It had been a hard week. Work prevented me from making my video of the week or posting anything of substance for this rivalry game, and I was somewhat disgusted with myself.
I rose early on Saturday morning. A little after 7. The rains of Friday had made the morning cool, and the colors bright.
I've mentioned before I live in the middle of nowhere. This morning was just me, a good cup of coffee, a cigar and my dog.
It was looking to be a good morning. I had family coming over to watch the game this afternoon. The steaks were marinading (the reason I had gotten up early on a Saturday) and for the moment the morning was pleasant, and brisk.
I was looking forward to a good ball game, and the possibility of a win.
It's hard to to have expectations sometimes.Your heart gets pumping, and you get ancy with excitement for something that you know may end badly. This weekend was one of those for me.
I remember the days when we used to beat Florida. I remember better times. The struggles we have been through, in any Hollywood production, story book or fairy tale we'd be looking at a winning season.
As I heard the thunder in the distance from my ridge, I remembered that life ain't fiction.
I had not gotten half way through my first cup of coffee when it started sprinkling. Having resided in Seattle a number of years I was determined with typical southern arrogance to the weather that I would not relinquish my place to a mere few drops of rain.
The dog whined.
My Volunteer Orange sun rise was quickly turning red, dark and ugly.
The sprinkle turned in to rain. The dog looked at me like I had lost my mind and headed for his house. My cigar was ruined. I grumped back in to the house, soaking wet but consoling myself that it was Game Day.
The rest of the house was just stirring as we got ready for our rituals. Everyone wearing some kind of orange.
As I prepared breakfast I managed to tip my sausage gravy with my imported Tennessee Pride sausage (Yes I said imported. You know how hard it is to get that stuff out here?) all over the front of sweater and pants.
The phrases I desired to use could not be heard by small ears that were watching wide eyed in disbelief as her father seemed to bathing in breakfast.
I changed clothes for the third time in as many hours.
My wife by this point had taken over the breakfast duties.
After our late morning repast was completed uneventfully, I listened to the rain outside and turned on the TV,
"Complete Signal Loss Error Code 015" greeted me cheerily.
Not the way I wanted to spend my Day
I sat slack jawed in on my sofa, loved one's gathered round for a day of relaxation, hooping, hollering and shouting as our Volunteers rolled over Florida in a revenge a decade in the making. Yet mother nature was thwarting me. My dish, so reliable during rain, snow or shine, was suddenly not functional.
More under my breath mutterings as my daughter again watched in disbelief as her father went outside, in to the rain, with a ladder, to get on the roof to find the problem. My wife shook her head at her fool of a husband whom was going to get zapped by every lightning bolt hurled by Urban Meyer was obviously plotting this storm in a effort to rid the world of Vol fans. ESPN analyst my rear end. This was obviously a conspiracy.
I had recently had a new receiver added, and as memory served we had seen no rain since that expansion took place so as a former communications tech I had a sneaking suspicion what the problem was.
Three hours, curses, thunder, and lightning later, I returned too the living room, victorious, soaking wet and for my fourth change of clothes.
I had no sooner sat down, a mere 45 minutes before kick off, then disaster struck again.
Again the TV went out. Again the cheery list of instructions informing me of what I could do to correct the problem. my immediate solution of a Smith & Wesson seemed more appropriate but I digress.
This time the words were not under my breath. Everything had gone wrong this morning. I was not pleased. My blood pressure soared as I once again tromped on to the roof in the rain, only to discover that the one item I had not checked in my troubleshooting (for you techies the diplexers had been full of water. I replaced it with one I had and the system worked for about 20 minutes before failing again...but for a new reason.)
The LMB was also full of water. Branches from the tree in my front yard had grown heavy with rain from the last two days, and the tree was acting as a funnel of water right to the LMB.
Now I was really mad. My wife only just prevented me from taking my chainsaw to the offending tree that instance. My Dish provider informed me they could come out and repair the problem....on Sunday. More curses.
Not to be denied I got in my truck, 10 minutes prior to kick off, and headed for town.
45 minutes, and a set of High Def bunny ears later I was back on my couch, in a fifth set of dry clothes with the TV on.
I won't bore you with the details of having bunny ears in the boon docks in the digital age. Suffice it to say that half the time I did not get the audio to game, which was probably a blessing. Other times I could not see the game at all. It spit, spat, and was interrupted so often that at times I wondered if I was more angry of the game than I was the TV set. No matter. It was better than the alternative, which was not seeing it at all.
In some ways my problems were a blessing. I watched as Tyler Bray threw a beautiful pass, only to have the TV clink out preventing me from seeing it land in the hands of a Florida defender. I was spared the agony of seeing, first hand many of our defeats. Were it not for the several replays I would not have seen how Hunter had injured himself.
Unfortunately this blessing was also a curse. I was also prevented from seeing our small victories.
The moral of the story. You can probably see that our loss was not expected to me, by the time it was over with
The errors we committed on the field, was just part of a day that was from start to beginning a series of unfortunate events.
We should have won. We could have won.
But the fates played a cruel, harsh joke on us at every turn and always at the last moment.
Fortunately, there is always next year.