Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 22, 2013

ALL IN THE GAME: First phase begins this Friday night

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — High school football is here this week and the colleges get cranked up next week as the most exciting time of year gets underway for us sports enthusiasts. Hopefully, both the Jets and Panthers will get things started with big home wins.

The Commodores will get their season going next Thursday as they host the Mississippi Rebels in a nationally televised game. Vanderbilt has lost another player due to his alleged involvement in the campus sex scandal. This player is a talented starting wide receiver, Chris Boyd and Vandy will miss his presence on the field. If he did actually participate in any cover-up in any way, he needs to be gone.

It's good to see this first Vandy game drawing quite a bit of attention. They and the Rebels are teams that are on the rise and this meeting is very important to both.

I know that the recently disheartened Volunteer throng has been getting pumped up with Frank Gale's breaking down of the possibilities for this year's team. They will certainly be improved over last year. The throng has to be licking their lips awaiting the arrival on campus of the Austin Peay Governors. I believe they will host the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky in their second game and, normally, that would be considered a walkover.

As Lee Corso would say,"Not so fast my orange-clad friends."

The team from Bowling Green is led by Bobby Petrino who many consider an offensive genius in more ways than one. When he comes roaring into Knoxville on his "hog," the fireworks could start in a big way. Still, I predict a Volunteer win in a close one.

There were a couple of downers for us this past week.

The Little League team from South Nashville was eliminated after fighting back through the losers' bracket. Still, a lot to be proud of. The ladies from the United States were absolutely clobbered by the Europeans in the Solheim Cup competition, and here on American soil, nonetheless. The bad part about a loss in this contest is that you have to wait two years to get them back.

I hope that you all are as excited as I am as this football season approaches. We must all continue to remember that it is just a game and while winning is more fun, a loss here and there sometimes must be accepted.

Have a great week and maintain that grin.

Go Jets! Go Panthers! Go USA!

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