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The night may be over, but the future has just begun to unfurl.

Barack Obama defeated John McCain for presidency, making history in the progress. Obama succeeded in becoming the first bi-racial president. Some say he’s a socialist; others say he’s hope.

Either way, this country will face a much-needed change. Whether that be for the better or worse, well, that’s a matter of opinion.

I believe it’s safe to say, at least, America is ready for something different. Hopefully, we can all agree on that.

The next few years will undoubtedly be rough; it’s not easy to fix a crappy economy, nor will it be easy to pull out of Iraq… eventually. Both matters are very complicated, complex ideas I know very little about (besides the fact both are not where they should be).

It is my sincerest hope that the new President Obama (I seriously have to get used to that.. wow) will make decisions based on the Constitution and decisions that will be good for America. I hope his education will make up for his lack of experience, and I hope that no harm will come his way. I hope that, if he chooses to take America in a new direction, we the people will be able to put our trust in him, while maintaining our own personal virtues and standards of living.

Not only will America as a whole have some kind of change in the upcoming year(s), but on a more local scale, University of Tennessee football will, too.

On Monday, the legendary Phil Fulmer stepped down from his position as head coach of the UT football program. Fulmer, who had been the coach for 17 years (I was two when he accepted the position) led the team to several bowl games, won two Southeastern Conference championships and led the 1998 team to a national title.

Oh yes, UT football also spawned Peyton Manning, who was also under Fulmer’s wing at UT and is now quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

This season, though, UT football has only claimed a handful of wins and may not be eligible for a bowl game, which requires at least six wins in the season.

If all the above is gibberish for you or like German is to me, let me translate: The Vols haven’t had a decent season in a while, so the coach is gone and now the powers that be are looking for a new one.

The end of an era arrived, causing mixed feelings among students. Some are glad he’s gone, allowing for someone with fresh ideas to step in, and others are sad to see such a talented coach leave. For some students, like myself, he’s the only coach we’ve ever known, and the unknown is scary.

Let’s juxtapose these two situations, seeing how it’s coincidental to me that they both happened in such a close time proximity to each other.

Some students are glad Fulmer is leaving, allowing for someone new with fresh ideas and game plans to step into his shoes. Some Americans are happy Bush is no longer in power (well, not officially until January when Obama is sworn in, but work with me), allowing someone new to step in… and in Obama’s case… with fresh ideas for the country.

Some students mourn Fulmer’s resignation, sad to see him leaving us with the future of UT football unknown. Some Americans are sad to see McCain lose to Obama, with the future of America somewhat unknown and potentially frightening (some would say. I want to remain as unbiased as possible).

Either way, “The times, they are a changin’,” and we’re left here to deal with it in our own ways. We have some decisions to make. We could… cry like babies that McCain lost and whine the next four years about it, or take it like mature adults and roll with the punches, or celebrate someone new coming into office that may not be as bad as some anticipated he would be.

We should all try to have good attitudes about it, hold our heads high, and accept whatever comes our way with the patriotism our forefathers would’ve wanted (and, for UT students and fans everywhere, look forward to some better seasons in the future). Like I’ve said before, change and time are in cahoots with each other. You can’t have one without the other, no matter how bad it gets.

Let’s move forward together, hand-in-hand, and face what awaits us united.

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