Goodness, that Tennessee fan base is one beat down group. Not that they don’t have their reasons for it.
“I probably shouldn’t say this,” began the 59-year-old Miller as she and her husband Norman entered Neyland Stadium on Saturday morning for the Volunteers’ first public practice under new coach Josh Heupel. “But I’ve got four kids and a bunch of grandkids, and the night we won the national championship is the happiest day of my life.”
There haven’t been a lot of happy days for any member of the Big Orange Nation over the past decade or so. The arrival of Heupel in January after UT brass fired Jeremy Pruitt for alleged NCAA violations marked the fifth Vols head coach since Phillip Fulmer — who won that aforementioned natty to cap the 1998 season — was let go near the end of the 2008 season.
“I remember them all,” Angie said. “I got on that Lane (Kiffin) Train. That was a joke. Then (Derek) Dooley. Then the whole ‘Brick by Brick’ thing (Butch Jones). Then this last guy. The last couple of years you could just see the desire go out of the kids on the sideline. You need a leader, and they haven’t had one.”