Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Princeton Time Opinion

November 4, 2011

Good Ol' Rocky Top: Cheering on Tennessee?

PRINCETON — I had a very interesting morning. I woke up at around 7:20 this morning but I went back to sleep and had a dream in which I was listening to “Rocky Top,” one of the most famous songs associated with the state of Tennessee.

I mean, I’ve had some weird dreams before — like having a conversation with my dead grandfather or going to the same place in different dreams, specifically a lake — but I cannot figure out this one.

I’m not a fan of the University of Tennessee. I’ve never really been in Tennessee that much. As far as I can tell, the only connections between Tennessee and myself are that my dad and I attended what’s now known as the Camping World Truck Series races in Bristol, my family used to go to the Family Night festivities at Bristol, we spent the night just south of Knoxville once, and my favorite writer is from there.

Maybe, its because my wife and I have been planning to make the two-hour trek down Interstate 81 to Johnson City.

Honestly, I think its got something to do with the recent struggles of the University of Tennessee’s football team. Overall, they are the traditionally the second best team in the SEC, but they have struggled of late. As much as this pleases the Auburn fan in me, it would still be fun to hear Neyland Stadium rocking to Rocky Top after the Vols pulled off a victory over say Florida.

Other than watching the team that you have fallen for win a national title, like Auburn last year, there’s nothing more exciting in college football than to watch a team that used to be really good rebound and become good again. They make a big play and the band starts to play while an entire fan base seemingly screams, “We’re back!”

I love that. It just makes my day to see a group of people that have been so downcast upon succeed again. It’s just like a movie script.

That whole issue reminds me of the pride of the Chinese people in getting to host the 2008 Olympics. Of course, my wife is Chinese, but man, it was like a great weight had been lifted or something. You couldn’t help but think that the Chinese, having been kicked around since the late 1800s, were looking around the world saying, “Y’all may have kicked us down the road for the last 200, years but we are back and don’t try that again.”

I really have no idea why the Chinese people would say “y’all” instead of “you all” but it just seemed sort of cool to connect China with where my wife and I want to live, the South. Sorry about that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go listen to Rocky Top and learn how to do “the Lutzy.” War Eagle!

Matt Christian is a Princeton Times reporter. Contact him at

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