Tennessee Will Beat Alabama If……

On normal Fridays I post a poem here. This is not a normal Friday.  This is the Friday before the Tennessee-Alabama football game.

My father is a University of Tennessee Volunteers fan and he raised me to be one as well. This means that we spent every game-day Saturday of every Fall either watching or listening to Tennessee football games.  It also means that he taught me to love the color orange and to have a hearty dislike for Alabama. This dislike was not aimed at the whole state, just the university.

This was fine until….I married a woman from L.A. That’s right–Kristy is from Lower Alabama. Montgomery to be exact.

I knew a lot of jokes about Alabama; Kristy wasn’t fond of them. I talked about how silly it was for Alabama’s mascot to be an elephant; Kristy wasn’t amused. I enjoyed cheering for any team who played Alabama; Kristy wasn’t pleased.

Through the years, I have softened a little in my dislike for The Crimson Tide. Until they play the Vols.

So, what do I think about the game tomorrow?

Tennessee lost their 2 best defensive players before the season and their 2 best offensive players over the past few weeks. They are young and devoid of depth at pretty much every position. They have a head coach (Derek Dooley) who is hilarious, yet largely unproven. 

Alabama is ranked #2 in the country, should be ranked #1, and is my pick to win the National Championship. They have All-American caliber players at pretty much every position and All-American caliber players backing them up. They have a running back (Trent Richardson) who makes defenses look silly on a consistent basis, a defense that is as ferocious as any I have ever seen, and a coach (Nick Saban) who is arguably the best college football coach of the past decade.

Even with all that being said, I believe that Tennessee will beat Alabama tomorrow if…

1. Nick Saban turns into Nick Nolte. Or Nick Jonas. Or Nick Faldo. Or Nicholas Cage. Or Nick Patel (a guy I knew back in high school). Or any other guy named Nick. But if Nick Saban remains Nick Saban it doesn’t look good for the Vols.

2. The Alabama football teams eats at Golden Corral before the game. Every time I eat at Golden Corral I get sick and I assume everyone else does, too. So if The Tide eats there before the game they will be too busy running to the bathroom to run over, around, and through the Vols.

3. Saturday is opposite day. This happens in cartoons sometimes, so why not in real life.

4. An Alabama defensive player hits one of Tennessee’s players so hard that it causes the stadium to implode. If this happens, I bet Tennessee would win by forfeit.

None of these things are likely to happen, but I will still be pulling for Tennessee to win.

But what if they don’t? What if they get beat worse than they have ever been beaten? What if the loss is so traumatic that their confidence is crushed and they lose every game the rest of the season? What if Tennessee never wins another football game–EVER?

I will still have joy.

My joy is not dependent upon what a group of 18-22 year old guys do on Saturday afternoons, it is based upon what Jesus did one Friday by paying the price for my sin and one Sunday by rising from the dead.

I am a fan of Tennessee Football, but a follower of Jesus. May I never confuse the two.

Which team is “your” team?
Have you ever let your joy be determined by a team or a game?


39 thoughts on “Tennessee Will Beat Alabama If……

  1. Just last night, as I was playing Words With Friends with my wife, unbeknownst to me my son got out my iPad, launched the game, and made a lousy 2-point play (when I could’ve had a 50-point word). I was steamed. It was a great prank, but I had to ask my wife, son, & God to forgive me for getting so invested in the game.

    Is this what football is like for you? (My dad didn’t pass his love of sports onto me).

    Oh, “ROLL TIDE!” (Or is it “WAR EAGLE!”)?


    • I recommend not traveling to the Southeast for the next century or so, Chad. I’m pretty sure confusing “Roll Tide!” with “War Eagle!” is an offense that makes it perfectly legal to gun the perpetrator down in the street for both Alabama and Auburn alumni. They probably even get a cash reward and the keys to the city for doing it. :>

      • I would never, ever confuse Roll Tide with War Eagle. But in case you do I would plan to get completely away from the southeastern part of Alabama.
        Thanks Chad, yours truly, the seekingpastor’s mother-in-law. ROLL TIDE, ROLL.

        • Somewhere in my vicinity is a town that has both Clemson Tigers fans and South Carolina Gamecocks fans. So you see a lot of orange for Clemson fans and maroon for SC fans. Including vehicles. At Wal-Mart, I will occasionally smile at a person decked all in maroon and joke, “So you’re a Clemson fan, right?” Or vice versa if they’re in orange. Rarely fails to get a laugh. I’m not sure I’d risk the same in Alabama.

          P.S. Do they have a lot of orange pickup trucks in Volunteer country, Matt? I dare to guess Clemson, SC has one of the biggest concentrations of orange pickup trucks in the nation.

  2. I love reading your blog posts first thing on the morning when the house is still and quiet. Today’s post really made me stop and think about a few things. A little directional correction is a good thing sometimes. Thank you!

  3. I don’t really have a team in college football. The only college of which I am an alum had no football team, so it was a moot point. The Carolina Panthers are my home team on the national level, by virtue of regional obligation. Back in the Joe Montana days (when there were no Carolinas NFL teams), the 49ers were my team because of Montana, but I lost interest when Steve Young took over. I tended to pick my teams based on the quarterbacks, and Steve Young lacked the long bomb threat that made the Montana-Rice connection so exciting.

  4. I know I’m Probably going to get kicked out of Seeking Pastor for this…but…


    I don’t watch collage football…or football , or baseball or any sport ….

    go easy on me please…

  5. I don’t really have a college “team.” My college (Bible college) didn’t have a football team, unless you count the wanna-be jocks gathered at the neighborhood park to take out the frustrations on each other by tackling, shoving, and grunting. Growing up I loved the Cowboys. Now not so much. I’m into basketball, love the Spurs, but can’t really enjoy that now can I? So I guess my “team” would be whoever wins in any sport.

  6. My college team is Purdue. Our football team is so bad that we generally look forward to basketball season.

    Good tip on the elephant thing. I’ve never been to Alabama, but I doubt there are any elephants living in the wilderness there.

  7. Sorry, I don’t do college football, so I’m clueless.

    But I know what team I’m on. I’m on the team with the out of shape and broken cheerleaders. That’s OK. They get dope bodies afterwards!

  8. Hey, you have new digs! Me likey!

    I’m not much of a college football fan anymore but the leadership team that planted my church came from Alabama and all I hear is ROLL TIDE when it’s football season.

    I’m more of a pro football (TB Bucs!) guy and yes, I have lost my joy on many a Sunday afternoon.

  9. Well, here’s my $.02

    I am for anyone who plays against Alabama, excluding the Prince of Darkness, unless the Prince of Darkness is referring to the artist formerly known as Prince embracing his ethnicity.

    I was born and bred in Tennessee, but I don’t bleed orange. It’s more like Kentucky blue, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) gold, and a hint of tacky, can’t-wear-as-normal-clothing-without-looking-redneck Tennessee orange. When Kentucky plays UT, I could go either way, depending on the weather. Kentucky is my adopted home state (or should I say Commonwealth?). On the other hand, I’d give a tooth, a toe, the hope of permanent hair growth, $10, and my little girl’s piggy bank to see UT Chattanooga clobber UT Knoxville.

    There…I said it.

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