First off, apologies to Fulmer's Belly, this week's host, for the late post. See what I did there, jondon?
1. Knock on wood before answering this question, but let’s assume that Jonathan Crompton goes out with a season ending injury in the 1st half of the first game of the season. Should we just pack it up and wait until next season, or is there a glimmer of hope in any of the young backups?
That would be bad, very bad, and there's always a glimmer, but the real question is the size of the glimmer. I'd say, with what I know now, that that glimmer is the glimmerest of glimmery glimmers. They may, in fact, be very good, but without looking up their rankings, well, I'm almost positive that neither was ranked as high as Crompton coming out of high school, and I know that neither of them has the experience that Crompton does. So glimmerest of glimmery glimmers. I'm going with that.
2. Does Erik Ainge have a future in the NFL?
Everybody has a future, jondon. Yours involves using a lot of question marks.
Sure he has a future. Like you say, it may involve a lot of sitting, and it may eventually involve a bizarre decision accompanied by career-ending injury behind the line of scrimmage, but it could also involve a decade's worth of solid performance. Cutcliffe has conditioned the man to get rid of the ball at all costs, and as soon as he picks up the speed of the league, he could in fact be a Tom Brady-ish kind of player in that he plugs into a system where his chief function is to get the ball quickly to the other skill guys. Or not. But yes, he has a future. Murky, it is.
3. Why in the hell did you decide to blog about Tennessee football??? Aren’t there already enough Tennessee blogs?
I decided to blog about Tennessee football because it was football season and I'm a Vol fan. I was already blogging, see? On November 15, 2004, I clicked on that mysterious, squiggley orange B on my Google toolbar in one those weird combinations of boredom and busyness. I posted on personal stuff intermittently over the next several months whenever the mood struck me, such as when my daughter puked on the family dog, when I discovered the many perils of making bunk beds for my daughters, and when I felt compelled to inform the general public of all the things one absolutely must do to enjoy a proper vacation in East Tennessee.
In August, 2005, when I wrote my first post on the Vols (about the great expectations for the 2005 season!), Voluminous was the only Tennessee blog, and it was primarily a linker, just referring readers to articles on the web without much if any commentary. A few weeks later I moved to my own domain (View from East Tennessee), and I spent the next few months chronicling The Season of Which We Do Not Speak. After the season, I moved all of the football content to View from Rocky Top, and it's been pretty much all Vols all the time for me ever since.
But why? I'm a frustrated entertainer and entrepreneur. I wanted to be a rock star growing up. I've written a novel, but couldn't get it published. I love to make, write, play, and program stuff that people enjoy, but nothing had ever really taken off. Mostly, though, I just sat on the board, watching others catch waves and ride them to where I knew they could go. But when I saw this one coming, I finally dredged up the nerve to actually get up and go. For once, my available time, desire, and talent met up with proper timing, and combining my love of writing with my enthusiasm for the Vols was just a natural thing to do. You asked.
4. If you could be one player in one game in Tennessee history, which player and which game would you pick??? Why?
Travis Stephens, against Florida in 2001:
5. Which is your favorite rivalry and why? (Not necessarily limited to Tennessee teams)
Tennessee-Florida. My favorite is the one I enjoy winning the most, which is in inverse proportion to the one we lose most often. Florida just always seems to be in the way. They're a nasty bunch, and beating them is best.
Bonus:?? Who will win the national title this year??? And by how many points will Tennessee win? (See what we did there?)
Um, Oklahoma? Ohio State? Florida? Zero? See what I did there?