Wednesday, November 02, 2005

News From the Orange Bully Pulpit

Rick Clausen runs his California mouth:
"Don’t blame that man. Blame us. We’re the ones that go out and play, so blame us....I’m just (ticked) at the whole situation. I’m (ticked) at everybody. I’m (ticked) at myself...I feel like I let him down. His job and his wife’s livelihood and his daughters’ livelihood were basically in my hands. If I go out and don’t throw an interception, we probably beat South Carolina. If I don’t throw an interception against Georgia, we probably beat Georgia. "If we don’t fumble the ball two times inside the 10-yard line against Alabama, we probably beat Alabama and nobody’s talking about this right now. That’s the most upsetting thing. The players have done it. The players have basically forced Coach Sanders to resign.... The fans started pointing fingers, the media started pointing fingers and it’s so unfortunate it had to be Coach Sanders, but, hey, I guess that’s the person people around here like to pick on.... "Not only are you affecting him, but you’re affecting his family and affecting his kids. That’s not right. We’re supposed to be the Tennessee family, and you’re just going to kick him to the curb like that. That ain’t right. "This is a so-called family, so let’s act like a family."
Now, let me make it perfectly clear. Any insult towards Randy Sanders as a man, any abuse towards him as a person and a coach, any criticism having nothing to do with his handling of the Tennessee offense, is out of line. Anyone who would abuse the man and his family deserves to be set upon by a pack of rabid pit bulls. Randy Sanders was a man, a man's man, and a Big-Orange-bleed-orange-and-white man. Respect this man. Love this man. But do not, do not, make the mistake that it was NOT his coaching that produced players who can't play. But Rick Clausen needs to shut his mouth. It is obvious to everyone except him that he is an inept quarterback. He knows nothing about tradition here. He doesn't have to pay for tickets. He doesn't even have to pay to fly out to a game. He doesn't donate his hard-earned money (in the form of tickets, merchandise, and other avenues) to provide the uniforms he and other players wear. He needs to sit down and shut up. How dare he attack the most die-hard fans in college football. How dare he attack the most loyal fans in the South. How dare he deign to lecture us. No less than Phillip Fulmer himself declared us to be "Tennessee Loyal Volunteers." We have suffered enough, the players have suffered enough, and Coach Fulmer has suffered enough. The betterment of Tennessee football is the goal, not the glorification of a coach or player. Rick Clausen cannot graduate fast enough for me. It will be no big loss if we do not get his little brother into our stable.

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