I Don’t Hate UT, But Bama Man Does

The Third (or thereabouts) Saturday in October is upon us, and if you’re a true Crimson-blooded Tide fan, that means one thing: Tennessee Hate Week.

The problem is, I’m just not feeling it. The hate, that is. No, I am full of love for all mankind–even, and perhaps most especially, my many friends, neighbors, co-workers and dear, dear family who are loyal Volunteers. You see, it’s been quite a year for our family, and frankly, football is just not that high on my priority list anymore. I’ve grappled with some enormous challenges, and the raging, blind forces of fate have compelled me to consider once again, What are The True First Things of Life?

I have looked around and realized that when you stare deeply into a person’s eyes and keep going down, further and further into their bone marrow, yea, even into the atoms and sub-particles of the soul itself, that you run smack-dab into a Great Truth–that we are all, in our most core essence, sacred and fragile vessels, starving for affirmation and tender loving care.

Yes, even Lane Kiffin. What’s more, he’s realized this too and has just said “No!” to the time-honored tradition of Hate Week by sucking up to extending a hand of fellowship to Saint Nick; two great generals, on the eve of battle, holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” ’round the bonfire.

But gentle Fusioneers, just because the fire has died in my belly and I’m now channeling my inner flower child doesn’t mean that you can’t sit back and enjoy a good Anti-Tennessee diatribe. No, make that the GREATEST Anti-Tennessee Diatribe of All Time.  So, without further adieu, let us go to the film and break it down rant by rant, ESPN-style:

  • “Man, I hate Tennessee, because first of all, it’s Tennessee, and, uh, I just hate ’em…” This guy (we’ll call him “Bama Man”) let’s you know right away where he’s coming from, stating the facts basic and axiomatic just like that Greek guy Pythagoras. He’s flying his colors out front, ALABAMA emblazoned on his tee. No plain clothes, dark sunglasses, ball cap slung-low-over-the-brow, voice-altered, anonymous dude on the street, end-around, flea flicker of an interview from Bama Man, no siree. This is the equivalent of Greg McElroy walking to the line of scrimmage during the South Carolina game and flashing a very large sign which reads “We’re going to run #22 straight at you on EVERY FREAKIN’ PLAY!!” at both the D-line and The Ol’ Ball Coach, and then Ingram proceeding to run it straight down their Gallus gallus domesticus gullets until he plunges into the end zone and staggers off the field from exhaustion.
  • “They low down, they dirty, they some snitches, and I hate Phillip Fulmer…” Keep in mind that this interview is 2 years old and therefore a little dated, but Bama Man is referencing, of course, the NCAA jackbooted, brownshirted thugs who harassed and hounded The University of Alabama over alleged “recruiting violations” (I mean really, come on), and Phillip Fulmer’s back alley cooperation with and enabling thereof. Bama nearly received “The Death Penalty” over that one, and considering how many times we lost to Directional Louisiana U. during the probation years, they might as well have thrown the switch on us and put us out of our misery. This sorry episode spawned enough lawsuits and counter-suits to fill the coffers of half the Tennessee and Alabama Bar Associations members’ lake home maintenance and kids’ college funds for decades to come. But all’s well that ends well, because as it turns out, Tennessee fans decided they hated Phil Fulmer too. So who’s laughing now, Phil, hmmm?
  • “I’m not a dog person…” He now turns on UT’s mascot Smokey the MCCXXXIV or whatever ungodly number they’re up to now, pictured here wearing a puke-orange throw rug. I’ve watched this mutt during games, and unlike the UGA Bulldog who will snarl and take a hunk out of your hand if you reach down to pet him, all Smokey does is howl, especially when Crompton throws an interception, which is to say, constantly.
  • I hate Neyland Stadium, it looks like a garbage truck worker’s convention…” This sounds kinda harsh, but have you ever seen an aerial view of Neyland during a game? Now do you understand?
  • “I hate all they quarterbacks…” Bama Man now reaches out his hand and tries to find some common ground with the large majority of the Vol Nation. But as we’ll see, this is merely misdirection, a feint designed to wrong-foot the enemy before going for the kill.
  • “I just dislike Auburn, I hate Tennessee…” Wow. This is huge. And I think that this is what most of the country fails to understand. Despite the intense rivalry surrounding The Iron Bowl, Bammers and Barners get along fairly well most of the time except for one weekend out of the year because we have to live and work together and have no other choice. But add a border and an intense suspicion of  “The Other” and things heat up in a hurry.
  • “I hate they colors…Tennessee’s colors is that throw-up orange, it’s not that orange you can sit with, it’s that puke, inside-of-a-pumpkin orange, and I don’t like pumpkins…” Aside from going after a mascot, there’s no more tender jugular to slit than a team’s colors. But in this case, I’m reasonably sure that most of the nation would agree with Bama Man. In fact, the American Optometric Association issued a warning that Tennessee Orange should not be viewed without appropriate eye protection. Mal Moore was aware of this too, and that’s why he banned the color for this week’s game. The Vols, hoping to gain an advantage much like Georgia did last year with their black jerseys (How’d that work out for you Dawgs?), were of course crestfallen. In fact, here’s a shot of Lane Kiffin addressing his disappointed players at the UT practice complex after receiving the bad news.

