Thursday, September 19, 2013

eViL G's Rival Rant - The University of Tennessee

This week's slate of games are straight up booty (North Texas at Georgia?), so Florida's opponent from Knox County gets my full attention.  (LSU destroys Auburn by the way.)

Tennessee fans have always been an insufferable bunch, and they do a remarkable job of playing the victim.  Evil Steve Superior victimized Vol fans for over a decade…those poor, poor Tennessee fans.  Phil Fulmer got bored and ruined the program.  Lane Kiffin left Tennessee high and dry, but not before running off Tajh Boyd.  Derek Dooley lost to Kentucky, and just about everyone else.  Tennessee plays Alabama EVERY year.

Since 1990, UF and Tennessee have played every year, and we all know that 1990 game wasn’t Florida’s finest hour.  I was finishing up my undergrad at UF that semester… so yeah, I’m old.  Anyway, UF played the Vols close for 30 minutes, then Tennessee opened up a can of whoop ass in the second half, destroying UF 45-3.

Now it wasn’t enough for Tennessee fans to be satisfied with a 42-point beatdown, or play Rocky Top repeatedly for 6 hours, or throw cups at visiting fans.  That’s expected, life as a traveling rival fan in the SEC if you will.

Tennessee’s student section saw fit to mock the horrific Gainesville student murders that took place just before the fall semester started, chanting “Our students don’t die”.  I had several friends and fellow students who made the trip, they shared what happened.  News of UT’s student section’s antics made The Independent Florida Alligator.  The general consensus on campus was a resounding “that's messed up...we'll be sure to remember this when you come to town next September”.

Fast forward a year to the rematch in Gainesville, and let’s just say our fans weren’t on their best behavior, present company included.  All the stories about UT fans getting blasted with piss bombs, cars getting keyed, punks getting pimp slapped…it all happened.  Now I don’t condone pimp slapping per se, but to quote John Rambo, “They drew first blood.”  Don't start none, won't be none. 

For the rest of the 1990s, the college football world revolved around Florida vs. Tennessee...Spurrier vs. Fulmer, Manning vs. Wuerffel, Alex Brown vs. Tee Martin, and so on.  And it was glorious.

This weekend Tennessee might bring 3,000 fans to Gainesville, and ESPN College Gameday is setting up shop in Fargo, North Dakota. 

Thanks Derek Dooley.

I have no sympathy for Tennessee’s current dilemma.  I won’t even bring up how they led the charge to strip Florida of its first SEC title in 1984.  That’s water under the bridge.  UF beat Tennessee by double digits in Knoxville.  I understand.

Hell it’s almost no fun hating Tennessee these days.  They don’t appear capable of getting out of their own way.  Who schedules road games at Oregon and Florida in consecutive weeks?  It’s like they’re trying to suck on purpose.

Besides, UF has its own issues.  Our starting QB has gigantic ears, but he couldn’t hear a blitz coming if opposing defenders made a pre-snap announcement.  We’ll beat Tennessee this Saturday in spite of him.

Tennessee fans are quick to point to their storied history and tradition…which is code for “we were great before electricity and integration”.  During the most successful run in Tennessee’s modern history, they played second fiddle to new money “Johnny Come Lately” Florida, a school with no history or tradition, not to mention a questionable color scheme.  In fact you have to go back to the 1950s to find a decade when UT had a winning record against UF.

It’s all good though Tennessee fans.  Your football program will be back at some point, and beating you might actually mean something again.  Until then.... 

Gators - 28
Vols - 10

Be good.

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