Let me tell you about this guy Jon Gruden. Derp derp Jon Gruden derp derp. Dave Hart, derp, Jon Gruden and sources and stuff, derp.
That’s pretty much how this goes, right? This is what we expect from a Tennessee blog these days, isn’t it? I guess, as an avid Internet loiterer and full-fledged Tennessee football addict I should have a pretty good handle on this by now, but I’ve been clean for over three weeks now and I’m feeling pretty good.
There was an intervention.
Ryan, you need help. Your behavior, much like Tennessee’s defense, is self-destructive. Can’t you see this is killing you?
Then there were the withdrawals, with the cold sweat and the delusions of grandeur and whatnot. “Bob Stoops,” I whispered weakly through cracked lips.
The voices in my head actively questioned.
He wouldn’t want to come to Tennessee, and even if he did, he’s still that guy who gets paid five million bucks a year to get beat by a bunch of potato farmers in the Fiesta Bowl. They set the hooks deep in you, huh man?
To ease the pain, I weaned myself with less powerful, generic doses of Tennessee football called Tennessee basketball. Slowly but surely, with the help of live-streaming hoops from an empty Puerto Rican gymnasium (God bless the Internet), the cravings went away entirely. Without Tennessee football, my life felt purer.
I watched other football games without the misplaced notion that I was somehow participating. I got work done without F5ing my open Volquest tab every 5 minutes. Sunrises could just be sunrises again, whereas before, sunrises were just a sign that I had been up all night reading juicy recruiting rumors again, living life one proverbial hotshot of Tennessee football at a time.
But getting clean was the easy part. I’ve done it a dozen times, and that’s just since 2007. Staying clean, as they say, is the hard part.
I still run into a few of those familiar avatars, Internet vagrants who I once called my friends. Sometimes real people even. The enablers.
Hey, you should totally watch the Kentucky game. It’s barely even real football, so it’s not like it means anything.
My cousin says he knows a place where we can get the 1998 highlight tape on DVD.
I’ve seen that DVD. I wasn’t even a fan in 1998 and it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Hell, in 2007 I took the biggest hit of Tennessee football in my life from the corner of Ben Hill Griffin stadium when Eric Berry pick sixed the Gators and made it a one score game. Tim Tebow was left writhing on the turf. Ankles… broken. That enormous heart we always hear about… broken. Florida fans’ spirits… broken. I felt like a leviathan. Then came the crash: 31 unanswered points by Florida.
Seems like there’s ten crashes for every “Eric Berry pick six” moment these days.
I’m not a dick. I still smile and wave when I see my old Internet friends. I even stop and chit chat for a minute or two before subtly clicking the “Turn Off Chat” button.
Really? Jon Gruden, huh? Your roommate’s girlfriend who works in the athletic department actually said that? That’d be pretty awesome. I’ve got real live people coming over and other human things to do. Talk to ya soon.
And don’t get me wrong, it would be pretty awesome, but I remember those days – strung out on Tennessee football, just saying whatever comes to mind.
I don’t care what Al Davis has to say about Lane Kiffin, that dude can recruit.
They’re only secondary violations. I really don’t care, that dude can recruit.
There’s no reason they can’t win eight games with that schedule.
So pardon me when I don’t buy into that message board post from that guy everyone trusts or that tweet from that crazy radio guy that is right just often enough to make everyone actually wonder. I can’t let myself be a part of that. There’s too much heartache down that road.
But that’s easy to say right now. Then something actually happens, and I fold faster than a Vegas housing development.
30 seconds after they announce whoever the next head football coach is for the University of Tennessee, I’ll probably be watching some sketchy WBIR live-stream through orange dilated pupils.
That’s why they call it an addiction.