seeing them fight back and pull it out. But the more they failed to do so, the tighter they seemed to get.

When ND took a commanding lead, they looked lost, shocked, and beaten. The crowd did too. It only got worse with each at bat.

I hate it, but sports in general is not always fun. Losing is not fun. It's especially hard for Vols because of BVS. They gave us all something to cheer for again, and for that I'm thankful. As disappointing as it was, we did it to ourselves. We all hyped this thing up into something unstoppable, becasue frankly, it had been all season. Hopefully, we can all learn from that lesson.

Again, jmo.
Think it should be noted that although we had all those great comebacks in regionals the last two years, we never faced an elimination game at LNS until the ND series.
 
#17

BelleVol

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#17
Thank you for raising and supporting a great person in Kirby.
A comment about the crowd and not an attempt to pile on, but….. the crowd section you mentioned reminded me of the lower ring fans in Thompson-Boling at a Lady Vols basketball game. I’d like to see the students get a bigger share of those prime seats and bring some energy to the place.

Thanks again for Kirby!
 
#20

taylorvol

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#20
I pretty much went back to not coming on here for a few days and then just reading. Too many NegaVols for me after a great season. I want to say Thank You from myself, my family, and Kirby for the great support last season. Did not end the way any of us wanted but it was a part of a great journey to this point. My take away from last weekend was that some times there are too many distractions in our lives to succeed and distractions at the wrong time can be fatal. I will not go into a list of those distractions but you have seen most of them on here in the past two weeks. I believe the NCAA got what it wanted and was for the UT team to not be Omaha. Problem is there is no story now except a tournament of teams that we beat or would beat but when you don't take care of business that you can control you don't get where you belong.
Kirby had a very good season and plans on coming back. I think next year's team will have a different make-up and it will be interesting to see what that is after everything falls out. There will be some coming in that will change that make-up and some leaving that will also. Some coming in that many do not expect through transfer portal but also some leaving through transfer portal that many don't expect. If you did not have the playing time that you wanted this year, it is a gamble whether you will get it next year. And some will take that gamble and others will not. The draft will also dictate next years team since there will be some who will be drafted that will go and some who will be drafted or not drafted that will stay. When you have as big a turnover as we will have you never know whether it will be good or bad.
One of the most saddening parts of the last two weekends for me was the fans. There seemed to be a lack of enthusiasm when we needed it. I watched live on Friday and Saturday and by tv on Sunday and in key moments the fans were just sitting. I don't get that especially with the money some of them paid to be there. It was not the students or GA seats but the ones behind home plate from dugout to dugout. I don't know if they got so used to us coming back that it had become a show and didn't feel the need to get involved or what. I don't know if they fully understand the impact they have on their own players, sometimes too focused on hollering at umpires and the other team, to cheer for their own team.
Thank you again individually and corporately for supporting my kid this year. He is not playing summer ball due to innings pitched and coach's goals for this summer. He will be staying in Knoxville working out, helping with camps, being a mentor to incoming freshmen and transfers, and being an ambassador for UT baseball. Go Vols.
Thanks for posting and always being so informative and candid with your comments. Thanks for raising Kirby the right way. He’s a true joy to watch and his character is just outstanding. This Team was very special and my all-time favorite of any sport. I hated the way it ended but baseball can be a very cruel and unforgiving sport. The BaseVols gave me a tremendous amount of joy during a very challenging season of life. These young men are tremendous on the field and even better off the field. I will sorely miss Evan, Redmond, and Luc who spent 6 years rebuilding this program. I will miss seeing Trey, Jordan, Ben, and others who will likely be departing. I’m thankful that Kirby is coming back along with Christian Scott and a new Joyce brother.
I hope the true Vol fans will remain supportive and fiercely loyal to the BaseVols, and the bandwagon fans will refrain from being NegaVols and think before they post or call out players who‘ve given their all for UT. GBO!
 
#21

vol94

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#21
I agree about the crowd. My son and friends are rising sophomores but could not get tickets for the games. I think there were 300 student tickets allotted per game.

Donors are important but the students are the lifeblood of the campus and relate to the players as they are the SAME AGE!!! That’s why Duke has a huge advantage in basketball. So 300 tickets is ridiculous. And I guarantee you the students bring noise and support the team.

