Date: A Saturday in the Fall
Coach Bobby Johnson: OK, it’s 3rd down and long. We need something that will really throw off the defense and give us this first down.
Coach Ted Cain: I’ve got a great idea! Everyone will be expecting some sort of pass play, right?
CTC: So why don’t we run a QB draw! Everyone will be back for a pass, and he can run right up the gut for the 1st!
CBJ: Dear Lord, you’re a genius! Why didn’t I come up with something like that?! We’ll do that every 3rd down for the next two years! The defenses will never know what hit them! I knew I kept you around for something…
CTC: Just doing my job, buddy.
In the realm of misbehaving mascots, there is one that rises to the top of the heap year in and year out. That is the Tree, the mascot of Stanford University. The coniferous creation shows up in Facebook photos frequently passed out at frat parties or participating in hijinks of dubious legality.
When it comes to on-the-field roughhousing, I think the top contender may now be the Oregon Duck. This guy seems to have an attitude problem that can only come from spending hours a day in a hot sweaty uniform that would strike fear into any self-preserving minnow. The “mighty” Duck was suspended after their game against Houston for picking a fight with the Cougar mascot. After the Cougar supposedly mocked one of the Duck’s trademark moves, our fine-feathered friend flew in for an attack that in nature would be woefully one-sided. However, in the world of bobbly-head mascots, it may have been more even.
This is at least the second time I can remember the Duck being in hot water. During the NCAA tournament in Nashville several years ago, he got into a fistfight with Utah’s Ute mascot (some sort of bird on stilts I believe) that ended with a mascot head rolling across the basketball court. The pair apparently received some strong words in the locker room, because they came back out and hugged at mid-court after halftime. At least that time had a happy ending!
If this sort of activity keeps up for the next few years, perhaps schools will come to be afraid of Oregon, or at least hide their mascots until the team leaves town.
ESPN’s Page 2 posted yesterday about the favorite song of day-glo orange fans everywhere, Rocky Top. It touches on many issues facing Knoxville residents, from the cost of phone service to a new frightening trend: “date mauling.”
In the overall feeling towards Rocky Top, I have to disagree with the author though. There are few things that make me angrier than listening to this chorus blaring across a football field. Which is sad, because once upon a time I liked the song itself….. but then I went to college. In the SEC. And not in Knoxville.
For my personal “worst sound ever,” it comes down to a close race between Rocky Top, the “Go Gator” intro played by the Florida band, and a slowly dying cat with a wad of bubble gum stuck in its throat clawing on a chalkboard.
Vanderbilt faces their toughest test of the season tonight when they make the trip to the land of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, and several million retired people. They face a top-ranked Florida Gators team that has not lost a game since early December.
However, Florida has recently shown some weaknesses, including a near loss to a struggling Ole Miss team. Normally, this would be a glimmer of hope for the Commodores, who are rarely ever given a chance against the top of the league. However, the Gators are definitely aware of the status of Vanderbilt this season. The ‘Dores have just cracked the top 25 for the first time in several years, and are being called the “hottest team in the SEC’ by many sports analysts. So, the “bomb squad” can be assured that the Gainesville crowd and team will be as prepared as if they were playing Kentucky tonight….. well, almost.
Can Vanderbilt win tonight? Yes, they have shown the ability to win games as the underdog for the past 3 weeks. Will they? I doubt it. The ‘Dores always tend to struggle when they visit Florida. Last year, they were blown out in Gainesville, then almost knocked off the Gators on the return trip to Nashville. I feel that Vanderbilt’s chance to knock off Florida will come not tonight, but on Feb. 17th. However, a solid performance, win or lose, will keep the supporters around and keep the team’s spirits high as they work towards an NCAA tournament berth.
Do basketball Gator fans still wear jean shorts?