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Tennessee Volunteers @ Kentucky Wildcats: Climactic Virtual Tailgate of the 2011 Season

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation and Tennessee Volunteer fans everywhere to the final A Sea of Blue virtual tailgate of the 2011 season.  For Kentucky fans and Tennessee fans alike, this has been a long and frustrating season for both fan bases that we would all collectively like to forget.  Tennessee retains the hope of a victory today leading to a minor bowl game, which, given their lofty standing in the annals of college football, can only be a drop of salve on a painful wound.

Kentucky, on the other hand, has the hope of ending a losing streak to Tennessee that spans over a quarter-century.  Winning today would be cause for massive celebration in the Commonwealth, muted as it would be by the end of our five year post-season streak and first losing regular season since 2005.

But more on the game later.  Follow me past the jump to get your virtual feed on.

Hey, you look like you could use a drink.  Never fear, the Virtual Tailgate shall provide.  In honor of Tennessee, for the second time in three tailgates, we'll be serving the Tennessee Legend, Jack Daniel's. So those of you who love JD, here it is.  We have plenty of mixers:

Jack Daniels

But this game is also on Kentucky's home turf, and as such, it is only fitting that we also offer a drink that those of us can appreciate a bit more than the famous Old No. 7.  As a person who enjoys his bourbon whiskey a great deal, I have selected a perhaps less iconic but, to my mind, far more tasty product:

Woodford Reserve

And of course, for those of you who prefer your tailgates with good old beer, we are offering something more upscale in honor of our neighbors to the south:

Aniversário do @proveisso

Okay, now on to the food.  Since Thanksgiving was just two days ago, we still have lots and lots of leftover ham and turkey, so we figured another Kentucky favorite would be in order.

Hot Brown!

Yes, it's a Hot Brown.  Nice way to dispose of holiday leftovers.

For our side dishes, first we are offering one of my personal favorites, a southern classic:

Great Picnic Fare Potato Salad To Kick Off My Potatoes Days In June

Tater salad!  My mom, God rest her, made the very best, and my sister did a fair approximation at Thanksgiving dinner this past Thursday.

Here is yet another classic picnic and Thanksgiving food (at least at our table) that never fails to please:

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs by the dozen.

Finally, a combination desert and side dish, and a personal favorite:

Sweet Potato Fries and Mustard Sauce

Sweet potato fries.  We offer either a mustard or sweet dipping sauce, as you prefer.

Okay, now that we have a drink and some food, let's talk Tennessee @ Kentucky.

The only thing on my mink right now is The Streak.  It must die.  Somehow, some way, by some miracle or divine intervention, this gorilla must dismount our collective backs and be cast back into the jungle from whence it came.

The problem is, it looks as though we will be starting our best wide receiver as quarterback.  Matt Roark may be the only guy available to run the offense, and how that will work is anybody's guess.

Whatever happens today, we need to find some way to win the game.  That's all I am interested in.  Ken has broken down the game, and it will be a major challenge for the Wildcats to contain Tyler Bray.  But even if they manage to do that, somebody has to put points on the board for Kentucky, and this year, that has been Mission Impossible.

Well, I'm running late, so I'll leave you with this thought -- I think UK will be more motivated.  Will that be enough?  I don't know.  Let's hope.

Go, 'Cats!