Randy Smith: Mixing Alcohol With Idiots

Monday, October 18, 2021 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

What started out to be an amazing and unforgettable evening in Big Orange Country turned out to be very ugly. The ugliness reared its head as several hundred fans started throwing water bottles, mustard bottles, other assorted trash and even a golf ball onto the field at Neyland Stadium. All of that rage came about because of a few calls that did not go Tennessee's way in their 31-26 loss to thirteenth ranked Ole Miss. 

After trailing 24-12 at halftime, the Volunteers gave a tremendous effort in the second half and with just 54 seconds remaining in the game, the Vols had a chance for victory as they tried to convert a fourth down and 24 yards to go. Quarterback Hendon Hooker completed a pass to tight end Jacob Warren for a gain of what appeared to be 24 yards, which would have given the Vols a first down at the Ole Miss 41 yard line. The spot of the football was actually short of the line to gain, and after a review, the call on the field stood. That's when fans began pelting the field with the above mentioned items, causing a nearly 20 minute delay.

I don't blame Tennessee fans for being upset. The game was poorly officiated from the start. Even worse than the marking of the ball fiasco in the game's final moments was the Vols touchdown that was called back in the first quarter. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was apparently sacked and was stripped of the football. Tennessee's Tyler Baron scooped up the ball and returned it for a touchdown, but after reviewing the play, officials determined that Corral's forward progress was stopped before the fumble, thus there was no fumble and no Tennessee touchdown. That call was much worse than the other.

There were more than 102,000 fans in attendance but it only took a few hundred of them to ruin things for everyone. There are bad calls made by officials in every game, that's accepted. However, it's never okay to throw things onto the field. Not only did it endanger players, coaches and other folks on the sidelines but Tennessee cheerleaders and members of the Pride of the Southland Band were also escorted away from the dangerous situation.

I'm not sure if it's possible but a few of these idiots should be identified and banned for life from attending Tennessee football games. The SEC should step up and force each and every school to take measures to keep things like this from happening again.

And getting back to the golf ball that was thrown at Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin. Whoever threw it was probably planning to throw it all along. Why would you carry golf balls to a college football game anyway.....unless you were planning to throw them at someone? 

There are idiots in every fan base and Tennessee may have more than their share. And when you mix those idiots with alcohol in a highly emotional setting, the end result is just what happened on Saturday. That kind of behavior should never be tolerated.  

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


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