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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tiger Fans Response to Vols' Filth

Sounding off on Tigers vs. Vols
December 9, 2006

I'm happy that UT fans got to gloat over their team's victory over the Tigers, but is there really a reason to call the UofM players thugs? Was the name-calling letter writer watching the same game I was? Which "thug" was running his mouth during the game? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't two UT players get technicals for taunting? It seems the letter writer is more interested in epithets than reality, much like his hero, Dane Bradshaw.

Jeff Parker
Hernando, MS

To the Knoxville wannabees: If Memphis is so bad and has so many thugs, then why be here? And if Knoxville is so great, then go there. Otherwise just be quiet. ...

And what is funny is that someone said we (UofM) run our mouths on the floor, but what is even funnier if you watched the whole game UT had a player or two T'ed up for talking trash on the floor. So what does that make UT, the raging hillbillies???

Ralph Gabb
Germantown, TN

As much whining as Knoxville fans have been doing this week, I'd think they had lost the game. Since this winning thing is new to them, they're not sure how to enjoy it. Instead they're too worried about coach Cal.

As for thugs (Gary Busby's letter), UT knows all about this with former (Major Wingate, Ron Slay) and current (Duke Crews, JaJuan Smith) players that could be gang leaders. Don't forget those squeaky clean boys had two technical fouls the other night. Dane Bradshaw is probably the dirtiest player I've seen since Bill Laimbeer, so spare us any consideration of him as a model citizen. And I'm not even bringing up all of the arrests on the Vol football team.

Like it or not, Memphis is a national program and Knoxville is not. The game last year was one of the few Tiger games not on national TV. The only reason it was carried this year by ESPN is because of coach Cal. UT's roster has half their guys from in-state, and everyone else is from a border state. Their touted conference schedule is obviously all regional. They play one non-conference game out of state. The only exception was the preseason tournament, where they went to New York and went 0-2. They don't travel west of the Mississippi River. This is the description of a regional program. Coach Pearl has recognized coach Cal as a star he can latch on to in order to increase his own notoriety, so he's trash talking to generate controversy, and his simple-minded fans are believing it.

Knoxville won a game, enjoy it. But don't think their overall program is at Memphis' level. Why else would their coach make such a big deal over it?

Robert Peterson
Conway, SC

I read a Tennessee fan's comments regarding John Calipari and "our" Memphis Tigers. They were blatant lies that were subtly laced with racism. One person wrote, "They even allow them to continue to play after pitching fits, running their mouths on the basketball court or being arrested for all sorts of crimes."

First of all, the only person that pitches fits is Calipari and he's gotten better about that this season. Second of all, Joey (Dorsey) never opened his mouth to the Tennessee player, he looked at him too hard and his reputation got him a tech. Third of all, yes, some players have gotten arrested (last year with Kareem Cooper, 2 years ago with Jeremy Hunt), but those players were punished. Every major athletic team in the country has players that have made mistakes. You can not label an entire team as "thug" because of a couple arrests in the past two years.

I bet if you look at Tennessee's squad, you'll find a few misdemeanors and maybe even a felony or two. I know if you look at Tennessee's football team you'll find a squad laden with miscreants.

As for the Tennessee basketball players ... two were arrested for marijuana and crack (yes, CRACK) cocaine.

So next time you're thinking about calling the Tigers "thug" you might as well think up a more blatantly racist term ... because the Tiger ball players are no more "thug" than any other team's ball players. People who call them "thug" are just as racist as the announcers who exclaim (as if they were a broken record) that Memphis is full of "long, athletic players." Last time I checked, most people who play basketball are long and athletic.

Matt Cohen

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