I’m not sure why the fans were so passive, but it was noticeable during game one and beyond. I am not aware of the distractions but appreciate the players for giving their all, and hopefully the Vols make a run next yr to Regionals and beyond.

I can’t watch the College World Series as I keep thinking we should be there. I guarantee the stadium would be packed in Orange!
 
#22

taylorvol

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#22
Regarding the crowd, it was painful watching scalpers with dozens of GA bracelets selling at a premium which should have been reserved for the passionate, loyal and loud students. There was a “corporate element” at the game where folks wanted to be seen. I’ll take more passionate, loud, and rowdy fans anyway over the “wine and cheese” crowd who were likely attending their first BaseVols games of the year. It changed the entire vibe of LNS.
 
#23

Volbackhomefromtx

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#23
Forewarned this is a long post; I know VolNation doesn’t care for those. So forgive me for my carthartic rambling. Preacherman hit an emotional chord that has been with me since the last out.

I am one of those between the dugout season-ticket holders. There was never a time this year that I didn’t make arrangements for my seats to be occupied when I could not be there. But I was mostly there, including some weekday games. I am retired and living in Nashville so I blessed to be able to do this. I am pleased to sit with a small group of loud never-say-die fans. Among the many reasons, this team will be in my memory forever as the best I’ve ever supported, all sports, is camaraderie of the team and coaching staff and how much I became identified with it. They loved to win together and they showed it in the way they did. That was their personality. I wouldn’t change it if I could; that is who they were. I was devastated when they lost not just because they lost but that I would never get to see this team play again and knew they would never get to play together as a team again. I wanted to hug them all including Coach V and to tell them not to despair. They are true champions. Moreover, they are even nicer people. Watched enough hours and heard them speak enough to know that.

The mind is a funny thing. People create fantasies about how things should go positively and and also about how things could fall apart. I suspect their were many people who had thought about what it be to lose and were silenced to see it happen. I don’t know if that is BVS or just human nature. I think UT fans often give themselves too much credit for being maligned. So while I looked around and saw life go out of many in the crowd, I kept yelling as did that small group around me. I’ve seen this before. You don’t attend 55 years of UT football without knowing how to gauge how a crowd will react. How many times have I criticized the “blue hairs” in the UT section of Neyland for sitting on their hands and watch the wave die or wane there all the damn time? Or be angry about being among the last few people remaining in my section? Or be laughed at for still cheering after others have quit? It was like witnessing a train wreck. It is the last thing you want to see. Take UT-Arkansas 1998. Truth be told, when Arkansas fumbled, not a lot of orange was still there. Two Sundays ago, I saw people leaving around me before the 9th inning not to mention those who were just sitting. These same people left during wins at about that time, too. Some of these people left after the GT 8th for goodness sakes. Some insanity I guess about beating traffic. Football me says there was no baseball traffic to beat. Why did you spend the money to be here in the first place and not to stay for the game? The team needs us now more than ever. Just no explaining people.

In my opinion, not all fans are the same. I think it takes people who have gone all out to participate in a sport or watch their kids participate to also go all out in support of their team for the duration of a game no matter what that outcome may be. My high school baseball team was one that went from mediocrity to respectability over my time there. You became a part of it. You lived and breathed it. You lived and died with it. Our championship team ended in a regional from a knuckleball that none of us could hit. I remember it like it was like yesterday.

Next year’s team will have a different collective personality. It will be different from 2021 or 2022 and we never saw 2020 fully develop which is a travesty in itself. I have the utmost faith in Coach V, Coach A, and Coach E, and the rest. I look forward to next season with great enthusiasm and to welcoming back all those who remain as well as all those who will be playing in orange for the first time. I look forward to seeing what becomes the personality of the 2023 team.

I won’t ever forget this 2022 team and hold them dear to me. Here over a week later I still think about it multiple times per day. But unlike many teams in the past that felt short of their ultimate goal, this one accomplished what no team had accomplished in almost 30 years and established some new records that will be hard for others to beat. We have to accept 2022 being one of the best all-time college baseball teams, insert qualifier, to have never won the CWS. Maybe some day, we will rattle off a list of CWS champs or not but regardless, I will mention 2022 with any of them.

