Vols Complete Cinderella Season with Win over Indiana in TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee Football has done it, once again. They started off the season with a 1-4 record, but then, the ship was righted and the Vols went 7-1 in their last eight games.

Many people had counted Coach Pruitt and his boys from Rocky Top out. Nobody thought they had what it took to make a bowl game early on.

There was a point in time where Jeremy had to do something and do something fast because his seat was getting warmer and warmer each week and the media was calling for his head.

But on Thursday, January 2, 2020, those critics and the same media that were calling for Pruitt’s head was silenced.

Everybody’s jaws were on the floor, they couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Volunteers were down 22-9.

But they never gave up, scoring 14 points in just 30 seconds to take a 23-22 lead over the Indiana Hoosiers from the Big Ten Conference.

None of that would’ve been possible had Pruitt not rolled the dice and come up successful on an onside kick attempt.

When media asked him what made him make that decision at that point in time, Pruitt stated “Well, we were down a score.”

Needless to say, he took a risk, knowing what was at stake and it paid off.

Believe it or not, Tennessee is 2020 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Champions.

Whether you like it or not, you have to respect Tennessee for the Cinderella season that was 2019.

Picture: Tennessee Football Twitter.

Don’t Let 2019 Affect Your 2020

Often times, we find ourselves letting the previous year’s mistakes shape the next 365 days of our lives.

We look back on previous years regretting the times that we had an opportunity to do something, but we didn’t take advantage of those opportunities when they arose.

We may find ourselves thinking about the negative things that happened in the previous 365 days, most of which we could’ve avoided.

You may also may find yourself looking back on the “failures” of the year that has gone by and we often carry that into the new year with us.

The truth is, there is no such thing as failure, those times are called lessons and if we don’t learn to leave those failures in the past but take the lessons with us, then we will live a life full of regret.

Don’t let what’s gone affect the present. There are 365 days in a year, that’s 365 new days to better yourself from previous versions of what you were in the days gone by.

Live life without regrets and you will live a rich life. What you’ve done in the past doesn’t matter now. Nothing matters except for living the rest of your life without regret.

What’s in the past is there for a reason, live the next 365 days regret-free.

Don’t let 2019 have an affect on 2020.

Remembering Sports Broadcasters/Journalists Who Gained their Wings in 2019

2019 was a rough year to be a sports broadcaster and journalist, I can’t remember a more deadly year surrounding one industry.

Sure, there have been more deadly years in the past, but I can’t remember when they were.

Maybe it’s because I am still in shock at the amount of sports broadcasters and journalists whom were welcomed into heaven over the past 365 days.

2019 started out pretty smooth, and then on May 25, 2019, things took a turn for the worst when then-Auburn Baseball, Basketball, and Football Voice, Rod Bramblett, and his wife Paula were killed by a teenage driver who was under the influence at the time of the crash and topped out well over the speed limit.

Rod was just 53, while Paula was 52.

On December 24, 2019, ESPN’s Edward “Ed” Aschoff passed away after a brief battle with pneumonia at the young age of 34.

On December 28, 2019, Louisiana Sports Journalist, Carley McCord, the daughter-in-law of LSU OC, Steve Ensminger, was killed in a plane crash in Lafayette, Louisiana while on her way to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, to watch the Tigers in the College Football Playoffs Semifinals against Oklahoma.

McCord was just 30-years-old.

While 2019 was a trying year for sports journalists and broadcasters like myself, I hope 2020 takes it lighter on this industry too many people with bright futures in this industry were lost in 2019.

God Bless.

Pictures: Daily Mail, Saturday Tradition and The Wrap).

Shut up, Gary: SEC Reportedly Cutting CBS Ties After 2023 Season

We all have that one person that we just can’t stand to hear talk. We also have those people who just won’t shut up during sporting events.

CBS’ Gary Danielson is one of them, according to a report made public by Saturday Down South, the Southeastern Conference will part ways with Danielson and CBS after the 2023 season.

Believe it or not, it used to be worse than it has been recently. How? Well, when you put Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson together in a booth together and let them call games together, you’ll understand what I’m saying.

Thankfully, Lundquist retired on December 10, 2016 after the Army-Navy game. They replaced Verne with ESPN’s Brad Nessler, which I thought would be better than Gary and Verne, but all it did was make Gary talk even more.

Thankfully, the days of hearing Gary Danielson will come to an end soon.

