Readers respond to Tennessee basketball's physical play, Lady Vols vs Virginia Tech | Adams

Tennessee's Jordan Horston (25) and the other players celebrate before the student section after the win over Toledo in the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament in Knoxville, Tenn. on Monday, March 20, 2023.

One of the many things I like about my regular literary contributors: They read my columns before commenting on them.

That's not always the case on social media, where participants have no problem firing off an opinion without reading below a headline.

Gregory writes: I have lived and worked in the Tri-cities area for 30 years. I am a proud graduate of Virginia Tech. I know dozens of Tennessee "fans," most of which did not attend the University, are not financial supporters of it, and most of which do not even attend games or University functions.

I have often pondered what makes many of them so insufferable and impossible to have a rational discussion about sports with. I have reached a conclusion that a large part of the reason is because of incredibly biased "reporting" from local "reporters" such as yourself.

You write about a potential Sweet 16 matchup of the two teams next weekend, only mentioning Tennessee's game with Toledo as a mere formality. And as for the potential game itself, you shrug off the December matchup in Knoxville (against Virginia Tech) as though it were a fluke.

My response: That’s the kind of criticism I like. It came from someone who actually read my column.

Thanks, Gregory.

Many sports fans are irrational. Many Tennessee fans are on the high end of the irrational spectrum.

However, I refuse to accept any responsibility for their irrational behavior. And I welcome their input.

Yes, I did dismiss Toledo as a mere formality. And I'm sure you would agree that UT's 94-47 victory qualifies as a mere formality.

UT's upcoming victory over Virginia Tech will be much closer.

John writes: Nice opinion piece and appreciate your humor. Apparently lost on many readers on Facebook.

My response: They probably only read the headline.

Tom writes: Good article. Seth Greenberg on GameDay Sunday basically suggested Tennessee cheated by being so physical against Duke.

So the word is out.

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My response: You never know how closely officials will call a game. It’s incumbent on the players to adjust to their calls.

That’s not cheating. That’s basic strategy.

Stanley writes: Where do you get this rhetoric? From the Trump playbook? I used to like your columns.

By the way, Duke has been the team to hate in the ACC for years. I haven't noticed it hurting their progress or academics.

My response: I’m glad you used to like my columns. If so, you shouldn’t fire me over one column that you deem subpar.

For example, your email doesn’t make much sense. But I published it anyway. And I will continue to publish your emails, even the nonsensical ones.

Nelson writes: If Duke could have matched Tennessee's physicality, they would have been called the "Dukes of Hazzard" but they were not prepared to "Duke it out."

My response: Great work, Nelson.

The “Dukes of Hazzard” movie was filmed in my hometown of Clinton, Louisiana. So, I appreciate an opportunity to mention that.

The consensus of my friends back home: “Jessica Simpson is a spoiled brat.” But I remain a big fan. My contention: Judge her on her work, not her personality.

Simpson's performance as Daisy Duke was vastly underrated by critics.

Ana writes: I wanted to reach out again in case you missed the email I sent before. Did you have the chance to take a look at the 2023 US sporting events infographic?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

My thoughts: I didn’t take a look at the infographic. I didn’t even open the email.

The only reason I opened this one is to make fun of it in my email column. Thanks for your contribution.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or Follow him at:

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee basketball physical play gets attention of literary contributors