‘Hold that line’

By Tom Mattingly For fans who listened to University of Tennessee football broadcasts on WROL/ WATE/WETE, 620 on every AM radio dial, during the 1950s, 1960s, and even into the 1970s, there was some great locally produced Saturday football programming. Examples include “The 50-Yardline” with Chuck Ketron and “Grandstand Quarterback” with ex-Vol quarterback Freddie Moses. […]

The Peyton Manning of his day

By Tom Mattingly Over the course of the University of Tennessee football program’s history, there are connections that aren’t readily apparent, but they make sense once you realize what they are and how they manifest themselves. These connections go back to the 1930s, to the horse-and-buggy days of Tennessee football, marked by the single-wing, leather […]

‘It’s Time’

‘It’s Time’

By Tom Mattingly The day was Tuesday, June 2, 1998, when a media release about a significant happening within the University of Tennessee Athletic Department was sent out, accomplished on something called a Fax Expander. “MEDIA CONFERENCE SET FOR WEDNESDAY: The University of Tennessee Athletic Department will hold a media conference in the Team Meeting […]

Riding the rails with the Vols

By Tom Mattingly When Tennessee played at Georgia on Nov. 4, 1972, many Vol fans rode to the game on a special Southern Railways train from Atlanta, disembarking near the stadium’s east end zone. Tennessee won, 14-0, and the trip back in the late afternoon and early evening was truly enjoyable. Those Georgians who lived […]

‘Roll the scores’

By Tom Mattingly In the late 1960s and into the 1970s, there was one collegiate game on the tube each weekend, several emanating from Knoxville. ABC had the broadcast rights, and whatever game they chose, that’s what the nation saw, with a few exceptions for so-called “regional” games. (For example, when Notre Dame and Michigan […]

Two games in one

By Tom Mattingly Bowl games are fickle creatures, almost two games in one. One team might dominate for a half, and after intermission the other team comes back and makes a game out of it. The 1966 Gator Bowl, No. 22 in the bowl’s history, was such an affair. It was Tennessee versus Syracuse in […]

‘That’s what’s wrong with the world today’

By Tom Mattingly For those of us who traveled with the Vols over the years, Friday nights on the road were open for most of us, with Saturday’s evening events being scripted nearly to the last minute. Except the game, of course. For me, one of the most interesting aspects of the trips was a […]

99-yard drives

By Tom Mattingly You could probably count the number of 99-yard touchdown drives in the history· of Tennessee football on one hand, but two of them came at Florida Field, in 1971 and 1977 (long before the days it was called the “Swamp” Ben Hill Griffin Stadium” or “Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin […]

‘A number of twists and turns’

By Tom Mattingly In 1926, as former Vol fullback Dr. Andy Kozar has written, Capt. Robert R. Neyland had to “lock his jaw” with Dean Nathan Washington Dougherty and take on the baseball and track coaches to get enough players to hold spring practice. “You hired me to coach football,” he told members of the […]

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