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The Football Game That Changed the South
The University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio ^ | unknown | unknown

Posted on 02/20/2007 7:02:24 PM PST by BnBlFlag

THE FOOTBALL GAME THAT CHANGED THE SOUTH It was more than a football game. It was the chance to avenge the South, to reclaim the valor and honor of the Lost Cause. No longer would this land be known for its hookworm and illiteracy. It would be the home of the best damn football in the nation!

"The 1926 Rose Bowl was without a doubt the most important game before or since in Southern football history," says Birmingham News sportswriter Clyde Bolton.

The story of the game that shaped the South is told in Roses of Crimson, a documentary that airs as part of The Alabama Experience series at 8 p.m., Thursday, November 18, on Alabama Public Television.

For the first 50 years of college football the game was dominated by powerhouses in the North, Midwest, and West. Princeton. Yale. Harvard. Washington. Southern boys can’t compete, the experts said. In fact, the prevailing sentiment was that the South wasn’t good for much of anything.

"H.L. Mencken at the Baltimore Sun was writing very critical and satiric editorials about the brain cavity size of the typical Southerner and it was not at all uplifting or complementary to the South," said Wayne Flynt, history professor at Auburn University.

But in 1925 the University of Alabama had its first undefeated season and gave up only seven points. Still, no Southern team—Alabama included—had earned enough respect to get an invitation to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Schools back east, reeling from criticism that they were sacrificing academics at the expense of athletics, declined to play in the game. So bowl officials reluctantly booked a game everyone knew would be a blow-out: a weak Alabama team against the mighty Washington Huskies.

Roses of Crimson shows how the team made its way west on a four day train trip dealing poker and studying their playbooks. Once in California, Alabama coach Wallace Wade feared that his team was being distracted by the photo opportunities that had been arranged by Hollywood press moguls. So he sequestered his players and put them through some of the toughest practices of the season.

Meanwhile, Champ Pickens, a tireless Alabama promoter, began predicting an upset and constantly reminded the players about their obligation to history.

"He wired all the presidents of the civic clubs in Tuscaloosa and told them to send telegrams out to the Alabama players that the honor of the Confederacy was on their shoulders. They had to avenge losing the Civil War by beating these Washington Yankees," Bolton explained.

No matter that the Yankees in the state of Washington had nothing to do with the South’s defeat in 1865. Even Wade played on loyalty to the region when Alabama went into the locker room at the half trailing 12-0. "And they told me Southern boys would fight," was all he told his team.

In the second half the unbelievable happened. Quarterback Pooley Hubert, the seasoned and mature team leader, kept running straight into the Washington line until he scored. Johnny Mack Brown, the dashing running back who would become a matinee idol, caught a fifty yard pass in full stride and made a touchdown.

Everyone at the Rose Bowl was stunned. Hubert sensed Alabama could deliver a knockout blow and called an audacious play.

"Pooley told me to run upfield as fast as I could," recalled Brown. "When I reached the three yard line, I looked back and sure enough the ball was coming over my shoulder. I took it in stride and went over carrying somebody. The place was really in an uproar."

Roses of Crimson shows how the uproar continued after the game. In nearly every town the team’s train passed through on the trip back to Tuscaloosa Southerners struck up brass bands and hailed the conquering heroes. In New Orleans nearly one thousand Tulane students rallied when the train pulled into the station. And back at the University of Alabama campus, the entire student body and most of the town turned out for a raucous parade that ended with speeches and tributes on the Quad.

"The documentary has some wonderful scenes from a great game, but it’s about more than that," said Tom Rieland, who produced the documentary for The University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio. "It also shows why Southerners were ready for something that would unite them, that would give them a reason to say they were proud to be from Dixie. Roses of Crimson explains why it was football that accomplished that."

Now it’s hard to imagine a time in the South when a Monday post-mortem of the game didn’t dominate conversation at the office water cooler, or when weekend events in the fall didn’t revolve around attending a game or at least watching one on TV.

