One thing you should know about me is that I am a complete football fanatic. I grew up in a Southern city that is home of a nationally recognized football program. I blood runneth Orange has often been a saying in our house. My father went to the University in our city...as did his brother...as did my cousin...and my other cousin....and my other cousin....but I bucked the tradition and went to a smaller school away from home. I mention that tradition only so that you get the idea that being a fan of this nationally recognized program is an all-consuming thing.
I learned very early on that if I wanted to watch TV (other than the Mull's Singing Convention) on Sunday morning, I had to watch ESPN gameday updates. I learned about the spread offense, the nickel defense and what the shotgun was. I learned about the greatest rivalries and coaches with the most amazing and revolutionary coaching skills. I learned about tight ends (Hallelujah for football pants!) and wide receivers and cornerbacks and blitzes. I learned how to tell when there'd been pass interference and to always expect that our team would get a block in the back penalty on a kick return. I learned that fans of our football team didn't accept mediocrity. We'd rahter pull a moving van up in front of your house or notify the newspaper that your house was for sale if we decided we were ready to see you vacate the city.
It's very safe to say that my Father equipped me with such amounts of football knowledge that I was able to get a few dates sheerly because I loved to watch a good game. I could analyze with the best of my guy friends.
Now, I am - always have been - always will be - a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. Unfortunately, right now we're suffering from a lack of good coaching and individual talent that makes for a really rough season. After our very sad performance and subsequent dismemberment by the Florida Gators on Saturday, I officially decided that I am cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs this season. This doesn't negate the fact that I am and always will be a Tennessee fan. Oh No! My blood will always runneth Orange. I just will probably wear more red and black this year than I normally would have.
An event like this has only happened one other time in my reasonably short life. Once upon a time, I was a young girl in college - approximately 18 years of age - and I decided that I had fallen out of love with my dear Volunteers. I decided that I so despised Johnny Majors (then coach of my beloved Volunteers) that I was going to become a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish until he was fired and replaced. I had several Notre Dame sweatshirts that I wore every weekend and I championed them fervently. I would come home and shout their victories from the deck of my parents home and proclaim their greatness. No one really care in Tennessee about a football team in Indiana, but I was not deterred! Eventually Johnny Majors was replaced - by one fateful coach, Mr. Philip Fulmer - who is the currently detested coach of my beloved Volunteers.
I do not hold much hope for what this football season will bring...as far as the Vols are concerned....however, I will watch as much football as possible in search of good coaches instructing talented kids who play hard and want to win. I will watch Alabama in awe - but not like it. I will watch Georgia and cheer. I will watch USC and continue to believe that they can beat most NFL teams right now. I will watch Notre Dame and gag. I will watch all SEC teams and cheer my hardest. But I cannot be the fervent fan I used to be when it comes to the mighty Volunteers.
The mighty have fallen - and they forgot to wear their LifeAlert necklace...