Saturday, January 31, 2009

Orange or yellow? You judge

This being Super Bowl weekend and all, today and Sunday's BOVB will be devoted to the fact that there's no true Orange in the NFL.

Which is sad.

(O, what Vol Nation would give if the Titans would switch to the high-vibrating Orange of our beloved Volunteers.)

If you think there's an NFL team that sports true Orange colors, please let me know.

In the meantime, this photo contains the only Orange I've seen in an NFL game since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers abandoned the sweet unis they had until 1997.

I snapped this pic at Kickback's in Jacksonville while watching the Steelers-Ravens playoff game a few weeks ago. One of the players was hurt and out rolls this Orange cart to take him off the field.

My Gator-loving friends said the cart is yellow. I think they're on crack. To me this is pert'near Tennessee Orange.

You tell me.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Rattlers: Decently Orange, very cool

You just gotta love Florida A & M University. Check it out:

* My friend Tia Mitchell went to school there

* They've got a great football tradition and cool unis

* Their marching band (The Marching 100) ROCKS

* The university has partnered with Victoria Secret to create PINK wear for its female students and grads (who can argue with that?)

* They're called the Rattlers. How cool is that?

* And just as the vehicle pictured here does, they sport school colors of green and a cheerful shade of dark Orangeness, a cool combo in my book

BTW I spotted this Ford sedan (I think it's a Crown Vic) outside the Riverside YMCA in Jacksonville earlier this month. It sports FAMU tags and I see it there all the time. It always cheers me up to see it.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dare to imagine an Orange Bandit!

Yes, dare to imagine how much sweeter life would be if:

* When you get stuck in traffic, it's in an Orange vehicle?

* When you get stuck in traffic, it was next to an Orange Vehicle?

* Burt Reynolds had driven an Orange Firebird in Smokey & the Bandit?

"So much cooler that movie would have been," Yoda say.

The traffic-jam idea came to me as I sat looking out my window at a total standstill on I-95.

The Smokey & the Bandit idea came to me when I got this pic of an Orange car from my brother Rod. He said he spotted it Jan. 27 during lunch at Fazoli's in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

I'm not sure if this is a Trans Am like the Bandit drove, or a Firebird or Camaro. Either way, I just wish I had seen that totally sweet, perfectly UT-Orange vehicle myself.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's Wednesday. Hump day. For me it's one of the longer days of the week.

That said, I figured we'd check out this Orange-and-White work truck I photographed on I-95 North a couple weeks ago.

Seems to me this has kind of a Lady Vols scheme to it, given the light blue stripe. It sure was nice to drive next to for a few miles.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Too close to call?

Orange Nation is a happy place these days. Of course there were the huge coaching catches, but now it seems that several coveted recruits, once thought uninterested in Rocky Top, could be headed to the Hill.

UT is getting closer in snagging a kid who already committed to Florida, another originally more interested in Southern Miss, and is gaining on a third who's being pursued by several SEC schools plus Purdue. It's exciting news but it's too close to call at this point.

What's not even close is Tennessee Orange and "Florida Orange." The photos of these two VW bugs prove it. Both, interestingly, where provided by UF grads desperate to prove their Orange credentials. Both, sadly, failed.

On the left you see a Bug photographed by Diana this past weekend just off Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville. She called it a "Gator Orange bug" in her e-mail.

The pic on the right was provided by Bruce in Jacksonville earlier this month. With the cap and the text added to the vehicle, it's clear Bruce sees this as "Gator Orange."

But seeing them together like this, it's obvious the two cars are different colors. Diana's bug is closer to the pure, true Orange of Tennessee, while Bruce's Bug is clearly the light red shade of UF (proven by the fact it matches the red "F" on the cap).

Vol Nation has spoken.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Seething outrage, soothing Orange

The latest dispatches from Wall Street will turn your face Gator red.

