September 7, 2007

Bruce Pearl & Beer: Winning Combo

The Metro Pulse clued us in on Bruce Pearl's little Milwaukee secret to success. A little thing called "Pearl Jam".

When UT basketball coach Bruce Pearl coached in Milwaukee he had a post-game tradition. After each home game, fans would gather in a local beer garden with Pearl as special guest and whoop it up to celebrate a win. Pearl would bond with the fans and it made him a popular coach while building the fan base.

There has been some discussion of starting such a tradition in Knoxville, an agreement between the athletic department and a sports bar to be post-game central. Pearl is a popular coach and loves interacting with fans. It could become a huge event.

It hasn't happened so far because there is another consideration. This is the buckle of the Bible belt. Should some inebriated fan crash his car on the way home and there be a tragic accident, it could cause major criticism of the basketball program.

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