What A Wild Ride!
If you are a Tennessee Volunteer fan you know exactly what I am referring to. This past week was an emotional roller coaster ride that kept Volunteer Nation on the edge of their seats. Fans waited with bated breath for Dooley to make announcements and watched as fair-weather fans hightailed it off the bandwagon. This was undoubtedly a true test of a fans commitment to the ‘Big Orange’
Vol fans were trying to digest the loss of DeAnthony Arnette. Arnette, a four star receiver who held the record for the second most catches of any freshman in UT history, asked to be released from Tennessee to be closer to his ailing father. After conversations with Arnette’s family, Dooley opted to release him. Less than a week later players and fans were hit with more bad news.
On January 2, Tennessee lost two key members of their defensive coaching staff, as coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon announced that they were headed to Washington. Fans were devastated and immediately looked to Dooley for answers. Was Volunteer Nation crumbling in front of us? The next few days Twitter was inundated with rumors about who the next DC coach would be.
Steele? Shannon? Sunseri? Suddenly Twitter mirrored that of an all girls high school. Some fans placed bets while others argued over who should fill the position. Finally on Friday fans heard what they had been waiting all week to hear, Dooley announced the hiring of a Defensive Coordinator for Tennessee. The loud chanting of “Buck Fama” became that of a whisper if not silenced completely.
Just days after winning his second championship with Alabama, Sal Sunseri signed on with Tennessee. Sunseri has been in the business for almost 30 years and is an excellent addition to the team. As a Volunteer fan myself, I am breathing a sign of relief. The worst is behind us and we are looking forward to a new season. Does this mean it is all downhill from here? Absolutely not but those of us that bleed orange have proved that we can’t be broken.
Saturday September 8th, all 102,037 seats at Neyland Stadium will be filled with fans. We will proudly wear our orange as if it were a badge of honor and sing ‘Rocky Top’ until our throats are raw. Anything can happen in the world of sports but one thing that remains constant is the spirit of a true Tennessee Volunteer fan.