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Talking points: woo for Gerald Jones edition

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Mmm. Links:

  • Bloggers, voting for the 2007 College Football Blogger Awards (that link will become active later today) opens today and will remain open through next Sunday night. Orson will be posting the voting link later this morning, and once he does, I'll post it here as well. In keeping with that whole southern speed thing, Kyle's already disclosed a portion of his ballot. Nominees, expect an email from me in the next day or two with code for a nominee badge for your site. If you don't get something by Wednesday, it probably means you're one of the six nominees for which I couldn't locate an email address. Ping me with your email address and I'll get the code to you.
  • Readers, the winner of the People's Champ Award will be decided by a poll that will be posted over on Orson's site sometime soon.
  • Saturday's Tennessee-LSU game? I was confused. Coach Pearl was not happy. Gate 21 used the opportunity to compliment the chemistry of the team.
  • Ghost of Neyland comments on a Chavis-to-Atlanta rumor. This is the first I've heard of this. My friend Ghost and I have differing opinions about Chief. What's yours?
  • Huge game tonight for the 2nd-ranked (perhaps first in the next poll) Lady Vols, as they host 7th-ranked Rutgers in a rematch of last year's National Championship. Rutgers just beat No. 1-ranked Connecticut.
  • Huh. I like this. Wide receiver Gerald Jones apparently wanted to transfer from Tennessee to . . . anywhere else . . . after recently being charged with possession of marijuana. His Baptist minister stepfather told him that "a real man faces his obstacles" and told him to pray about it and "hold [his] head up and keep on moving." Jones then decided to stay and to instead write the following letter:

    Dear Coach Fulmer, Teammates, Volunteer Fans and Parents:

    I am sending this letter to each of you in order to express my sincere regret for embarrassing the University of Tennessee and the football program because of a most unfortunate, well-publicized situation last week. Even more importantly, I have let my parents, coaches, teammates, fans and myself down. Please accept my apology for my lack of judgment. There are no excuses.

    I have been abundantly blessed in my life with a wonderful family and the unbelievable opportunity not only to play football, but also to get an education at one of the premier universities in America, the University of Tennessee.

    Finally, I want to thank Coach Fulmer for the opportunity he has given me. Please know I have learned a hard life lesson, and I am committed to making sure it never happens again. I accept the responsibilities for my actions and will now move forward.

    Respectfully,

    Gerald Jones

    [Stands and cheers from the stands.] Good for you, Gerald. And your stepfather is right: that is becoming a man.