Everyone has that one team that despite their losing you still root for them. In my case, that team has become the Tennessee Volunteers football team. It seem like forever ago, but once a point of time the Vols were crushing the likes of Florida, Alabama and LSU on a regular. It was a given that Tennessee was the team to beat in the SEC. Phil Fulmer was looked at like a God in orange. Peyton Manning was throwing passes to Peerless Price and handing off to Jamal Lewis (Peyton was also robbed for the Heisman that year but thats another conversation). Tee Martin led the Vols to the national championship in 1999 and all was good in Vol ball land. Those were the good ol days in my memory of Tennessee football from the mid to late 90's. In the 2000's, Fulmer went from God to canned after a few lackluster seasons and some recruiting classes not panning out for him. That was all the ammunition new athletic director Mike Hamilton needed to pull the trigger and bring in of all coaches Lane Kiffin (His name in TN is like a curse word now). After all of one season filled with petty arguments with Urban Meyer, a few recruiting violations and ill conceived last minute press conference telling the big orange faithful that his dream job came calling, Lane and his dad went back to the west coast when USC couldn't find anybody else to take the job( See Reggie Bush and recruting violations) and left the program in shambles. I could go on all day speaking on how Lane Kiffin did this and that to the program but its not all his fault. Lane Kiffin did not hire Lane Kiffin even though I'm sure he is the type of egotistical person who would if he had the chance. Mike Hamilton went for the home run hire and ended up striking out. Now, after numerous shots at high profile coaches only to be turned down by numerous coaches, Derek Dooley from Louisiana Tech steps in to try to lead the Vols back to the glory days. He seems like a good fit but has a ways to go to fill out the roster to be able to compete in the SEC. That means a lot of losing and bad football in a state that is use to seeing their team win. As evidenced in the Oregon demolishing of UT 48-13, this is going to be a long season for us UT fans.
However with all that being said, I still love my Vols. We might get blown out by 40 but I bet you want go to Neyland Stadium and brag about it. I know one day we will rise up and beat the crap out of Florida again (God I hate that stupid Gator chomp hand thing they do) and Alabama. Hell it might be a long time but as the saying goes every dog has its day and going threw the bad times with your team makes you a better fan. Real fans stick with their team in the bad and good times, not jumping onto the hot team of the moment. I actually know a few guys who rooted for the Vols until Florida started taking off and now these same guys are wearing Florida jerseys. Those are not real fans just team groupies as I call them.
So what do you guys think? I know there are some Cub, Clippers (ok maybe not), Lions, Vandy fans out there that know what I mean. I love real fans, not the fair weather guys. If you are a real fan, share a story of your favorite loser team and tell me why you still root for that team.