February 27, 2007, 9:00 EST
1. Skin one large Abomination and marinate in Mountain Dew for 12 months.
2. Switch to larger pot so that you can add both the heart and brain of Dane Bradshaw.
3. Stir in 1/32 teaspoon of Dick Vitale's Capacity for Confidentiality. (Note: This is a very rare seasoning that is extraordinarily difficult to locate. A little goes a long way, or so I'm told. Nobody really knows.)
4. Season to taste with crushed Seed of Discord.
5. Kick it up a notch with Pat Summit's Secret Essence.
6. Turn off your cell phone. Pretend you were joking.
7. Turn up the heat. Cook on high for 2.5 hours. Makes 25,000 servings.
Yeah, so it's the Return of the Abomination. The Gators have lost two of their last three games. The Vols have won five of their last six. The last time these two teams met, in Gainesville in a 94-78 blowout by the Gators, Tennessee was without Chris Lofton, who found his old shoes and his old form last Saturday against Arkansas in a 31-point game.
And . . . it's a Senior Night Salute to beloved Vol Dane Bradshaw. Put the All-Glue Guy anywhere on the floor, and he'll hold his own. And his history against the Gators? Wow.
And . . . word is that Lady Vols head coach Pat Summit will repay men's coach Bruce Pearl for his chest-painting support in the student section for the Tennessee-Duke game. No word on what she's going to do exactly, but . . . secrets! Absolutely positive she has not told Vitale.
Because . . . Dick Vitale can't keep a secret but he's coming to town anyway, baby!
And . . . surely Thompson-Boling will be sold out tonight. Must be. 25,000 strong. And yes, I just called you Shirley.
And . . . last but most . . . the secret Vitale blurted out on live radio on Monday was that Florida coach Billy Donovan had told him, in confidence, that player Al Horford is a much better NBA prospect than teammate Joakim Noah, who's been getting most of the press. Bet Noah liked hearing that. Last year, he took it on the chin from C.J. Watson, and this year, he's sucker-punched by his own coach. The Sports Animal had an absolutely hilarious blast with this today on the radio, and you should expect the UT student section to have some customized cheers for the game. I can hear it now, "HOR-ford's BET-ter!" Or "BIL-ly HATES you!"
Oh, this could be fun.
Leave your pre-, in-, and post-game thoughts below.
Go Vols! Hulk Smash!