Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Signs, Signs, Everywhere is Signs....

There are a couple of things I took away from tonight's game. First let me give some props to Senario Hillman, boy has wings. The dunk from the edge of the paint, WOW. Bama has talent. I will draw the parallel to the Memphis Tigers. For a few years now they have had unreal talent, but could not play well as a team. I saw that a lot tonight, Gee, and Hillman had good nights, four players total in double figures. There is potential there, was good to see Hendrix taking charge and coaching from the floor following fouls or baskets. Gutsy win by my VOLS, proved yes they can grind out a win.

Now to the meat of this post. If you are going to go to the trouble of calling for a white out, then wear white. Not ask everyone else to wear white and then have the students wear Crimson. If you are going to call that much attention to your students, try to have a little organizational meeting and discuss the signs you are choosing to display. The whole first half I saw one sign that had anything to do with Basketball. IT was one portraying Hendrix as the Hulk. I saw one with 41-17. Umm wrong sport there chief. He flipped it around and it said "Fat Phil loves to Squel" ummm spelling, and again wrong sport. And the houndstooth.


By far the worst of the signs was the one that they were the most proud of. They took the opportunity to show it off during a moment they were spotlighting the students. It was colorful, it was creative, it was not well thought out. "Bruce Pearl wants to be......" the first time they held it up after a Technical Foul on the coach, you could not see the bottom. In my mind I figured it would say Saban. After all the other football references I just figured that was the punchline. But no. Heck that might have even made sense. No the sign read "Bruce Pearl wants to be Pat Summitt." What the? Were you, I mean do you, ummm. Let me try to explain this to you.

This is what ol' Pat Summitt has done:

7 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championships (1987,1989,1991,1996,1997,1998,2007)

14-time SEC Champions(1980, 1985, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007)

12-time SEC Tournament Champions(1980, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006)

7 Time SEC Coach of the Year (1993,1995,1998,2001,2003,2004,2007)

7 Time NCAA Coach of the Year (1983,1987,1989,1994,1995,1998,2004)

Naismith Coach of the 20th Century

Oh yeah by the way she also has a record of 963-181.

Thats 84%. The great Adolph Rupp was 82%.

Next closest coach is Bobby Knight with 890 wins and a 71%.

So thanks for the compliment, who wouldn't want to be Pat Summitt?

Gottfried should sign up for a clinic in Knoxville.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thank you Rick, Bubba, Calvin, and families

I am going to break the norm and get personal tonight. Over the past few days my emotions have been a roller coaster. I appreciate you viewers that come here and read my rants about the school I love. But if you will please bare with me for a few minutes I would dearly appreciate it.

Sunday night I was sitting in my chair watching Extreme Home Makeover. It is my dose of compassion. I am a tender hearted sap sometimes, and this is my way of staying human. Then as it does a few times a show, the local news anchor came on the screen to tease the late news and said that "Local radio personality loses his son in a tragic accident Saturday night." Someone could have hit me in the stomach with a Louisville Slugger and I would not have been able to tell you the difference. I scrambled to the computer to see what I could find. Then the pain started creeping out of my soul.

I married a girl from high school when I was just twenty-three. We had a son immediately and things plugged along for a young couple who struggled but always seemed to get by somehow. Then we find out we are expecting another child. There were a couple of scares but a normal pregnancy. Then came a dreadful Wednesday afternoon. Playing around with my son she felt the baby kick real hard and then didn't feel her again. The next day we delivered my little girl. The doctor stood next to me trying to find something wrong with her, we never could. But two weeks before she was due to be born, my little girl lay motionless in my arms. The only time I would ever get to hold the shell where my daughter was supposed to be. I buried her a couple days later, and a cemetery in Alexandria, AL is where I go to spend time with her. She isn't there, but symbolically that is where I laid her body to rest.

Two nights ago that same sick feeling came over me when I heard the news about Bronner. I have known Rick for many years. We met through mutual friends back when he was doing his show "Butt Naked." He has come a long way, finding success in his career, and finding strength in his faith. This weekend he also found my respect. There is no greater pain than when the realization hits you that you have to make Funeral Arrangements for your child. You have no idea the feeling you get when you have to pick out clothes that they will wear for the last time. I have felt it, and now so has Rick. I handled totally different though. I questioned God, my faith and humanity. Nothing nor no one could justify this to me. Rick has not asked anyone to. I lashed out at those around me when they did not act as I thought they should have. As if they did not care. Rick has reached out to others first, not concerned with himself. These things got my attention.

