I wanted to take some time before I wrote this. It’s so important to allow feelings and high emotions to set in before explaining them in writing. It took me a long time to learn that. With that said, I am done waiting. I am still over the moon about what happened on Saturday night in Knoxville. In one of the most exhilarating, heart-pounding Vol finishes of my life, #6 Tennessee beat #3 Alabama with a 40 yard field goal as time drained from 0:02 to 0:00. I watched this football game completely sober, the only thing in my body was Icelandic water and a shrimp poboy from the Sophisticated Hound. I quit drinking beer while watching Tennessee, as I can become very much out of control. Had to learn that one as well. Don’t drink and watch football games that you care way too much about. To be honest, I really can’t believe Tennessee is playing like this. We hired a nobody from UCF to take over one of the biggest dumpster fires in college football with a depleted roster that over 30+ REALLY talented players abandoned. Embarrassingly thin roster, a no-name head coaching hire that everyone was skeptical over, national laughing stock. “Let’s just try this thing again in 3 years.”
We smoked our victory cigars and I will be totally honest with you, they taste like shit. I couldn’t get that taste out of my mouth for nothing. Listerine, brushing my teeth three times, you name it. Nothing works.
Could I have been more wrong? The state of this Tennessee program is in such uncharted territory that I am having trouble trying to accept that it’s happening. I have waited so long for this moment. The last 16 years have been nothing but disappointment. Only 1-2 close bouts with Alabama, the rest blowouts. Constantly being told: “You guys are living in the past” and “The Fulmer days are over”. All I have ever known is mediocrity and heartbreak with Tennessee football. That kick you saw wobble like a wounded duck through the goal posts in Neyland Stadium on Saturday night? Yeah, I watched one get blocked by Mount Cody in 2009. You see, stuff that happened Saturday night doesn’t happen FOR Tennessee. Damn, am I glad it finally did.
I told several of my friends before and during the game that it was going to take an act of divine intervention in order to beat Alabama. I can’t tell you why I felt this way, but when Chase McGrath lined up to kick that football on Saturday night, I knew it was going to go in. That is 100% the truth. It was destiny. It was fate. It was our time. Many have asked me why I wasn’t in Knoxville for the game and my answer is simple: I’m a dumbass for not going. I didn’t have faith in my Big Orange to win the football game. Simple as it gets. That’s why I wasn’t there. I thought we would lose a heartbreaker. The Reichard kick would’ve been good and that would’ve been all she wrote. $600 gone and six bottles of Ultra to cry in on the way home. One of the biggest regrets that I have is not being there in Neyland Stadium on Saturday night. This is how I watched it end:
What ensued after this at the Wyrick house was pure disbelief. Jumping, screaming, laughing and oh yes, crying. We talked on the phone with our Vol family all over the country for hours. We didn’t sleep. We stayed up all night watching the highlights and just smiling. We smoked our victory cigars and I will be totally honest with you, they taste like shit. I couldn’t get that taste out of my mouth for nothing. Listerine, brushing my teeth three times, you name it. Nothing works. But I will smoke them every damn year if it means I get to feel the way I felt on Saturday night. We freaking did it. To my grandfather Bill Wyrick who played for the Vols in the 1930’s, my Uncle Boozy and Deacon, granduncle D, Wayne and so many others that have passed on from this earthly realm. That was all for you.
Now, I don’t know where the Vols can go from here. I fear that they will get complacent and comfortable with just beating Florida and Alabama. Deep down, I know they want more. They are ranked #3 in the country right now and I believe deserve to be #1. From starting this football season unranked, to all the way in the top 5 just blows me away. There is so much left to be done and the sky is the limit for this 2022 Tennessee Volunteers Football team. Heal up that defensive secondary, get Cedric Tillman back, and let’s freaking GO! Saturday was one of the best nights of my life. If that sounds pathetic, then you do not understand my love for Tennessee Football and you should get lost. Watching Neyland come unglued and the fans rush the field will forever send chills all over my body. Keep in mind, I am STILL riding this high.