Sunday, December 10, 2006
Fan Comments on Tiger Program Following Tennessee Loss (Man People Are Emotional!!!!!)
Sounding off on Tiger basketball
To whom it my concern: This fan has left the building.
Eight games into the 2006-2007 basketball season have left this fan with a broken heart. I know we are going to lose games, but we do not need to lose them so badly (UCLA last year, Georgia Tech and UT games this year). I expressed my concerns and also discussed what I believe to be the way to beat Memphis with the guys around the water cooler. Someone must have passed this information to Bruce Pearl because he did a good job for UT. The problem is we had no way to get this information to coach Cal.
I feel being alumni parents with two children attending the University of Memphis, season ticket holders of football tickets and a huge fan of the basketball program I have the right to send this S.O.S.
The current program has the talent, fans and a big-time coach. Is expecting results in March as well as good basketball every game during the season too much to ask? After reading Seth Davis' "Letter from Memphis" and digesting the contents and his assessment of the train wreck that "will happen," his predictions were right on target. The style of play, the number of 3-point shots attempted in each game and the lack of fundamentals are leading to our demise.
I know I don't need to be echoing all the dos and don'ts, but my Memphis basketball spirit has been amputated! Please offer me some type of prosthetic for what is left of the season. My TV will be turned off and my seat will be the empty one near the top.
After reading the letter from Gary Busby (Dec. 8), I realized why so many people dislike UT both in the SEC and outside of it. If he represents the average UT fan, they are classless when they win, classless when they lose. He called the Tiger players thugs over and over but must have a short memory in that two UT players got technicals. Or just how many UT athletes have been involved in (off-the-field incidents). As the old saying goes, be careful about throwing stones if you live in a glass house.
Olive Branch, Mississippi
First off, both Tennessee and Memphis have excellent basketball programs; secondly I don't think that coach Cal has disrespected Tennessee's program in any way.
He never said he didn't want to play Tennessee because they are not a national program, he simply said that he would prefer to play a more national schedule which means outside of the state of Tennessee. Tennessee is a SEC school, so they have the luxury of playing a tough conference schedule as well as a challenging non-conference schedule. Memphis, on the other hand, plays in Conference USA, and with the exception of Houston and UAB, the conference is pretty weak. This is the reason why coach Cal needs to continue scheduling more non-conference games against other national programs, "outside of the state of Tennessee" so that his Tigers can face teams from other big conferences besides the SEC. It helps Memphis draw a higher seed in the NCAA tournament when they can play and be competitive against teams like Duke, UCLA, Texas, Gonzaga, Arizona, and Georgia Tech.
It sounds like poor little "Tiger High" has gotten under the skin of the "Big Orange Nation." I find it particularly humorous just for the mere fact Tennessee has every advantage possible in all levels of athletics; facilities, scholarship fund donations, the SEC, etc. For a particular respondent to label the athletes at the UofM "thugs" is hysterical by the numbers of off-the-field issues Tennessee has dealt with all the way back from Tony Robinson to the present. I commend Bruce Pearl on a great PR job of fueling this rivalry. I am and have been for many years a contributor to Tiger athletics. Tennessee and Memphis should play in every sport. It is good for the entire state and its fans. In defense of Calipari, he is a great PR man himself. He realizes the position of Tennessee. They are a national school. They are in the SEC. They are on national television in football, basketball and women's basketball weekly. John does not have that advantage. He works tirelessly to grow a program that doesn't have all of the "advantages". Let's face it, Memphis needs the recognition and appreciate the fact that Tennessee fans will help us in our recruiting efforts nationally through their banterings. I am married to a UT grad and support the Vols in athletics except when they play the Tigers. This is a rarity among the Tiger faithful.
The Woodlands, Texas
It's a shame that a great performance by a great athlete gets turned into garbage talk by Tennessee fans and Memphis "miserables."
The story of the game Wednesday night was Chris Lofton and his clinic on shooting. Simply put, he was amazing.
And I am a Tiger fan. Yes, I'm disappointed in losing the game. Yes, I'm disappointed in our poor shooting. But we lost the game because of Chris Lofton. It has nothing to do with us being "thugs" or Memphis showing some kind of disrespect.
Chris Lofton had a great performance. He is a special player. Don't let that be overshadowed by petty name calling and hypocritical insults.
I'm tired of hearing Cal and his players say that playing the Vols is "just another game." Tiger players and fans from all generations know that playing the Vols is something that should happen every year, and defeating them should be a priority. Cal needs to show some respect to the Vols, and respect for the history of the rivalry. By de-emphasizing the game, Cal's attitude rubs off on the players.
Tennessee wins one game against Memphis and acts like they are national champions. Ever hear of the phrase, "even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in awhile?" If Memphis played Tennessee 10 more times this season, we would beat them all 10 times.
I am a proud graduate of the UofM (MSU when I was there) and it's always refreshing to see just how important a victory over the Tigers means to the "big" schools such as UT. If their basketball program is so much better than Memphis', why such the beating on the chest after Wednesday's win? It's because our program is more storied than UT's. Just like their football program is hall of fame material and ours isn't.
Citrus Heights, Calif.