What's an optimist to do? Tennessee Volunteers 12, Auburn Tigers 14

I've been blogging about the Tennessee Volunteers since August, 2005. I've written my way through The Season of Which We Do Not Speak, Cutcliffe's Renewal, and 2007, the season during which we nearly drove off the cliff multiple times but somehow fishtailed, spun, and wobbled our way to Atlanta. (I would have capitalized all of that, but it would have been way too much work.) Anyway, I devote an average of 20-25 hours per week blogging about the Vols. Adding those hours to a demanding 50-hour per week day job, family, and church makes me a busy man. Why do I do it?

For the buckets o' cash, of course. I'm making $75k per month from my INTERNET MARKETING WEB 2.0 EBAY WORK FROM HOME WITH ONLY A COMPUTER BUSINESS!!!

Right.

I blog about the Vols because it's fun. A lot of fun. And if I can buy myself an ice cold Coke at the end of the day with my "earnings," well that's just gravy. Or soda. Whatever.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. The whole blogging thing is terrific fun. Or I should say terrific fun most of the time. There are times when it feels more like work than escape, and frankly, if it stays that way for too long, the can of Coke at the end of the day just doesn't get the job done.

So we all need to find our ways to cope, and for me that means staying positive. Yeah, seriously. I need to in order to maintain the motivation to post throughout the rest of the season. I fear that my enthusiasm for waking up at 5:30 in the morning to write will wane if I allow pessimism to rule, so I will do my best to squash it into the treads of my sneakers. I will continue to examine the team as objectively as I can, hopefully doing another Upon Further Review later this week, grading the players, and otherwise acknowledging our mistakes and inabilities, but when criticizing, I will try to do so respectfully. That is important to me because I know for a fact that some recruits, players, coaches, and the families of players and coaches read this site. I say that not to impress anyone but to impress upon you all that the words I publish on this site are chosen as carefully as the ones I would choose if I were speaking to instead of about these guys. I will at times lapse into negativity, but I'm always uncomfortable there, and I simply cannot maintain it long term, especially knowing who is likely lurking. So I will stay positive and attempt to cope with the negative through humor.

Please don't misinterpret this. I am not criticizing anyone for being negative. We got reasons, you know? Man, do we have reasons. Nor am I saying I don't want anyone to post dissenting or critical opinions here. I want RTT to be a place of diverse opinions. I do ask that all opinions be expressed respectfully, but I don't want my personal goal of remaining positive to have any chilling effect on anyone's willingness to post a contrary view.

All right, then. So what is an eternal optimist to do with this season so far? What do we do with a terribly disappointing opening game that shattered a summer's worth of anticipation? What do we do with a disturbing trend of giving free points to the other team in the danger zone or on special teams and blowing almost certain points in the opportunity zone? What do we do?

For me, I don't want to clamor for a coaching or quarterback change. Those things will happen or not depending on more important factors than whether I put my opinions in print. Do I find it frustrating that those in charge don't fix things that are obviously wrong more quickly? Yeah, but I'm just going to wait because I don't like what the alternative does to me.

Instead, I will simply change my focus a bit for the remainder of the season. It used to be that we could watch the horse race all season with each of our games pivotal on our road to an opportunity for a championship of some kind. Not true anymore, but that doesn't mean that all is lost. For the rest of the season, I will root for the team without expecting too much out of them. I will view games like the simple weekend diversions they are, something to simply watch and enjoy rather than live or die with. A game for the game's sake, rather than a game that we need to win in order to consider an entire season a success or a failure. An opportunity to catch a sporting event and hang out with friends and family.

Sort of like regular season baseball.

. . . .

Oh, wow. That really puts it into perspective, doesn't it? Sheesh. Now I'm depressed.

Um, Go Vols!

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