Randy Smith: How Do You Like Your Gator?

Friday, September 21, 2018 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

I have never tried to eat alligator meat. Never. I personally do not think of a gator as being a tasty form of protein. Anything that swims around all day in swamp water is less than appealing. Several of my friends disagree with me however. They love gator, fried, grilled or baked they could eat it every meal. I believe they hate the Florida Gators so much, they feel they need to eat as much gator meat as possible just to wipe out the species.

A few years ago while I was working at WRCB-TV, a man who owned a restaurant served up plenty of gator meat during Tennessee-Florida week. He never failed to bring some by the TV station but we threw out as much as the crew would eat because there were several of our co-workers who felt as I did about gator meat. It was always fun to show the other college football fans in the building that an alligator had been slaughtered and we had a good portion of the meat. It didn't matter if we actually ate it or not, but because it was Florida week, it was a lot of fun. We actually thought eating alligator meat would translate into a Tennessee victory on Saturday. That usually was not the case.

While we were gloating over the gator meat, Tennessee players and coaches were getting "all puckered up" as Coach Phillip Fulmer used to say. It didn't matter whether the game was being played in "The Swamp" or at Neyland Stadium, Tennessee could not seem to beat Florida. Peyton Manning never beat the Gators, Tee Martin only beat them once in the national championship year twenty years ago, and in the last thirteen years Florida is 12-1 against Tennessee. It's called a great rivalry, but when a team has won as many as Florida has it's really hard to see a rivalry there. For instance, since Tennessee clobbered the Gators in the 1990 "downpour", the Vols have won just six other times. Six, that's all. Florida is 21-6 against the Volunteers in the last 27 years. That's not a rivalry.

Maybe it's because we're consuming too much alligator. Maybe the "Alligator Gods" are seeking revenge on our dietary habits here in the Volunteer state. I saw on the news this week about a five-foot long gator being captured in Monroe County in east Tennessee. Alligators are not normally found this far north but they're being discovered more and more, even in the Tennessee river.   

I have never checked to see the nutritional value of gator meat. I don't know how many carbs or calories are involved and while gator is considered to be a delicacy in other parts of the country, in Tennessee it's considered to be a once a year treat.                                           

Perhaps we should stop eating alligator. Over the last thirty years or so, it hasn't translated into many Tennessee wins and it just doesn't taste good.  

* * *

Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


FOOTBALL     FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19 Father Ryan at Baylor Bradley at William Blount Brainerd at Tyner Central at Hixson Notre Dame at Chattanooga Christian Cleveland at Ooltewah East Hamilton at Anderson Co. East Ridge at Howard Grace at Mt. Juliet Christian Sunbright at Lookout Valley Loudon at Marion ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: The Battle Captain Leads The Choir

"We don't give a damn about the whole state of Alabama, whole state of Alabama, whole state of Alabama. We don't give a damn about the whole state of Alabama....we're from Tennessee."   Those were the words that rang from the jubilant Tennessee locker room late Saturday afternoon, just a few minutes after the Volunteers had knocked off 21st ranked Auburn 30-24 and the ... (click for more)

Motorcyclist Brennan Wilson, 26, Killed In Accident On Highway 153 Sunday Evening

Brennan Wilson, 26, was killed in an accident on Sunday on Highway 153. The Chattanooga Police Department's Traffic Unit responded at approximately 7:56 p.m. to a fatality crash at 5200 Highway 153. A Ford Fiesta, driven by Rachael Daniels, 19, was facing southbound in the left turn lane waiting for northbound traffic to clear the intersection. She stated to police she waited ... (click for more)

Sears At Hamilton Place To Close

Sears at Hamilton Place Mall is on the list of the latest Sears department stores to close.   It is one of four on the list in Tennessee to shut its doors.   The Sears at Northgate Mall will remain open for now. (click for more)

Walker County Needs A Board Of Commissioners

On Nov. 6, voters in Walker County, Ga. will vote on a referendum to determine if the county will move to a five person board of commissioners or stay with a sole commissioner form of government. The referendum is the result of several years of debate and discussion within the county. In 2012,  Dr. Paul Shaw, in his attempt to unseat then-Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Coach Who Said ‘No’

I couldn’t tell you the first time I met John Gagliardi … 30 years ago? 40? … and I never saw him nearly enough. He was a Division III football coach at some monastery of a place in Minnesota and that’s a long way from the Southeastern Conference. Our orbits rarely overlapped but somewhere down the line we were at the same table for dinner. Once that happened, it seemed like the ... (click for more)