It should come as no shock to anyone who visits this blog that I love UT and UT athletics. Living in Nashville, surrounded by a lot of Vanderbilt fans, I've tried my best to be a good sport. I smiled and took the ribbing and mocking when Vanderbilt finally got over the hump and beat the Vols in football this year. I've kept my (at least in my mind) witty comeback that Vandy should enjoy it since the pattern since the 22 years are going to be brutal. But I've taken the high road...and it's been hard to do.
Especially now that it's basketball season.
Listening to sports call in shows and reading some of the coach's comments after games vs UT just irritates me. I was annoyed after the men's team won and I'm a bit more annoyed now.
In case you missed it, the Lady Commodores travelled to Knoxville yesterday to play the Lady Vols. The Lady Vols won by three, overcoming a big deficit with some solid defense and a will to win down the stretch. (Actually I think it was more a fear of Pat Summitt's wrath (it makes Khan's wrath look like a mild misunderstanding) than anything else). The Lady Vols rallied and won the game. And it didn't take long for Vanderbilt to start crying foul--as in the disparity of free-throw shots take by each team. Seems the Lady Vols got a ton more free throw shots and Vandy did. Which if you look at the pure stats on paper, it bears that out. But then you've got coach Melanie Balcolm whining in The Tennessean this morning that the final foul that Vandy committed that sealed the game just wasn't fair.
It just galls me how quick Vandy is to cry homecooking when Tennessee wins while completely ignoring that they get the same kind of homecooking at Memorial Gym. The thing is--a good team will use that as an excuse to why they didn't win. A great team will use overcome such a thing and still win the game.
Hence why the Lady Vols are a great team and the Lady Commodores are only good. And great beats good every time. The winning percentage heavily in favor of the Lady Vols bears that out. And until Vandy decides it's time to be great and stop relying on excuses, they'll only be a good team at best.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 2/13/2006 09:56:00 AM