Now that spring football is over for the year, and there isn't much to do until the fall, I thought I would reminisce a little with a former Vol about some glory days in Tennessee football history. Thanks to Eric Swanson for taking some time to talk about his days on the Hill.
1. Tell me what you remember most about the 1985 championship season?
Eric: "What I remember most about ???85 was simply how we felt good about ourselves early and then things just steamrolled for the good. I think a lot of us played to and beyond our potential...we just always knew and expected something good was going to happen for us....also what a great coaching staff we had.
2. In your own words describe the scene at Neyland Stadium the day Tennessee beat No. 1 Auburn 38-20.
Eric: "Our win over Auburn was special because I caught a touchdown pass that day. Our defense was outstanding against Bo and our offense was really clicking. Bo was one special athlete...I was honored to be on the field with him that day. (I also played in the Senior Bowl with Bo and found him to be very down to earth)".
3. Tell us what you remember about Coach Johnny Majors.
Eric: "Coach Majors came across very sincere, intense, tenacious, and well a no bull ____ man. I loved playing for him....I owe him a lot. Very old school man".
4. Did you really think you had a chance to when the SEC championship after Tony Robinson went down with the injury at Alabama?
Eric: "Losing Tony was a big blow to our team. We had to change up the offense to adjust but then Coach Walt Harris let Darrayll do his thing and we began to trust Darayll. We were on a good roll at that time...It didn't matter who was at QB..we just felt good about things".
5. Tell us a little bit about your first year on the team.
Eric: "My first year at UT was actually quite difficult. It was some real culture shock coming to Knoxville from Southern California...I was very homesick for awhile. I didn't get truly comfortable for awhile, was a little worried about fitting in. My clothes were different, the music I liked was different, my talk and mannerisms were different, my hair style...I struggled for awhile but after a few months it all came together, I started to embrace the southern style and actually fell in love with it".
6. What is your favorite memory of the Sugar Bowl?
Eric: "Favorite memory of Sugar Bowl was looking across the field and seeing those arrogant son of b....s from Miami amazed that some good ole boys wearing orange just took their butts behind the woodshed!
7. Do you still follow Tennessee football and what do you think of the direction of the football program?
Eric: "I still and always will follow Tennessee. I bleed orange and go into depression when we lose. That school, the people, and my experiences there have helped me so much. I should work for UT in some capacity because I am their greatest ambassador".
8. Where are you living now and what are you doing?
Eric: "I live in Wrightwood, small mountain town (6000 ft) above Racho Cucamonga (So Cal). I have been in the Title Insurance business for 21 yrs....I'm with Fidelity National Title as an Account Manager. I work with over 150 accounts here in Southern California".
9. Do you ever get back for games at Neyland?
Eric: "I try and come back for a game every year. I have 2 friends that I play a lot of golf with who played golf at Alabama so we try and go to the Bama game every year...mix in some golf in Birmingham and Knoxville areas".
10. How do you feel the University of Tennessee prepared you for life after football?
Eric: "I think being at UT and playing a division one sport and attending classes taught me a lot about time management, dedication, goal setting, teamwork, getting along with others...basically all things one needs to be successful in work and life".
11. Do you still keep in contact with some of your former teammates and Coach Majors?
Eric: "I saw Coach Majors at the 2005 20 yr reunion and gave him a huge hug. I didn't think just a handshake was enough...I value what he did for me. Him, Coach Walt Harris and Coach Kippy Brown all have very special places in my heart...Id do anything for any of them at any time".