What do Drake, Walmart, and Aaron Murray all have in common?
They ruined Rick Barnes’ birthday on Tuesday by disrespecting the Tennessee Vols on multiple levels in what was clearly a coordinated attack by the three parties.
By doing so, the King of Retail (Walmart), the King of Hip Hop (Drake…disgusting), and the King of Absolutely Nothing (Murray) made Tennessee football the center of American culture.
This was a much-needed injection of relevance. The Vols experienced their worst season ever in 2017, recording a eight-loss campaign and winless voyage into the rough waters of the SEC, both program firsts.
Furthermore, Tennessee’s head coach — Butch Jones — was arguably the most inhuman human the world has ever seen. A one-man tsunami of cliches, bad decisions, and lies capable of wiping out entire civilizations, let alone football programs.
Yet, the Vols’ brand stands tall despite Walmart’s Twitter account going for the jugular of a prominent Knoxville media member, Drake finessing Tennessee paraphernalia, and Aaron Murray speaking words.
But of the three, which is the most disrespectful?
No. 3) Walmart proves its better than Publix by embarrassing Houston Kress
Houston Kress of FoxSports Knoxville did what every Tennessee fan does during the offseason — poke fun at the Florida Gators.
Only Florida’s colors and logo could make an iconic shoe look like it came from a bin at WalMart. https://t.co/vTyrl6XNpd
— Houston Kress (@VolRumorMill) July 17, 2018
Houston has every right to make fun of Walmart. After all, the Arkansas-based behemoth is only the most successful company in the history of retail. They employ over two million people worldwide, hold over 204 billion dollars worth of assets, and are operating on a revenue stream of 500 billion dollars.
No big deal.
In response to Houston’s dig, Walmart opened up old wounds:
Speaking of pulling things out of a bin: https://t.co/yulLwf418j
— Walmart (@Walmart) July 17, 2018
This is objectively a first-class response from Walmart, and further proof that they are 100 percent superior to contemporaries such as Publix, Target, and Kmart. This act of devastation ranks third because Houston fired first, and because Walmart is a partner with the University of Florida, they had no choice but to retaliate.
No. 2) Aaron Murray pretending he knows what he’s talking about
As a quarterback, Murray’s college career was snake-bitten (see the 2012 SEC Championship Game and the Prayer at Jordan Hate) and his NFL career was brief (he carried a clipboard in 2014, and was gone).
As a speaker of words in a public forum, Murray holds zero punches, especially when referring to Tennessee’s new head football coach, Jeremy Pruitt.
Essentially, the former Bulldog quarterback believes Pruitt lacks the requisite skills to flourish as a head coach, while also accusing Pruitt of lacking respect for Mark Richt and stating that the Vols don’t “have a lot of talent.”
During his SEC Media Day session, Pruitt responded eloquently:
Jeremy Pruitt on Aaron Murray’s criticism: “15 years ago, I was a kindergarten teacher. Now, I’m the head coach at Tennessee. You probably don’t make that ascension without knowing how to treat people.”
— David Ubben (@davidubben) July 18, 2018
Murray’s view of Pruitt isn’t shared by many, as most coaches, players, and analysts believe Pruitt will succeed in Knoxville.
No. 1) Drake hops on an off the bandwagon
Not only is Drake’s most recent album, Scorpion, a complete disaster, but the amount of disrespect he displayed toward the University of Tennessee via sweater is unprecedented.
Just look at the blasphemy::
Drake showing love to the Vols 👀 pic.twitter.com/chD0OI4F1b
— Swagger of Tennessee (@SwaggerofUT) July 17, 2018
While there are portions of Vol Nation who are newfound Drake fans due to this fashion statement, the Toronto-based rapper’s choice of turning “Tennessee” into “Finesse” proves he doesn’t care about the fine folks of East Tennessee.
Seriously, did he even try to hide the fact that he made alterations to an iconic sweater? It clearly says Tennessee. The blurring out of letters or fragments of letters is lazy. Then again, with a lazy “musician,” comes lazy clothing edits.
Despite three different entities attacking Tennessee football, as the old saying goes, no press is bad press.
The Vols received plenty of press on Tuesday, and with SEC Media Days going on, Tennessee football isn’t going away anytime soon.