"You can look at the 1926 Rose Bowl as the most significant event in Southern football history," said Andrew Doyle, a history professor at Winthrop University who has written about the sport. "What had come before was almost like a buildup, a preparation for this grand coming out party. And it was a sublime tonic for Southerners who were buffeted by a legacy of defeat, military defeat, a legacy of poverty, and a legacy of isolation from the American political and cultural mainstream."

Press Releases || This Month from CPT&R || The Alabama Experience

Order Tapes || The University of Alabama Center for Public Television

For more information: info@cpt.ua.edu


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: football; southernheritage; uofalabama
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Great article on early UA football and the legendary Johnnie Mack Brown.
1 posted on 02/20/2007 7:02:30 PM PST by BnBlFlag
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To: BnBlFlag

Johnny Mack Brown was my favorite screen cowboy when little. I had no idea he was a football hero before that.


2 posted on 02/20/2007 7:09:05 PM PST by expatpat
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To: BnBlFlag

It is an outstanding documentary.


3 posted on 02/20/2007 7:10:53 PM PST by panzer_grey
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To: BnBlFlag

Roll Tide!..................Forever


4 posted on 02/20/2007 7:11:11 PM PST by NeverForgetBataan
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To: BnBlFlag

20-19 final score


5 posted on 02/20/2007 7:14:53 PM PST by packrat35 (Beware the Big Government Republicans!)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: BnBlFlag

What made the South today's powerhouse economically was refrigerated air conditoning.


7 posted on 02/20/2007 7:26:31 PM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: BnBlFlag

Roll Tide bump for later read. By the way, any illiterate Auburn fans who need this read to them Public Radio-style, let me know.


8 posted on 02/20/2007 7:29:54 PM PST by jra
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To: BnBlFlag

I just finished a biography on Wallace Wade. A greater man and coach you could hardly find. I wish my Blue Devils were as serious about football as they used to be.


9 posted on 02/20/2007 7:30:17 PM PST by GoDuke
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To: BnBlFlag
Great as this game was, that was nothing compared to one of the biggest upsets in college football history, when Columbia beat Stanford 7-0 on January 1, 1934! We're talking a team of de facto scrubs beating a decently established powerhouse in college football at the time....
10 posted on 02/20/2007 7:33:41 PM PST by RayChuang88
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To: stainlessbanner

Need some dialog here. PING.


11 posted on 02/20/2007 7:33:43 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: BnBlFlag

Would loved to have seen that game. I never knew JMB was a 'Bama football player. Must have seen every movie he ever made from the old time cowboy movies they used to show everyday after school. Had about five plots and made a thousand movies from them, lol. The same chase scenes in all the movies, too.


12 posted on 02/20/2007 7:34:58 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (Defeat Hillary's V'assed Left Wing Conspiracy)
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To: BnBlFlag

I'm not the football historian but I thought it was in the 1920's when Georgia Tech beat the team from Tennesse 221 to nothing because John Heisman was fed up with the national rankings. If Ga Tech was concerned about national rankings how does that jibe with this article? Believe me, I don't know, just wondering.


13 posted on 02/20/2007 7:37:00 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: groanup

Did this result in a proclaimed post facto national championship for Alabama from a third rate publication that only lasted for a year or two?


14 posted on 02/20/2007 7:37:05 PM PST by aft_lizard (born conservative...I chose to be a republican)
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To: BnBlFlag

Well, the Alabama v Penn State game in which Barry Krause stopped the ball carrier on fourth and goal from the one to win the game sticks in this old head as the greatest piece of Alabama football history.


15 posted on 02/20/2007 7:37:37 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: BnBlFlag

Better Bama game here:

http://www.amazon.com/Turning-Tide-Game-Changed-South/dp/1931722943


16 posted on 02/20/2007 7:37:58 PM PST by SoCal Pubbie
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To: SoCal Pubbie

Yep, the USC (Integrated) Vs. Alabama (Segregated) in 1970 was a turning point in Southern Football history. In fact, the 1969 UT Longhorns were the last all white National Champions.


