One of the most embarrassing things a person can do is make fun of the failures of an institution that person contributed to. Well, former Tennessee football running back and recently departed assistant coach Jay Graham did just that.
Graham, who played for the Vols from 1993 to 1996, is currently the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Tuesday evening, he touted the arrival of elite 2021 athlete Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry to the program with a graphic about Bama being unbeatable. That by itself was fine, as he works for Alabama now.
However, Graham decided to take his trolling to another level. A reply to the tweet simply said “5,232 days,” which was a blatant reference to the number of days it had been as of that day since Tennessee football beat Alabama The Vols are currently on a 14-game losing streak to the Tide. Graham thought it would be cute to respond with the phrase “Ago And Counting.”
Ago And Counting …..
— Jay Graham (@CoachjayhGraham) February 17, 2021
Okay, let’s unpack this. Graham has never been a part of any Nick Saban staff. In fact, he hasn’t spent one second at Alabama during this 14-game winning streak over the Vols. In what universe does he get the right to troll Rocky Top for its losing streak?
To make matters even worse, Graham has been a part of the Vols’ losing streak. Don’t forget he spent this past year on Jeremy Pruitt’s staff as Tennessee football’s running backs coach. That was his second one-year stint in that role with UT. His first was in 2012 on Derek Dooley’s staff. The Vols got blown out by Alabama both years.
So Graham is trolling the Vols for a losing streak he contributed to, and he’s touting the Tide for a winning streak he has nothing to do with. That’s just embarrassing. We should also note that each of his stints in Knoxville was the final year for a head coach before he got fired.
For what it’s worth, Graham has actually had three one-year stints on Rocky Top in his coaching career. He was a graduate assistant in 2005. The Vols just happened to lost to Alabama on the road for the first time since 1991 that year. That was an Alabama team led by Mike Shula, and it’s not part of this streak. Simply put, as a coach, Graham has played a solid role in UT losing to Bama.
This is a more embarrassing look than when Butch Jones got a victory cigar in 2018 for beating Tennessee football as an intern with Alabama. After all, Jones went 0-5 against the Tide from 2013 to 2017 as the Vols’ head coach and left the program with a depleted roster, unable to beat Alabama. So he went and joined Alabama got the win and claimed the cigar.
At least Jones wasn’t trying to publicize that incident, though. He was in the locker room and the players got him in on the celebration. Graham, on the other hand, went out of his way to troll the Vols for sinking to something he helped create.
Now, none of this takes away from what Graham did as a player for Tennessee football. Remember, in 1995, Graham had a 75-yard touchdown run in the second half to clinch a victory for the Vols over Alabama in Birmingham, their first over the Tide in a decade at that point.
That sparked a seven-game winning streak and nine wins in 10 years. Graham had a huge role in extending that streak the next year with an 80-yard game-clinching touchdown run. He dominated Alabama as a player.
If Graham wants to take length of time into account, though, it’s been 8,880 days since he took part in helping the Vols beat Alabama. He’s been a part of more losses to Alabama than wins since that time, so he might want to sit this one out.
Maybe Graham is bitter about the way things ended for him at Tennessee football. Well, Pruitt was fired due to an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations. Graham, meanwhile, was just getting off a recruiting show-cause penalty in January. So maybe he shouldn’t be bitter at UT for what happened, and he shouldn’t troll the Vols for a situation he’s been part of.