Macon Volfan was the winner of this week's "Choose or Lose Challenge". As his prize, he gets to post anything he chooses on the blog. This is what he chose:
Posting comments on this blog has been quite fun since its inception last year. I tend to give the always irrelevant and sometimes edgy commentary of the liberal-arts educated University of Tennessee fan who reads this blog. (There's only 2 of us on here....) When I found out from Matt that I won the picks for this week, I was overrun with emotion. What was I going to blog about? How long would it be? Would people laugh, or would I do such a poor job that Matt decided to drop the promotion altogether? The major roadblock to this post was going to be the topic. And then, thanks to the buffoonery of UT basketball center Major Wingate, I had my fodder.
(not to be confused with Matt Winget) was the starting center of the University of Tennessee basketball team. At 6'10'', 250 lbs. he was a solid body in the post who is probably best know for being featured in CBS Sports "One Shining Moment" montage after the 2006 season, and for being out rebounded by Brandon Stockton in last year's UK game. He also provided countless opportunities for lame announcers to make jokes only I would find funny: "If Major keeps playing this well, he'll have to be promoted up to Captain." or something like that. Priceless.
Well today, the Wingate era ended at UT, as coach Bruce Pearl dismissed Major from the team for "a violation of team rules." Pearl commented, "we will continue to support him academically as he progresses towards earning his degree. This is one of the most difficult decisions that I've had to deal with but, it is the right thing to do."
Yes, Coach, this is the right thing to do. For too long the athletic department at the University of Tennessee (and many other institutions) have turned a blind eye towards athletes. See Coach Phil Fulmer as an example. Also see coach Phil Fulmer as an example of what can happen when you get tough (UT 35 -- # 9Cal 18).
Tubby Smith has had his 'problems' at UK for sure (as Greg Hoover tells us quite often). But one things UK fans (and fans of college basketball in general) can take comfort in is that he doesn't put up with dead weight on the team. (Overweight players are a different issue, and I'm sure Tom Gray will get us the waist sizes of Brandon Stockton and Patrick Sparks before too long.) You're blessed to have a coach who scares even me when he stares at a player during a timeout.
I've appreciated this opportunity to talk with you in the UK nation today. I look forward to doing it again next week