23 October 2008
We've been AWOL from the Roundtable for a bit now (work sucks), but we can't resist kicking back in for the combined fury of the Tennessee/Alabama Roundtable presented by the blog that just can't pick a side, Third Saturday in Blogtober
. Their quirkily delicious questions follow.
Both teams at some point or another have been described as an Evil Empire. If your team is the Death Star, what is it’s planet-destroying weapon?
It's Ro McClain. No doubt about it. He hits like a truck and has a mean streak a half mile wide. He's also a great leader and knows the defense up and down. He can truly destroy worlds. We'll need him to this weekend.
What is it’s two meter wide exhaust port?
Consistent quarterback play. When John Parker is on (see Tennessee last year) he's as good as anyone in the SEC (at least those who've never circumcised Filipino boys). But when he's not... ugh. When the great slide began last year, it was mostly due to untimely errors from the QB. If a slide begins this year, it'll be for the same reasons.
Typing that last sentence made my head hurt.
Everyone is looking forward to Eric Berry vs. Julio Jones. What is the next matchup you’ll be keying on in this game?
Really, Eric Berry vs Julio Jones is not really the first matchup I'm looking forward to. It's more Eric Berry vs. John Parker Wilson. This will be the matchup that decides the game. Alabama's offensive line can hold off the Vols long enough to get Wilson time, and Tennessee defends the run well enough to force the air game. For the Tide to prevail, Wilson must get the better of this matchup - at least avoiding the big mistakes.
The Tide and Vols will scrap it out under the lights at Neyland. Do you like this arrangement and does the later kickoff time provide an advantage to either team?
A night game always means it's louder. And, conventional wisdom says that favors the home team. But this year's edition of the Tide has been mostly impervious to home crowds. It was about as loud as I've ever heard it in Sanford Stadium that night in September, but the Tide sure didn't mind.
I think this team feeds off the crowd - whether they be for or against. When the crowd has been in games (in Athens, last week on the final drive), the team seems to step up.
Add to that the lack of ticket sales for Vol fans
, and this has the potential to turn from a positive to negative for UT. If there are 15-20,000 Alabama fans in attendance, that's a huge advantage for the Tide on the road.
Since the Tide had a bye week and the Vols didn’t bother to play that weekend either (zing!) we’re going to say this is the Third Saturday in October just to justify the name of one of the greatest rivalries in college football. In three thousand words or less, turn over the kettles of white-hot liquid hate upon thine enemy.
I don't like Phil Fulmer. I don't care for the orange color that, as a child, I described as looking like "someone had thrown up cheese toast". I don't like Knoxville.
I'm not traveling back to Knoxville this weekend - it'll be the first game I've not seen in person this season. Let me give you one reason why.
The last time I was in Knoxville, I travelled with three of my friends to the game. All of us are at least 6 feet tall and at least 200 pounds. When the game ended (and we lost by less than a TD), we were simply interested in dragging our tails to the nearest bar.
Then, we were greeted by a man who was 80 if he was 12. He was alone, and in the dark. He maybe weighed 110 pounds, and stood around 5'6". He approached us, and shook his orange shaker in our faces - shouting things I won't re-print in a family blog. It was surreal.
We didn't have our feelings hurt, or worry for our safety, but I can tell you it was the strangest interaction I've ever had with a fan from an opposing school. I almost felt bad when we killed him and stuffed him in the bushes. OK, not really - it kinda felt good...