Cleveland, TN-(WDEF) When Tide Coach Nick Saban was invited to speak in Athens, Tennessee, on June 11th, some UT fans were upset that Saban was speaking in the heart of Big Orange Nation. So the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club helped counter act the move by holding a rally for Vols coach Butch Jones on Friday night in Cleveland. The Cleveland Rocks Butch Jones rally was more of an effort to rock Nick Saban. Said WCLE Radio host Steve Hartline on introducing Jones to the crowd,"I want them in Athens on Tuesday to say, did you hear what they did at Bradley Central High School on Friday night?"
Fans even put Jones on the spot about beating Bama. Said one fan,"When will we beat the Crimson Tide?" (applause) Said Jones,"I can tell you this. Obviously I understand the importance of that rivalry."
The Crimson Tide has won the last six meetings against the Volunteers. Said Jones,"Rivalries are what make the pageantry of college football. Obviously, our rivalry with Alabama is very, very important, coupled with the great job that Coach Saban has done with their football program. I think that adds to it as well. I understand the magnitude and importance of that rivalry, but again, that's what makes college football special."
While Vols fans may not care for Saban, Jones admires the Tide coach. Said Jones,"With the success Coach Saban has had, obviously as a coach you want to look to people that have been successful. Obviously, his body of work speaks for itself. We have talked briefly, but not a lot. Obviously I have followed his coaching style. I have followed him from a distance."
Jones reiterated on Friday to the audience that UT was his dream job. "It is an honor and a responsibility to be your head football coach. It's nights like this, that keep reminding me the importance of what Tennessee football is to this great state."