A ‘novel’ idea: UT saga may be headed for best-seller list

I might be the only person in the University of Tennessee fan club who is enjoying this season.

I’m not into sports so I’ll have to speak in my native tongue - female cliché. I approach sports like a novel. I enjoy a good story, and this one is pretty good.

I never expected a happily-ever-after season. We are at the low point, but it is essential to the plot.

Just like a love-sick teenager after a break-up, we are recovering. I don’t think we are ever going to fall in love with our rebound guy, Coach Derek Dooley. However, his law degree is coming in handy as players are arrested and charged with “alleged” crimes. He is also cute.

In my opinion, we are getting exactly what we deserve. Our faithful, albeit imperfect, former main squeeze Phillip Fulmer was dumped. We traded him in for a younger model with the face of a Frat boy. I do love a good villain.

Our bad guy, USC Coach Lane Kiffin, doesn’t always win either. Plus, the word “sanctions” has become synonymous with “comfort.”

The plot thickened when our villain invited UT to play USC in the Chick-fil-A kickoff game this summer. I agreed with UT athletic director Mike Hamilton’s decision to decline. However, I wish he would have counter-challenged him to an ultimate fighting match with the Chick-fil-A cow. If we can arrange that, my money is on the cow.

For now, we’ll just have to settle for burning anything that connects him to us. I believe our day of reckoning will come.

Like every great epic, the UT football saga needs a hero. If Dooley knows what is good for him, he will recruit players with the promise of potential for greatness. There is a high school kid out there who could be our knight-in-shining orange, the kind of hero not seen since Peyton Manning.

I think every Tennessee-raised football star worth his salt should rise to the challenge. Although, for the sake of irony, it would be perfect if our next great hero hailed from Southern California.

Many UT fans enrich the story with comedy. Even after an epic win, they are irritable. Like PMS, they have what I like to call “NPS: Never Pleased Syndrome.”

There is such thing as seasonal depression, and I think that also applies to the football season. Instead of anti-depressants, these fans drown their sorrows in chips and dip.

Our story also has a twist. We’ve created an unexpected alliance with the Ducks. I attended the stormy Oregon-UT game at Neyland Stadium, and there were Duck fans with T-shirts that read, “We hate Lane Kiffin too.” Then, last weekend, the University of Oregon band played Rocky Top during the USC game. The Ducks are welcomed comrades in my book.

The UT football story now includes tragedy, an arch enemy, a search for love, an ally and guys in tight pants. Right now, we should all recognize that the chapter on the 2010 season has a predictable ending.

Just remember, the story began in 1891, and it will continue. Just enjoy it.

Sarah Herron is a 30-something blonde navigating marriage, motherhood and morals in Maryville. To contact Sarah or to share your story, visit her website: www.BlondeFaithHumorColumn.com. Her column, Blonde Faith, is published on the first Thursday of every month in Blount Today.

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