#1 he World Series returns to Wrigley Field.Kropp favors forgiv von mary123 10.09.2019 08:37

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After beginning their college careers on losing teams, Tennessees seniors would love nothing more than to finish up by playing for a Southeastern Conference championship.Those seniors still hope to reach that goal as they prepare for their final college home game Saturday against Missouri (3-7, 1-5 SEC).That would mean everything, defensive end Corey Vereen said.In order to get to Atlanta for a shot at the title, Tennessee (7-3, 3-3) must win its final two games and have No. 16 LSU defeat No. 21 Florida on Saturday. Tennessee plays at Vanderbilt next week in its regular-season finale.Tennessee isnt in control of its destiny, but the fact the Vols are even in contention for a division title in mid-November shows how far this program has come since these seniors enrolled.Theyve made a lasting impact on Tennessee football, Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. We always talk about is Tennessee football better because you were a part of it. How have you impacted the football program? All these individuals have impacted the football program in a very, very positive manner.This senior class includes the first collection of players Jones recruited to Tennessee as well as four players who preceded the coachs arrival in Knoxville. Linebacker Kenny Bynum, tight end Jason Croom, defensive end LaTroy Lewis and defensive lineman Charles Folger are the lone fifth-year seniors who were part of Derek Dooleys last Tennessee team.Dooley was fired amid a 5-7 season in 2012. Jones and the other freshmen came aboard in 2013 when Tennessee again finished 5-7 for its fourth straight losing season.Tennessee went 7-6 in 2014 and 9-4 last season while winning bowl games each year. This season, the Vols were ranked as high as ninth before a three-game skid in October caused them to tumble out of the Top 25.The headline performers in this class are quarterback Joshua Dobbs, cornerback Cam Sutton and linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin.Dobbs has made 32 career starts while majoring in aerospace engineering. His accomplishments on and off the field have made him the face of Tennessees program.A lot of people said you cant go to college, cant play SEC football and major in engineering, (that) theres just not enough time in the day, Dobbs said. You cant do this and you cant do that. ... My message always has been, `Why cant I do that? Sutton, a starter since the opening game of his freshman season, is Tennessees career leader in passes defended and returned to action last week after missing six games with a fractured ankle. Reeves-Maybin led the Vols in tackles in 2015 and tied for the team lead in 2014 before season-ending shoulder surgery limited him to just four games this year.Tennessees fifth-year seniors encountered even more adversity as they dealt with consecutive losing seasons and a coaching change in their first two years on campus.They marvel at how much has happened since their arrival.We remember when we just moved into Gibbs (Hall), me and Jason were roommates together, Lewis said. We look over across the street and Gibbs is gone (it was demolished in 2014). Its a whole new building up. How things have changed over time, its really interesting to look back on.Those four fifth-year seniors have only made a combined seven starts this season, but theyve delivered quite an impact off the field. Lewis has started a local nonprofit organization aimed at mentoring and educating young people in the Knoxville area, while Folger volunteers at the Tennessee School for the Deaf in Knoxville.Tennessees seniors acknowledge Saturdays game will carry an emotional weight. Folger quipped that Im going to cry like a baby when he runs onto Neyland Stadiums field for the last time and is greeted by his family.But they dont want to get too nostalgic just yet. Theres too much at stake.We still have a lot of dreams and goals on the table, Dobbs said. We cant get caught up in too much of the emotion and be focused on this being our last (home) game. Weve still got to prepare and get ready to play a ballgame Saturday.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25---Follow Steve Megargee at www.twitter.com/stevemegargee Alex Morgan USA Jersey . 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LOUIS -- Lance Lynn was one of the more enthusiastic participants as the St. CHICAGO -- With a mix of euphoria, relief and disbelief, long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans are shaking off superstitions and setting their sights on the teams first World Series in 71 years.Loyal fans as far south as San Antonio, Texas, and as far west as Washington state restructured their worldviews to include the seductive possibility that they wont be disappointed again.For me, personally I had tears in my eyes. Ive seen them come close, said Chicago native Jimmy Tingas, 47, who owns Wrigleyville Grill in San Antonio where he caters to homesick former Chicagoans still craving hot dogs and Italian beef. We have one more task to do. Im confident theyre going to do it.First lady Michelle Obama joined the chorus Sunday morning, congratulating her hometown Cubs a day after the team defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicagos Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.The Chicago native tweeted: Way to go Cubs!! She then recalled her father, saying: My Dad is the reason Im a true Cubs fans. Hed be so proud!Lifelong fan Marilyn Hnatusko wiped away tears after the win Saturday night, recalling other longtime Cubs fans.I thought of all my relatives who didnt see this, my dear Uncle John, and now I cant quite believe it happened, she said.Scattered across the world, Cubs fans make up their own diaspora. Blizzard-hardened folk, their befuddling loyalty encompasses decades of frustration, disillusionment and too many sigh-filled pangs for next year. Many never lived in Chicago, but grew up elsewhere in the nations heartland, listening to games on WGNs powerful AM signal, which could be heard hundreds of miles, especially at night.Theyre often pressed to explain their loyalty. Stephen Kropp, 46, of Mercer Island, Washington, grew up in Chicago and stays true to his Cubs. He and a buddy plan to attend World Series Game 22 in Cleveland dressed as the Blues Brothers.dddddddddddd.Its a huge emotional investment, Kropp said Sunday. Its dumping all these emotions into something that never gives you anything back. Hanging out at Wrigley, having a beer and knowing youll never get to the promised land. These fans have more credibility (than other teams) to say theyre the best fans in baseball.A Midwestern impulse toward redemption is welling up on social media with a ForgiveBartman hashtag campaign pulling for Steve Bartman to throw out the first pitch when the World Series returns to Wrigley Field.Kropp favors forgiving Bartman, the fan whose interference with a foul ball in the 2003 playoffs added to the sense of a hovering curse. But they should seat him five rows back or higher, just in case, Kropp said.Restaurant owner Tingas, too, is having some trouble letting go of some traditional Cubs beliefs, like the infamous billy goat curse: When we win the World Series were going to have roasted goat, Ill tell you that.Steve Zucker, whos been coming to games since the 1940s, said before Saturdays game that if the Cubs won, he would go to his fathers grave and leave a Cubs hat and T-shirt.My dad died playing cards, listening to the game on a little transistor radio, so I may bring that, too, Zucker said. Before this year, I never thought I would see this.Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo said the fans deserved to see this team make the World Series.These fans have been amazing since the time I got here, Rizzo said. We got four more big ones to go, but were going to enjoy this.Chicago faces the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.---AP writer Don Babwin in Chicago contributed to this report. ' ' '

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