The Best and Worst of Tennessee Sports: Summer 2017

Hello HasBeen Sports reader,

With this weekly article, I will be taking a look at each week in Tennessee sports, with occasional longer articles focusing on a specific topic about every other month (or as long as they let me write these things). Fair warning: I am one of those nerds that is into statistical analysis, so you can come to expect that from me in most of my articles. That said, the first two articles I will be writing will be kind of unusual, as I will be focusing on the whole summer this week, and reviewing the Preds home-opener next week. In two weeks you can begin to expect a game-by-game breakdown of the week in Tennessee sports.

To get this started, here are, what I believe to be the best and worst things Tennessee sports had to offer in summer 2017.

Worst:

University of Tennessee football:

636401914199798500-GTY-842708556-93532417(Photo: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images)

I will not now, nor ever, call them UT (That’s Texas, although quite frankly, neither team deserves to be called anything nice). Throughout my daily listening of 102.5 The Game (love your show, Jared and Floyd, if somehow you read this!) this summer I was given the perfect chance to see the Tennessee “echo chamber” in effect, as caller after caller claimed that Tennessee was a shoo-in for AT LEAST a. SEC Championship appearance.

Oh boy, they were so wrong. If only they knew the pain that would await them. I, like most people outside the South, don’t bother to care about SEC football (gasp! “Bless your heart,” “Boy, you’re in the South!”) because of the singular fact of Alabama football being a thing forever.

Now, I was not too opposed to the idea of a great run for Tennessee, as that could just be another thing that went well this year in the state (also a good excuse to go to Knoxville), but man, did they make it hard to like them!

An anemic offense with no identity, and an almost laughable defense (scoring 130 points offensively in six games, while giving up 143 points defensively in six games to the likes of UMass and SCAR!) this season has been the chaotic mess that only ends one way: TENNESSEE HAS TO FIRE BUTCH JONES.

BEST:

Nashville Predators, Western Conference Champions:

nashville-predators-stanley-cup-finals(Photo Credit: SI.com)

Okay, remember that Tennessee echo chamber? I’m gonna feed that real quick. I mean, look what I just wrote. If anyone on this earth says they expected that, punch them and then immediately give them the hottest chicken from Prince’s.

The unpredictability of this run not only gave the deserving, loyal fans something they so desperately needed, it brought eyes down to Nashville. Eyes of major established hockey fans and of people who ignore this city because they hate country music. Not only does that generate more tourism for the city, but it makes out-of-state fans. Before this run, I guarantee that no one in the North was wearing Predator gold, now I’m certain at least one person is.

A quick sweep of the hated rivals to the North, then a hard-fought series against the Blues, and finally a grueling back-and-forth with the Dirty Ducks of Anaheim led to a team that was told they’d be relocating less than five years after its founding, making it to the Stanley Cup Finals–before the Washington Capitals made it back, one might add (poor Ovi).

One word. Eight letters. One perfect way to describe the run: GLORIOUS.

NASHVILLE SC U23/USL:

I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this if it weren’t for this team. NSC led me to meet some of the best fans in soccer, the Roadies and subsequently the gentlemen of HasBeen Sports, and has impressed on every step of their dry run in U23 PDL, barely missing out on the playoffs by one point.

A fan-centric approach this organization has not only put the team in the favor of their burgeoning fans, but also as appealed to city government, as Mayor Megan Barry has been a strong proponent for the push for MLS to Nashville.

As you can see through all the articles and podcasts on this site, HasBeen Sports has not been afraid to show strong support to our new hometown team. Count on that continuing as long as the team exists.

Great memories have already been created on Vanderbilt’s fields, and more are sure to come with the shift to USL and First Tennessee Park #COYBIG.

In summary: I am a typical fan just like you, readers. Although I am a new voice in sports journalism, I work to represent and give voice to the opinions, thoughts, and desires of fans and help highlight the most enjoyable, and most infuriating parts of Tennessee sports. So I invite you to comment down below: what were your hits and misses of Summer Sports 2017? Until next week.

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