17 posted on 02/20/2007 7:47:24 PM PST by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: NeverForgetBataan
Roll Tide!..................Forever



Roll Tide roll
round the bowl
and down the hole.

Go Rebels
18 posted on 02/20/2007 7:47:58 PM PST by WKB (Duncan "yes", Newt "yes", Mitt "yes", Rino Rudy "no way")
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To: BnBlFlag

More dreck from the apologists who thought winning was synonymous with annihilation.


19 posted on 02/20/2007 7:52:17 PM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: BnBlFlag
"H.L. Mencken at the Baltimore Sun was writing very critical and satiric editorials about the brain cavity size of the typical Southerner and it was not at all uplifting or complementary to the South,"

I wasn't alive at the time, but Mencken seems like he was the Michael Moore/Bill Maher/John Stewart of his era...

IOW, a complete leftist jerk.

20 posted on 02/20/2007 7:55:29 PM PST by GOP_Raider (Hated by all NFL fans since 1990.)
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To: gcruse

I wonder. We did not have airconditioning until 1971. believe it or not I did not like it at first. It seemed to give me a headache like eating an ice cream cone too fast. Before we had it really did not matter. Kinda like colored TV. Did not get that until 1973. I was amazed when I saw the Wizard of Oz for the first time in color. The whole show was different and the Horse of a Different Color made more sense. Funny how things work.


21 posted on 02/20/2007 7:55:42 PM PST by therut
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To: WKB

Alabama 26
Ole Miss 23

Hey Rebels
Hey Rebels
We just beat the hell outta you!
Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer
Give 'em hell Alabama


22 posted on 02/20/2007 8:12:31 PM PST by NeverForgetBataan
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To: NeverForgetBataan
We just beat the hell outta you!



YEAH 3 points that's a rout in anyone's book.
23 posted on 02/20/2007 8:14:08 PM PST by WKB (Duncan "yes", Newt "yes", Mitt "yes", Rino Rudy "no way")
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To: WKB

Aw c'mon W, lightin up, its all good, just a lil ol SEC funin with ya boy.


24 posted on 02/20/2007 8:21:12 PM PST by NeverForgetBataan
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To: NeverForgetBataan

I was smiling the whole time. :>)
I am a SEC fan, OM first
and who ever is playing Miss. State and Aub.


25 posted on 02/20/2007 8:23:45 PM PST by WKB (Duncan "yes", Newt "yes", Mitt "yes", Rino Rudy "no way")
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To: WKB

Ping on whoever is playing the War Buzzards.

SEC rules.


26 posted on 02/20/2007 8:26:04 PM PST by NeverForgetBataan
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To: GOP_Raider; wideawake
I wasn't alive at the time, but Mencken seems like he was the Michael Moore/Bill Maher/John Stewart of his era...

IOW, a complete leftist jerk.

It's perhaps providential that I made it to this thread to read your post, since I don't like football, but any thread where someone comes out against H. L. Mencken is worth reading.

Unfortunately, Mencken (though an atheist, evolutionist, and anti-Southern bigot) was not a liberal. He was a bit of a "palaeoconservative" and as a matter of fact is practically worshipped by many "palaeos" to this day. However, this may have more to do with his association with The American Mercury, a magazine he founded in 1924 which became anti-Semitic in the Fifties (under Russell Maguire) and avowedly national socialist in the Sixties (under the aegis of Willis Carto). But that doesn't change the fact that he promoted conservatives like George Schuyler.

In an odd but totally stereotypical bit of hypocrisy, Mencken ("palaeo" icon) actually championed American Blacks and was a big supporter of the NAACP (I guess he was careful to exempt Southern Blacks from his charges of stupidity, like many liberals do today). But many conservatives continue to forgive Mencken's support of the liberal NAACP.

Perhaps the ultimate secret behind Mencken's heoric status to "palaeos" is that we now know from his personal writings that he was an anti-Semite--perfectly appropriate considering his hatred of and hostility toward the Bible.