I tuned in as most did Monday to hear Bill "Bubba" Bussey try to do the radio show and carry the torch. He did the best he could. He touched many a hearts in doing so. Tuesday came and he did the same thing he came on and did the best he could do . I tuned in at first to learn the details of what had happened. Then I found that even though it was tearing me apart emotionally I could not turn it off. I felt the same desire to listen on Tuesday. I listened as the anchors of Fox and Friends tried to spin it as a "Safety issue" or a lesson to be learned. Bubba simply almost effortlessly said, "No it is an issue of Satan trying to tear down something that is working against him." The broadcast on Tuesday was unprecedented on radio. I have not heard honesty and ministry on the air like that before. God used the men behind those microphones Tuesday. I felt like I was sitting at a table and the men on the air were sitting across from me. They were talking directly to me.
I grew up in church. From the age of seven to the age of about twenty three I was there every time the doors were open and a lot of times when they were not. But i lost interest. I lost sight of what I was there to do and slipped out of the door. It wasn't long after that I stopped listening to Rick and Bubba. I had been listening to Rick on the air since he was at K98 in Oxford. I met Bubba at WJXL in Jacksonville. And partied with Speedy in the "Playhouse." But they had all found their way back to church and that didn't appeal to me anymore. I have spent the last ten years going through some rough times. My marriage dissolved after my Daughter's death and then my ex took off with my son. I haven't seen him in six years, which is its own hell. About two years ago I met who would become my wife. We live a comfortable life but it has its problems. Church is not a subject we have ever discussed. We met in the world, and we lived our lives in worldly fashions. But for some reason around Christmas time I started listening to Rick and Bubba again. Can't really tell you why I just did. Now I know why.
Tuesday Bubba, Scott Dawson, James Spann, Speedy, and really every person that talked into a microphone said things to me that stirred feelings and emotions I had forgotten existed. Finally about nine o'clock I went for a walk into some woods where I had some peace around me and me and God had a talk in the rain. It was a tough one because I had a lot I had to say I was sorry for, and a lot that I had to admit even to myself. But I emerged from those woods a new man. I had a peace that i could not describe. My only concern was going to be my wife's reaction to this. This was a side she had never even heard of, much less seen in me before. So like a coward, I text messaged her the following: "What would you say if I told you I wanted to start going to Church." She answered me so quick it scared me. I read, "I would be extremely happy. Where ever you want to go I will be happy to go." This floored me I was speechless. I told her I had not expected her to respond that way. She told me that she had been raised in church as well, but like me had chosen to go down a different path. She too had felt the need to return to that way of life, but was afraid I would never agree to it.
As Rick said in his sermon during Bronner's memorial service, Bronner has ministered to more people in the last three days than most of us will in our lifetimes combined. The lives that have been changed is amazing. I know I am one of them. I have a new outlook on life and a new outlook on my marriage. And for the first time in the last ten years it feels pretty positive. Now I must do two things. First I have to find a church. It has been years since I have attended church. Years since I have been inside one. That is first. Second, I have to learn to stay out of the way and let God lead and guide me. There are a lot of questions in my life I have been trying to answer. The biggest one having to do with my son that I have not been able to see. I have to let God be in control and only when I can stay out of the way will it work out.
If you have gotten to this point in this story, Thank You for taking the time to let me share my heart with you. If you understand where I am coming from, or can relate, then let me know. I would love to hear others stories of triumph that Bronner inspired. You can e mail me at JimmyJimmy33@Yahoo.com. Also, if it isn't too much to ask remember Jimmy and Amanda Richardson when you pray. We need the encouragement. I have been out of his will for a long time, and it is tough to stay focused when I had made so many bad habits a way of life. Thank you for taking the time once again.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Today on the Dunaway and Brown Radio Experience, I had a conversation that proved true tonight. I asked the question, do you have to have step out stars to be successful in the SEC? Ryan said yes, I said no, example: Tennessee. This is a team that has no players listed in any of the SEC top ten lists when it comes to scoring, rebounding, free throws, you know the important stuff. But this is the same team that is ranked #6 in the Associated Press, and #7 in the ESPN coaches poll. Tonight, that same team impressed the hell out of me.

