Tennessee fan who once held famous billboard protest offers opinion on current program
A one-time radio stunt has come back into focus in Tennessee given the Vols current predicament.
Duncan Stewart, who in 1988 climbed on to a billboard in downtown Nashville to protest the Vols’ 0-3 start, has told the Tennessean that it’s time for someone to set up shop on a billboard again until the Vols beat an FBS opponent.
“This team is worse than that team in 1988,” Stewart said. “This team’s horrible and quite frankly the coaching’s a lot worse. This guy (Jeremy Pruitt) doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with Johnny Majors (the coach in 1988). Jeremy Pruitt is not a good football coach. And I just feel so bad because the Vols fan base is one of the most loyal in the country.”
Stewart in 1988 worked for WSIX on an afternoon drive show, and said it was his love for the Tennessee players that caused him to put up a tent on the billboard located 38 feet above Division Street.
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“I had been a Tennessee fan for years and I was at Game 3 against LSU when they lost and some fans were booing them and throwing cups at them and I said, ‘You know, these are just kids and they’re out there doing their best,'” said Stewart, who now lives in Reno, Nevada and works for University of Nevada Reno station KUNR.
It was time for someone to take a stand, and it turned out to be him.
While he was up there, the Vols lost to Auburn, Washington State and Alabama and he didn’t come down until they beat Memphis State. However, he suffered serious injuries on a slip and fall while carrying Budweiser, a show sponsor, and had to modify his arrangement because of a leg injury and later back surgery. More than 200 fans came out to support his eventual descent.
The Vols won five straight games at the end of that season.