If you’re like me, you’ve heard a bartender make this announcement once or twice before –“Last Call, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”
It’s happened to the best of us. You’re out having a good time at your favorite bar or restaurant, and you’ve probably been enjoying a few more alcoholic beverages than you should, when the bright overhead lights spring to life and temporarily blind you. The bar is closing and it’s time to go home.
At this point, most people start to shuffle out. Some leave with friends, some with family, but everyone is trying to leave with someone. Even the last drunk at the bar is going to make one last ditch effort to seal the deal with anyone that’ll listen.
This, my friends, is the University of Tennessee.
The 2012 season is over and Vol Nation has now found itself as the last guy in the bar.
Think about it. Kentucky found their girl (or guy, but we’ll say girl for the sake of this article). So did Arkansas and Auburn, and now they’ve all gone home to enjoy the rest of the night. But Tennessee still sits all alone, probably a little too drunk and desperately trying to find someone interested enough to take a chance.
Oh sure, this situation didn’t creep up on the Vols. They’ve been trying all night to find the right girl, but a relatively unattractive bar fly doesn’t seem to be getting the job done. Over and over again, whatever target Tennessee has set its sights on throughout the night has turned them down.
Gruden didn’t think twice about it. He’s the kind of girl that’s way out of your league and doesn’t mind letting you know it. His response to Tennessee’s pick-up attempt was an emphatic no. So the Vols moved on to the next prospect, Charlie Strong. The problem here is that Mr. Strong isn’t exactly single. He’s got a good thing going and isn’t quite sure about making the jump to someone else. But Tennessee has been persistent all night, and may have even seemed slightly interesting at one point or another.
This could be a good strategy. Maybe Charlie isn’t as happy as he could be and he’s open to the possibility of exploring his options. He knows he can do better and Tennessee’s dedication is admirable, but when the night finally winds down, old Charlie realizes that the Vols aren’t quite up to par. He can be swayed, but not by a down-on-his-luck has been that wasted the last three years flirting with a part-time waitress at the Huddle House.
So Charlie Strong does what he knows is right, and promptly leaves the bar. He’s going home to a steady situation, where he can bide his time and move on when the time is right.
Now the bartender isn’t being quite as nice anymore. He wants this last hobo to pay his tab and get out so he can go home. What will Tennessee do? He can’t go home alone, not tonight anyway.
This is the point where Vol Nation enters desperation mode and attempts to hitch his wagon to any girl still struggling to find her way out of the bar. It’s not pretty, but it’ll work for the night. Only problem is, this drunk at the bar, despite being washed up and on his last leg, comes from a proud family. He’s recognized in the community. He can’t just kick this girl out in the morning and pretend like it never happened. When the sun rises, all of his friends will know and he’ll be the butt of all the jokes for the remainder of the foreseeable future.
Well, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do Tennessee.
Of course, you could always go back to an old flame. It’s not exactly moving forward, but familiar territory could be better than buying meals for that waitress for the next three years.
I hear Dooley isn’t over the break-up yet. Maybe you two could reconcile?
Until next time, Roll Tide!