Thanks for 600! Here’s our plan for the fall…

Six hundred shows. Six hundred.

For a weekly independent show to reach that number is truly beyond compare. It’s been decades since a show like The Sports Source has survived in the Knoxville market for so long.

In terms of sheer longevity, we’re creeping up one East Tennessee personalities like Marshal Andy, Cas Walker and the Mulls. Not bad.

Our goal with The Sports Source has been – and always will be – to deliver quality content to you in interesting ways. We don’t throw wallpaper video on screen just for the sake of doing so. We don’t open up the phone lines and leave it up to the viewers to produce the show. We don’t beat the same drum every week, either. One week my email inbox will be filled with angry notes calling us the biggest bunch of homers this side of the Appalachians. The next week the analysts and I will be labeled as haters.

Someone told me when I first started The Sports Source that I needed to pick a side in order to keep my sanity. “If you’re always positive, you’ll always have the sunshine-pumpers in your corner. If you’re always negative, you’ll have the gripers behind you every week. But if you play it down the middle? Buddy, you’re going to have everyone hating you at one time or another.”

Well, wise or not, that’s the tack we took and somehow it’s allowed us to reach Show 600 and beyond. While I could do without the ugly emails (and now tweets), the fact that folks watch us week in and week out – and support our sponsors week in and week out – makes the honest, independent path a rewarding one.

As we enter our 13th season of Vol football coverage, my plan the show remains the same. I’ll pack the each Sunday’s program with as many VFLs as possible. Our bench this year includes Shazzon Bradley, Jacob Gilliam, Sterling Henton, Daniel Hood, David Ligon, Will Overstreet and Bobby Scott. Those guys bring UT and football knowledge that covers nearly 50 years. Their perspectives are different. Their views are passionate. And they’re always encouraged to say whatever the heck they think… even when it conflicts with our media analysts or this host.

We’ll once again slam as many different topics into our hour as possible. From a general discussion at the show’s start to grades of the Vols’ different offensive and defensive units to a “Huddle Up” segment featuring VFLs only, the show is designed to move. Snap and clear, if you will.

And that “Huddle Up” segment is open to you, by the way. We’ll take the best tweeted question each Sunday and put it before our panel for discussion. Hmmm. Come to think of it, this fall I actually WILL let one viewer a week co-produce a segment.

Finally, we’ll do our best to inform and entertain. We take the facts seriously; we don’t take ourselves seriously. Anyone who’s watched us since 2003 knows that we’ll take the occasional shot at one another. And there’s plenty of self-deprecation to boot.

But the information is legit. No one has ever been told to throw something bizarre against the wall to see if it sticks. As producer and host, I’ve never instructed someone how to answer a question, either. And I will never manufacture an argument on The Sports Source just for the sake of having an argument. ESPN fills its program schedule with that type of stuff, but I don’t believe in it. If five people on my show all feel one way about a topic then that in itself is telling.

So as we gear up for another year, here’s hoping you’ll enjoy the 2015-16 season of The Sports Source. Your loyalty over the years – both to the show and to the sponsors – has been overwhelming. You can flip through this website and see the testimonials of many of our current and past corporate partners. Without you supporting them, we never get those testimonials and we never reach Show 600 or Year 13. For that reason, The Sports Source truly belongs to you. It’s the last of the fully independent, local television programs.

So I humbly thank you for your viewership and support. And we as a group look forward to talking University of Tennessee athletics with you for this next year… and many more to come.

All the best,
John Pennington


3 Responses to “Thanks for 600! Here’s our plan for the fall…”

September 18, 2015 at 2:46 am, sportssource@ said:

Thanks for the kind words, but do me a favor and watch the show here on our homepage! You just click each segment and they play right in the top window. Page views, my friend. Page views.

All the best,


September 17, 2015 at 5:03 pm, Erik Hudson said:

Your show is fantastic! Being a Vol fan living out of state I’m very grateful the show is available on Youtube.

Erik Hudson


September 05, 2015 at 8:45 pm, Ken said:

John you guys put a great show. I hope you are on for many many years. Love it keep up the good work.


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