I'll never understand why any "conservative" would admire this piece of trash.

27 posted on 02/20/2007 8:33:42 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Mishenikhnas 'Adar, marbim besimchah!)
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To: SoCal Pubbie

Clarence Davis was one of the running backs for SC, and was
from Alabama. When Bryant heard that, he vowed he would never
let a talented athlete leave Alabama without him trying to
get them to play for Alabama...and now the SEC is pretty
hard to beat....Bryant used to say he would "take the culls"
from the USC team...

...would like to see an all Samoan team...maybe Brigham
Young Hawaii might field such a team...the most fun would
be the announcers trying to pronounce the names under a
time constraint....


28 posted on 02/20/2007 9:22:20 PM PST by Getready (Truth and wisdom are more elusive, and valuable, than gold and diamonds)
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To: BnBlFlag; MHGinTN

You've managed to rebreak my Nittany heart within just two posts of each other. It's bad enough to lose to Alabama that way, but even worse is the '69 pain of the undefeated Nittany Lions being swept aside by Nixon's premature declaration before the Bowl Games that U. of Texas was the national champ. Nixon offered PSU some consolation plaque of our undefeatedness, which a young Coach Paterno refused to accept.


29 posted on 02/20/2007 10:03:42 PM PST by ntnychik
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To: ntnychik

Paterno is probably the greatest coach, living or dead. The Bear was truly a great coach, but Paterno gets my vote ... and I'm a lifelong Alabama fan.


30 posted on 02/20/2007 10:49:38 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: GOP_Raider

Complete leftist jerk?

Nope. Just the greatest cynic ever born.

Consider "global warming" and mull this quote from Mencken, way back when:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."


31 posted on 02/20/2007 10:56:49 PM PST by JennysCool (Blink 182 isn't just a band, it's Nancy Pelosi's per-minute average.)
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To: MikefromOhio

FYI..list ping?


32 posted on 02/21/2007 5:59:26 AM PST by ken5050 (The 2008 winning ticket: Rudy/Newtie)
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To: GOP_Raider

He was more of an equal opportunity critic. Alistair Cooke (who was a great lefty) had an unintentionally humorous foreword to a collection of Mencken writings where he praised Mencken for his witty, insightful critiques of the Coolidge and Hoover administrations -- which tragically were followed by a stream of mean-spirited, off-base criticisms of FDR.


33 posted on 02/21/2007 6:10:45 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin2
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To: afnamvet; StoneWall Brigade; L98Fiero; RFEngineer; DarthDilbert; James Ewell Brown Stuart; ...
Dixie Ping

thanks groanup!

34 posted on 02/21/2007 7:51:17 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: BnBlFlag
imVho, AUBURN is "THE UNIVERSITY of ALABAMA".

WAR EAGLE!

nonetheless, this was a GREAT win over the huskies from DAMNyankeeland.

free dixie,sw

35 posted on 02/21/2007 7:58:01 AM PST by stand watie ("Resistance to tyrants is OBEDIENCE to God." - T. Jefferson, 1804)
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To: GoDuke

I admire your desire, but the patient is in the hospice.
Duke could be as serious about it as you desire, and the patient would still be terminal.


36 posted on 02/21/2007 8:08:49 AM PST by quadrant
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To: NeverForgetBataan
Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer

Which means? Or "Hullabalo Canuck Canuck" in the A&M fight song for that matter?
37 posted on 02/21/2007 8:10:01 AM PST by Old_Mil (http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: BnBlFlag
You can look at the 1926 Rose Bowl as the most significant event in Southern football history," said Andrew Doyle, a history professor at Winthrop University who has written about the sport.

Sorry, Sam "Bam" Cunningham USC tail back tearing up the Tide on National TV was much more significant.

38 posted on 02/21/2007 8:21:39 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Jane Fonda was type cast in the movie "Klute")
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To: BnBlFlag

Coach Wallace Wade was named for the Scottish hero William Wallace.

