I’m a Bruce Pearl Sheep, Part 2

What a week for Tennessee basketball. This time last year, you couldn’t give a ticket away to a drunk hobo outside of the Tommy Bowl. Tonight, the freakin’ place was sold out, 25,000+ strong, to watch Tennessee cram it elbow deep up #2 Florida’s rectum, 80-76.

Last weekend, the Vols went down and played an LSU team that was taller, more athletic and better all the way around. Unsurprisingly, LSU won, but not without a fight. In fact, LSU’s pansy-ass coach John Brady, known throughout the SEC as a bonafide asshole, didn’t appreciate it when Bruce Pearl had some fun with the LSU fans.

UT’s Dane Bradshaw had been taking heaping bowlfuls of crap from the LSU students throughout the game, and when the result was no longer in doubt, the students chanted “Bradshaw, Bradshaw…” daring Pearl to put Dane back in as the clock ticked down. Pearl obliged the LSU fans, even raising Pearl’s hand in mock victory as he inserted him back into the game for the final minutes.

To which, LSU’s coach John Brady said “show some class… act like you’ve been there.” Whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. What it did demonstrate is that Brady is indeed a humorless prick. According to the Tennessean, Coach Pearl is still waiting for an apology, and probably will be for a long time to come.

Brady, just prior to his post-game radio show on press row, said loudly and within earshot of several people sitting close by, “Tell their coach to show some class. What’s he doing holding up (Dane) Bradshaw’s hand to the student section? Show a little class. Act like you’ve been there.”

Tennessee Athletics Director Mike Hamilton declined to specifically address Brady’s comments, but indicated that he would take up the matter with the SEC office.

“I’m not going to comment on what I’m going to do,” Hamilton said. “The conference office was closed (yesterday), but I will handle it accordingly.”

Hamilton made it clear, though, that he stands 100 percent behind Pearl.

“If it happened the way I understand it happened, I would be very disappointed,” Hamilton said. “I happen to think my coach has a lot of class. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody else in America. I think he’s been a breath of fresh air.”

What apparently drew Brady’s ire was Pearl’s raising Bradshaw’s hand to the student section just before putting Bradshaw back into the game with 1:07 remaining.

The LSU students had been heckling Bradshaw all night and only grew more vocal after Bradshaw made a 3-pointer in the second half and turned and gestured to them. They were chanting his name in the final minutes when Pearl decided to put him back into the game.

A story in the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate on Monday said Bradshaw “appeared to make a throat slash gesture” to the students after making his 3-pointer and also yelled an expletive at them.

Bradshaw denied doing either.

“All I did was put my hand out, but there never was a throat slash or (middle) finger,” Bradshaw said. “The referee actually asked me, ‘What did you do? If you gave the finger or a throat slash and it was on TV, they’re probably going to get you.’

“I said, ‘No, I’m fine. I told them to shut up.’ There was never any throat slash.”

Bradshaw, who’s been a popular target of fans on the road this season, joked that he’s heard it from friends and family members the last few days.

“A friend was making fun of my dad and said, ‘Leave it to a Bradshaw to take on a bunch of drunken Cajuns,’ ” Bradshaw quipped.

LSU fans may remember when we told them to shut their pieholes back in September. Stupid bastards never know when to shut up.

The next stop last week was Memphis – to face the highly ranked Tiger High. Dane Bradshaw managed to rile up the Memphis media with this quote:

Like in the recent game in Baton Rouge, after the LSU student section had been riding Tennessee’s Dane Bradshaw all night. With 1:07 left, the students chanted for Bradshow’s return. So Pearl walked Bradshaw to the scorer’s table and held the player’s hand high, as if he had just won the championship of the world.

Said LSU coach John Brady: “Tell their coach to show some class.”

Said Bradshaw: “I’m not scared of a frat kid at LSU. I’m more scared of a gang-banger in Memphis in the stands.”

“I always know they’re going to be loaded, just because of the way Calipari recruits,” Bradshaw told the Chattanooga paper. “The past has shown they might seem to fall apart at times, but this year they’ve really held it together. They made it through the first semester of school and everybody’s still there.”

That last quote is my favorite – “they made it through the first semester of school and everybody’s still there” – which may imply that the “student”-athletes at Tiger High may have trouble with whatever psychology or sports management courses they might be taking – or perhaps that they might be in jail before the spring semester starts. Either way it’s a clutch-cargo quote. And Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal – a publication better suited for lining Ophelia Ford’s birdcage – responded by comparing crime stats on the campi of the respective schools. Good luck comparing Memphis and Knoxville crime rates – we all know how that’s going to turn out.

Of course, Tennessee lost the game, but not before hanging in there until the last five minutes.

To top it all off, tonight Tennessee knocks off the big, bad Gators – the last undefeated team in the country – a certain #1 if they can pull out a win (thanks to Duke’s loss earlier today to Georgetown). This was the biggest basketball win for the Vols in at least a decade. It’s no wonder I’m sheepin’ it up for Bruce Pearl. He’s brought a dead sport back to life in this town and giving us all something to live for during the winter doldrums.

Baaaaaa… baaaaaa…. baaaaaaa….. that’s the sound of me sheepin’ it up for Bruce.

Also see… I’m a Bruce Pearl Sheep, Part 1.


  1. Go Vols. I’ve never followed the men’s team, since the most engaging thing about it was the sacking of the coaches, but now I’m kind of excited. Can’t wait to see what Bruce does next year.

  2. Go Vols, I guess.

    Being a Kentucky fan and therefore appreciating good college ball, I’m not too happy with the current team, and it is looking more and more likely we will be playing in the Not Invited Tournament, the ole NIT.

    So I’ll be rooting for UT whenever they’re not playing us, but… if they play us the way they played Florida, it will be ugly.

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