Home | VolPics | VolNotes | VolTalk | VolPostings | VolCup | VolCam | VolStaff | VolLinks

Vol Articles
Click on the Article Below:
"Letter after Fulmer Firing"
"Decade of Dissappointment"
"VolPost Allstars"
"Letter after Fulmer Firing"
November 3, 2008

Today, as one of Coach Fulmer’s former players, I want to express my feelings for him, his legacy and the program that he has built in his 17 years as the head coach at Tennessee. Admittedly, at times, I’ve questioned, blamed, loved and praised Coach Fulmer, but have never had anything but respect for the man who believed in me enough to give me the chance to represent the Vols in Neyland Stadium every Saturday in the fall for 4 great years.

On a day that we all knew would one day come, Phillip Fulmer announced that he will no longer be the head football coach for the Vols. His announcement came as no surprise to many, myself included, but was still one of the most difficult and emotional conferences that I have ever seen or heard.

During the conference, I sat in disbelief, disbelief that I was watching the 3rd winningest active coach in college football; announce his (forced) resignation. In the few hours that have passed since the conference, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my career at Tennessee and the great memories I have and the friends I made as a Vol.

As an 18 year old boy in 2001, I stepped foot on the campus of Tennessee and attended my first football practice shortly after. I will never forget how much faith and trust Coach Fulmer placed in his players and how it made all the difference for me in my career and probably many others as well.

Has the Tennessee football program taken a step back from the dynasty teams of the 90’s, yes. Has the level of talent at Tennessee declined since the days of Peyton Manning, probably. However, I don’t believe that this has all happened simply because Phillip Fulmer has become complacent. He is anything but that. In the time I was there, he was the first one there in the mornings and the last to leave in the evenings. He brought confidence, intensity, passion, desire, and love to work with him everyday and I consider myself blessed to have played under such an amazing coach, and I pray that the new coach brings the same characteristics as Phillip Fulmer.

Maybe there did need to be a change made, but judging by Fulmer’s history and success, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have rited the ship and brought the program back to its winning tradition if given the chance. Unfortunately, in the Southeastern Conference and the money that each program provides their coaches, two losing seasons in four years can prove costly.

In closing, my heart hurts for Coach Fulmer and the staff that has just 3 more guaranteed games together. I have seen first hand the amount of time away from family these guys spend, and the dedication that they have. Dedication not just to winning football games, but dedication to molding young boys into young men, and preparing them for circumstances and situations that they will face off the field of play and later in life.

Phillip Fulmer’s legacy will forever be a measuring stick for SEC coaches and certainly for future Tennessee coaches, but the integrity in which he went about his job is irreplaceable. For 17 years, not only has Tennessee won championships, both SEC and National, but they have won games by the rules and with class. Coach Fulmer taught us that we were playing for a cause and a team much larger than the group of teammates who sat in the locker room. He taught us that we represented the whole state of Tennessee, from young children who pretend to be Vols in their backyard, to elderly men and women in nursing homes that look forward to seeing that Orange and White on Saturday, he taught us to play for them, and we may not have always won, but we always tried to represent that “T” on our helmets.

I can’t think of another coach that I would have rather played for than Phillip Fulmer and I consider myself blessed to have been one of his players. Let’s rally behind Coach for 3 more weeks and bring the noise in Neyland to a level higher than it’s ever been. Let’s win 3 very winnable games and go to a bowl game, maybe in Nashville, and let’s send Coach Fulmer out on a note that he deserves.

God Bless our Vols and God Bless Coach Fulmer.

- Adam Miles
Long-Snapper '02-'05

"Decade of Dissappointment"
September 22, 2008

Some say it takes time to heal a wound, while others say it doesn’t hurt as bad after a while. In Tennessee one thing is for sure, the Vols and their fans are hurting badly and the pain seems to be getting worse.

In the few days that have followed the discouraging Florida beat-down, Vol fans have been a whirlwind of emotions. From fighting mad to crying sad, this year it seems to be not so “great to be a Tennessee Volunteer.”

Personally, I’ve had time to reflect on the game as a whole and the two directions that this program could possibly head, and the more I’ve pondered, the more discouraged I’ve become. I’ll be the first to say, there are some things that need to change and probably will, but what’s more discouraging than anything is the way and manner in which Tennessee has fallen from national contender to perennial pretender, and the relatively short time its taken to do so. I'll refer to this period as “The Decade of Disappointment.”

For years, we as Vol fans have been accustomed to showing up on game day, filing into the largest stadium in the South, intimidating opponents into early submission, and rubbing it in everyone’s face. The game plan was simple: overwhelm, overpower, and overtake.