BTW, if any of you folks are interested in DVD's of old Alabama games, highlights, and specials, a fellow from Dothan who I met through eBay has a website that sells and trades them. If you're not an Alabama fan, they make good gifts for customers who are. eBay has a lot of old Auburn games as well.

My Dad graduated a from API(Auburn) in '49 and my wife and I graduated from The University in '82 and '83. We don't talk football much lately.

I am in no way associated with the site.

http://www.bear315win.com/


39 posted on 02/21/2007 8:41:23 AM PST by Crawdad (I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no class.)
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To: Old_Mil
Ok.. As best I understand it...

Its a traditional UA fight cheer.

The Rammer Jammer was an early campus magazine, and the Yellowhammer is the state bird of Alabama. They were just combined for the rhyming effect.

"Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer
Give 'em hell Alabama"

If you marry into a UA family, as i did, you WILL take a BLOOD OATH to always root for Alabama. Raised in Texas i always thought Texas vs. Texas A&M was a big rivalry. Man......It ain't nothing compared to Auburn vs. Alabama.
40 posted on 02/21/2007 10:52:48 AM PST by NeverForgetBataan
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To: BnBlFlag

ROLL TIDE!! What else is there to say?


41 posted on 02/21/2007 12:05:26 PM PST by chesley ("Socialism" - compassion for those that don't have any.)
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To: MHGinTN

I absolutely agree...and the other great moment in my opinion was Van Tiffen's 50+ year field goal to beat the heated Awburn....Roll Tide


42 posted on 02/21/2007 12:11:03 PM PST by BamaDi (George W - Nick Saban - my heroes! !)
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To: ntnychik

some of my fondest memories of the 10 years I lived in DC (83-93) was going to Penn St every other year for the Bama-PSU game....it was always so much fun, the fans up there were always so gracious and kind...in fact, after one game (where we won - Roll Tide), some friends and I were in the bar at the hotel afterwards and some PSU fans sent over a bottle of champagne....is that class or what? The last game there (the next year in Tuscaloosa was the end of the series) you cannot believe all the Bama and PSU fans that were walking up to each other crying and hugging....It was a great series and I hate that it ended!


43 posted on 02/21/2007 12:16:01 PM PST by BamaDi (George W - Nick Saban - my heroes! !)
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To: chesley

one of my favorite clippings about Bama is from former football coach John McKay, "When I went duck hunting with Bear Bryant, he shot at one but it kept flying. 'John', he said, 'there flies a deck duck'. Now that's confidence." I cut that out when I read it the week Coach McKay died, had it laminated and have carried in my wallet ever since!


44 posted on 02/21/2007 12:20:45 PM PST by BamaDi (George W - Nick Saban - my heroes! !)
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To: BamaDi

oops

year = yard


45 posted on 02/21/2007 12:21:27 PM PST by BamaDi (George W - Nick Saban - my heroes! !)
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To: BnBlFlag

Being an orange-bleeding Tennessee Volunteer fan, there's teams you can't stand (Gators) and teams that you respect. My hat's always off to the Crimson Tide for some great games over the years.


46 posted on 02/21/2007 12:26:42 PM PST by Mustng959
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To: BamaDi

What a great memory! I hope some schedule of the future reunites us again.


47 posted on 02/21/2007 4:17:20 PM PST by ntnychik
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To: BnBlFlag
The Football Game That Changed the South

From the headline, I thought they were talking about the 1970 USC - Alabama game. THAT was a game that changed the south, and the University of Alabama.

48 posted on 02/21/2007 4:18:18 PM PST by PAR35
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To: BnBlFlag

Read a book recently, "The History of the South" that made this same point. It signaled the end of reconstruction to some.


49 posted on 02/21/2007 4:21:16 PM PST by gorush (Exterminate the Moops!)
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To: Mustng959
Being an orange-bleeding Tennessee Volunteer fan, there's teams you can't stand (Gators)...

Right back at ya.

Oh Rocky Top, You'll Always Be Second in the SEC!!!

50 posted on 02/21/2007 4:25:46 PM PST by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Championship U)
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