By now my take on "Bray-gate" is pretty well known. Honestly, I was fairly impressed with the UT fanbase and media in the wake of that situation. After the initial "That bo' need ta gro' on up, now" furor died down, most of the media and fans settled down and realized that college kids do stupid things and the whole bottle fiasco was going to go away with a few extra wind-sprints. Sure, the Vandy homers on Nashville talk-radio tried to compare Tyler to the Titans' Kenny Britt, but mostly people realized just how minor the situation was and have now turned their attention towards the impending beatdown that is to be administered to the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Everyone, that is, except Jimmy Hyams.
Look, it's no secret that those of us who post on FeelsLike98 are brutally honest and maybe even a tiny bit over-the-top in our judgment of the media that covers the University of Tennessee, but let's be real here; most of them are decent at what they do. I have much more problem with the blind followers of certain paysite writers than I do with the writers themselves. Those writers are generally only as good as their sources, and some of them have lost their edge due to the way information flows on the Internet these days, but by and large I think they are good guys who work hard at their jobs. The Internet world is ever-evolving and it's tough to stay on top and differentiate yourself from everyone else, so I don't envy the guys who have to break stories for a living, especially when there are sites out there like FL98 who are pushing the envelope on the way you've always done things and forcing you to respond in new and different ways to new and different threats.
But... then there's Jimmy Hyams.
People tell me he is connected, well-respected, and an "insider". On Nashville radio, his weekly and bi-weekly segments are billed as their time with "UT insider, Jimmy Hyams." Is this the same Jimmy Hyams that actually comes on the air? I mean, when was the last time that Jimmy Hyams broke a story or gave us some information that we didn't know a couple of weeks before he spoke on it? I challenge anyone out there to listen to his show and tell me when he tells us anything that an informed UT fan with a Comcast cable modem doesn't know. Last year, they asked him if UT's defense would be good and his response was something like, "Well, I don't know, they could be or maybe they won't be." Almost everything he says is speculation that may or may not be based on something that he may or may not have heard from the kid who may or may not take his groceries to his car at Food City. That sounds harsh but honestly, his Food City bagboy probably pools his tips with the girl at the register to get subscriptions to a couple of pay sites, which automatically means he knows more than Hyams does. The website where you're reading this article gets heckled daily for missing on the "Randy Shannon to Tennessee" rumor, yet Hyams went on record saying that Bryce Brown would not sign with Tennessee and that Lane Kiffin wasn't even a candidate for the head coaching job yet nobody seems to question his insider status.
You're probably asking what Hyams did to fire me up. Other than being a waste of space as it relates to University of Tennessee coverage for the last however-many years, he drew my ire when he went on Nashville's 104.5 last week and speculated about the status of Da'Rick Rogers and Tyler Bray. This came out of the response to Mark Howard asking him about the reports that Da'Rick Rogers had been great in the film room all summer and was in great shape. Hyams responded that Da'Rick hadn't changed and was still a huge problem, that Bray's beer bottle incident wasn't his first issue, and that he wouldn't be surprised if neither of them finished the season on the team. He offered no cooroboration to support why the multiple reports of Rogers' better attitude are false. He offered no information about the supposed further legal troubles of Tyler Bray. Is any of this even true? Well, the entire midstate believes it is, because Jimmy Hyams said it was. Hyams has continually dogged Derek Dooley for more information on things that have no basis, no matter how many times he is told there is nothing there. So has Heather Harrington. Harrington is irrelevant. Why isn't Hyams?
The bottom line is that Jimmy Hyams hasn't been connected to anything at UT since Phillip Fulmer exited stage-left, and none of those sources are coming back. I would challenge the Vol nation to seek their information elsewhere and to judge for themselves whether it has any credibility. Don't let someone tell them they are an insider just because they've been around 20 years. Don't let those people craft the message that represents Tennessee when you know that it isn't accurate. Change your listening and reading habits and put these unconnected relics out to pasture.