Have you listened to a Tennessee fan recently?
"Oh, poor us, what us could else go wrong?"
"What have we done to deserve this?"
"Will we ever get back to the Citrus Bowl?"
I don't think I've ever seen a group of fans go as quickly from mildly tolerable in small doses to totally insufferable as these people (note: Boston Red Sox fans excluded; they are kings of this mountain). One rough patch that isn't even all that rough and these people are ready to jump into the Tennessee River from the upper deck of Neyland Stadium, though most would die from just trying to walk up the ramp to the upper deck.
I keep reading and hearing about the curse of "firing Phil Fulmer." Let me make one small correction to that theory: it's called the curse of "hiring Phil Fulmer." Yes, the hiring of a man who got his job by planting a knife in his boss' back, let Trooper Taylor loose on the world, and developed one of the biggest rule-breaking programs in the country (and got away with most of it). The debts of that 17-year line of outrageous credit have finally come due.
But the worst part for everyone who is not Tennessee is that the payments aren't even close to what should be owed. Since Fulmer was fired in 2008, here's what Tennessee football and basketball have done:
13-12, back-to-back bowl games
68-37, three straight NCAA Tournaments, including one Elite Eight
Obviously, 13-12 is not up to Tennessee's created standard, and two firings were involved, but that tends to happen when you hire a career 5-15 NFL coach and support a coach who lied to the NCAA. But those dreadful NCAA sanctions set to destroy both programs? Self-imposed recruiting restrictions are now sufficient in the eyes of the NCAA. HOW HORRIBLE. WE ARE SO TORMENTED. WHEN WILL OUR DAYS OF WOE CEASE?
You want to know what torment and woe is? Try 14-32 (6-26) in a four-year span while being led by a lifeless, mediocre, lazy coach, immediately followed by a total moron. Try last getting into the NCAA Tournament in 2002. Try not winning anything of jack shit significance since the 1960s. It's...
/Houston Nutt smashes Gray in the back of the head with a chair
Well, now, see here, Gray. 2008, 2009, back-to-back Cotton Bowls. Won those games. First time in 50 years for a New Year's win. That's a long time. Not done until now. Oh, hey, wow. Look at the time. Got to go figure out the seven unnecessary plays Zack Stoudt will play against BYU.
/steps over Gray's lifeless body and leaves
/Gray regains consciousness an hour later
Hmmm. Well, now I can't remember where I was going with all of that. Anyway, Tennessee fans need shut their pie holes and be thankful this will probably be their version of rock bottom. And it might help to remember that they play in the SEC East, which gives them a puncher's chance of getting back to the glory of the Citrus Bowl.