Wingate, Snakes, and the First Battle of Bull Run

John Pennington is on an absolute roll. He has thoughts on the Pearl Factor (head coach Bruce Pearl’s being “good for business, good for basketball, good for a quote, good for rivalries and good for ratings,” is 75% of the reason the Vols got a No. 2 seed), the double-edged sword aspect of the high seed, the Vols’ potential matchups, and an invitation to readers to publish their picks by comment.

Pennington’s best bit of the day concerns center Major Wingate’s statement upon hearing that the Vols were a No. 2 seed that “[w]e have some pretty rough teams after we get to the Sweet 16.” I’ll let John take it from here:

Ever notice how often the biggest talkers are the worst producers? I’m not the coach at UT, and if I were they’d be about 0-28 right now, but I can tell you how I’d handle this situation.

“Watch 3 straight hours of Winthrop tape. Then run for an hour. Then watch another 2 hours of Winthrop tape. Then we’re going to throw 500 passes to you in the paint to make sure you can catch the ball. If you say one more word to the press, you’ll get 500 more passes. Say another word, and I’ll feed you to your snakes.”

Agreed. I had the same thoughts when I read Wingate’s comment. It was part of the reason for yesterday’s cautionary post. The feeling grew today when I read that UT is giving the team a send off to the tourney.

It reminds me of a Civil War educational video I just previewed before showing it to my home-schooled nine-year-old. The Union was so confident of a quick victory over the Confederates in what came to be known as the First Battle of Bull Run, that spectators actually showed up with picnic baskets. When the Union army was driven back by an underestimated adversary, the hoop skirts and parasols left their fried chicken to the ants and fled in absolute panic.

By all means, let’s enjoy this. But make the mistake of thinking it’s going to be a picnic, and we’ll be headed home in a hurry.

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