Prior to the opening series of the opening game against the Montana Grizzlies, talented Sophomore signal-caller Tyler Bray concocted a seemingly brilliant way to taunt the opposing defense -- and totally get them off their game, according to Bray -- while still staying within reasonable bounds of social decency. Unfortunately for the lanky gunslinger from Kingsbury California, his planned taunting routine was not executed with the exacting precision of his downfield passes.
According to Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter, the talented Sophomore receiving duo who joined their QB for this EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes interview, Bray attempted to sing the song "Country Roads" after the huddle broke and the Vols lined up for their first play following the muffed punt by the Grizzlies early in the first quarter. "Bray was actually singing "Montana" instead of "Mountain Momma", said Rogers, "And, to be clear, he wasn't even doing it as a joke. He actually thought that "Montana" followed "West Virginia" in the song."
Justin Hunter, at this point in the interview, was asked to confirm the veracity of the story, but was unable to form intelligible words due to the fact that he had begun laughing hysterically. Roger continued: "Oh man, he was singing it with this big smirk on his face like he had come up with something clever or something."
Bray preferred discussing the flea flicker play that resulted in his first pass attempt, completion, and touchdown of the day -- with Rogers being on the receiving end of the nifty play. "Did you see how I rolled out of the pocket and to the right and avoided that defender?", asked Bray, possibly rhetorically. "You know I"m a lot faster than I was last year. A full two tenths of a second faster in the forty yard dash, which is pretty significant if you ask me."
Rogers, however, craftily navigated the discussion back to the clearly incorrect lyrics uttered by his quarterback. Interesting and insightful dialogue ensued.
Rogers: yeah yeah yeah Tyler, I know you've got a great arm -- everybody knows it. And we're all super duper impressed with your streak of seven straight games with multiple touchdown passes. But, seriously, how in God's name did you ever get the idea that John Denver was saying "Montana" in that song?
Bray: man, like anybody could have made that mistake. I mean, "Montana" vs. "Mountain Momma". They sound a lot alike. Same number of syllables and everything.
Rogers: actually, "Mountain Momma" pretty clearly has four syllables, Tyler. Montana has three. I think it is safe to say that all of us in this room are officially a little bit dumber for having heard that explanation. Dude, have you even heard the song"
Hunter: [still laughing uncontrollably] [begins to seemingly involuntarily begin slapping his knee]
Bray: man, Da'Rick, I'm not even going to respond to that. I'm just saying, the way John Denver sings "Mountain", he kinda rolls it into one syllable, you know"
Rogers: No no, he doesn't. In fact, I'm fairly certain that it is quite impossible to sing or speak the word "mountain" in a single syllable. [Rogers takes a stab at it under his breath]. Yeah, it totally can't be done . Requires two syllables, killa. Every ole' day of the week.
Bray: [becoming slightly embarrassed] well why didn't you say something on the field. Why you gotta bust this out now with the reporter around?
Hunter: [literally no cessation of the raucous fits of laughter. appears to be -- yes yes there he goes -- rolling on the floor in laughter]
Rogers: I'm not trying to bite the hand that feeds me. Once you get rolling with your whole "flatlining" routine, I start getting hit with perfect spiral pigskins all over the field. I'm not trying to break your concentration during the game. Besides you were having such a good time showing off how clever you were with your in-game tweets...
kidbourbon: In game tweets?
Rogers: yeah man, you ain't seen those?
kidbourbon: that is very interesting Tyler. So Coach Dooley permits you to tweet while on the playing field?
Bray: well...I have this little trick...but how about we just keep that on the down low? What do you say?
For the completely selfish reason that I would like to land further interviews with our starting quarterback sensation, I agree to pretend that I never heard anything about any alleged in-game tweets. At this point, our scheduled interview session has run its course, and so Tyler and Da'Rick walk out of the room, playfully smack-talking one another as they proceed. Justin Hunter remains on the flooring laughing -- and occassionally slapping the floor or gleefully kicking his legs in the air -- for the next 7-8 minutes.
Until next time...