Talking points:

My, my my. I finally arrive to my undisclosed location in the bitterly cold center-middle-midwest after two days of driving over snow- and ice-covered roads through blizzard and winter storm warnings, one day of being caged-up in the world's coldest hotel (the "free" continental breakfast featured a snowdrift just inside the door next to the juice machine, and yes, "inside" is the right word), two trips to Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor (highlight nos. 1 and 2), and where was I because that particular synapse in my brain is still closed due to COLD.

Yeah, so we finally got here yesterday afternoon and we got right back in the car and drove to Lane Kiffin's hometown of Bloomington, Minnesota to the Mall of America, which now that I think about it would have to be near the top of American icons terrorists would love to destroy.

Hey, look at that. The puppy, who refused to pee outside in the -8/-35 wind chill in Rockford is now puking on the floor in the guest room. Woo Christmas traveling!

Hooper, meanwhile, is on some fictitious trip to some fictitious town in some imaginary portion of the northwest where he says it is warm. I'm expecting a photoshop of said make believe location from Mrs. Hooper in my inbox shortly.

But of course nothing's really happening with the Vols. Gate 21 say fuhgeddaabout the sunsetting of the family atmosphere on Rocky Top and just redefine what you mean by "family."

Kiffin did orange pick highly touted wide receiver commit James Green out of the Sunshine State, a move that currently puts Tennessee at No. 17 in Rivals' team rankings.

And finally, forget about comparing the success of this year's basketball Vols to last year's, says Mike Griffith, and instead realize that they just aren't as much fun. Of course, Griffith has a 12-step plan to fix everything.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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