We answer your questions about Tennessee athletics or anything else on your mind in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.
“What can we do as fans to motivate an AD decision (Blackburn/Fulmer)? Is there absolutely zero leadership on The Hill?” – @BigOrangeButch
Daniel: I think the fans have made their voice pretty clear. UT has to know that if it goes outside those two, whoever is hired will be working from behind, at least in the eyes of the fanbase. I think there has been a lack of leadership recently, but I’m reserving judgement on Beverly Davenport until she’s been on the job for more than a week.
Nathanael: Short of starting another petition like the Bring Back Bruce one, I think fans have done all they can at this point. Short of rampaging in the streets, of course. Vol fans are a vocal group, and they’ve let their opinions be known about this ordeal. All Beverly Davenport has to do is check her Twitter mentions to see how passionate Vol fans are.
“Pineapple as a pizza topping: acceptable or an inedible food crime?” – @angusparvo
Daniel: I’m fine with saying “acceptable.” I think that’s a good term for it. I’m not necessarily in favor of it. Pineapple is pretty far down the pizza topping power rankings, but if somebody’s offering me free pizza with pineapple on it, I’m taking it and enjoying it. As a general rule, you should never order pineapple pizza for a group of people without their prior consent.
Nathanael: I will not stand for slander against pineapple on pizza. I love Hawaiian pizza and I don’t care who knows it. Y’all are out here eating some weird combinations of food (i.e. peanut butter and onion sandwiches) and you have the audacity to come after pineapple on pizza? Check yourself, people.
“How you feel about the success of Junior Day?” – Clay
Daniel: I was impressed. Even with basketball season going on for a lot of the top prospects, Tennessee was able to get seven of the 13 best players from the state (247 rankings) on campus over the weekend and a lot of them had great things to say. Only time will tell, but I think it was a really good thing for this class. Tennessee must do better in the state in the 2018 cycle.
Nathanael: I think it’s hard to gauge a whole lot from a camp/visit that takes place in mid-to-late February, but I do think this one went about as well as you could’ve wanted without getting an actual commitment. It’s a good follow-up to an already solid start for the Vols’ 2018 class.
“Best lightsaber duel?” – Josh Hazelwood
“Best Star Wars space battle (Yavin, Endor, Coruscant or Scarif)?” – Doug Brooks
Nathanael: Man, I get to answer TWO Star Wars questions this week? Thanks, guys. I appreciate that. Anyhow, best lightsaber duel goes to Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader in Episode IV. I’m totally kidding; I’d have to say the General Grievous and Obi-Wan duel in Revenge of the Sith. I just like how that one was shot and the tension in it. The final one of Episode III is great, but it’s overdone in my opinion. I think the one in Force Awakens gets overlooked but is very well done. And I think the Scarif space battle in Rogue One has to top my list. Yavin is a close second.
“Titans offseason dream goals?” – @MaxTE34
Daniel: Bring in Eric Berry and at least one starting-caliber cornerback via free agency. Take Clemson WR Mike Williams with the No. 5 pick, trade back No. 18 to later in the first or early second and pick the CB that Jon Robinson feels the best about at that point, and then pick up at least a second rounder in the process. Bolster depth at linebacker, tight end and on the lines with the rest of the picks. Bring in Cordarrelle Patterson as a returner and reverse specialist on offense. Super Bowl.
Nathanael: Hey, why don’t I ever get any questions about the Cowboys but Daniel gets all these Titans questions?
“Do protesters realize that nobody cares about their opinions? Is protesting a career move?” – Eric Ballard
Daniel: I’m a big First Amendment guy, so I’m fine with responsible protesters. Does it work? Think it depends on the situation. Overall, I think organizing large groups of people to flood legislators with correspondence on an issue is more effective if you’re looking for a specific political changes. If you want to make a point to a business, get a large group of people to boycott it or its products. That’ll get things changing in a hurry. And if you want a new AD at Tennessee…well, I’m out of ideas for you.
Nathanael: I’m with Daniel. I’m a big believer in the right to express your opinions and thoughts, and I think it can be extremely effective in some cases. Sometimes, however, those large groups can be very misguided and handle things inappropriately. But overall I think protesting is absolutely worth it and can make a difference. Just look at the Civil Rights movement as an example. Or The Boston Tea Party during the formation of the United States.
“New MLS team (Atlanta United) announced their TV deal; games will be available in East TN. Will you watch?” – @Andrew Shumaker
Daniel: No. I watch one soccer team – U.S.A. I’ll consider adding another if Nashville gets an MLS team.
Nathanael: I’m trying to get into soccer more, so I may give it a shot. I’m definitely more into the EPL with my viewing, but I’m willing to give it a shot for sure.
“Why has there been such a delay in hiring an AD and why is Fulmer in play? Is there an issue with Blackburn?” – Robert J. Martin
Daniel: I do think it’s fair to say that there isn’t a consensus among Tennessee decision makers that Blackburn is the guy. Why exactly that is, I’m not completely sure. I think Fulmer is in play because he was approached about it at some point later in the fall and he reciprocated interest. I’ve made the case that Tennessee will be fine with either.