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Sunday, November 29, 2009
Legen...wait for it...dary
One of the local sports call in shows is conducting a survey on the top ten sports moments of the last decade in Music City.

A new entry to that list was made today with the 99-yard drive led by Vince Young to give the once-left-for-dead Tennessee Titans a dramatic and exciting fifth win of the year.

Hearing Mike Keith call the drive was special, especially the final play of the game as Vince Young finds Kenny Britt for the game winning score as time expires.

Legen...wait for it...dary.

Suddenly a team that had reached its lowest point ever seven weeks ago is back in the conversation with an MVP candidate in Chris Johnson and a team that is just clicking on all cylinders.

We face a huge test next week, going to Indianapolis. But the Colts could be distracted by some dramatic wins the past few weeks and maybe a bit complacent since they won the division today. We'll see. Until then, it's time to enjoy the glow of a huge win and one that will be played out for years to come on NFL highlight reels.

Let's hope that sometime soon we're talking about this as the turning point that got the Titans on the road to another Super Bowl...

UPDATE: If you missed the biggest play of the day, you can see it here. Only thing missing is Mike Keith's call...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/29/2009 07:38:00 PM | |
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Vols 30, Wildcats 24 (OT) Haiku
Win streak continues
Hardesty in overtime
Twenty five straight!

As Crompton completed a long pass in overtime tonight, setting up a third and four, I said that it was time for Montario Hardesty to step up and provide the cap to the Vols' game against Kentucky.

One play later, Hardesty tears up the middle, untouched for the winning touchdown and the streak is alive...25 years in a row over the Wildcats!

There were some ups, some downs (Stocker fumbling as he got the first down to potentially salt it away springs to mind) but thankfully the Vols kept the streak alive tonight. And secured a winning season for the Vols.

Overall, a solid season for the Vols with only one blowout loss and taking two top teams in the country down to the wire. We still should have beat Alabama, but in a few more weeks I should be able to let that go...maybe. OK, maybe not, but I'm trying.

My big complaint tonight was the third-tier team ESPN-U sent to call the game. I'm guessing the only fact they were given about this game was that Tennessee had won 24 straight times heading into the game. If you somehow had missed this, all you had to do was wait five seconds and they'd remind you. It got OLD, FAST! I don't really see this crew of Brock "I'm a Ken Doll" Huard and the other guy going far on the family of networks...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/28/2009 10:00:00 PM | |

UT vs UK Haiku
Win streak on the line
No losses since '84
Vols need solid win

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/28/2009 03:49:00 PM | |
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Vols 31, Vandy 16
You know, it's difficult to win a game when you're playing against 11 guys and the officiating crew.

The refs tried their best tonight to give Vandy some points, but thankfully two things happened. One is the defense stepped up time and again and the other is Vandy remembered they're Vanderbilt.

Two extremely questionable phantom calls in the fourth made it closer in the final moments that it should have been. Thankfully, the football gods smiled upon us when McKenzie Adams tried to ground the ball and instead threw it right to the Vols to take back for a touchdown and seal the deal.

It may have been a close game for a long time, but we won and we're bowl eligible.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/21/2009 09:34:00 PM | |
Thursday, November 19, 2009
UT vs Vanderbilt Hiaku
In-state rivalry
Win would make Vandy's season
Commodore bowl game

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/19/2009 06:46:00 PM | |
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Well, that was a big disappointment
To say that today's output by the Vols was a huge disappointment would be a huge understatement.

Our defense looked incredibly ordinary, our offense couldn't get it done and our kicker (once again) had a kick blocked.

Seriously...do we not have another option besides Daniel Lincoln?!? Surely UT has a whole soccer team full of players who can kick a ball.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/14/2009 02:29:00 PM | |

It's Time... (UT vs Ole Miss edition)
We've had a lot of close calls on the road this year and we're playing better.

It's time for the Vols to turn the corner and win a road game.

It's time to qualify for a bowl game.

It's time to put aside the distraction of three players acting like idiots and focus on a solid game against a solid opponent.

It's time to keep our winning percentage above .500.

It's time...now let's get it done!

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/14/2009 10:48:00 AM | |
Thursday, November 12, 2009
And we're the lead story on Sports Center...
There are good reasons to be the lead story on Sports Center.

Today's news about the UT football program, unfortunately, wasn't one of them.

For those of you who've missed the story, three of our highly touted freshman players--Nu'Keese Richardson, Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards--were arrested last evening on charges of armed robbery. Apparently said incident took place at the Pilot on the Strip around 2 a.m.

The old adage that nothing good happens after 2 a.m. certainly seems to apply here.

What's interested me most--beyond the speculation about the three guys' future with the team--is the response that's come from various sides. I heard a guy on talk radio this morning rush to judgment saying that it was "funny" that this had happened since Lane Kiffin was out selling UT as a "clean" program. And how he was sure now that recruits and their parents would think twice about coming to UT since "nothing has changed."

