Legends of the Tennessee Vols
Tennessee football is hundreds of victories, the giant stadium, passionate fans, sensational statistics, unforgettable plays, unbelievable stories--Jack Reynolds hacksawing his Jeep in half, Richmond Flowers racing a quarter-horse, Peyton Manning dropping his drawers. Tennessee football is the checkerboard end zone and the Pride of the Southland band and nicknames like Bad News and Wild Bull and Swamp Rat. It is that 1928 con job and the stunning triumph over Alabama. It is the series of miracles that produced the national championship of 1998. Tennessee football is long runs and long passes and long punts and 161 extra points in a row. It is a million memories of pancake blocks, knockout tackles, impossible interceptions, missed calls and fumbles lost and found. Tennessee football is fantastic comebacks and horrendous upsets and the wonderful, awful difference in winning and losing. What is Tennessee football? It's really the men who put on the pads, pull on the jersey and fasten the chin strap. Their names are carved in marble on the Tennessee wall of fame. The are unforgettable. A chosen few are bigger than life. They are the legends. It's easier to be a Tennessee legend if you could get your hands on the football--Johnny Majors, Hank Lauricella, Willie Gault. If you didn't run with it or throw it or catch it, next best thing was to chase it--Doug Atkins, Steve Kiner, Reggie White. The deck is stacked against offensive linemen. To qualify, they must be extra legendary. Generally speaking, legends, like good wine and cheese, need a little age. It is often said that the best football players get better and better at Tennessee, beginning about 10 years after eligibility expires. Thatsaid, three are in this book as young legends, so ordained without benefit of gray beards or rocking chairs. There hasn't been and may never be a more memorable quarterback than Peyton Manning. Al Wilson was the heart and soul of the national championship team of 1998. John Henderson was America's best defensive lineman in 2000. Three cheers for the legendary Volunteers, hip, hip, hooray...
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