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How the Akron game ruined my romantic getaway

It took a while, but the Vols finally managed to put Akron on its ass.

So, after much deliberation, my wife and I finally came up with the only plan that seemed worthy of the Vols’ matchup against Akron.

We left town.

Yep. We went to Townsend for a little mountain-getaway action, but rest assured, I had our game day all mapped. First, we’d sleep in. Then, after an artery-clogging breakfast, we’d bust a move over to Brushy Mountain (hint — not the penitentiary), hike to the top, then back down, before hightailing it back in time for the game.

I’d watch it till halftime, then join my wife for a nice, long soak in the hot tub, as by then the Vols would have such a commanding lead that it’d no longer be a contest. I mean, hell, we were 35-point favorites and say what you want about Dooley’s Vols, but they do tend to make quick work of their lessor opponents. Typically, at least. (I’m looking at you Kentucky.)

Anyway, everything went according to plan which meant we got back to the cabin at 7:15, leaving me just enough time to ponder my pre-game question. Why are they called the Zips? Then Terry Bowden took the field and it became so clear.

Someone needs to ZIP that guy to a hospital, right? Dude is ROUND.

Actually, at first I didn’t even recognize him. I was all What the fuck is that giant blueberry doing wearing a headset? So I texted one of my buddies who was at the game to ask him and he came back with That’s not a giant blueberry wearing a headset. It’s Violet from Willy Wonka. I guess she’s on their staff or something. 

Anyway, like everyone else, I was stunned as I watched the game unfold. I couldn’t believe the pick six or the 70-yard TD run. And I couldn’t believe the prolonged drives the Zips were able to execute between those two quick-strike scores.

It was that state of disbelief in which I sat alongside my wife who’d been assured that the game “would not be a factor” as it pertained to us hanging out. So she’s just sitting there, in her robe and all ready for the hot tub, cocktailing, flipping through some Paula Deen mag — waiting, I suppose, for the blowout to commence — when she starts in on the small talk.

“I see you’re about to get head lice.”

“What?”

“I see you’re about to get head lice,” she said, over-emphasising and over-annunciating the head-lice part, this despite the fact she knew damn well I’d heard her just fine, and only asked What? because I didn’t know what she was talking about.

It’s her little schtick, you see. But I’m a good husband. So I played along.

“Why am I about to get head lice?”

“Because you’re letting your head touch that nasty-ass sofa cushion. You don’t know whose greasy head’s been resting against that thing.”

My wife. The germ snob.

“Just when I thought I couldn’t enjoy the game any less.”

“Happy to help, honey,” she said, patting my knee. “And by the way, I thought you said this game would be a blowout?”

“It will be. Just give it time.”

Which was when she decided to call and check on the kids. Fifteen minutes later, she was back, but the Vols still hadn’t pulled away as predicted, up only 20-16 deep into the second quarter. At least they were on the move, though.

“So,” she said, retaking her seat “aren’t you going to ask how the kids are?”

“How are the kids?”

“They’re fine. Alice took them to get danishes, but, of course, our kids don’t like danishes.”

Bray to Hunter for 15 yards. First down.

“They don’t?”

“Hello? Where’ve you been? Of course they don’t like danishes. So they just ate cookies.”

Rajion for 16 yards. First down at the Akron 38.

“So why don’t they like danishes?” I asked, pretending to care.

“Because they suck, that’s why.”

Tyler to Marlin for 15 yards, bringing up a critical fourth and one. Timeout Akron.

I was legitimately confused about the danish situation. Though, in my defense, the sophisticated brand of multi-tasking required when you’re (a) watching the Vols play like shit while (b) debating danishes has been known to cause confusion.

Regardless, something about it wasn’t adding up, but whatever it was would have to wait till after the next play.

A.J. gets stuffed on fourth down. Zips’ ball.

Confusion takes a backseat to dejection, though I decided to focus on the danish debacle so as to temporarily block out the televised train wreck I was witnessing, which is precisely when I began to wonder if I actually knew what a danish was. Because whatever I’ve been calling a danish all these years? Pretty tasty. Hence my question: “What’s a danish, anyway?”

“What’s a danish?” Again with the over-emphasizing / over-annunciating.

“That’s right.”

“I can’t believe you don’t know what a danish is. A danish is something that sucks.”

Quentin Hines untouched for 70 yards. Touchdown.

“FUCK!!!!”

“What’s wrong?” she said, the pastry banter obviously hindering her ability to follow the game. Or maybe it was the overriding head-lice concerns.

“Akron just scored.”

“Who’s winning?”

Extra point good.

“Akron, 23-20.”

“Wow. You know, Tennessee’s kinda like a danish,” she said. “Do you know why?”

I did and she knew that I did, but that still couldn’t stop the woman from delivering her carefully crafted punchline.

“Because the Vols suck, honey.” With that, she rose and sauntered toward the deck in the robe that was unable to conceal the loveliness of her shape. “You stay here if you like, and cheer on the big orange danish, but I’m getting in the hot tub.”

And suddenly I was left to contend with the pile of shit that was the Tennessee-Akron game all by my lonesome.

Oh, sure. We gained control midway through the fourth. But by then, my wife was toes up in the bed. So I watched the end of the game vacillating between relief that we’d held on and anger that the Zips had fucked up my romantic getaway.

Some thoughts on the game:

We gotta stop giving up big-ass plays on defense. Period.

Justin spends half his time making great plays and the other half lobbying for non-existent pass interference calls. Note to #11 — just because you didn’t catch it doesn’t necessarily mean there was PI.

If Byron Moore doesn’t make that goal-line pick on the Zips’ opening drive of the second half, I’m not so sure the Vols win. Another big game for number 3. He’s clearly the man to assume Brian Randolph’s leadership role in the secondary.

A.J. Johnson’s a damn beast, as well as the heart and soul of this team. At least that’s what it looks like to me. Eleven tackles and a key touchdown to immediately counter the pick six. I love the way that kid plays.

Rajion has run better and better each game. I know it’s just Akron, but still, he ran well against Florida, too, and if we have any chance of pulling the upset in Athens, #20 has to have a big game.

Props to Brodus. No, he didn’t drill some 44-yarder, or anything of the like, yet he was perfect for the night, nailing field goals of 37, 23, 22 and 28 yards as well as all five of his PATs.

And how about #8? Proud of him for shaking off a bad start and throwing for over 400 yards and four TDs. Prouder, still, of that chin-neck-beard thing he’s sporting. He comes with that look every now and again, you know, and who can blame him? I call it the Andrew Luck.

By the way, have you ever noticed that Andrew Luck kinda gargles when he speaks? It’s almost like he needs one of those slobber-sucker-outters that your dentist uses.

Anyway, before the game, CSS showed a clip of Tyler on the Vol walk and it hit me like a ton of bricks. That dude’s a dead ringer for Liam Gallagher of Oasis fame. (Or is it Noel? I always confuse those blokes…) And with the chin-neck-beard thing going on? Well, I’m no math major, but I’m pretty sure it renders the following mathematically sound:

And after all. He's my wonderwall. (Even with the chin-neck-beard thing.)

Okay, then — time to gear up for the Bulldogs. Remember — we’ve been known to upset Georgia in recent years. One thing’s for sure. If we somehow do that on Saturday, we’ll have to show up for all four quarters — something we’ve not done all year.

GO VOLS!

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