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A SHORT TRIBUTE TO CHRIS LOFTON

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Tennessee fans marveled at the motion for four years. A thousand times. There was a certain flawless elegance to Chris Lofton's remarkable fade-away three-point jump shot. Undaunted by a defender literally in his face, he simply raised up and hit the shot as he faded away from the opponent.

Scores of thousands of reps made it second nature. So when faced with real, life-threatening adversity, Chris just did what he'd always done. He calmly raised up over his circumstances and took his best shot. And before the ball had found its way through the bottom of the net, Lofton was already fading into the background where he is most comfortable. It's nothing. Don't look at me. Look at the shot.

Oh, we're looking at the shot in a whole new way today, Chris. From all I hear about you, you probably couldn't care less whether you're honored by Vol fans for your victory over death this season, but honored you will be. Teammates, fans, parents, coaches, and this absolute stranger will pull you from your comfortable humility backstage and drag you back into the spotlight one more time. We will force you onto a pedestal to which you have no aspiration, and we'll point to you and say, "Him. That's the model. That's who I want my children to emulate. That is a person worthy of honor."

And you'll go right on gazing sheepishly at the floor, fidgeting, uncomfortable with the entire thing. That's just one of the many things we love about you.