Sports Fans are Candles in the Wind

Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TNThree friends sitting in a bar, late August 2009, discussing college football.   

Jim’s team is the Tennessee Volunteers.
Mike’s team is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Dave’s team is the North Dakota State Bison

They’re experts.  They’re seasoned fans.  They… know… The Game.

Jim:  We finally got ourselves a real coach, boys!  Lane Kiffin is gonna bring us some of that SC magic.  You guys saw what he did with Pete Carroll, right?  I love this guy!  Our AD, Mike Hamilton…Genius!

Mike:  Kiffin’s got a big mouth on him but I know what you mean.  Your Vols been a doormat for a while now, at least by their standards.  Tell you what though, if ol’ Charlie Weis doesn’t win the national championship this season, they gotta get his big butt outta South Bend.  In fact, they should have canned him last year.

Dave:  Boys, you two need to come to Fargo… check out my Bison. I’m tellin’ you, nothing more beautiful than a sea of green and gold in the ‘dome.  Craig Bohl – this guy’s the real deal.  He’s put our program on the map.

Mike:  Which map? (Jim and Mike laugh)

Dave:  Funny guys… I’m tellin’ you, the guy rocks!  Beat Minnesota on the road a few years ago, he can recruit, he’s dynamic, tough… He came from Nebraska, you know.

Jim:  Know what I love about Kiffin – he’s put some swagger back into the entire program.  He’s got ESPN talking about us, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times… Man, it’s great to be a Tennessee Vol again!

Mike:  I don’t know… I just think bringin’ in Weis was a stupid move.  The guy won some Super Bowl rings at New England as offensive coordinator – what, that qualifies him to coach the Irish?  Gimme a break.  The guy’s a bum.

Same three friends, same bar… it’s now the first week of October 2009… Tennessee is 2-3, Notre Dame is 4-1, North Dakota State is 1-4…

Jim:  Kiffin’s gotta go.  Bringing in this punk was a terrible idea!  Mike Hamilton – the guy’s a lunatic.  Didn’t he see Kiffin was a bust with the Raiders?  We look HORRIBLE!

Mike:  I just got Coach Weis to autograph my Jimmy Clausen jersey.  I’m framin’ it tonight.  If we don’t sign Charlie to a lifetime contract, I’m burnin’ my season tickets in front of the golden dome.  Is there a better coach in America – look what he’s done with this team!– go ahead boys, show me a better coach.  Urban Meyer?  No.  Pete Carroll?  Come on.  Charlie Weis is takin’ us to the promised land.

Dave:  Bohl’s awful.  This team is 1-4 for Heaven’s sake – WE JUST GOT BEAT BY ILLINOIS STATE!  He’s gotta go, I’m tellin’ you…Bohl must go! 

Jim:  Weren’t you telling us–

Dave:  –Look, I’m just sayin’ we should have destroyed the Redbirds and what – we gave up something like 800 yards of offense…

Mike:  It was 436.

Dave:  Whatever.

Jim:  You watch the Vols now and it might as well be Fulmer on the sideline.  Maybe we shouldn’t have let him go.  Kiffin won’t play our other quarterback, our offense is boring and awful… where’d that Trojans offense go?  This guy should have never been brought to Tennessee.  Hamilton is a dope.  Fire him!

Mike:  You guys should be Irish fans. (the sound of a giddy Lou Holtz on ESPN raving over Notre Dame fills up the bar – this gets Mike pumped).  YOU TELL HIM, LOU!  We’re gonna run the table and go to the BCS championship game!  I LOVE Charlie Weis!

The tab is paid and the boys go home.  Dave and Jim accidentally leave their NDSU and Tennessee baseball caps on the bar counter.

photo credit: Tennessee Journalist

Filed Under: College footballTennessee

About the Author: Christopher serves up sports on 940 ESPN in Fresno with a good deal of pop culture, films, music and the quirky side of life mixed in. Distinguished guests and contributors from across the nation and around the world regularly join the program. He tackles the most complex stories to ones slightly off the radar delivering depth and humor with a thoughtful perspective. When he was in Fargo, the city not the movie, the program was nominated for Best Radio Show in the region in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by readers of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. As a writer, Christopher's work has been been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sun-Times Network publications, Reuters, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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  1. Tucker says:

    Nice. I think Dr. Lou might be a bigger homer than I am. And I am bad.


    Christopher Gabriel Reply:

    Say a single word against Notre Dame with Dr. Lou in the room, he turns into Pacino in Scarface. There could be a discussion going on about Dreamland BBQ in Birmingham – Lou would find a way to connect it to Notre Dame….

    “….Mark, those baby back ribs at Dreamland were almost as big as my ’91 offensive line in South Bend…”


  2. Mike says:

    Hahahaha!! Conversations like this take place every day in all parts of the world. You are absolutely right – it’s easy to be a fan when your team or individual is doing well… although I’ve been just as guilty as others many a time.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..UpdateForm =-.


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