Saturday, October 12, 2013

Power T doesn't stand for tradition

Things are rocky on Rocky Top.

Don't get me wrong. Butch Jones is building his bricks. These things take time. Georgia game was great.

But let's look at what has transpired since Athletic Director Dave Hart arrived from Alabama.

Former associate athletic director for media relations Harris D. "Bud" Ford -- the very definition of a Vol For Life (VFL) long before it became a marketing tool -- was denied the opportunity to complete a comprehensive stat book that could help scribes and some others, especially marketing majors who think Tennessee football began with Phillip and Peyton.

In UT B.H. (Before Hart), calling the sports information department at 974-1212 would often mean you'd get Ford himself. Now, in UT B.S. (no translation needed), you get a recording. Sometimes you get a call returned. Maybe.

I declined to renew my season tickets to two sports after the Ford fiasco. The three football games I have attended in UT B.S. happened because somebody either bought or reimbursed me for the tickets.

The athletic department violated its own policy on uniform colors by allowing the team to wear the so-called "Smokey gray" jerseys for the Georgia game. They make the 1963 Halloween jerseys look quaint by comparison.

Wait, wait, you say. Lane Kiffin had his black jerseys. John Majors' teams put on orange pants and shined up orange shoes for awhile. Bill Battle splashed orange shoulders on away uniforms in the '70s.

Don't care. Let's do the cheer for those who just got here.

ORANGE! WHITE!
ORANGE! WHITE!

At both the South Alabama and Georgia games, I noticed that the band didn't perform at halftime as long as in years past.

Then I stumbled onto the story, summarized here quite well (both sides) on KnoxViews.

News also hit this week that Tennessee and Virginia Tech will play in 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Sheer stunt. Money-grabbing marketing maneuver. Moronic.

Good luck seeing a handoff without binoculars or a big screen.

 The only way you'd get me there is if NASCAR holds a race during the game.

The idea that the Pride of the Southland Band has been given the Big Orange Screw is the last straw. I admit that a big part of this is my bias against rap music and my fondness for real, live musicians. (I also like to fast-forward through commercials.)

In a sense, maybe this is part of a longstanding tradition, some of which started in UT B.H.

 This is the same program that misspelled Doug Atkins' name when his jersey was retired, gave George Cafego a used van as a thank you gift, had its own Ides of March on Friday, Nov. 13, 1992, denied Ray Mears access to the Ray Mears Room, and stopped playing Alabama on the third Saturday in October.

What's next? Hiring Oliver Stone as official athletic historian? Asking Kanye West to perform the alma mater to impress recruits? Playing a home game on the moon? Renaming the big house Pilot Oil Stadium?

Seems to me Tennessee would be better served by hiring a VFL to run the athletic department, or at least someone who leads more like Omar Nelson Bradley and less like George Tecumseh Sherman.

But what do I know? I'm just a UT graduate with small pockets and a sharp memory.

Here's one thing I think:

The Power T sure doesn't stand for tradition. Not anymore.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Luke Hampton said...

Stop being such a little baby. Times change either change with it or get left behind.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

I stand in awe of the eloquent, analytical prowess of your point.

But thank you for sharing it, for identifying yourself, and thanks especially for reading.

1:59 PM  

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