In 1998, first round draft pick Peyton Manning became the new quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Team owner Jim Irsay opened that door for the former Vol great by first firing the general manager Bill Tobin, then coach Lindy Infante, and finally quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Fastforward to the present, 14 years later.
This month, Irsay started the deja vu train by firing vice-chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris Polian, the general manager. Yesterday, head coach Jim Caldwell was fired. Big questions are obvious. Will Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck be the first pick in the NFL draft, currently held (unless part of a trade) by Indianapolis? And what of Peyton Manning, 36 years old, having recently had his third neck surgery since March 2010?
There perhaps has never been a Tennessee Vol football player as polarizing to his own fan base as Arian Foster. Forget the fact that he finished his career as a Vol with just a little more than a hundred yards shy of being the all-time leading rusher in Tennessee history. We all remember the perceived selfish insular behavior, rumored faked injuries, and fumbles — oh the fumbles. Even though Foster only lost five fumbles on a school-record 650 rushing attempts, all five occurred at game-changing locations/times. Games against Penn State, Florida, UCLA, and Auburn still burn darkly in the memory. The slings and arrows with their ultra-sharp edges rained down on Arian like an Oklahoma hailstorm.