Saturday Morning Quarterback

Importing winners into LP, Neyland
Dec 21, 2013



AT&T Stadium, once officially known as Cowboys Stadium and more commonly called Jerry’s World [or Palace] will play host to the Texas high school football championships this weekend.

For quite some time, the Cowboys have been confoundingly mediocre. Probably because America’s Team still has a sizeable following across America, the media give them more attention than they’ve deserved. They’re either a talented team that underachieves or a team that’s overrated simply because it wears the shiny helmets with the blue stars on the side.

At any rate, they’ve choked themselves into a 7-7 record, but can still win the division. No one thinks they’re Super Bowl contenders.

But Aledo High will be in town today. The Bearcats are undefeated and one fan is taking a jab at the stadium’s anchor team, having produced sweatshirts with this message to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:

Dear Jerry,

We heard you need a winner. We will be there this weekend. Hang tight!

The Cowboys’ palace isn’t the only NFL stadium which needs a winner hanging out somewhere other than the visiting team’s sideline. Down the road, LP Field needs a fortune transfusion for its home team even worse than that one deep in the heart of Texas.

Actually, LP Field does have a winner. Tennessee State made the FCS playoffs.

But, inspired by Aledo High School, here are my recommendations for stadiums needing winning teams;

LP Field: Trousdale County. The Yellow Jackets have 10 titles, eight of which have come over the last two decades. If there aren’t enough folks in Metro Hartsville to take over the 68,000-seat stadium, Ensworth can come in for a double header. That would also occupy some of the suites.

Neyland Stadium: Alcoa and Maryville are just down the road and the Blount County neighbors have dominated their respective classes for years. Also winners this year, Knoxville Webb repeated in Division II-A and fellow Knox County-team Fulton. They may not fill 100,000-seat Neyland, but at least the home folks will go home happy from the quadruple header.

Of course, all of those teams just won championships at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium, another college venue which hasn’t seen a consistent winner from its owner since the 1970s.

Also winning at Tech earlier this month were Henry County and Union City, located about the same distance on opposite sides from UT-Martin, which also hasn’t had a lot of fun fall Saturdays through the years.

Conspicuously absent from this list is Vanderbilt Stadium. After going decades without a winner, the old jokes about the old Dudley Field [“Parents, please pick up your children from the field, they’re beating Vanderbilt 14-0” or “the late arrivals are running into the early-leavers”] no longer apply here.

Vanderbilt, though it hosted high school championship games for years in the Clinic Bowl, brought a good team to campus the old fashioned way – by building its own winner.

Someday, the Titans and Vols will also restore their fortunes. I’m not so sure about Jerry’s team.


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