It seems a Merrill Lynch executive John Thain doled out billions of dollars in bonuses to company executives even as the failing firm was about to acquired by Bank of America and was reporting 4th quarter losses in 2008 of more than $15 billion.

Most infuriating, the pre-eminent DB apparently spent $1.2 million refurbishing his office, including having a $35,000 toilet installed. Click here to see the other items he lavished on himself.

To make up for it, the feds should jail Thain and use his golden parachute to buy every taxpayer an Orange Lamborghini like the one pictured here!

These photos were submitted to The Big Orange Vehicle Blog by Konrad in Indianapolis. He was fortunate enough to get to drive this Tennessee-Orange Gallardo for a column he writes for the Indy Star newspaper.

"Do you collect pictures of Orange cars with Australians posing on the hood?" he asked in an e-mail.

Of course! (Though it would be better if that Australian were an attractive model instead of a newspaper columnist, but we'll take what we can get!)


PS -- This isn't the first truly-Orange Lamborghini featured on the BOVB. Click here to see the first one.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's cleaning time

It's been a crazy busy week and I've let my place get way too messy. So today is cleaning day.

Normally, cleaning is something I put off as long as possible. But not today. Today, I have am motivated by these somewhat-Orange street cleaning vehicles in Washington DC. How encouraging to know that our nation has turned to the Orange Nation to keep its avenues fresh and tidy.

This photo was provided by Robb in Columbus, who said his sister snapped the shot over the summer at a street fair in DC. "I think she was probably just testing out her new camera at the time, but clearly she was drawn to the soothing Orange of these street cleaners."

Who wouldn't be?


Friday, January 23, 2009

Kiffin: Lamborghini or old Beemer?

It's one thing to read about all the great coaches Tennessee has hired since the end of the 2008 season. It's quite another, though, to see how much they are being paid as a group: $5.3 million, according to the Associated Press. That's about $12 million for coaching salaries when you count the $6 million it cost UT to get Coach Fulmer out the door.

Some are understandably displeased, especially after tuition increases and cuts in faculty pay. It may not be apples to apples, though, because AD Mike Hamilton says the money generated by a winning program will help fund all athletic programs and thereby free up university dollars for other expenses.

Whatever. But here's my point: The embarrassment of 2008 will pale compared to the grief and humiliation we'll feel if Kiffin and Co. don't come out strong in 2009. Kiff might — might — be allowed to lose to Florida one time, but that's it. But he better whoop everybody else. For $5.3 million, I don't see how we can expect anything less.

Let me explain it in terms of Orange vehicles. Let's say you put up the money for the sweet Lamborghini Murcielago pictured here, but when you went to the lot to pick it up, you found this weathered old BMW instead? Yes, they're both sports cars. But you'd be pretty PO'd, I reckon (especially since the Beemer is closer to UF Red than true Orange).


Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Storm headed UT's way?

Oh man, Tennessee fans really gotta be really careful not to get too excited about the 2009 season.

But it's hard holding back that enthusiasm when you read that one of the best high school running backs in the nation is giving the Vols high marks for its winning history and for it's new coaching staff.

"Tennessee is an up and coming program," Storm Johnson of Georgia told . "They have all new coaches so I can't wait to see what they do in the year (2009)."

Either can we.

The word is Johnson is fast . . . just like this Dodge Challenger Lauren spotted on 30t Street in Boulder, Colo. recently.

"I also saw a bright Orange stroller but didn't have camera out in time," Lauren wrote. "Hey! It's a vehicle!"

True. An Orange stroller would count as a vehicle. But it definitely wouldn't be included in a post about UT's upcoming football season. We've had enough of the baby-steps approach to football to last us a lifetime.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thrown under the bus

Now, this is a real drag. The Florida Times-Union is reporting that WFXJ 930 AM sports broadcasters Robert Lamm and Joe Cowart were sacked on Monday. Apparently it was due to budget cuts resulting from the ongoing economic meltdown.

