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I'm a UT alum, former college athlete, and my blood runs UT orange like most of you on here. I want to share something that I eluded to earlier this season when the Vols lost to SC. It relates to an absence of winning leadership on the 2012 team (other than AJ Johnson, the "beast", who I think is a man among boys and showed it week in and week out).
I keep hearing you guys talk about bad "luck" as though Tennessee just keeps getting screwed over and over and over. That sounds like the Dooley philosophy!! "We're doing everything right but winning". BULL!! We haven't been doing everything right for a long time. The roots of this "bad luck" go back to days of not recruiting diligently and building with excellence. We lost our edge because we didn't protect it and dig deep enough to do whatever it took to preserve it. We didn't value it enough at the time. There is no "luck" involved in that. We are either champions or we aren't and that comes from deep inside, not from other people or luck or anything else. We grow or we stagnate - period. It depends on US. There is no in between. Teams that lose close ballgames repeatedly suffer in this area - there is no MAN to take the team on his back when the going gets tough and "be man enough" to defeat the other team's men.
This "luck" thing goes back to days of choosing cheap options instead of excellent ones (see UT vs Bama for the difference in choices made and results). It goes back to allowing athletics to become secondary. It goes back to a pursuit for excellence in academics that kicked the butt of our pursuit for excellence in football. We can despise Jimmy Cheek, but he was more dedicated to his pursuit than the football powers that "were" at that time. This was ALLOWED to happen, even if not intentionally,
The bad "lucK' talk sounds like the Vols are just poor pitiful victims in the cruel and harsh world of college football. Again, BULL!
"Luck" will come back to us when we rise up, face our choices head on, and do something positive with our challenges - "give me excellence or give me death". We have to dig deep inside and rise up to the challenge instead of blaming anyone and anything else for our failures. We have to build relationships and a winning attitude again - those have diminished in former regimes and the decline is pretty obvious (including in our fans' attitudes, mine included!!).
It's not bad luck. It's bad choices, a lack of character in some cases, the selling of the soul of UT football to something other than excellence. When we get back to our foundation and build back what is worthy of The General's blessing, that which has been allowed to decline and diminish on Rocky Top (by human choices, not so-called "luck"), then this "luck" will be on our side and VFL's like Tee Martin will no longer have to take 2-3 days to consider such an option as returning "home" because the choice will be so obvious and undeniable, it won't even require thought.
Tee IS a winner and a champion. He will likely return "home" when the groundwork is in place to embrace him not as miracle and saviour, but as a man with the heart of a champion who can take "what Phil and Peyton built" and lead the Vols the rest of the way "home" to greatness and immortality. THAT is Tee!
THIS is Tennessee football and what it's all about. THIS is where winners emerge from the ashes of losers. THIS is hopefully where CBJ can move us forward toward a return to greatness. But there are no shortcuts. Until we successfully turn this corner toward a mental attitude of excellence and greatness (toward destiny if you will), then we will continue to eat of the the fruit of "bad luck". We need leadership! There is no substitute for leadership, ever! That's what we've lacked for a long time on the hill. Leaders with an iron will and an attitude of greatness that knows nothing inferior to that and refuses to settle for anything less.
Let's give our new coach a chance to prove he is man enough to lead us!!!!!!! I, for one, think he just might be!! But miracles will come only by way of blood, sweat, tears, and relentless dedication to settling for nothing less than excellence and greatness. We, as fans, should strive for the same.
We won't be the best because we have the most talent or get lucky. We will be the best because excellence and greatness and destiny resonate from the deepest, "orangest" crevices of our being. With that as a driving force, no other option is possible because no other option is allowed - luck or no luck!!
+1 to the 1 millionth power dvol1028. Excellent post. GO VOLS!
BUTCH IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. GO VOLS!
+1 dvol1028. Quite possibly the best post I have ever read on this board! I think it was maybe Raymond Berry who said, "The more prepared I am the luckier I get" or something to that effect.
Orange is just a color. Big Orange is a way of life. -Peyton Manning
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