I'm guessing he's a Florida or Alabama fan...or maybe he's one of the many people that Kiffin has rubbed the wrong way.

I wonder if a similar incident had happened to his favorite team if he'd be so quick to rush to the judgment and/or indictment of the program. I know that when I've heard such reports from other schools, I've taken the tactic that whoever the player or players are that they should be dismissed immediately, if not sooner.

I do think in this case--and any other case involving a team--that once due process has run its course that if the players did it, there should be severe consequences. I'm not talking an Urban Meyer punishment of a game, but I think these guys should be dismissed. Off the team, gone. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Lane Kiffin is facing a critical moment for his tenure at UT. If he thought the media spotlight was bright for making off hand remarks about Meyer or the officials, he hasn't seen anything yet.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/12/2009 07:56:00 PM | |
Thursday, November 05, 2009
UT vs Memphis Haiku (Pre-Game)
Homecoming weekend
Time to start a winning streak
No looking ahead

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/05/2009 07:09:00 PM | |
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?
It's been fascinating to follow the reaction to Brandon Spikes' attempted eye gouge on Georgia's Washaun Ealey during Saturday's Georgia vs. Florida game.

After the video footage of Spikes made it way to U-Tube, you knew it was only a matter of time until it blew up into a huge, three-ring circus of controversy.

I won't condone what Spikes did. It was clearly wrong. And it's also wrong of us to dismiss as "well, those things happen in the pile during a football game."

However, I do think Spikes deserves more than a half a game suspension against Vanderbilt. In a year in which we've seen a guy lose his entire season because he lied to the NCAA, I think Spikes clearly deserves a bit longer. We had a guy go up into the stands after a game in a fight to start the year and he got a longer suspension.

But it appears the NCAA and the SEC aren't planning to step in and do anything since Urban Myer, Midget Wrestler has stepped in and handled the situation.

I'm guessing if your team is in the running for a national title, there's a different set of rules you have to play by.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/03/2009 07:43:00 PM | |
Monday, November 02, 2009
Titans 30, Jag 13
The Tennessee Titans and Vince Young may not have another game quite like this one for the rest of the season, but for a few hours yesterday afternoon they made us all forget the struggles and woes the team and VY have been through the past couple of years.

Vince Young started over Kerry Collins and while he wasn't brilliant, he did a solid job with the offense. He ran for a couple of first downs, scrambled under the Jacksonville rush and completed a couple of nice throws including a beauty of a touch pass to Nate Washington for the Titans' first touchdown in a long, long time. The rest of the team looked solid around him, especially Chris Johnson who had another record-setting day which, thankfully, wasn't wasted this time around.

For a few hours yesterday as I sat up high at LP Field, it was easy to forget the frustrations we've had all year and just celebrate the team that had some huge expectations heading into the season.

OK, so there were some blips on the radar in the game yesterday when the Titans defense couldn't tackle Maurice Jones-Drew on two long runs, but other than that, it was a solid game for the team.

I still think part of it was Jacksonville's intimidation at playing a team that could actually sell out a game or at least have more filled seats in the stadium than empty one. And part of it could be a spark brought to the team by having a change at QB. How long that will last is anyone's guess and it could only be a matter of time until defense coordinators around the league solve the Vince Young puzzle again.

But for now, I'm savoring the win and enjoying the fact that Titans and Vols could both pull off solid wins in the weekend by almost identical scores.

I did find myself wishing we could run up another touchdown or a few more points so it'd be our highest point total of the year...and we could shake off the memories of that loss to the Texans.

But we won...and that's all that matters.

For now...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/02/2009 01:00:00 PM | |
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Vols 31, South Carolina 13
The first five or so minutes of this game went even better than I could have ever hoped. Within five minutes, the Vols defense had created two huge turnovers and the offense cashed them in for touchdowns.

And yet, even as we went up 21-0 on a fourth and two play, I still couldn't get comfortable with a huge early lead. Call it hangover from two years ago when we seemingly had the game in hand at halftime only to see South Carolina storm back and we escaped with an overtime win.

Thankfully, it never got that close this time around and it was nice to see the offense click for at least one solid drive.

We still need a lot of help in the kicking game. Surely the Vols have a soccer team that we could use to borrow a kicker or two. I did wonder if that field goal we went for late in the game was more about Kiffin wanting to build up some special teams' confidence with the Vols ahead. Yes, we added points and helped distance ourselves from South Carolina, but I think it had a dual purpose.

As for the black jerseys....they were OK once. We won wearing them, so it's OK.

But let's stick to the orange and white from here on out...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/01/2009 06:05:00 AM | |

UT vs South Carolina Post-Game Haiku
Defense dominates
Offense cashes in early
No Halloween scare

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/01/2009 06:03:00 AM | |
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