I really felt like that the ten point margin that the Vols were favored by was very generous. It scared me. Then the game started and it scared me even more. First off how does a forward in Tyler Smith get the opening tip over a 6'11" center in Ogilvy? But that turned out to be foreshadowing for the night to come for the Aussie that has busted out of the gates for the Dores. Tennessee finally took the lead 13-12 and never trailed again. The lead grew to as many as twenty-four and got as small as eight with about eight minutes to go in the game. But to be hones there were only a couple of times that it felt like the Dores were even in the same building. With three minutes to go and the Vols up by 11 it seemed as though Stallings had already conceited defeat.

These were the leading scoring teams in the SEC and combined they produced only six players in double figures. Tennessee had four in double figures including Wayne Chism who was only a couple of points away from a career high had 18. He did have a career high 18 rebounds. That eighteen was a highlight. A big one. He picked up his third foul early in the first half. To get the boards with fouls against the leagues best in Ogilvy and Metcalf, he made a great statement about his progression. Also in double figures was Tyler Smith with 14 pts and 10 rebs, JuJuan Smith with 14 pts and 7 rebs, and Chris Lofton who did not score in the first half, who ended up with 11 pts. Vanderbilts two leading scorers were who you expected them to be. Ogilvy with 12pts and an embarrassing 5 rebs, and Shan Foster with 14 pts and the same 5 rebs.

After struggling with a feisty Ole Miss Rebel team, and now handing Vandy its second straight SEC loss, UT sits alone atop the SEC East. One could argue this win puts the Vols on top of the league as a whole. Heading into a revenge game against a different Ohio State team, the Orange are riding a wave of momentum. It is their tenth straight win, and seem to go into the game Saturday on just one days rest, but after what seemed to be an easy victory against a bitter rival, Advantage Tennessee Volunteers. Maybe now some eyes will be upon us Saturday for a CBS headline game. Especially some AP voters that could possibly break the Vols into the top five. A position that after tonight, I think is well deserved.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I have sat down here and attempted to update my blog many times since the Sec Championship Game. I would get a good long entry started and then lose interest. I think that has gone around, Jim, Blake and I have all struggled in keeping our Blogs updated. Quick props to Jim. He picked the SEC title game, and the National Champions before the season started. Though he did have LSU playing USC in the title game, many would argue that he was correct. Basketball season is upon us, many teams are about halfway through their quest. Tennessee attempted tonight to go to thirteen wins. And oh what a game it was.

My Vols started out tough opening up with six straight points. And give Andy Kennedy's Rebels credit, they never looked intimidated. The Orange clad crowd of 21,864 did their darndest to get into the heads of the underdogs, but they never seemed to rattle the determined boys in blue. I have to say, Kennedy must coach up the team in practice because I saw very little coaching being done on the sidelines. Maybe I am just used to watching Bruce All-Mighty do his thing. And after the technical foul when coach wanted to do some coaching still, he called Chris Lofton over and relayed a message to the officials. Speaking of the officials. Not sure what to say. At times I thought they are letting them play ball underneath, and others I was screaming for assault charges.

My Vols played very sloppy tonight. I did see more driving to the basket tonight than I have seen all year. But they just seemed out of sinc all night. They finished up 32 of 69 from the floor (46.4%) compared to the Rebels 31 of 71 (43.7%). Rebounding has to go to the Rebels right? It was closer than you think, 42 to the Vols 31. At times though it seemed like they were murdering us on the boards. Warren led all scorers with 24. Two of the "Smith Brothers" had 21 apiece for Tennessee. Polynice added 20 for the rebels along with 15 from Curtis, and Lofton filled out the double figure scores with 10.

I think we watched two of the top three teams in the league tonight. IT as all it was supposed to be. I was worried sick about this game, up until the last rebound that was pulled down by the good guys with thirty seconds to go. I then stood up and held my fist high. Faith that my boys would prevail. But unlike years past, the team did not throw the ball around waiting on Chris to get a look. Nope he was simply part of the Team That got it done tonight. Congrats Tyler on a whale of a game, and Maybe now JuJuan will start getting the SEC respect he deserves.