Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let the games begin!

There here! And it starts this coming Monday!!!!!

This is the third year that we've had season tickets for the UT men's basketball games. Coincidentally, it's the third year that Bruce Pearl has been the coach and will hopefully be the third year that the team is competing for another SEC title!

It's been a fun evolution. Just over three years ago, the basketball team only sold about 30% of the seats and were lucky to finish someplace other than "last" in the SEC. We would go to a couple of games (usually the Kentucky game) and there would be more UK fans than UT fans. The program was in sad shape to say the least - and the revolving coach door was still swinging in one bad coach after another...

Then they hired some coach named Bruce Pearl. The Leengrams knew he was a fantastic coach because of the USI - Kentucky Wesleyan rivalry. But around here, nobody had heard of him and everybody was complaining about hiring another "no-name" coach.

Then he won. And won again. And again. And again and again and again. Now they call him "Bruce Almighty". Heh heh. I love it when I'm right!

And the fans have changed too. I never realized that the signal for a "false start" in football was the same as the signal for "traveling" in basketball until three years ago. We were at a game and a guy in front of us leaned over to his buddy and said "why do they keep calling a false start on that guy?" The other guy responds "I don't know. But they called a foul on that same guy a minute ago and he only pushed the dude a little bit." Wow.

After two short years - Bruce already has an SEC championship, sells out the arena every game, has converted MANY football fans (the football team is currently in last place in the SEC...), and WE get to go to all of the games!

Now - I need to clarify. This is MENS basketball. The WOMENS team is a completely different story. Pat Summit doesn't have enough fingers to wear all of her NATIONAL championship rings. The floor is named after her (yes - Bruce and his team play on the "Summit"). There fans are insanely dedicated and knowledgeable (yes - they know what travelling is!). Oh - and Pat Summit is the winningest basketball coach on the planet. I don't care if you coach little league or the NBA - you haven't won more games than Pat Summit. And if she gets 17 more wins that will put her at an even 1,000 for her career (which has been 100% at Tennessee!).

So - if you plan on coming to visit us between now and the end of March, you may want to call ahead. There's a chance we may be on campus watching some roundball...

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