Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 15, 2013

All in the Game: Here we go again

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Well, we've all waited a long time, and I believe that the wait will be worth it, as the college football season is just about to kick off.

There are high hopes on both sides of the Orange/White and Black/Gold rivalry. Yes, I maintain that there is a rivalry, though it has truly been very one-sided for the past several years. Last year was a big step in the right direction for the Commodores, and the Vandy faithful are confident that things will continue to go in a positive direction.

This off-season hasn't been one that the Commodore fans like to think about with the recent revelations concerning four players and a horrendous event. I don't know what makes athletes, especially at the college and professional levels think they are special cases with special privileges. Maybe it's the overly zealous fans who offer way too much adoration that drives them. Regardless, it must stop, and I think the Vanderbilt folks did the necessary thing by ending these kids' relationship with the university on all levels.

That type of behavior wasn't just at the West End campus, but also at the favorite school of Bill and Sally Oglesby and Jim Powers — MTSU. That school also stepped up and said that they will not tolerate such a lack of character. Anyway, that's enough of the bad stuff so let's talk about some of the good news that has happened since we last talked.

For Frank Gale, Hoss Wyatt, Tom Looney and the Napier clan, there's the excitement of having Butch Jones as the new coach of the Volunteers. Though he wasn't at the head of their list, he probably should have been. He seems to bring the same type of exuberance that James Franklin has instilled at Vandy.

Have you all heard just about enough about "Johnny Football?" I have, and though I believe he is very talented, he has a lot of maturing to do. He said something to the effect that he is not Tim Tebow, and I will certainly have to agree with that — nowhere close!

My baseball Commodores had a record-setting year though they didn't go as far as I thought they would. Tim Corbin has to be the best at his craft and his accomplishments make recruiting an easy job for him. While on the subject of baseball, we all need to root for the South Nashville all-stars as they have made their way to Williamsport, PA for the LLWS (Little League World Series). The team from Goodlettsville made us all proud last year.

On the golfing front, it was great to see Phil Mickelson win the British Open. What a fine final round he shot!

Then, there's Jason Dufner and the electricity he brings to the game. His demeanor on the golf course reminds me so much of my good friend Tommy Griffith. Never overly excitable. Dufner also had an excellent final round, especially the encounter with his wife after his win.

I would like to wish the CCHS and SMHS teams well as they begin their seasons. Though there are some bad acting kids out there, the majority of these young athletes give their all on the field and court for their schools. It's just that many times the good things don't make headlines. I think there is a quote somewhere in ancient times that says, "The evil that men do lives after them, but the good is oft interred with their bones." The same goes for headline making.

Go Stone! Go CCHS! Go USA!

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