'Classless': Tennessee fans sound off on ESPN commentators smoking cigars following Alabama win
The Tennessee Volunteers haven’t had the opportunity lately to partake of the decades-old cigar-smoking tradition surrounding its annual “Third Saturday in October” game against Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won the last 13 meetings between the two teams in a series that kicked off in 1903.
Late in Saturday’s game, with the result appearing to be well in hand, ESPN analyst Todd McShay and sideline reporter Molly McGrath decided to get in on the tradition themselves.
In McShay and McGrath’s defense, they were simply having a little fun after what certainly was a long day and weekend in Tuscaloosa.
Naturally, Vols fans — and even a Nashville news anchor (and Tennessee grad) — didn’t see it the same way, and took to Twitter to blast the network for anything from perceived bias toward Alabama to a complete and total lack of class.
— Russ Mitchell (@RussMitchellCFB) October 20, 2019
Did they go to Alabama? No, just biased, same as the refs
— Billy Vaughn (@williamevaughn3) October 20, 2019
Just waiting to see the @SECOfficiating smoking theirs
— RogReu (@Rogreu) October 20, 2019
Did they get a paycheck from Alabama too?
— Curtis Graham (@curtisgraham18) October 20, 2019
@espn I don’t appreciate your sideline reporters smoking cigars with Alabama that was so sickening and disgusting you’re so bias for Alabama it’s so pathetic not happy at all but I know your not going to do anything about it but that’s ok tho
— Dwayne Ramsey (@DwayneRamsey17) October 20, 2019
Hey ESPN @ESPNCFB , why did you spend the last 5 minutes of your broadcast focused on cigar smoking ? Your sideline reporters were guilty as well. Classless
— Carter Shipe (@CarterShipe) October 20, 2019
ESPN reporters with cigars on sideline rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I’m just irked by everything that went down, but not a good look imo.
— Nikki Burdine (@NikkiBurdine) October 20, 2019
One of my favorite moments yesterday for the @SECOfficiating crew was when they called delay of game and then oh wait nvm Bama called time. It’s almost like a magic show out there. Was your cigars good @espn and @SECOfficiating
— Donnie Fuller (@dfuller04) October 20, 2019
I hate ESPN so much. I still can’t believe they compared JG and Peyton. Also never cared to keep updating Vol fans on Maurer, and their reporters having cigars in their mouth made me want to punch them even more than the refs.
— Depressed Bob Kesling! (@GSix1987) October 20, 2019
One can only wonder if Tennessee, who hasn’t beaten the Tide since 2006, had itself gotten the win and ESPN’s commentators were still smoking cigars. While the argument in favor of ESPN having a cozier relationship with Alabama than it does other teams in college football ranking as an age-old debate, the network apparently felt that McShay and McGrath were doing nothing wrong here and likely won’t do anything in the way of disciplining the 2 personalities.