"I can honestly say that I have the best job in America, serving as an ambassador for the state and university that mean so much to me," Phillip Fulmer said in a statement. "There is no place I'd rather be than on our campus and on our sideline teaching our young men."
(The Tennessean 3/1/07)
Life as a VolHere's a couple of quotes from former Vol player Trey Teague, now playing for the Buffalo Bills.
Question: Your talent for playing football has taken you to many cities to play. You have also met many people from around the country. How does the following the Vols get year in and year out compare to some of the other fans you have seen around the country?
[T. Teague] Tennessee definitely has one of the best fan bases in all of football, and they travel with as many fans as anyone in the country. There are only a few schools that can compete with Vol fans, teams like Nebraska and some SEC schools travel like Tennessee, but not many. Then again I don't think you could ever hope to have any more support as a Tennessee player, from the fans that UT brings game after game. It really is amazing.
Question: What part do you miss most about your time as a Vol?
[T. Teague] It has to be the atmosphere the SEC brings to football. Going on the road to cities like Athens, Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge and Gainesville week after week was amazing for any football player. There is a lot of history in these college towns and in the SEC.
(By Troy Schneider - Reporter of The Jackson Sun 7/21/02)
This team is very special, because it has the total package when it comes to playing football at its best. This team had a vision to be the best in the land. The Bible says: Without a vision the people perish. On Jan. 4, 1999 the Tennessee Vols became National Champions in the Fiesta Bowl by beating Florida State 23-16. Tennessee became the first team in school history to go undefeated in a season since 1938, and the only Tennessee team to be 13-0.
(Smokey's Trail - UT Reporter 1/05/99)
Perhaps the skeptics should have listened closer back in early November when Al Wilson put out the word. "People are waiting for Tennessee to mess up," said Wilson, "but I've got another story for them. We're not going to mess up. We have something to prove. We're on a mission." Mission accomplished.
(Football Time in Tennessee- 12/18/98 News Conference)
Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis says there's not a better linebacker in the nation. Wilson's toughness has been proven by the fact that he played most of the season with a partially dislocated shoulder that was so painful he often slumped to the turf in agony.
(After SEC Championship - Knoxville News-Sentinel 12/6/98)
I'm here to say that this Tennessee team is very special, because they are playing as one, and there's no super stars shining brightly. They are playing as one bright shining star, on both sides of the ball.
(After the Alabama game - Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail 10/24/98)
No. 27 Linebacker Al Wilson caused a school-record three fumbles to lead the Vols in their 20-17 win against their biggest rivalry Florida. "I've never had a player who hits you as hard as Al does," Fulmer said.
(The Tennessean 9/19/98)
"I've made a really big deal this year out of physical play. We said going into the season we had to do three things to have a good year. We had to run the football well, so we wanted to lead the conference in rushing...We wanted to lead the conference in turnover ratio...We had to lead in scoring defense, and we were three tenths of a point from doing that."
(National Coach Of The Year Phillip Fulmer - UT bowl news conference 12/18/98)
"This bunch had the right chemistry. It's been the most focused team I've ever been around. One thing that makes them special is that they have listened to their coaches and gone about their business week by week. This has been a unique team from the chemistry standpoint, and I'm thankful for that. They have played with great intensity."
(Head coach Phil Fulmer - Smokey's Tale Volunteer Magazine 12/18/98)
"Thank God for these kids. All year long they have been up to the challenges that have been there."
(Vanderbilt post game comments 11/28/98)
"I like the fact that we go to work every day and are pretty serious about getting better and each time we've had some adversity, somebody else has stepped up. That says volumes about this team and quality of the organization."
(UT Head Coach Phil Fulmer - Gannett News Service 10/28/98)
"This team is special, we have that bond and focus that a lot of teams don't have. That's really what is setting us apart. It's not always going to be pretty, but we're going to get the job done."
( Al Wilson after Alabama game 10/24/98)
"Attitude is what has changed this year. "Nobody's a star on this team, and that's what makes it special."
(UT kicker Jeff Hall after Alabama game 10/24/98)
I wonder what ESPN Sports Center, and the critics are saying now about the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee was a 3 point underdog, before they came to Athens, Georgia. Tennessee prove to themselves, and the sports world, that they can play football at it's best. UT Vols beat a good football team on it's own turf, 22-3.
(After Georgia game - Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail 10/10/98)
The way I saw it, we looked unbeatable the first half. The defense was unbelievable, Shaun Ellis intercepted a pass, and ran it for an 90-yard touchdown, and Tennessee's defense held Auburn on Vols 6 inch goal line for 4 downs. It was truly an "awesome defense"!!!!
(After Auburn game - Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail 10/03/98)
The Tennessee Pride of the Southland Marching Band plays the National Anthem, and from the north end of Neyland Stadium, from the very top you can see a trained bald eagle named Challenger that glides down, and circles around the crowd of an 107,653 fans that cheers in delight, and he finally lands on his trainer arm on the 10-yard line. As the anthem ends Vol fans go crazy. That's it,!!! "I was ready to jump on the field, and play football with the Vols"!!! That set the tone for what was going to happen to me, and every Tennessee fan that was there. We felt like we were part of the team. So the fans became the 12th man from the stands. The Vol fans noise was so loud that Florida couldn't hear their signals, and they had to use all their time outs in the game! Tennessee 20 - Florida 17 Overtime. "WHAT A GAME", "WHAT AN ATMOSPHERE", "IT WAS AN AWESOME SIGHT TO SEE THE FANS RUSH ONTO THE FIELD AFTER THE GAME". A GAME THAT YOU'LL NEVER FORGET [At the time it was the largest crowd ever to watch an NCAA Division 1 football game in history - 107,653]
(Memphis coach Joye Lee-McNelis 2/12/98)
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