The path to recovery is never an easy journey.
To help fight my Sernaphobia - which I've had since the Oregon State kicker missed three extra points against LSU - my psychiatrist suggested that I begin watching more than just college football, the NFL and Sportscenter. Dr. Crane told me that the best thing for me to do would be to start taking in sporting events that ordinarily I would never consider attending, and see if it would lessen my extra-point-anxiety disorder.
Well, I have to tell you, it has worked like a charm.
Saturday night in Neyland, I watched all - well, "all" did amount to only one - of James Wilhoit's extra points without passing out.
My healing process was coming along nicely, but with it came a new problem.
Hi, my name is Austin. I'm a Lady Vol-aholic.
I have hidden behind this steely, masculine exterior long enough. It's time that I came clean about my female-sports addiction.
It all started off innocently enough.
I used to just get a little buzz going, but as my infatuation with Lady Vol volleyball increased, my cravings for volleyball did likewise. It didn't take long before I was listening to broadcasts of UT road games on the internet.
But, alas, my debilitation spread outside the realm of Stokely Athletics Center and the watchful eye of coach Rob Patrick.
The next thing I knew, I was able to rattle off coach Judi Pavon's golf roster and tell you where Aguascalientes, Mexico, is located.
Believe it or not, my situation continued to get progressively worse even after that.
Like most any college student can tell you, the more fun you have, the more dangerous things become.
Like a frat guy stumbling out of Cool Beans on a Saturday night, I did, in fact, reach a point where I became physically ill.
After a couple weeks of Lady Vol athletics, I realized I had developed an addiction that had completely taken control of my life. For instance, I spent two consecutive Sundays - traditionally days reserved for the couch and the NFL - watching volleyball.
And here's the kicker: I can't wait to do it again.
It's a completely different type of heroine, but I'm hooked just the same. Because they are the bomb.
The problem is that very few people know just how good they are.
All four fall female sports squads whose seasons are underway are ranked in the top 20 in the nation. But, judging by the crowds they each draw, I may be the only person who knows that.
Last Friday at the Tennessee/adidas Invitational, the audience for the 10th-ranked cross country squad consisted of me and approximately 500 pine trees.
UT's Sunday destruction of Kentucky on the volleyball court drew fewer fans than a New Kids on the Block reunion concert.
They all deserve better. But, more importantly, how am I going to kick my Lady Vol habit if there aren't enough people to start a therapy group?
So come on, guys, just try it once. If you don't like it, you don't have to come back. I'll even throw in the first one for free (as long as you have paid your student activities fee).
I promise it's not addicting.
Anybody know when rowing starts?
- Austin Ward is a junior in journalism at The University of Tennessee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Road to recovery not easy from Lady Vol addiction
Published: Wed Oct 06, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 06:26 p.m.