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Vols gain the Air Force and lose a Major
Posted: Thursday, September 7th, 2006, 9:00 AM
by Beano
• Permalink
Tony and I together again after my usual mid-week hiatus come to you live from Game Connection to celebrate the release of the new NASCAR game. If itís as true-to-life as the NCAA and Madden Football games Iíll have Tony sit closest to the screen so I can dive out of the way of bounding tires and hot metal. Itís unbelievable how good the graphics are. Chris Low will interject his usual wisdom and I am looking forward with great anticipation to our segment with Former Air Force great Chad Hennings. Chad won the 1987 Outland Trophy as the nations most outstanding D-Lineman, and played 9 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys winning two Super Bowls. For most that would be the most impressive part of their resume but not Chad. He flew 42 missions as an A-10 Pilot in between. He was providing relief and humanitarian assistance to Kurdish refugees during Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq. I am proud to say my brother Ron was the Commanding General for that effort for over a year. We sometimes provide hero worship for our sports favorites. In Chadís instance it would be genuinely warranted.

The Major Wingate dismissal is a loss for everyone. The team, the fans, the young man, and most of all in my opinion for the system. Yes I understand we have a standard policy for discipline concerning failed drug tests for athletes at the University but why not be more proactive? Why canít a coach step forward after a second failure and suspend the player while demanding that he or she gets the professional help they need at that point. It not only would have the potential to address the problem in a more timely manner but it just might avoid shortening the players college athletic career as well. Best of luck to you Major. I hope you whip this the way you did LaMarcus Aldridge.

The game with Air Force Saturday gives me the willies. I guess itís the combination of service academies and the wishbone. The last two times a service academy has graced Neyland Stadium the Vols are 0-1-1. The tie with Army in 1984 was bad enough but the loss in 86 still makes me queasy. The Vols had followed up a magical 85 season with a lackluster 2-2 start to the 86 campaign which had included Don Smith breaking our hearts with a long TD run late in a loss to Miss St and a 34-8 thrashing by Auburn. Very late in the contest with the Cadets (yes Videoseat all the service academies have the same nickname) Tennessee led 21-18 and were preparing to punt. I turned to my buddies and said ďthe only way we lose this game is to get a punt blockedí. Me and my big mouth. No sooner had I uttered those famous last words when I heard two thumps. When youíre the punt team two thumps ainít good. The Cadets picked up the rejection and ran it into the end zone. They had about a dozen fans there and four cadets in the stands did their own wave. I was in the wave of disgusted orange-clad fans exiting with our heads down.

Now we get to the wishbone. Since Emory Bellard invented the dang thing weíve NEVER stopped it. From the day Texas unveiled it on an unsuspecting or unprepared Tennessee squad in the Cotton Bowl on January 1st 1969 it has been a mystery to me and apparently our staffs as well. Alabama, Auburn, Army it doesnít seem to matter. For years weíve tackled everyone but the guy with the ball. Weíve choked on more wish bones than William Perry. I think 37 years is enough time to figure this out donít you? As fans we should give the Falcons a warm welcome as they enter and hope our team gives them a rude awakening for 60 minutes.

One more note about the 69 Cotton Bowl. Thatís the first day we EVER wore white jerseys. A blight on Tennessee football if you ask me.

Itís T-minus two days until week 2 of the greatest time of the year. Letís treasure every minute of it. Letís talk Vols-Air Force, Ohio State-Texas, Georgia-S Carolina and any other game on your mind. ďGod help us we do love it soĒ.

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