What do you get when you combine a staff of top-flight sportswriters with the biggest, best and most enduring UT sports message board on the Internet? Answer: You get Inside Tennessee — the first University of Tennessee sports super site in cyberspace, and a beacon that will attract Vol fans around the globe.
Such a site has been the stuff of discussions and dreams among Big
Orange faithful for over a decade, but it took the deft behind-the-scene
diplomacy of TheInsiders.com network to make it a reality. The end result
is a merger between Rockytop.com and Gridscape.com under TheInsiders' expansive network of college web sites.
"To have a successful team site you have to have great content and a
community," said TheInsiders.com's National Recruiting Editor, Jamie
"That is what you will get when you combine the forces of Rocky Top and
Gridscape. This site will be a super one that every Tennessee fan will
What it means to UT sports fans is the best of all worlds. In addition
to the massive message board community that has been built over the
last decade by Gridscape founder Chuck McCollum, Vol fans will also get
the high-caliber content Rocky Top News magazine has been noted for
delivering during its 12 years as an around-the-calendar publication. They
also will get inside recruiting information from Newberg and highly
respected Southeast recruiting expert Scott Kennedy of BorderWars.com and
RTN editor and award-winning writer Randy Moore brings a rich
a professional journalist specializing in UT sports. Jeffery Stewart
offers a 12-year newspaper sports-writing career highlighted by 29 AP
awards for writing excellence. Over the last four years, Stewart has
distinguished himself as a freelance magazine writer, and for his coverage
of UT recruiting with Alliance Sports, Rivals and most recently
Rockytop.com. Other stories and columns will come from an affiliation of
experts that regularly contribute to Rocky Top News, including, among
others, such luminaries as legendary editor/author Ben Byrd and NFL
scout Chris Landry.
In addition to the inside angle offered by this first-class collection
of contributors, Vol fans will receive first-hand input from
TheInsiders.com's cadre of recruiting analysts and talent evaluators, who will be
answer inquiries on the premium message board, as well as, break
on the main page, and add recruiting updates to both the free and
premium content sites.
The best news for those that appreciate the independent stature of
is: The name will remain the same, while the message boards will retain
the current format that has been refined over the years. The
spontaneous exchanges and free flow of information that has branded Gridscape as
unique among its genre will not be altered or modified.
Likewise, the wealth of free information Rockytop.com readers have
accustomed to receiving will continue, while premium content and
message boards will be added to enhance the site's coverage. Premium content
will include more in-depth analysis than is offered by any competing
network or publication, in addition to recruiting features, updates and
key personnel during practice sessions. An overview of UT football
practice reports will remain free as will features on former Vols, game
stories, opinion pieces, pregame match ups, predictions and a
collection of creative content.
The biggest difference visitors to Inside Tennessee will notice is
better technology, greater speed and more unique content related to the
Tennessee Volunteers than is offered on any other web site in cyberspace.
"This partnership places Inside Tennessee in a position to provide the
best of premium and free content," said Rockytop.com editor Jeffery
Stewart. "Having personally monitored Gridscape over the years, I know
it's the best
place to take the pulse of the Vol Nation. Gridscape is a sport savvy
cyber community where the discourse is largely intelligent and
insightful. I believe this brainchild of Insiders CEO Jim Heckman will grow
into a UT mega
site that's second to none."
Stewart praised Inside Tennessee's editorial staff and offered optimism
about the Web site's future.
"Randy Moore is a 28-year veteran sportswriter who served five
years as the
Knoxville Journal's primary beat writer of the Vols, before taking over
as editor at Rocky Top News. Add the timeless observations of the
revered Ben Byrd along with our other outstanding contributors, and it's
easy to see
that we have a potent line-up of proven professionals. The network's
technical support, extensive data base and impressive array of recruiting
experts pushes IT to the top of the UT heap, but we're aiming for the
the college heap. Vol fans expect the best and we're going to do our
dead-level best to give it to them. Inside Tennessee is a dream come true
for writers that love covering the Vols and for the readers that are
proud to support them. I'm honored to be a part of it and very excited
about our future."
Like a Big Orange fireball cresting over the cyber horizon, a bright,
new day is dawning on the coverage of Tennessee athletics.
Check out InsideTennessee.com to get further inside Volunteer athletics.
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