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The Bobby-Benson Vol bond
Former Tennessee QB among locals headed to Knox Hall of Fame


While former UT Vol and NFL quarterback Bobby Scott will be inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame next week, the Farragut resident’s son has a second induction idea.

“He deserves to be in a dad’s hall of fame, too,” said Benson Scott, a former Vol footballer himself, about his father.

Bobby Scott led Tennessee to an SEC title in 1969, piloted UT to a Sugar Bowl win and final No. 4 national ranking in 1970 then played 12 seasons in the NFL. He will join other West Knox County honorees during the Thursday, July 27 ceremony in Knoxville Convention Center.

The Scott’s father-son bond solidified in Bobby Scott’s post-football playing days when dad brought his very young son to Rocky Top on Rockin’ fall Saturdays.

“My biggest memories with U-T early in life were one-hundred percent football Saturdays,” said Benson, a holder with the Vols on the 1998 national championship team who also collected two SEC title rings. “Dad and I, every week there was a home game, we headed down and we parked out on the strip. Krystal was our place to go and see how many Krystals we could eat.

“And we’d go to old Varsity Inn, that was our other spot. … It was just kind of our day, dad and I would go down there together and walk up the strip all the way up to the stadium. I can go back today and show you every step we walked ’cause we did it so often.”

As part of a Vol Network radio contribution in which Bobby often did a pre-game show, “He always let me give his prediction for the week… ,” Benson said of his “on-air” period from the mid-to-late-1980s. “I just thought that was the best thing in the world. … It was a blast for me.”

Bobby said, “He was brought up through U-T ball and everything, going to ballgames and that’s really the only place he ever really wanted to go. [Current UT head coach] Philip [Fulmer] is a friend of mine, and I would take him over to practices and stuff like that. He was around players quite a bit.”

The bottom line: “We had always had an incredible father-son relationship,” Benson said. “Dad was one of those dads who supported me no matter what I did.”

That bond grew overseas years later in a totally different type of football atmosphere.

In connection with their church, Cedar Springs Presbyterian, the Scott father-son duo — along with “about ten who used to play pro ball or college ball or had coached football” — traveled to France three consecutive years in the mid- to late-90s to put on a football camp, Benson said.

“It was for a missionary our church supported” who was coaching an 18-to-30-year-old recreation team, Benson said. “Those were some of the best memories.

“Spiritually, we got to know each other’s relationship with the Lord a lot better.”

The elder Scott, 57, played 12 seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints before leaving for one season (1983) in the short-lived United States Football League.

Playinh alongside fellow Saints rookie quarterback Archie Manning beginning in 1971, Bobby extended an interesting relationship that began with a couple of blowouts when Scott’s Vols played Manning’s Ole Miss Rebels.

Of Manning’s 38-0 blowout victory in Jackson, Miss., against Scott and UT in 1969 — considered a huge upset against the nation’s No. 3-ranked Vols — “everybody remembers that game and call it the ‘Massacre in Jackson.’ They don’t remember that the year before then came up here [Knoxville] and I think Archie threw five interceptions [in a UT blowout win],” Bobby said.

“Whenever he gets on me about the Jackson Massacre I bring that sixty-eight game up.”

As Manning’s backup quarterback with the Saints, “Archie and I worked together and spent just countless hours working in the film room together and preparing for games, as well as being good friends and roommates for nine years,” Bobby said.

And now, “We try to catch up with each other once a month or so.”

Picking out two of his favorite Vol games as a two-year starter under then head coaches Doug Dickey (’69) and Bill Battle (’70), “Certainly the Sugar Bowl in seventy-one and being selected M-V-P of that game,” Bobby said. “And during that season, we played Florida and that was coach Dickey’s first time back up here [since taking the UF job in 1970].”

Behind Scott’s 385 yards passing — a UT record at the time — the Vols destroyed the Gators 38-7.

“That was a game where we were resigned to the fact that we were not going to let him come back up here and beat us,” the ex-Vol quarterback said. “Everybody still respected coach Dickey and everything, and knew that he would have a good football team.”

As for a career run of success, “We never lost to Alabama,” Scott emphasized about his four-year run of 4-0 against the Crimson Tide from 1967-70.

Benson, 29, was a back-up quarterback at Farragut High School before walking-on at UT and becoming an honors program member at UT who earn Academic All-SEC honors.

Finishing up his residency work at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Benson “is going to do a family practice with a sports medicine emphasis,” Bobby Scott said.

Benson and wife, Toni, are the parents of son, Stratton, 8-months.

Bobby and wife, Pat, also have a daughter, Taylor, 21, a UT senior.

Bobby Scott was a standout quarterback at Rossville High School in Rossville, Ga., before coming to UT in 1967.

And since ’67, “It’s just been home to me,” Bobby said. “I’ve always loved this area, I’ve always loved the people and the university.”

And his son, second to none.

 

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