Aside from the Peyton Manning years, Tennessee has been a relatively simple power football team, wearing down opponents, playing good defense and going for the jugular late in the game…Vintage Phillip Fulmer football. A great strategy and a successful one, but you can only beat on a little brother so long, until one day they grow up and aren’t afraid anymore.

Unfortunately, little brother has grown up faster than we would have liked.

No longer are the Georgia’s, Auburn’s, LSU’s, and especially Florida’s of the world, smaller, slower or less prepared than Tennessee. If anything, it is quite the opposite. Opponents have rapidly closed the talent gap between themselves and Tennessee, and have spent big money for big coaches with the expectations of big results. And they’ve gotten them.

Yes, Tennessee has played for 3 SEC championships in the past 7 seasons. Yes, Tennessee still has great players, many of whom will have great professional careers. And yes, Tennessee still recruits relatively well across the country and fields a team that can overwhelm, overpower and overtake opponents. The difference is, now other programs can all do the same thing too.

Is it coaching, maybe? Is it talent, who knows? Could be a little of both, but that’s not up for you and me to decide.

The days of putting on the uniform and showing up doesn’t win ballgames any longer, and never will again. The game has transformed so much in the past decade with other teams and programs elevating themselves to the national contender level, that those who get complacent will certainly get surpassed.

What we as fans need out of our Vols is a total game effort. Show up, play hard, don’t make stupid mistakes, take coaching, work hard, (insert other sports cliché), but most of all, we want something to cheer about. That sign that the team slaps before entering the field of play is not there for looks. It’s there as a reminder. A reminder of all that fans, coaches and players that have come before have done. It’s such a simple request that it often gets overlooked, but for a team and state hurting for a football identity in 2008, it seems to be a great place to start.

I Will Give My All For Tennessee Today!

"The AllStars"
October 26, 2007

Make no mistake about it ladies and gentleman, these guys are good. Amidst all the talking, cheering, cooking and drinking that we have come to know as “The Volpost” tailgate, a rivalry has been born.

The weekly competition we all come to see is the Tennessee football game, but for this elite group of men, the post game festivities are where the real action begins. Who are these men and what could possibly trump the Vols football game? They are the Volpost All-Stars, and their game is Flip-Cup.

From its inception, Flip-Cup has become a game where rivalries are born and alliances are built. The rules are very simple. Flip or be flipped. It has pounded many men into submission so deeply that they appear to have fallen off the face of the earth. Brantley Thames, the once legendary flip-cupper who posed as such a grizzly opponent has even fallen. But like all things that go away, new things appear and take their place.

By day, he is a fun loving mountain of a man who can usually be spotted with a camera around his neck, a beer in his hand, and a smile on his face. With a giggle that can be heard from miles away, his good humor and friendly personality is what makes Dan Stacey such a dangerous opponent. Once night falls, and the lights of the tent come on, with the slight turn of his cap, Dan Stacey becomes…… The 'Danimal'. Week in and week out the Danimal competes for the Flip-Cup championship. His aggressive flips have become envied, and his uncanny ability to hold his beer is where legends are made.

The next of the great line of Flip-Cuppers is a gentleman who many came to know and love as the 3rd most accurate and high scoring field goal kicker Tennessee has ever had. He was #19 on the field, but always #1 in our hearts. Alex Walls has carried his accuracy and consistency over to the Flip-Cup arena, and has elevated his game to a level many can only hope to achieve. Although he has not taken home the trophy as Flip-Cup champion yet, he has knocked off many of the previous champs and continues to do so on a weekly basis.

Many would agree that this man needs no introduction, but just for spite, he has the best introduction in all of Flip-Cup. From the moment the music is cued, Jacob Oldham puts on a performance that is worthy of an Academy Award. His flamboyant dancing and taunting has intimidated opponents into submission and has left many feeling his power and influence days after the contest. His ability to not only talk the talk, but to also walk the walk has earned him the nickname of “The Reverend”.

The final piece of the “Flip-Cup Four” has burst onto the scene with a fury. In just seven tournaments, he has already collected 3 championships, and appears to be growing more confident each week. His bellowing voice and undeniable arrogance, combined with his excellent hand-mouth-table coordination has made him a Flip-Cup juggernaut that of late, has been unstoppable. He has coined the term “one timers”, due in part to his remarkable ability to only need one time to drink and flip successfully. He is the best of the best and if you don’t believe, just ask him. His name is Ryan-Mother fu#*ing, feather plucking, co#k sucking Duncan, and he is your reigning Flip-Cup champion.

The Volpost All-Stars always welcome competition with open arms, and are always willing to defend their title. If you want to be one, you have to beat one.

Tournaments are held weekly during the post game tailgate festivities behind The Mellow Mushroom. If you are interested in joining, please contact vols@volpost.com for more details.

Contact the VolPost: vols@VolPost.com