No. 25 Tennessee is making its season debut against Georgia Tech on Monday night in Atlanta. During the first quarter, while a Tech player ran to the Vols’ sideline, something extraordinary caught my eye amid all that Tennessee orange:
Why does Tennessee have a trashcan that says “Team 121” on it?
I’m not exactly sure, though I want to be.
Something cool Tennessee does is number itself every year. By that, I mean that the Vols count how many years they’ve been playing football in their history, and they call each year’s squad “Team XXX” or whatnot. So 2016 was Team 120, 2017 is Team 121, and on and on. It’s not a revolutionary thing, but it strikes me as unique and good.
Vols coach Butch Jones has a penchant for weird motivational stuff.
You probably know about the Life Championship, which Jones rhetorically awarded to his players last year, when they failed to win the SEC East after a 5-0 start.
But Jones has a whole history of oddball sayings and motivational tactics. He’s referred to his players as having five-star hearts, which is basically a Life Champs sequel.
So, what about the trashcan specifically?
It might be some WWE-style thing, because steel-looking trashcans are commonly used as weapons in pro wrestling. (The Vols’ trashcan looks a little more plastic-like, so again, I don’t know.)
Wrestling-related props are a popular sideline thing.
If that’s what Tennessee’s getting at, cool.
If not? Still cool.