October 25, 2010
Your history lesson for the day begins around the 10:40 mark.
Weary Tennessee fans didn't expect much from Derek Dooley's first season as head coach, which is a good thing for both sides: For a team with hope, an 0-4 conference start punctuated by a devastating finish against one rival and a record-breaking blowout at the hands of another might be getting really ugly right about now. With a hopelessly green, obviously overmatched lineup that he had almost no hand in putting together, Dooley isn't under quite that much pressure. The season isn't going to kill him.
It's just going to drive him slowly, entertainingly crazy for the next couple months:
"Right now we're like the Germans in World War II. Here comes the boats, they're coming. You have the binoculars, and it's like, 'Oh, my God, the invasion is coming.' That's what they did, they were in the bunkers. It's coming, they call Rommel -- they can't find Rommel. (Pretending to speak into a radio.) 'What do we do? I'm not doing anything until I get orders.' (Pretends to look through binoculars.) 'Have you gotten Rommel yet?'
"All right, and the Americans were the exact opposite. We hit the beach, and we were on the wrong spot. 'What do we do?' 'I don't know, but these guys are firing and we better hide over there and blow some stuff up to get up there.' They weren't looking for (help). That's where we've got to make that transition.
"I don't want the German people to get upset at me. I'm not attacking them, but that's what happened. You had one group, they weren't worried about what the plan was and orders and all that. When the war hits, things change. You've got to go. You had the other group, and they go, 'Wait a minute. They told us the invasion was way further north' where we had the empty tanks and we were hiding Patton out. 'We weren't ready for this, now what do we do?' 'We better wait until Rommel tells us what to do.'
"I hope I got my names right."
Don't worry, coach, you made the History Department proud. The alumni association, probably not so much. But what do they know about fighting it out in the trenches when the entire operation is FUBAR?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.