Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

August 16, 2012

All in the Game: Let's get the ball rolling

CROSSVILLE — We've waited and waited and endured the hottest summer on record and now it is time for the smell of sweaty uniforms and freshly mowed grass on Friday nights and Saturdays. Some of us even enjoy the Sunday games.

I could say something like, "It's football time in Tennessee," but that can be heard at another venue to the east where Frank Gale spends his autumn weekends.

Anyway, it's time for the Panthers to howl and the Jets to roar as my favorite season gets under way.

We of the Commodore persuasion are very optimistic, though cautiously, so this year as second-year coach James Franklin tries to match the outstanding coaching job he did last season.

Our offense should be solid with two of the top running backs in the conference in Zac Stacy and Warren Norman as well as quarterback Jordan Rogers. We lost some very solid defenders and will have to depend on Franklin's power to motivate in that area.

As for Frank, Hoss Wyatt, Tom Looney, Joe Young, Jack Napier, Shane Wyatt and the remainder of the dwindling orange legions, there is much to be learned from Derek Dooley and his team. Most people in the know think the season will go as quarterback Tyler Bray goes. They all seem to agree that he has matured somewhat since last season. I'm sure that's the case. I know that I realized that I had reached full maturity when I could hit a car with a beer bottle. Hopefully, for Vol fans' sake, that was a simple one time mistake. Several of us have committed an error along the way.

Jim Petty and Brock Hill have to be wondering about what the triple-named bunch from Auburn can accomplish this year. I understand they are still searching for a signal caller. Then there are the Tide fans like Ronnie Pugh and Bob Wilson, and several others of the "jump on a winning bandwagon" ilk who have no way to go but down this year. Nick Saban may have been guilty of telling a fib or two once upon a time, but he is definitely a great recruiter and coach and they may very well capture the SEC west crown.

I still like Les Miles and his bunch in the bayou. Florida Gator fans, like my son, definitely have no idea what to expect in the "Swamp."  They may have enough talent to challenge Vanderbilt for the SEC east crown though Georgia has been picked as the top "dawg" there.

South Carolina is picked by some, but Vandy will pop that balloon later this month in the opener.

Whatever happens happens, and as usual, I'll be rooting for mine as you yell for yours and the sun will rise even after a loss. It's good to be talking to you all again and I welcome your thoughts via email to vandyzmyhorse@yahoo.com.

Go Jets!  Go Panthers! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)

1
Text Only
Sports Columns
  • All in the Game: Can things get much better for the 'Dores?

    I didn't really plan on writing any more columns about my favorite team, but I know how much all of us Tennesseans enjoy reading about winners. These past three years, and especially the last two, have been really exciting in terms of gridiron action. I'll have to admit that recent successes have exceeded my grandest expectations and now I expect things to get even better.

    July 31, 2014

  • Oh Good Grief: Get ready for fall sports

    To quote the late Bobby Denton, "It is football time in Tennessee," but there will be other sports going on this fall, as well.

    July 31, 2014

  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols begin preparations for season opener in eight days

    The start of fall practice is only a mere eight days away. Coach Butch Jones has to be ready to get Team #118 on the field and to start preparations for Utah State.

    July 24, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Even when Tiger Woods finished just a few strokes from last place at the British Open, he was one of the  featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols focused on Utah

    The SEC media days have come and gone with no real news being generated. A successful media days appearance is usually defined as leaving Hoover, AL without giving a future opponent bulletin board material. Using that criteria, Tennessee left without any major gaffs.

    July 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Good things must come to an end

    The Dr. Pepper Classic, a long-time tradition at McKenzie Arena, affectively-known as the Round House, will seize, as a couple of teams dropped out, leaving the university in a "lurch," according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday morning. Teams wanted a cash guarantee to play, which couldn't be provided (at this time).

    July 10, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Majors Invitational tees off Sunday at Lake Tansi

    It is the second weekend in July and that means Johnny Majors is at Lake Tansi this weekend to host his annual golf tournament. It is always a treat for the local UT fans to interact with those that have been a part of the Vol football program. They come to the plateau each year to renew old acquaintances and share the stories of gridiron prowess from past years. By the way, the stories sure seem to get better with time.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: 'Dores make history with CWS win

    History was made at the College World Series in Omaha, NE, this week, as the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won the school's  first national championship in any sport since the Vandy women's bowling team won the 2007 national crown.

    June 26, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Tyndall hire closes the book on Martin era

    The University of Tennessee was able to close the books on the Cuonzo Martin era of Vol basketball earlier this week when they hired Donnie Tyndall to lead their program. Athletic Director Dave Hart, who conducted the search and the hiring on his own, appears to have found the right coach for this team at the right time.

    April 24, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014