On Thursday, I wrote an article in which I discussed the eight-game winning streak currently held by the University of Tennessee football team. While not unexpected, some Vol fans on social media took exception to or disagreed with the article's parts.
Before going forward, let me state that while multiple fans commented to me on social media, all conversations were pleasant and nonconfrontational on an out-of-bounds level. So what I'm writing here is in no way to be construed as taking a shot at anyone who interacted with me via social media concerning what I wrote.
Now, as for what was written and what I took from the interactions with Vol fans.
In the article, I used the word 'asterisk.' Perhaps that was the incorrect term as I do not feel their win streak should have such a mark beside it in the record books.
I did use that term, and now feel that perhaps it was wrong. Another word or phrase would have been more appropriate. Perhaps footnote, caveat, or something similar would have been a better fit.
However, that doesn't change the ultimate bottom line or the thoughts expressed inside the piece.
I won't bore readers with the online discussion content, but I suggested that five or six teams could have equaled the current Vols streak against the same opponents during the back and forth.
Here is where the conversation grew long and where we ultimately agreed to disagree.
I make no apologies for my decision to write the article in question, and I'm not backing off my opinion contained within that work. I am admitting that the use of the word asterisk was a mistake.
I also want to assure anyone who might question would I have written the same thing about another team in a similar situation.
Yes, I would have written the same thing of Alabama in the pre-Nick Saben days when the Tide struggled to beat the Vols and other conference foes with any regularity.
I know it's been a minute, and Vol fans might not remember the time when Bama wasn't the juggernaut they are today. That time did exist, and for the Tide to have won eight consecutive games back then without having Tennessee or Florida included- those two were the SEC's standard-bearers for a while- would have drawn the same response.
If Vols fans and their team don't like the perception that their streak isn't that impressive because it doesn't contain any of the upper-level SEC team, then they have their chance to change it.
All they have to do is roll into Athens and win. They can take it even further by beating No. 10 and No.11 in a row that would include a home win over Saban and the Tide.
That would be a real perception changer, and it's all there for the taking Vol fans.