There was a great story in the SEC this past weekend and by now you’ve surely heard about it. Derrick Brodus, walk-on kicker at Tennessee, was summoned to Neyland Stadium less than hour before kickoff and hit three extra points and a 21-yard field goal in the Vols’ 24-0 win over MTSU.
After the game, Derek Dooley joked that he was glad that Brodus hadn’t been imbibing on his frathouse’s couch that afternoon. Brodus sheepishly pointed out that he’s not quite 21 yet.
For Brodus, it’s a great story. He’s quickly become a folk hero among UT fans. But one former Tennessee player pointed out to me on Sunday that the issue might not really be so funny. Here’s why:
1. Tennessee’s top kicker — Michael Palardy — was injured on Thursday and did not dress for the game.
2. Backup kicker Chip Rhome was expected to be UT’s kicker on Saturday night, but he pulled a muscle during pregame warmups.
3. Dooley then had someone track down Brodus. The Vols found him at his frathouse and a police escort got him to the stadium on time.
4. But why did Tennessee not — with an unlimited home roster — have Brodus dressed out and in the stadium to serve as Rhome’s backup?
What would have happened if Brodus hadn’t been near a phone? What would have happened if Rhome had pulled a muscle during the game?
A big deal? Maybe not. But big enough for one ex-Vol to ask me why Dooley didn’t have three kickers in the stadium if he knew Palardy had been hurt on Thursday.