Obviously I'm not in charge of the station's balance sheets, but I can't imagine how getting rid of these guys is going to help any station's bottom line for very long. Their show was a funny and local take on local, state and national sports. It was the only reason I tuned in.

Since Cowart and Lamm were thrown under the bus, I figured it was appropriate to roll out this big Orange bus. I photographed it in November 2008, just outside Neyland Stadium moments before the ill-fated Tennessee-Wyoming homecoming game.

But just as the Vols' 2008 meltdown brought us Lane Kiffin and dramatic off-season news, this bus reminds us there is an Orange lining to every cloud.

Or at least we hope so.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Be Thou of Orange Cheer

It's well-established by science that Orange is one of nature's best cheer-me-ups. Heck, they might not admit it, but any Bulldog, Tiger or Commodore would be upflited a little Orange therapy.

Volunteer fans have something extra to be elated about: the fact that Lane Kiffin is PO'ing just about every other SEC school by stealing their best recruiters.

Now, whether all this off-season good news translates into a winning formula on the gridiron in 2009 is a different issue altogether.

But why focus on that when we can gaze upon this cheerfully-Orange Stella made by the Genuine Scooter Co. of Chicago?

I spotted it in front of the Riverside YMCA in Jacksonville on Sunday, Jan. 18. A few blocks later I found it parked beside a couple other scooters in the Brooklyn area. It's driver, Russ, was a great sport and a man of clearly good tastes.

Russ and his scooter-riding friends were a great bunch. And while I don't know much about scooters, I can only conclude that the Genuine Scooter Co. must be A-OK since it produced a vehicle in such gorgeous Orange.


Monday, January 19, 2009

PA: Home of the Big Orange tractor

We live in difficult times. Most everyone knows someone who’s recently lost a job. Those of us still punching a time clock know how fortunate we are while constantly wondering if and when the ax will fall on us.

So the staff here at The Big Orange Vehicle Blog figured it was time to roll out some Big Orange Cheer in the form of this here tractor. What communicates the ideals of hard work and determination more than a tractor? And what is more cheerful than Orange?

Krista spotted it Jan. 14, 2009 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show tractor pull contest. “There were a lot of Orange tractors but this one was the closest to Vol Orange,” she said in her E-mail to

Looks like Krista nailed it! Paint a Power T on the sides of this baby and it's ready for game day at Neyland Stadium!

WTG, Krista!


PS -- Krista said ignore the time-stamp on the photo because the time mode is never set correctly on her camera. Given that this is such a fine example of Tennessee Orange and so far one of the more unusual vehicles featured on this blog, that's a detail that can be overlooked.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

BGSU: Talent- and colorblind

The verdict is in: former UT offensive coordinator Dave Clawson knows nothing about offense and he knows nothing about Orange, neither.

Exhibit A: The 2008 football season. The Vols ended the season with a 5-7 record and a ranking of 115th out of 119 Division I-A teams in total offense.

Exhibit B: Former UT wide receiver Josh Briscoe told last week the team was repeatedly told to give Clawson’s complicated offense time to work — that it would take two years to work. “Coach, we don't have that time. We're struggling right now," Briscoe remembers telling a UT assistant.

His trust in Clawson cost Coach Fulmer and his staff their jobs.

Which leads us to Exhibit C: Despite his dismal performance, Clawson lands the head coaching job at Bowling Green State University.

Like Florida, Texas, Syracuse, Oklahoma State and many others, BGSU is a school that claims Orange as one of its colors. But a visit to the school Web site proves the university is as colorblind as it is talent-blind.

Some page headers are close to Tennessee (i.e., pure) Orange. But then you see safety Orange ball caps and football helmets as Gator red as this weathered VW Bug spotted by L. last week in Boulder, Colo.

Vol Nation now passes sentence on Clawson: May there be enough faux-Orange around to constantly remind him what a rotten job he did at UT.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The United States of Orange

Unity. It's a word we heard a lot during the presidential election and we're bound to hear it a lot more in the coming years. Hopefully, political rhetoric will become social reality in our nation.

