Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

December 5, 2013

All in the Game: I'm going out a winner

CROSSVILLE — All good things must come to an end. At least, it has been a good thing for me, even when I had to endure losing. These last two years have surely been the best for we Vanderbilt fans have seen in our lifetime and I have decided that it is time for me to quit antagonizing Frank Gale and his orange-clad throng and just enjoy my football without wondering what I am going to write.

Frank, I have certainly enjoyed the good-nature banter over the last several years and, in a way, I even enjoyed singing "Rocky Top" on the courthouse steps. I'll never forget the grin on Judy Graham Swallows' face as she helped me sing. Please rest assured that I have not performed it since. I appreciate Pauline Sherrer and Mike Moser letting me voice my opinion on a weekly basis. Maybe we gained a follower or two. Anyway, I appreciate the readers, even the few that tend to disagree with me.

I love my sports, and I hope that I will continue to do so for several more years, but there are things going on in the sports world these days that should concern us all. Remember, it is just a ball game.

I read in the Nashville paper that the Vandy players were greeted after the game in Knoxville by fans throwing full bottles of water at them and then when, they reached the shower room there was not a drop of hot water to be had for showering. It seems that would have to be planned some time in advance for the water to be cooled. Worse than that was the fact that someone sent UT defensive back Cameron Sutton a message threatening his life for not defending better against Jordan Matthews.

Alabama's place kicker also received threats against him and his family after the Auburn loss. Then there was the killing of an Alabama fan by another, allegedly because the victim wasn't hurt enough by the Tide's loss to Auburn. I know that this has to be a very small minority acting this irresponsibly, but it is a sad commentary on sports.

My good friend and staunch Alabama fan Ronnie Pugh handled that big loss the way it is supposed to be done. He e-mailed me to congratulate me on the most recent Commodore victory and simply said that his bunch didn't get it done and that the best team won on Saturday. He knows that there will be other games and 'Bama will certainly win their share.

My barber, Beep-Beep Bilbrey, is also a Vandy fan and we were discussing the status of Commodore football in his shop the other day. Another patron made the remark that James Franklin seems cocky. To me that's not the proper descriptive adjective. I see it as confidence in his ability to get it done and he has gotten it done. I've heard the same said by my football friends in Cumberland County and I simply attribute the feeling to the fact that he has beaten Tennessee twice and took them to overtime in another outing. If you believe that he's somewhat arrogant then my suggestion would simply be to just put your team on the field and beat him. I'm sure that would take the smile off his face.

Well, I'm hoping for a bowl game out of state this year but if it doesn't happen then so be it. We will be playing somewhere!

I wish you all the best of holidays and a great future. Again thanks to everyone that perused my ramblings and I appreciate the comments, pro and con.

Smile and good things will happen.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and this is his last column.)

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • 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

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: You never know what will happen next with TN sports

    When you cover UT sports, you never know what is going to happen next. The past two weeks were no exception as they were filled with "the good, the bad and the ugly."

    April 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

    With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

    April 10, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
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