Channeling my inner Dennis Hopper today….BS
Deep inside like a medieval drum beat, pounding it’s way forward. Up the side walls of its concave structure. A giant funnel blasting forth fear, anxiety, screams of joy and pain at decibels only rad about, if not experienced first hand.
That transient locomotion that drives you to watch, to cheer, to scream your fool head off like some haunted banshee. To pray, wish, cry, and feel like nothing you participate in can ever measure to this feeling, this instance, this one moment in time that brings you above all else in your life. Bray drops back. He stops. he snaps his wrist forward like a snake, long arms reaching. He reminds you of the Gumby doll you had as a child. Taller, and twice as resilient, ducking and weaving through defenders. The snake of an arm snaps, the ball takes flight. Your job, your bills, your work, your family, your wife, your husband, all take a back seat to this moment. In this one instance, you become part of something magical.
You become part of history.
This is Volunteer Football
There is no question that Volunteer football is unlike anything, or anywhere else. You can’t define it. You can’t put in a bottle and sell it. If you could you’d be rich.
Tauren Poole is a freight train. Driving, up the middle, hard, over the top. You can feel your own blood pounding in your ears with every step he takes down the field at a speed you would be hard pressed to match in your car out in the parking lot behind Neyland.
“Ragin’” Rajion Neal is the fox. Elusive, fast, moving, break free keep rolling break right, then left snap forward, feet pushing against earth in a movement as old as time but with more determination. A Orange clad stock car pushing out of hell with purpose.
Prentiss Wagner, a ghost on the field. The defense see’s him. Then they don’t. He was there, right there, dammit. Where’s 23? Where is he? Where’s the ball? Where’s 23? Head on a swivel, eyes searching the sky like a World War II veteran awaiting the Luftwaffe.Ball. Field. ball. Field. Sky…wait..sky? Wagner was there again, and the ball was not. An object in motion, that stays in motion until plucked from the sky and sent hurtling backward in the direction it came by the hands of a unseen predator.
Montori Hughes. The Beast. The Hulk. The demon staring across the line at a offense with a look that gives them pause. The expression of “I just might rip your head off, and eat it in front of this entire stadium on national television with some flava beans and a nice Chianti.” When the stone rolls towards a mountain, what more needs to be said?
The rumbling is louder now, you can feel the earth shake beneath your seat, and you find your feet pounding on the concrete along with everyone else. The roar becoming deafening. The only sound in your ears is the throbbing locomotive like wall of noise that is accompanied by your accelerated heart rate.
Zack Rogers. Who was that masked man?
Who said white boys can’t jump? The snake is outstretched. The ball moves. In to outstretched hands it lands, a mother to child, clasping it to breast. But the momentum doesn’t stop, it doesn’t shift, it moves onward. Speed is applied. Foot to earth. Hands to chest. Breath is forced between clenched teeth.
The roar has reached crescendo the sounds, the screams, it is madness in a cacophony of sound orchestrated by these men on the field, and directed by no one. Chaos is made beautiful, entropy a unbidden memory as….
It was only a dream.
But in 146 days that will all change.
And the Vol-Cano will roar again.