Breakfast Before Memphis
Everybody needs some nourishment before they embark on their game-day experience. Up early, get the paper, cup of coffee, check the weather, gauge the proper clothing for Neyland at Night, and pack the car (after attaching the travel flags). Now you’re ready for your favorite meal of the week – that Saturday Breakfast before the weekly Vols game. So, wherever you eat this morning, here are some extra helpings from around the Vol Nation and elsewhere to fuel you for the upcoming clash between East and West Tennessee.
RTT indicates that the Vols are steaming mad about a joke told by Memphis coach Tommy West at a pre-season banquet. Apparently they’re using it as bulletin-board material to get a little juiced for Saturday’s game. Considering the actual joke as recounted in the Commercial Appeal, it becomes obvious how stale this in-state “rivalry” has become. At least the football side of it that is.
In yesterday’s post I named three noteworthy Memphis players, one of whom is senior punter Matt Reagan (#43), who is not only Conference USA’s leading punter, but is also ranked 4th nationally. But after reading Joel’s post over at RTT from yesterday, this year’s kicker can’t be as good as former Tiger punt-master Michael Gibson. Joel reminds us that on September 30, 2006, Gibson punted seven times for 356 yards during the Vols’ 41-7 victory over the Tigers. The simple math says that’s an average of 50.9 yards per punt. The astounding part was that one punt was for 73 yards, and three of his boots were downed inside the Vol five yard line.
ESPN’s Chris Low has a cute story about Vol Dan Williams – how he attended the embarrasing 21-17 upset in 1996 at the hands of Memphis, their only win over the Vols. Dan grew up in Memphis, and his father, Thomas, a Memphis graduate, still bleeds blue. But the elder Williams swears he’ll be at the game leading the cheers for the Volunteers. If you see Thomas, hold him to his promise!
Mike Strange gives an overview of the Tennessee-Memphis series. The most interesting note of the article is the quote attributed to Lane Kiffin: “I’d love to play them every year, sign a long contract… Memphis is obviously very critical to us.” Strategic thinker – It’s the recruiting, stupid! It’s why we’re in good hands, and schools like Georgia are getting more than just a bit twitchy.
Freshman safety Janzen Jackson, coming off a very fine performance against South Carolina that earned him SEC Freshman of the Week honors, may not play Saturday night – he’s suspended. Story at eleven.
Volquest.com informs us that the surface of Shields-Watkins Field is “Tifway Bermuda grassed mowed at ¾ inch height which drains 12 inches an hour thanks partially to a 16 inch crown in the center of the field.” Slow week isn’t it?
John Adams speculates that the Vols could be heading to the Cotton Bowl or the Outback Bowl. Now, my first reaction is to immediately gravitate to the Cotton Bowl. I’ve always loved watching games played at the old fairgrounds in south Dallas. On TV that is. I’ve never seen a game there live, although I did spend a very, very long day and night at the stadium in 1981 to see the Fabulous Thunderbirds, ZZ Top, and the Rolling Stones. So, the thought of us going to the Cotton got me excited, until I came to realize that the Cotton Bowl will not be played at the Cotton Bowl. It will be played in Jerry’s toilet, which has all of the modern amenities one could dream of – even go-go dancers in cages (or was I dreaming that?). So, I’m down with Anything But Cotton (ABC) – anything that helps line the pocks of Mr. Jones is something I’m opposed to. You know something’s happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones.
Apparently there’s teeth in them thair threats from the Commissioner’s Office. Our long-time friend Swervin’ Urban Meyer received a bill for 30,000 smackers for his interpreted violation of SEC’s Code of Ethics – making critical comments at a press conference about SEC officiating, specifically over the suspension of Florida’s Brandon Spikes who was caught via UTube-Gun technology trying to put the eyes out of a poor little defenseless Bulldog puppy. Urban’s tab is at the tail-end of a brief history of the SEC’s descent into ref-related absurdity. Question: Does Mr. Meyer put that on his expense report for the week? Orson Swindle over at EDSBS has some ideas on how to pay up, Urban. Tony Barnhart of the AJC thinks the SEC made the right call on Meyer. I’ll drink to that, Tony, and I don’t even have the facts…
Hope this helped digest that pre-Homecoming breakfast. Go Vols!