Many of you are not Tennessee Volunteer fans. Many of you are not SEC fans....Many of you love and cherish your own coach as they he should be symbolized as a God amongst the ranks of ordinary men.
Today, I come to tell you of stories of Phillip Fulmer. While Fulmer may not be your everyday run of the mill coach, his career record of 150-51 speaks volumes of what his abilities have been. Today, I come to tell you why he was removed as the coach.
Phillip Fulmer is a great man. His legacy at Tennessee will long out live my own life. His days at Tennessee wearing the Big Orange were well represented down to even this his last and faithful season. Phillip Fulmer "is" Tennessee Volunteer Football. Phillip Fulmer is a man amongst the boys. Phillip Fulmer is a leader.
When I look back to reflect on the Phillip Fulmer era which covers my entire span of being a Tennessee Volunteer football fan, I can only think back to the remarkable recruiting ability that Phillip Fulmer showed. Each year it seemed like our Vols were in the top 10 of every recruiting magazine known to man. Even as recruiting in college football took a national stage, Phillip Fulmer was able to keep up.
Facilities and opponents have always been first class. Beating Alabama has been a continued tradition. Peyton Manning became a symbol of UT football even higher than many ever imagined he could.
Yet something help Phillip Fulmer back in my eyes. Every year it seemed like Fulmer couldn't win the "BIG ONE". While he does have a National Title to his name, it wasn't with Peyton Manning, it was in a year where Florida was down, the SEC had just lost Peyton Manning and there was no clear cut winner.
The BCS was new to us all and Coach Fulmer showed that with winning, even by the smallest of margins you could continue to ascend to the top of the BCS standings.
That year Phillip Fulmer proved me wrong, but all the other years....doubts aside, Fulmer has not been able to beat Florida Gators, Alabama Crimson Tide the Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers or the South Carolina Gamecocks enough for me.
Phillip Fulmer has not been able to convert to the 21st Century Offensives that are all around the country. His play calling is routine and boring. 3 and 7 turn into 3 yard gains while 3 and 2 turns into 8 yard incompletions. Defenders play the man and not the ball, high school teams could complete passes against John Chavis's defenses.
Yet all the while, Tennessee supported the man who was leading us down this road. Not until this year, in a year in which we can't find the endzone for the second straight season did the fan support waiver on Fulmer. Today, Phillip Fulmer is gone. His staff hopefully soon to follow.
For the shadows at Neyland Stadium should serve as a reminder of days gone by this past Saturday and the last home game against Kentucky should serve as the final ride for a legend of a coach. Unfortunately, this legend tried to last too long and into an era in which he was no longer the best at converting his talent into a team. Coach Phillip Fulmer just simply couldn't keep up with the rest of the nation's elite offensive coordinators.