It’s getting tense on Rocky Top.
But that’s what happens when a program is in the midst of a six-game losing streak and being led by a head coach that a significant portion of the fan base wants fired.
On Tuesday, the intensity increased.
Sophomore quarterback Brian Maurer took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with how fans are talking about players.
The tweet, which has since been deleted, definitely paints a picture of a “players versus the fans” mentality.
I can see how some fans would take issue with this tweet. There are a lot of folks who have spent countless hours in Neyland Stadium, in extreme heat and the freezing cold, cheering on a team that hasn’t been very good over the last 12 years. There’s been a lot of money spent by fans to support a program that hasn’t given them many reasons to cheer for over a decade.
Rooting for Tennessee is more than just being a fan — it’s an identity (college football in the south might as well be a religion). So I get why fans are passionate about what’s happening with the Vols’ football program. I understand why fans get frustrated with perplexing decisions by coaches.
But I also understand Maurer and his point of view.
Maurer is a kid from Florida. He didn’t grow up in East Tennessee. He doesn’t have a lifelong connection to Vol football. Yet in only two years he’s spent more time inside the practice facility, and around fellow Tennessee players, than most fans ever will in a lifetime.
Maurer has put in countless hours in the film room, on the practice field, and in team meetings. He knows the vibe of the team better than any fan or reporter/insider.
When you experience something first hand and someone who hasn’t tries to argue with you, it’s incredibly frustrating, right?
That’s what Maurer is dealing with in this tweet.
Fans should go easy on him. He’s the one out there on the field wearing the Power T, not the fans.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports