Tennessee Vols quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is looking for revenge in 2020.
The redshirt senior, who was benched at various points during the 2019 season, posted a photo on Instagram on Monday evening with a cryptic message geared toward either the media or fans.
“They scream out my failures and whisper all my accomplishments,” wrote Guarantano, along with the hashtag “revenge tour”.
Who is he mad at? Media? Fans? pic.twitter.com/KMk1HxDVms
— zach ragan (@zachTNT) July 20, 2020
Honestly, I feel like this has to be directed mostly toward Vol fans (which would be pretty bizarre, considering Guarantano could’ve easily left Knoxville after the 2019 season and been immediately eligible to play elsewhere).
There wasn’t that much criticism from the media toward JG last season.
Sure, there were a few columns here and there suggesting that Jeremy Pruitt bench Guarantano (like this one from the Knoxville News Sentinel), but those columns were beyond justified. Guarantano was terrible at times last year. He missed wide-open receivers, called his own number against Alabama, and generally held on to the ball way too long, wasting well-designed plays.
Despite those difficulties, Guarantano was able to somewhat redeem himself by coming off the bench and fueling several wins for the Vols. And he received plenty of credit from the media for those wins.
(I even wrote last November that JG didn’t deserve the hostility tossed his way by fans.)
So if it’s not the media that Guarantano wants revenge against, it absolutely has to be the fans.
Guarantano said late last year that he received death threats during the 2019 season, which insinuated acrimony with the Vol fan base (though he never directly blamed UT fans for the alleged death threats).
On top of the claim of death threats, there’s a large portion of the Vol fan base that’s voiced their displeasure with JG being the likely starting quarterback in 2020. And we know Guarantano peruses Twitter quite often, so he undoubtedly sees the folks calling for true freshman Harrison Bailey or one of the Vols’ other quarterbacks (they have six on the roster….maybe more, who knows at this point) to be the starter.
A revenge tour with no intent of revenge?
The idea of getting revenge against the fan base of a school that JG chose to return to is beyond strange.
But, in a way, Guarantano’s loud offseason makes sense.
A to Z Sports co-creator Austin Stanley mentioned on Monday evening while we were discussing JG’s Instagram post that the whole revenge tour idea might just be a lot of talk with no intention of backing it up.
Think about it — if the season is canceled or severely altered, due to COVID-19, then Guarantano got to spend the entire off-season hyping himself up, without the need to ever back it up.
Is that the case?
There’s no way to know for sure, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
Either way, I think it’s clear that JG is making a bad decision if he believes setting himself up for a war against Vol nation is a good idea. That’s a battle he’s going to lose nearly every time.
I’ll give Guarantano one thing, though, he’s certainly kept me on my toes over the last several years.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports