Tennessee Volunteers Football: I Have a Dream

Clayton MartinCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2008

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our Vol Nation.

It would be fatal for the Vol Nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.

Five Bama scores ago, hope still remained. Not the original hope for which we hoped for. Instead, a hope of crushing someone else's hope. Bama’s hope. However, in turn, it was our own secondary hopes that were then crushed.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of Rocky Top, they were signing the proclamation of a wish, nay, a dream.

This song was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of tradition, fight, and the pursuit of victory.

But let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for victory by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred or that of the big orange Kool-aid. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of the Vols, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Vols are the victim of the unspeakable horrors of Bama brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by Gameday signs stating, "Fire Fat Phil."

You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Volunteer dream.

I have a dream that one day this Vol Nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. To carry the fight.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day be a part of a Sports Nation where they will not be judged by the color of their jersey but by the content of their character.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its trashy, ignorant fans, with its coach having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; One day right there in Alabama, little Tennessee boys and Tennessee girls will be able to join hands with little Bama boys and Bama girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream where anyone who agrees with the previously mentioned statement also suffers much harm.

Yes, I have a dream today.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "Rocky Top you’ll always be, home sweet home to me. Good ole Rocky Top, Rocky Top, Tennessee."

Whether you are still drinking the big orange Kool-aid or not this is a time to unite as Vols fans and stand behind our team instead of bickering over whom can find the best stat proving Fulmer should be fired.

There are people in place who get paid a good deal of money to make these tough decisions and do what is in the best interest of the program. While Fulmer’s days may and appear to be numbered, I don’t think that this is a time where any of us are going to be the ones to discover the next ultimate solution.

I am not here trying to advocate that the man should stay or go, instead that he is not the sole source of our teams struggles and us dividing our support can only work in counterproductive ways to what we are really striving for in our complaints.

I mean come on people, the man is 'workin' like heck' to turn things around. So let us do as those who have carried the fight before us have done and carry the fight together, as one Vol Nation, under God, indivisible, with the unified desire to seek and destroy all others.

I hope that many of you will join me in the sharing of my dream.