Comparing things to dumpster fires is old and tired and overdone. That said, Tennessee is a dumpster fire. The Volunteers are 0-2 after dropping two home games to Georgia State and BYU in successive weeks. A once-proud program has plunged into a familiar pit of despair as another disastrous season unfurls to reveal fresh hells.
But, hey, spin-zone time. Not all disasters are bad. Take it away, Jeremy Pruitt.
“I think ‘Titanic’ came out maybe when I was in college,” Pruitt said to the Knoxville Quarterback Club on Monday. “When the boat starts going down, remember all the mice running to the top, right? We have had a few that left our program, but you will figure out who wants to be a Tennessee Vol and who don’t.
“I can tell you this: I want to. I know the standards and expectations that we have and the men on our staff and the character that we have. You will see the best of the players at Tennessee throughout the year.”
Students of history and women who were pre-teens in the late 1990s with a movie theater nearby know that the rats who didn’t run to the top of the ship all drowned and died whereas the rats who did run to the top of the ship drowned and died a few hours later. There is a lesson in all of this and if we look hard enough it will reveal itself.
One one hand it’s absolutely terrific to have a football coach eschew the boring cliche talk and actually say something interesting. On the other, it’s a hell of a public relations strategy to win the moment by analogizing your very bad football team to the Titanic.
Technically Pruitt is not off-base because both the ill-fated ship and Volunteers football team have had enormous audiences on hand to witness their failures. Both have had to see unchecked hubris turn into catastrophe and had all hopes and dreams sink.