Tennessee-Southern Miss: first thoughts

Just a few quick thoughts for right now because it was a late night (see the last item, if I get to it) and an early morning. Pardon any errors and lack of research or links.

Yay for Mayfield Dairy. It was mildly warm yesterday for a fall Saturday, in a parallel universe where "mildly warm" means "like an ice box" and "ice box" means "furnace." We usually park on the east side of the downtown area by the First Tennessee building. It's a long walk, but at the end of the day, you get out and onto the interstate heading back to the Tri-Cities quick. (Ha! See the last item, if I make it that far.) So after walking a mile in the sweltering heat when we started seeing practically every one of the thousand closest friends that we were physically bumping into with Mayfield ice cream sandwiches, I thought, "Man, I know it's hot and it's ice cream and everything, but they ought to give their barker a commission." And then I found out that they had a trailer and three very busy ladies handing out free ice cream hand over fist like they were going out of business, which they would have had they had more trailers. So yay for the bow-tied Mayfield.

You, too, can chest bump Trooper Taylor. Dude was bouncing into any stranger with the guts to get in front of him and challenge his manhood during the Vol Walk. I have pictures.

Do not attempt to chest bump Cody Pope. That guy is scary-cool looking. I have pictures.

My third strategically-placed mnemonic is outputting an image of my calf muscle being grilled at Corn from a Jar's tailgate. This morning, I have no idea what this means, but I will say that CfaJ looks nothing like you imagine he looks. First, he doesn't wear a cape. I'm kidding, of course. He does wear a cape. An oddly green one.

Directv, and I won't tell you my mnemonic image for this one. Y'all are on my list, okay? I simply could not find the PPV game (and while I'm here, what's with the guy in the red hat for PPV games, huh? I thought he was there to tell us when the t.v. time out was over?). Anyway, the UT website said it would be on channel 698. When I dialed it up, the screen read "YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THIS CHANNEL" or some such nonsense. Of course, I DO NOT RECEIVE THAT CHANNEL, I WANT TO ORDER THAT CHANNEL. Help a fella out. I called the number provided in the UT article. Robot. Hold. Fa la la la la. Human. "Yeah, I want to get the Tennessee-Southern Miss game." "You need to call Directv." Great. Call Directv. Robot. Hold. Fa la la la la. More hold. Hang up. I manually set my TiVo, which I didn't even know you could do. Set it up like an old VCR (remember those?) Record channel 698 from 7:00 to 11:30. Take down Directv's number so I can call them on the way to the game. You know, the first thing the robot tells you is that they need to know whether you're an existing subscriber. This is ostensibly so they can tell which batch of ready experts to get you to. What it really means is that they have ten thousand closers with headsets ready to sign you to a lifetime contract (you can pass it down to your kids, don'tcha know! It's a family heirloom!) and, for those of us who have already committed our souls to old Scratch, there's one scruffy dude in a stained t-shirt, smoking a Swisher Sweet, with his holey-socked feet on a rickety steel desk with a rotary phone on it. This may or may not be actually true, depending on whether this guy's name is "Stephanie" because that's who I eventually talked to. "Yeah, I want the Tennessee-Southern Miss football game." "Can I put you on hold while I get that ordered for you?" Why does she have to put me on hold? Does she need to climb under and behind the desk to flip a switch or something? Anyway, she comes back and says, "You're all set. Tennessee-Southern Miss at 7:00 on channel 742." Wait, um, 742? I set my TiVo to record 698. It said it was supposed to be on 698. She says, "Okay, 698." Me: ". . . um, wait. You can just send it to whatever channel you want?" Stephanie T-Shirt: "It will be on 698." How much do you want to bet that my Tivo now contains four and a half hours of "YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THIS CHANNEL?"

The new scoreboard, LCD lights. Nice, crisp. Bright as a nuclear blast when they go all white. Very distracting when they're showing ads. It was a bit like being inside the ESPN.com home page. But they finally started using it for actual football content, and then it was cool.

At CfaJ's tailgate, we were talking about special teams and someone mentioned that just across the mountain at Appy State is a UT alum who is a special teams coach. "And we have no special teams coach," he says. I say, "Actually, we have eight special teams coaches." That led to the corporate conclusion that special teams coaches are like QBs: if you say you have two, you have none. Extrapolating the math (and remember, I know of no lawyers that can be trusted with mathematics), we have minus 16 special teams coaches. Which explains some things.

It's a good thing nobody was trying to get coach Fulmer for a post-half interview. They would have had a front seat to a verbal assault on whichever player (Jerod Mayo?) decided to try to lateral the ball on the last play of the half down around the Eagles' end zone.

Quickly now, because time's up: Rico McCoy needs to teach the rest of the team to tackle. Clinic: ball carrier (QB?) coming. Bend knees, see target. Explode through the numbers while wrapping arms around ball carrier. The carrier's momentum took him over McCoy's back, and for a minute McCoy looked like he had just scaled the turret, rescued the princess, and was carrying her back to the king. But just for a second, because the next second, he body-slammed her to the turf from six feet up. I'll post a video after church, but I bet it will just say "YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THIS CHANNEL" so don't get too excited.

A growing pet peeve: Two orange-clad girls in the student section: "So I was in the cafeteria eating an apple." "Did you finish your algebra?" "Well, I was doing both, eating an apple and finishing my JUMBOTRON!!!!111!!!!! GO VOLS!!!!!! WOOOO!!!!! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!!!1111!!! I'M THE GREATEST FAN ALIVE -- WOOOOOOOOOOOOO11111!!!1 algebra, and I couldn't figure out the last problem. Guy sitting behind them: um, did you guys know the road dog just scored a touchdown for a lead? Girls: "Okay, all right but JUMBOTRON!!!!

To whoever doesn't have James White Parkway fixed yet: Shame on you. I know it was death waiting to happen and that it needed to be fixed, but how about a plan, okay? To the cop who parked his motorcycle in the lane heading to I-40 East and the guy who told him to do it, thus re-routing all downtown traffic through the Cumberland Gap, shame on you. Don't you know I have a post to write?

To borrow a phrase from Reigning Hail Mary Haiku Champion Old Smokey, more news to come.

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