The case could be made that Alabama versus Clemson is the absolute worst possible (out of conference) National Championship matchup for Tennessee fans.
On one hand you have your most hated historical rival- the team that has beaten you ten straight times by an average margin of 23 points and is coached by the devil. (And for all of the SEC people, like I once said when I originally coined the phrase: You don’t root for the devil just because he’s in the Bible, yanno?)
On the other hand, you have a natural, geographic recruiting rival that has recently pitched a tent in your backyard and started hanging out with your kids and inviting them to sleepovers. Clemson has become elite. Dabo and DaBoys have won at least ten games for six straight seasons- something the Vols haven’t done since 2004.
Look, I don’t need to tell you, times are bleak. We hate Alabama and, while there are some acceptable points as to why them winning may be the least terrible outcome for the Vols, you still can’t root for them. Clemson doesn’t feel like an underdog anymore. Yes, Swinney is a good Christian man who once baptized a player in a cattle trough, but you still can’t feel that good about rooting for the guy who just came in and took two big-time receiving prospects from your backyard.
For Tennessee fans, it feels like there are only two acceptable methods even remotely enjoy this game.
Gambling and alcohol.
For the gambling, take Clemson and the 6.5 points and hope that someone has their heart broken late.
For the alcohol, let’s drink…
If Nick Saban’s NFL stint with the Miami Dolphins is shown
Go to hell, Rich Rodriguez’s wife. She thought she was too good to live in Tuscaloosa… as she lived in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Go to hell, Drew Brees and your stupid shoulder and those stupid doctors that wouldn’t clear you. This (formerley) mole-faced stupid idiot not getting cleared not only led to four or five minimum national titles for Alabama, but it also robbed Peyton Manning of a third ring.
Every time Lane Kiffin is mentioned
If you love the Lane Train, pour one out/down your throat for the memories. If you hate him, celebrate the fact that he got fired on his day off, thus extending the streak of all his former employers hating him.
Take a bonus drink if Lexus runs any commercials during the game in honor of Lane and the co-eds. People don’t forget.
If ex-Clemson QB Tajh Boyd is referenced
Did Tennessee begin the Clemson ascension by handing them their first elite QB? I would say yes just because it adds to my misery. Take a drink.
Take two when you realize that Clemson has the top-rated QB in this recruiting class. Take three when you realize that he grew up a huge Tennessee fan.
In honor of Steve Sarkisian
I’m not even mad, I’m impressed. He would want us to do it. If you want to eat a booger on top of it, eat a booger.
When Herbie or Fowler discuss Nick Saban chasing Bear Bryant’s national title record
General Robert Neyland > Bear Bryant
No one disputes this.
When Dabo and Saban’s cute little preseason text exchange is referenced
How far do you think Nick Saban’s eyes rolled back in his head when Dabo sent him that text message? Where does it fall on the “emoji eye-roll to peak Undertaker eye-roll” scale? Do you think that Saban actually read the text? Did he have Terry block the number immediately or wait a week?
Take a drink and text the person that never texts you back.
If you see highlights of Jalen Hurts and/or Bo Scarbrough running wild vs Tennessee
ESPN (and the liberal media) clearly hates the Vols. Bob Shoop may or may not hate the Vols. Whoever the hell the strength and conditioning coach was before Rock Solid Gullickson was hired most definitely hated the Vols.
This is a surefire way to get your misery started. It’s going to happen. It is a lock.
Take three drinks if they happen to show the artist formerly known as Bowling Green’s Gehrig Dieter lighting up John Jancek’s boys.
Every time OJ Howard highlights are shown
Remember when OJ killed Clemson last year? Shoutout to Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Take two when that stupid onside kick is shown.
When the ACC’s bowl record is referenced
I’ll admit the ACC performed much better than I anticipated. I may or may not (I did) have placed 4 multiple wagers with long odds on the conference winning zero, one, two, and exactly three games this bowl season.
They won eight. I’m a known idiot. Take a shooooot for me, oooooooh oh oooooh oh.
During the highlights of Pittsburgh’s victory over Clemson
VFL Nate “the Great” Peterman. Take two drinks if someone at your party talks about how Tennessee would have been in better shape had he stayed and won the starting quarterback job.
Take three drinks for the memory of Nathan Peterman getting his first start in the Swamp and leading the Vols to getting dominated by a 4-8 Florida team.
After the game is over and a new national champion has been crowned
Take two if its Dabo Swinney winning his first title and cementing himself as one of the game’s very best. Take three if its Nick Saban winning his sixth title, his fifth for Alabama in the last eight seasons.
Finish the bottle when you realize that Tennessee missed their talent window to legitimately have a shot at the title might not win one for the rest of your life with the current state of the athletic department with the leadership in place.
Sleep it off. Don’t drink and drive.