It won't come down to this on Saturday. –UA

Hater's Guide: Things the Tennessee Volunteers have Ruined

As you well know, it’s Tennessee Hate Week, and we’re right there with you. In fact, we don’t just hate the Vols in October, we hate them year-round. So in honor of the ____ Saturday in October, we offer a list of otherwise good things ruined by their association with the University of Tennessee. If you see glaring omissions, or just want to register your own blinding hatred, jump down to the comments.

Rocky Top.  A perfectly good Bluegrass song written by a couple named – ironically enough – Bryant, Rocky Top is an irrepressible hillbilly tune utterly ruined by its association with the Vols. More than a fight song; it’s played for every touchdown, first down, broken huddle and stadium nacho consumed. Even if you don’t care for bluegrass, it’s a classic example of the genre that’s now irretrievably linked to Tennessee.

Orange.  “It’s the happiest color.” That was the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra, talking about his favorite color. It’s a warm, inviting Autumn hue, seen at Thanksgiving tables across the country. Unfortunately, it’s also worn by the likes of Lulu and Junior, staring in befuddlement as the SEC West crushes their dreams. Can you imagine living in Knoxville, and having to deal with this garish color all over the buildings, billboards and outhouses everywhere? It’s just an awful, tacky color, Vol Fan. Admit it; you hate it too, but you’re forced to wear it to show your pride, or to complete your community service.

Hound dogs.  Come on. Who doesn’t love a coondog? The baleful eyes, floppy ears and mournful baying? I’ll tell you who; every Tide fan that’s watched that flea-bitten mutt on the sidelines, decked out in a stupid orange cape and looking like a crossing guard for an Appalachian vocational school. Oh, how we wish for a virulent strain of mange to sweep through Knoxville, overcoming Smokey and most of Sorority Row. And it’s all your fault, Tennessee.

The Mannings.  Okay look. They’re all good quarterbacks and in Peyton’s case, arguably the best ever. But our wish this football season? Not a Tide championship, nor an Auburn implosion. Above all, we pray for a Manning-free existence. Yes, they’re a dynasty, but please. How long can Archie Manning capitalize on his own potency, parlaying his ability to crank out buck-toothed, chinless yet golden-armed spawn into a career as an analyst? We don’t actually wish for the whole clan to go Von Erich, but we do pray for nothing but daughters from here on out.

Tennessee.  It’s a beautiful, scenic state, from the Great Smokey Mountains, over to Music Row and down onto the Beale Street. Elvis called Tennessee home, as do BB King and Miley Cyrus – you know what, forget that. The state itself is just fine. It’s just Knoxville we hate, and we’d suggest roping off the entire city with neon orange police tape, but up there, they’d consider it community renewal.

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