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Gameday Today: New adventures with old friends, team chemistry, and over-aggressive facial hair

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Gameday Today jumps off a cliff with old friends, fans the flames of team chemistry, and marvels at Spencer Hall’s facial hair. This and more in today’s Vols link roundup.

Sports writing meta

I just got back to East Tennessee from five days in San Francisco and the accursed Pacific Time Zone. It was the second time this year I’ve been to the PST, and I’m telling you, there is something quite unnatural about concluding your work day at the same time everyone back home is going to sleep.

Anyway, because I was without my favorite trusty computer and workspace and instead using a laptop and an unreliable personal hotspot, I missed a proper re-introduction of Will Shelton to the new digs a few days ago. So let me say it now — I could not be happier to be writing once again with both Will and Brad, and I am so incredibly grateful for their trust as we once more unto the breach together.

You might call it providential timing, too, as FoxSports just relieved most of its sportswriting staff of their jobs in order to feed a “growing appetite for video.” There’s a lot to digest on the topic of online sports writing, and you should start with Clay Travis’ take, which is dead on and articulates well much of the reason we recently made the jump to Gameday on Rocky Top after over a decade at SB Nation’s Rocky Top Talk. There’s much more to it than economics, though, and having the freedom to choose which appetites to nourish is one of the things that drives us here at GRT. And as I already said, I could not be happier to be working alongside Will and Brad again, pressing toward the same objectives.

Will’s already off to the start you’d expect from Will, using Bane and Batman to conjure new insights about this season and last, as well as hitching his wagon to a FiveThirtyEight scheduling system that uses “power-pairing” to create something that looks to me like a conference playoff. I might like that even better than my own idea of keeping everything the same but using only division results to determine division champions.


  • Two public messages to another old friend, Spencer Hall: (1) YOUR CHEST HAIR IS ATTACKING YOUR FACE, and (2) STOP LAUGHING AT US WITH PAUL FINEBAUM. (Spencer thinks that Tennessee having to play Georgia Tech’s triple option in the first game of the season is hilarious:)


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Forward Grant Williams will be venturing out onto the perimeter more this season in an attempt to improve his versatility, which will in turn improve the versatility of the team.


Reggie Wayne says that Peyton Manning used to change the play at the line of scrimmage “85 to 90 percent of the time.” I looked this up for us non-math majors, and “85 to 90 percent” means “a lot.”

Other Vols news

  • The Lady Vols SEC schedule has been set for the upcoming season. The team will face Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Texas A&M in home-and-home series this season. The SEC schedule also includes home games against Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State, and road games at Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, and Missouri.
  • has a beautiful behind-the-scenes feature with track phenom Christian Coleman.
  • Tennessee is mourning the loss of Dr. Earl C. Hudson, who recently passed away at the age of 91. He and his wife, Martha, have owned and trained UT’s Smokeys since 1994. Condolences to the family.


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3 years ago

Woo! Welcome Will! Man, its the old triumvirate back in action. Just in time to carry us through the doldrums of the pre-pre-season 🙂

Will Shelton
Will Shelton
3 years ago
Reply to  Evan

Thanks Evan. Happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.