Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 29, 2013

All in the Game: Wishful expectations

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Like so many of you, I have many things that I wish for during this brand new football season. Of course, the first is for a great Vanderbilt start with a win over Ole Miss (Thursday night). That would definitely get me going in the right direction. I have the decorations up and I'm ready for the throng that will be watching with me. My tattered flag is ready to fly.

I'm going to try to stay away from I-40 this weekend as I'm sure there will be lots of flags and banners adorning vehicles headed to Knoxville for the clash with Austin Peay. I really can't say too much about the Governors because Vanderbilt takes them on next.

Mr. Gale will have to wait until about the fourth week of the season to really have an idea about the new era under Butch Jones. A win over the Gators would really get Frank's keyboard buzzing and justifiably so.

Another of my wishes is that Tim Tebow could hang on in the NFL, though I doubt that will happen. Things have really gotten to the point that nice guys do finish last. Anyway, that young man will win the bigger game, that being the game of life.

Hopefully, the Johnny Football saga is over as the NCAA and Texas A&M have apparently reached an agreement. Manziel will have to miss the entire first half of the Aggies' opening game. That'll show him who is boss; maybe the quarterback has learned something from this stiff punishment.

The question of paying college athletes has been around a long time and seems to be a growing subject on the many sports channels. I'm not against this happening on a small scale though the free education is a good reward for competing in sports. If the athletes are going to get paid then change the rules but until that time let's all play by the rules that are in place.

The case against the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez seems to be growing larger every day. Current reports indicate that this former Florida Gator really had a dark side. Let justice be served.

Well, I'm hoping that the Commodores will be able to concentrate on football against the slightly favored Rebels and not let the dreadful actions of a few affect all. Our thoughts and prayers should remain with the victim.

Let's all have a good week and celebrate wins. If that is not the case, then let's just celebrate all that we have, including the ability to smile.

Go Panthers! Go Jets! Go USA!

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