Fortunately, we the people of the Orange Nation know what being united means. We came together as UT's greatest quarterback ever, Tee Martin, led the Vols to a 13-0 and undisputed, unchallengeable national championship in 1998. Today we are united in hope and enthusiasm as Lane Kiffin builds a football team worthy of leading these United States of Orange.

Let us dwell in unity by gazing up on this totally badass van operated by United Electric Company of Jacksonville. I spotted it this month (January, 2009) in the San Marco area of Jacksonville. It's high-vibrating hue cut through the mist of a gray, rainy day and drew me right to it. Seeing it brought cheer to an otherwise gloomy day.


PS -- if you're wondering why the bottom image looks more like the light red of Florida, it's because I shot that image through the tinted window of my SUV. Rest assured the top image, with its mood-enhancing Volunteer Orange, is what it really looked like.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The pscyhology of Orange

Some say it's crazy to be obsessed about Orange. But my diagnosis is that it is psychologically unhealthy not to be obsessed with Orange.

Science backs me up on this. Just Google "psychology, Orange," or "Orange therapy" and you'll be presented with numerous Web sites and articles testifying to the psychologically-beneficial and healing aspects of Orange.

"Orange is ... considered an energetic color," one article says. "Orange calls to mind feelings of excitement, enthusiasm and warmth."

I submit that our culture desperately needs an infusion of excitement, enthusiasm and warmth — i.e. Orange — in these dark economic times. In fact I am confident that a steady viewing of UT Orange could do as much, if not more, than the so-called economic stimulus package to restore our nation's hope and prosperity!

So let's start right now with this amazing Orange Porsche, which I photographed at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville in 2008. Hats off to the German who thought, "why don't we make an Orange one?" It may be a shade or two off Sacred Orange, but when it comes on such a sweet automobile, it's close enough.

Got a friend who's down and out? Show 'em this pic. It's bound to cheer 'em up.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gator colors: Light red and blue!

Bless her soul. My friend L., knowing my passion for Orange, e-mailed me this shot of a pickup truck recently from Colorado.

It reminded me of that old, semi-biblical saying: "For what shall it profit a team if it gains the national championship yet doesn't know true Orange?"

L. is from Ohio, so she's excused for not really knowing or caring what true Orange is (even though I weep for her because of it). But there's no excuse for UF and its fans not knowing the difference.

And they don't.

Anyone who isn't color blind or from Gainesville can see this truck is the same shade of light red used on the Gators' uniforms.

UF should be applauded for its winning of the BCS title. I am grateful they made the SEC look good again. But what good is that if, at the end of the day, they can't tell the difference between red and Orange?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Orange Sweet Orange

Oh so sweet.

Yeah, I'm talking about this 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago.

But I'm also talking about it's color: Orange. Beautiful, gorgeous, pure Orange.

In other words, Tennessee Orange.

Look, those of us who hail from Rocky Top disagree on some things. Did Coach Fulmer get a fair shake in 2008? Was Lane Kiffin the right guy to replace him? Should the Vols wear the all-Orange uniforms at some or all home games?

But what we do agree on is that our Orange is the one, true Orange.

In my opinion, this Lamborghini is that Orange — or dang close to it.

The Big Orange Vehicle Blog is meant to be a showcase of that Orange. Using photographs of vehicles (planes, trains, automobiles, boats, whatev) we'll show the world what is — and isn't — Orange.

So e-mail those pics to Be sure to include where and when you saw the vehicle. Also include your 2 cents on whether and why it is or isn't Real Orange.

Fans of other schools claiming Orange in their colors — Florida, Texas, Syracuse, etc. — are welcome to post pics, too. Tell us why you think your Orange is really Orange.

We'll tell you why it ain't.

Have fun.

PS — I spotted the Lamborghini Murcielago in the San Marco section of Jacksonville the first week of January, 2009.