Will at Southeastern Sports Blog is back at it, this time with a dramatic re-telling of the 1998 Tennessee-Arkansas game:
I've heard all kinds of stories from my friends and other Vol fans about fights breaking out in the Neyland Stadium concourse because so many people tried to leave after Martin's incompletion, but they didn't get out of the stadium before Stoerner's fumble, and everyone's trying to get back to their seats in violent fashion. This is why you never leave early.
. . . .
The look on the Arkansas' fans faces after the game, I've seen before. Not at the time, but I've worn it myself since.
It has many names in the SEC. Tennessee fans call it The Jabar Gaffney Face, from his catch/no catch in the final seconds against Florida in 2000. Or The David Greene Face from his final drive in Knoxville the following year.
Florida fans had broken in The Collins Cooper Face earlier in the 1998 season, but we were all too busy to notice because we hated them so much. And on this night, Arkansas was introducing themselves to The Clint Stoerner Face.
Go read the whole thing and then come back because I have a question for you.
Now come on. I mean it. Go read the whole thing.
Okay. The question: Where were you while all of this was happening?
I was watching on t.v. in a townhome complex off Middlebook Pike in Knoxville. The units are adjoined, and you could always hear your neighbors through the walls during Tennessee games.
Well, some visiting idiot was out trying to sell magazine subscriptions during this game, and he could hear the excitement from within at every door on which he was knocking. He could hear, but that didn't stop him from interrupting. You know the type.
Anyway, right after Stoerner's fumble, the neighborhood exploded. The knock on my door came almost immediately after that.
You know the drill. The pock-marked traveling salesman knows he has less than three seconds to scale the mark's defenses by establishing rapport. This guy thought he had just the trick.
"Who's winning?" he asked with feigned enthusiasm.
I was still coming down off the excitement of The Stumble/Fumble, and there was no way in Perdition that I was going to waste ten of the finest seconds of Tennessee football history explaining the situation to a guy who only wanted to know so he could sell me something. Instead, I just shouted "Arkansas!" while still fixated on the t.v.
"Yes!" the guy yelled, and my peripheral vision registered that he had pumped his fist for added effect.
Dude didn't even know what state he was in.
I never turned to look at him. I just closed the door. I'm sure he subsequently flipped me off because that's how those encounters usually end, but I never saw it. I was too busy watching Travis Henry devour the shocked Razorback defense.
So how about you? What was happening where you were at that fateful moment?