Creating a host of memories

Creating a host of memories

By Tom Mattingly Can it really have been more than 50 years since the 1970 Tennessee football team took the field under rookie head coach Bill Battle? Time marches on, and these “Boys of Fall” are now in their early 70s. But the passage of time cannot erase the memories of this group, a team […]

A number of interesting turns

By Tom Mattingly Life as we know it has taken a number of interesting turns. Venues such as the Orange Bowl in Miami, Crosley Field and Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the old Yankee Stadium and Comiskey Park, and Tiger Stadium in Detroit are now consigned to history. Only videotape and the power of […]

Living and dying with Tennessee football games

By Tom Mattingly Whenever he discussed his time as “Voice of the Vols,” 1952-67, broadcaster George Mooney always remembered the good times. In the spring of 1952, at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Gen. Robert R. Neyland had asked him to broadcast the Tennessee games. Mooney did not hesitate to accept. “There was one answer […]

In defense of ‘geezers’

By Tom Mattingly One of the joys of advancing geezerdom is having a storehouse of memories from seeing the great moments in University of Tennessee sports live, moments that younger fans today can only see on film, videotape, or any of the other advances in technology in today’s world. Today’s younger fans stare blankly when […]

Three Significant December Saturdays

By Tom Mattingly Rarely have three consecutive December Saturdays been as significant as Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18 were in 1965. The time was Doug Dickey’s second season as head coach. At age 33, Dickey had compiled an 8-1-2 1965 record following a fallow period between 1958 and 1964, 34 wins, 32 losses, […]

‘Quo Vadis?’

By Tom Mattingly That’s what the Latin scholars might say, a fancy way of asking, “Which way are you going?” With that in mind, have more big plays happened with the Vols moving to the north end or the south end of the field, wherever the game might be? For perspective, return to Dec. 2, […]

‘This one is special’

‘This one is special’

By Tom Mattingly Speaking of Thursday night University of Tennessee football games, Oct. 3, 1996, was a Thursday. No 9 Tennessee was in Memphis to play Ole Miss at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. It was a “home game” for Ole Miss and was beamed nationwide on ESPN. It’s hard to believe that game was 25 […]

‘The rocky road to glory’

‘The rocky road to glory’

By Tom Mattingly Sometimes sportswriters come up with an idea that makes sense years later. The year was 1926. It was a Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 6.  The baseball pennant races were in full swing.  The football season was set to begin on Sept. 25. A new coach was ready to take charge. That morning’s […]

Setting the standard

Setting the standard

  By Tom Mattingly When Tennessee and Arkansas squared off in the 1971 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, on Monday night, Dec. 20, the teams had not met in 64 years and shared little in common other than state borders defined by the Mississippi River. Tennessee and Arkansas had first met on the gridiron in 1907, […]

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