Shut up, Gary! Picture: Saturday Down South.

If the Heisman Trophy was Awarded to the Most Courageous Player, Jalen Hurts Would Win by Unanimous Decision

Jalen Hurts, what a story, what a season, what a man. Some people still don’t understand why Jalen left Tuscaloosa, Alabama for Norman, Oklahoma.

He didn’t leave because of a coach, a teammate, or a circumstance, Jalen Hurts, the Oklahoma Sooners’ graduate- transfer-quarterback by way of the University of Alabama, who hails from Houston, Texas, left because he saw a better opportunity in Norman under Lincoln Riley’s direction.

Now, we all knew early on that LSU’s Joe Burrow, a transfer-quarterback by way of Ohio State University, was going to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.

But if the most-prestigious award in college football was awarded to the most-courageous player in college football, Jalen Hurts would’ve won by unanimous decision.

Why, you ask? Well, you see, when Tua Tagovailoa beat out Jalen Hurts for the starting quarterback position in 2017, Jalen could’ve decided to transfer.

When Nick Saban pulled him out of the national title game in favor of Tua in 2017, Jalen could’ve throw in the proverbial towel, but yet he decided to stay.

Not because of Coach Saban or himself, but for his teammates. To show them that even though life may not always go as you plan, you can weather the storm and be rewarded in the end.

As was the case, when Saban pulled an injured Tua Tagovailoa out in favor of Jalen Hurts to win the 2018 SEC Championship.

Jalen Hurts is man of inexplainable character and courage. If only the Heisman Trophy went to college football’s most courageous player.

Tennessee to Top Miraculous Turnaround Season with Trip to Gator Bowl to face Indiana

It’s no secret that Tennessee got off to a rough start to the season in 2019, but in their last seven games, the tables turned. The last seven games saw the Vols go an unforeseen 6-1.

On Sunday, it was announced that Tennessee (7-5) would be heading to Jacksonville, Florida’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s Volunteers will face the Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers, who will come into the January 2, 2020 bowl game at (8-4).

The 2019 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl will be the 75th anniversary of one of college football’s most-storied, prized bowls.

The meeting between Indiana and Tennessee in Jacksonville, Florida, will be just the second all-time meeting between the two programs, with the only previous meeting coming in the 1987 Peach Bowl on January 2, 1988, with Tennessee coming away victorious 27-22.

This bowl appearance will be Tennessee’s 53rd postseason appearance all-time, which is sixth in college football history.

The Volunteers have been to six previous Gator Bowls, with this being their seventh appearance.

Tennessee’s in the Gator Bowl is 4-2, with their most recent trip to Jacksonville coming in 2015, when the Volunteers toppled the Iowa Hawkeyes by a final score of 45-28.

Prior to that, Tennessee beat Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl in 1994, lost to Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl in 1973, lost to Florida in the Gator Bowl in 1969, beat Syracuse in the Gator Bowl in 1966, and beat Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl of 1957.

Can the Vols make it 5-2 all-time in the storied Gator Bowl?

Find out January 2, 2020 at 6pm CT on ESPN.

Picture: (UTSports.com)

No Limits: 22 Years of Defying Odds, Overcoming Adversity

It’s hard to believe that in eight short days at 1:50 p.m., I will turn 22-years-old. What’s even crazier is the fact that many doctors and nurses doubted me to live a day outside of a hospital.

They never thought I had what it took to live a normal life. You see, when I was six weeks old, I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but that’s not all that has come my way for 22 years.

Also early in life, I developed gangrene, had a stroke, and my small intestines ruptured. Nobody ever gave me a chance early on in life. Over the years, I’ve had numerous surgeries but none of that has slowed me down, or kept me from living my dream.

The only person that gave me a chance early on in life, when it looked like I was at the end of the road and everybody else was busy doubting me, was God.

He saw much greater things in me than I saw in myself at the time and gave me the strength and will to fight through it all and come out on top.

I could’ve given up, but I chose to keep fighting so that I could live to tell the story. One of my favorite quotes is from boxing great, Muhammed Ali, who said “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

You see, I was an underdog for most of my early life, People doubted me, they said I’d never be able to do things that I do on a daily basis, they said I’d never make it outside of a hospital, but yet I’ve made it 22 years and counting. It hasn’t been easy, but it has definitely been worth it.

When you feel like you have nothing left, keep going, never give up. When people say you can’t or won’t do something, look them straight in the eye and say “Watch me.”