Derek Dooley’s Fate Even Has Knoxville Radio Hosts Losing Their Cool

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It’s a big week for Derek Dooley as his Vols travel to Athens to take on the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs.

Given the fact that Georgia is a two touchdown favorite, it’s probably unfair to expect Dooley to pull off the upset. But the tension in Knoxville in the wake of an awful final eighteen minutes against Florida has Dooley’s job status as a constant topic. Which brings to local radio station WNML, the Sports Animal, the Volunteer affiliate, ground zero for Vol fan disgust.

Every morning Doc, Jeff, and Heather talk sports. The trio is an odd couple (plus one) of sorts, Doc is Mickey Dearstone, longtime voice of the Tennessee Lady Vols, Jeff Jacoby has been covering the Vols for 14 years, and Heather Harrington is a former Lady Vol volleyball player.  

On Tuesday morning a caller was arguing that Derek Dooley needed to go. This same call has been received by the trio every day for the past three years.

Usually, nothing extraordinary happens, but Tuesday, lucky for all of us, something snapped.

Leading to radio gold.

Listen to the audio here. (Pause the video on the right side of the screen to ensure you hear it all).

And if you can’t listen to the audio, we’ve helpfully recreated the blow-up for you below. But, again, please listen to the audio yourself as the recreated audio can’t capture the sublime awkwardness and awesomeness of sports talk radio hosts coming undone over Dooley’s future. Between this clip and UT frat boys butt-chugging wine it’s clear that everyone in Knoxville is slowly going crazy.

Heather: “I started talking first, Jeff, I don’t know why you’re getting mad.”

Jeff: “You’ve been talking all day I haven’t been able to say a word… “

Doc: “Alright, both of you….”

Heather: “Woah, you need to BACK up!”

Jeff: “No, you need to back up.”

Heather: “You need to back up.”

Six seconds of silence, which is an eternity in radio. Trust me.

Doc: “I’ll take it from here, both of you go on.”

The two co-hosts are evicted from the studio. Where they likely continued their debate about who needed to back up outside of audio range.

Next caller: a stuttering regular named Roger who wants to talk to Heather about his putt-putt hole-in-one. Only Heather isn’t on air. If you don’t absolutely lose it when the discussion about the putt-putt course keeping your golf ball comes around, you’re a better man or woman than me.  

Seriously, you can’t make up local sports talk radio.

Meanwhile, Derek Dooley, the ostensible cause of the fight, remains 3-1 on the season, 14-14 in his Tennessee coaching career.

I’m not sure anyone in Knoxville media will survive another .500 football season.

You Need To Back Up!

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.