The Green Bay Packers have lost six of their last 12 games on Lambeau Field. Other teams are no longer afraid of the Frozen Tundra.
The college version of that tradition-altering story?
In the three football seasons since I came to The University of Tennessee, the Volunteers have dropped five games in Neyland Stadium.
By a combined score of 165-54.
That's 111 points.
An average deficit of 22.2.
I transferred to this football school in Knoxville from the basketball-happy Duke University.
When I was a kid, my Duke-alum Dad took me to all of the Blue Devils' home football games. I watched three 0-11 seasons within less than a 10-year span.
I watched Duke's home crowd in Wallace Wade Stadium sound about as intimidating as Big Bird.
Then Dad took me to the UT-LSU game in Knoxville in 2001. It was my first trip to the state of Tennessee.
It was the game that Kelly Washington racked up nearly 300 yards receiving.
I wanted to be a Tennessee Vol. So, in January 2002 I started classes at my new-found football powerhouse school.
Then in the third game of my first football season at UT, I watched the 30-13 home loss to Florida a.k.a. Casey Clausen's slippery-hands disaster.
Four games later, the Vols lost to their rival Alabama, 34-14, in that stadium by the Tennessee River.
Then two games after that - aka, homecoming - UT was slaughtered by Miami, 26-3.
In 2003, Tennessee lost momentum going into halftime at home against Georgia. Then the Vols lost, 41-14, after forgetting to show up for the second half.
Same goes for the UT students. Same goes for the Auburn game Saturday.
Last year on the road, the Vols were down 21 points to the Tigers in the fourth quarter and nearly came back.
This year at home, the Vols were down 21 points to the Tigers in the fourth quarter and at least 75 percent of UT students had lost hope and gone home.
But not me.
In Tennessee's five home losses since I've been here, I've stayed past the end of the game.
I've watched opposing fans temporarily turn Neyland into their home-away-from-home.
On my walk around the stadium on my way to the newsroom yesterday, I even had to pick up three orange-and-blue Auburn shakers and throw them in the dumpster. They were still lying on the ground two days after AU's 34-10 thrashing of the Vols.
Why should the sports editor have to take out the Tiger trash?
Don't any other students want to help clean up our beloved Neyland?
Do the Tennessee football players still have any pride for their home turf?
Do the opposing players still respect the traditions at Tennessee?
I'm not so sure.
Now, I can't help but to think about UT's slogan for this football season ... "All Roads Lead to Knoxville."
Well, the Vols return to the visitor-friendly Neyland Stadium Oct. 23 to play Alabama. If they lose and most of the so-called, orange-blooded student fans are again gone by the third quarter, I might have to look for the fastest route out of K-town.
Does Oklahoma have a good journalism school?
- Matt Giles is the sports editor of The Daily Beacon and a senior in journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neyland not much of threat
Published: Tue Oct 05, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 06:26 p.m.