Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

November 21, 2012

Rocky Top Beat: Week has seen many changes for the Vol Nation

CROSSVILLE — A lot has happened over the weekend from a humiliating loss (41-18) at Vanderbilt to the firing of the head coach. That despite his best intentions, simply could not get the football program headed in the right direction. Finally, Dave Hart did what he had to do and we will see Jim Chaney on the sidelines for the Kentucky final. We wish Coach Derek Dooley and his staff the best in their future endeavors. 

I guess Jim Butler has levitated back to earth after his ‘Dores dismantled a team that was in disarray Saturday night in Nashville. Congrats Jim, but odds are the Vols will return to form with a new coach and staff to welcome your team to Knoxville next season. With a coach that has shown that he can win in the SEC at Vanderbilt, I would suspect that James Franklin will be leaving for greener (as in money) pastures sooner than later. 

The coaching search will be a fluid situation for the next month, and as usual, the fans will most likely be the last to know. In the meantime, feel free to drive yourself nuts with all the speculation and reports (mostly false) on the Internet. I just hope they get this hire right because if they don’t, it could take the best part of another decade to fix the football program. 

Each Thanksgiving I have shared things the Big Orange Nation should be thankful for. I always have been a person that sees the glass as half full instead of half empty. This Thursday we will thank God for our many blessings. In that spirit, I thought maybe if we paused and stepped back we all could remember the good things surrounding this and other football seasons at UT.

Here are some of the things about UT football for which I am thankful. 

I am thankful for the Vol walk and the Pride of the Southland Band that makes the scene outside of Neyland Stadium one of the best in college football.

I am thankful for the best fight song ever – "Rocky Top." Any true Vol fan swells with pride and gets tears in their eyes when they hear that played before, during and after the games. 

I am thankful for this year’s senior class that will run through the “T” for the final time Saturday. They came to UT to win championships. Instead, they have lived through some tough times during their time on Rocky Top. 

I am thankful for all the players that will return next season and strive to put Tennessee football back on top. There is a lot of talent in this group for the next coaching staff to develop. May they turn out to be part of the solution and not the problem. 

I am thankful for the former players that have returned throughout the season to help support the program and have kept the memories of championships fresh in our thoughts.

I am thankful for the fans that, in spite of a sub par year, continued to support the Big Orange this season. 

I am thankful for the wonderful practice facilities that will help in bringing future talented student athletes to UT to compete for championships.

I am thankful for the way Coach Dooley represented the University of Tennessee despite his win-loss record.

I am sure that I have missed many things about UT football to be thankful for, but I am sure that each of you will finish the list with the things that you too are thankful. List a few of your own. You might be surprised at how it makes you feel.

I would add one more thing to my list – you, the reader, for without you, writing this would not be any fun at all. Happy Thanksgiving and go Vols!

(Frank Gale 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
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane 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
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