As you can plainly see, I don’t hate UT, but Bama Man sure does. Even after watching that video over and over, my pulse rate is still only 52 bpm. I just don’t have it in me.

But there’s always tomorrow, a’ight?

Roll Tide, Roll.

  1. JB

    I’m glad you don’t “hate” Tennessee, Mike, because Bama Man seems to hate ’em enough for both of you!

    Thanks for the video. It even made this tried and true, blood-bleeds-orange UT fan crack a smile on this early Friday morning.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    JB, I hear ya, and I’m feelin’ that warm-fuzzy, intense love deep inside, man. In fact, for the first time ever in the history of this blog, I think I may actually break out in song:

    “Why can’t we be friends” (4x)

    “The color, the color, the color of your UNIFORM don’t matter to me
    As long as, as long as, long as we can live in harmony…”

    “Why can’t we be friends” (4x)

    (With all due apologies to “War,” circa 1975)

  3. MalibuLibrarian

    Apologies for Facebook duplication, but….

    For some reason, this year you and I may be in the same boat: I have no hatred for Alabama. Is it because I think they’re really the best team in the country this year? Yeah, probably. I also know that if St. Tebow will ever be knocked out of the national title race, Alabama needs to run the table and beat them in the SEC championship. When people in Cali ask me about college football, since they know I’m from Alabama, they always ask me about the Tide. So…maybe I’m pulling a Jeff Fisher and just want to feel like a winner. Go Big Orange, of course, but, whatever. And I can’t believe I feel this way.

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    ML–I just got caught up on the Jeff Fisher imbroglio up at Lipscomb that has all of Nashville talking. OMG, what a hoot!

    In your case, you are probably a little disoriented from your beloved Dodgers losing and just don’t which way to turn. No matter. The Bama Nation is here for you in your time of need. RTR.

  5. Mike the Eyeguy

    Waiting for GKB to move over to The Light like Malibu Librarian…this may take a while.

  6. MalibuLibrarian

    Oh, I wouldn’t say it’s moving over to any light. Maybe a radical detente?

  7. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hey, I’ll settle for that.

  8. Bryan

    I tried very hard to keep my hate of Phil Fulmer separate from my feelings for the Vols, but it was difficult. When Phil exited the scene last year, I thought I could finally start to feel the love again. Then along comes this loudmouth punk Kiffen. I can’t stand him either. So I’m hoping Bama gives him a big SEC welcome on Saturday by grinding the Vols to a pulp. No offense to all the Vol fans out there, but y’all should have done a better job picking a coach.

  9. Mike the Eyeguy

    I hear ya Bryan, but in Kiffin’s defense, I think he has settled down a lot and has been a downright sweetheart (in public at least) this week. Still, he has yet to get his butt-whuppin’ that many fans from various SEC tribes long for. I’d like to think Bama will get it done, but I don’t know, I could see it turning into another grind-it-out relatively low scoring defensive affair. Here’s hoping JMac and GMac will open up a bigger bag of tricks this week. RTR!

  10. JRB

    Ah, yes, my annual familial crisis. No big surprise, but I don’t really hate Alabama, not with my mama watching and my grandfather whooping it up in the back TV room where he can hide from his disapproving wife, not with a lifetime of yelling Roll Tide and being weaned on SEC football in Bryant-Denny, not having considered and rejected UA’s very nice scholarship offer. Even so, inasmuch as I love my wife, inasmuch as I work for a competing school, inasmuch as I have enjoyed the inexplicable snobbery of the remnants of the Machine, inasmuch as I endure the slings and arrows of the Yellowhamer State, I say, “Go Vols,” despite the foul weather brewing.

  11. Mike the Eyeguy

    And you say it so convincingly! No room for doubt there, folks.

    BREAKING: Titans HC Jeff Fisher spotted at lunch on Music Row wearing Crimson Tide jersey #12! RTR!

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