“The Trouble with ‘Letting go’”

Letting go of a controversial loss, as some in the media have often suggested, is easier said than done.

Every team has a game, maybe more than one, that incites its fan base by its mere mention.

You could talk about the season 2000 Jabar Gaffney “catch” on the north end zone at Neyland Stadium with Tennessee fans, and that will irk them greatly.

You could talk to the Alabama folks about “Punt, Bama, Punt” from 1972 (Auburn 17, Alabama 16), and a similar reaction will occur.

Syracuse partisans still debate the fourth down pass interference call in the 1998 Tennessee game that led to a Vol victory, 34-33, in September that season.

This year’s version of the Tennessee fan base seems to have trouble “letting go” of the South Carolina and Vanderbilt games, and they’re probably right. No way that should have happened.

In any event, you might let go of it, but it doesn’t take much to bring it back to the surface.

There was a time on the field after the 1974 Liberty Bowl game against Maryland that a Vol assistant coach who had played against the Terps in the 1952 Sugar Bowl openly let his feelings be known that the win in Memphis helped even the score.

Twenty-two years is a long time to wait for redemption.

It all goes back to that old about “burying the hatchet.”

People may bury the hatchet, but you can bet your last nickel none of them will forget where.

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017