It is great to be a Tennessee Vol. GBO!
 
#24

jrobison

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#24
This baseball season was the most fun I’ve had as a Tennessee fan since early 2000’s football. I was in high school at the time and just couldn’t really appreciate what we were living through. After the abysmal run in the early 2010’s, I swore I’d never take another great season for granted. It didn’t end the way we all hoped, but no one that followed can say they didn’t have a blast! I know several fans who fell back in love baseball because of our 2022 BaseVols…that’s a helluva legacy to leave!
 
#25

Volprofch05

Educating and celebrating the Vols
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#25
Forewarned this is a long post; I know VolNation doesn’t care for those. So forgive me for my carthartic rambling. Preacherman hit an emotional chord that has been with me since the last out.

I am one of those between the dugout season-ticket holders. There was never a time this year that I didn’t make arrangements for my seats to be occupied when I could not be there. But I was mostly there, including some weekday games. I am retired and living in Nashville so I blessed to be able to do this. I am pleased to sit with a small group of loud never-say-die fans. Among the many reasons, this team will be in my memory forever as the best I’ve ever supported, all sports, is camaraderie of the team and coaching staff and how much I became identified with it. They loved to win together and they showed it in the way they did. That was their personality. I wouldn’t change it if I could; that is who they were. I was devastated when they lost not just because they lost but that I would never get to see this team play again and knew they would never get to play together as a team again. I wanted to hug them all including Coach V and to tell them not to despair. They are true champions. Moreover, they are even nicer people. Watched enough hours and heard them speak enough to know that.

The mind is a funny thing. People create fantasies about how things should go positively and and also about how things could fall apart. I suspect their were many people who had thought about what it be to lose and were silenced to see it happen. I don’t know if that is BVS or just human nature. I think UT fans often give themselves too much credit for being maligned. So while I looked around and saw life go out of many in the crowd, I kept yelling as did that small group around me. I’ve seen this before. You don’t attend 55 years of UT football without knowing how to gauge how a crowd will react. How many times have I criticized the “blue hairs” in the UT section of Neyland for sitting on their hands and watch the wave die or wane there all the damn time? Or be angry about being among the last few people remaining in my section? Or be laughed at for still cheering after others have quit? It was like witnessing a train wreck. It is the last thing you want to see. Take UT-Arkansas 1998. Truth be told, when Arkansas fumbled, not a lot of orange was still there. Two Sundays ago, I saw people leaving around me before the 9th inning not to mention those who were just sitting. These same people left during wins at about that time, too. Some of these people left after the GT 8th for goodness sakes. Some insanity I guess about beating traffic. Football me says there was no baseball traffic to beat. Why did you spend the money to be here in the first place and not to stay for the game? The team needs us now more than ever. Just no explaining people.

In my opinion, not all fans are the same. I think it takes people who have gone all out to participate in a sport or watch their kids participate to also go all out in support of their team for the duration of a game no matter what that outcome may be. My high school baseball team was one that went from mediocrity to respectability over my time there. You became a part of it. You lived and breathed it. You lived and died with it. Our championship team ended in a regional from a knuckleball that none of us could hit. I remember it like it was like yesterday.

Next year’s team will have a different collective personality. It will be different from 2021 or 2022 and we never saw 2020 fully develop which is a travesty in itself. I have the utmost faith in Coach V, Coach A, and Coach E, and the rest. I look forward to next season with great enthusiasm and to welcoming back all those who remain as well as all those who will be playing in orange for the first time. I look forward to seeing what becomes the personality of the 2023 team.

I won’t ever forget this 2022 team and hold them dear to me. Here over a week later I still think about it multiple times per day. But unlike many teams in the past that felt short of their ultimate goal, this one accomplished what no team had accomplished in almost 30 years and established some new records that will be hard for others to beat. We have to accept 2022 being one of the best all-time college baseball teams, insert qualifier, to have never won the CWS. Maybe some day, we will rattle off a list of CWS champs or not but regardless, I will mention 2022 with any of them.

It is great to be a Tennessee Vol. GBO!
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