April 6, 2011
By Matt Magill UTSports.com
This makes for an interesting interview.
Patrick, a sophomore from Knoxville, and Swartz, a junior from Sarasosta, Fla., are both enjoying the best seasons of their careers. To date, Patrick is 13-13 with a 10-3 fall record, winning his first tournament as a Vol at the 2010 Southern Intercollegiate Championships. Swartz has also turned in a solid season with a record 10-7 including five wins this spring. For each player, that total represents their highest win total.
In this week's Q&A, the two sit down for a wildly sarcastic and zany interview, discussing topics ranging from go-karts to falsifying embarrassing stories about a teammate. No player goes unmentioned.
Matt Magill: This is the first tag-team interview. How do you guys feel about that?
Bryan Swartz: I'm pretty excited about it. It's good to be the first in anything. I can't speak for Taylor.
Taylor Patrick: It's good to be first, but I'm kind of sick and tired with being with Bry. I've had a long semester with him.
MM: You guys have all the same classes, right?
BS: We have six classes together. We have practice together everyday. We lift together. We have the same individual times. I've pretty much seen him 24/7.
MM: Are you tired of each other?
TP: There's always a point where you get tired of someone, and I pretty much reached that breaking point by February. It's been a battle; this semester has definitely been a battle.
BS: I have to say about the same thing. You hit a breaking point with someone. I guess we're pushing through it.
MM: Any fights?
TP: Yeah, you have the occasional blowout. I physically haven't hurt him yet. I wouldn't want to hurt him and send him to the hospital. We've had our yelling fights. No big deal. We'll just get over it.
BS: Normal roommate stuff.
MM: Who would win a fight between you two?
TP: Clearly, he has the height advantage (Bryan is 6-foot-3, Taylor 5-8). Based on the size of my biceps, I would win.
BS: I have to disagree with that. I have a good 10 to 12 inches of reach on him, so I don't think he would ever touch me.
TP: You can have all the reach you want--I'll just get down low and use my center of gravity to take you out. Once you're on the ground, where's the height? It doesn't matter.
BS: I'm pretty sure he's the David and I'm the Goliath in that fight.
MM: Spoiler alert: David wins.
BS: Yeah, but not in this instance.
TP: You can't change David beating Goliath.
MM: Bryan, you specifically said you wanted to talk about go-karts.
BS: Over spring break, the whole team went and did go-kart racing, which is pretty fun. The competitive sides came out in everybody, I think. It was pretty funny because typically one or two karts are pretty fast, and all the rest are so-so. It just so happened that Taylor and I got the fastest go-karts. We battled basically the entire time trying to see who would win. He wrecked me, and he got wrecked about two seconds later. It didn't work out too well for either of us, but it was a good time.
MM: Taylor, did you get any warnings for wrecking Bryan?
TP: No, I was just racing really hard. I was taking the tight corners and doing everything I learned from my go-kart racing career. We were coming up on a left turn, and he took it too wide so I just took him out. His car did a little wiggle and spun around. After I won that battle, I was kind of just goofing around.
MM: Bryan, you claim you're the best driver on the team as well.
BS: I have to say so. I'm by far the best driver.
TP: You drive like an old lady. That doesn't make you the best driver; it just makes you the slowest.
BS: I have to say that's not true. Just based on accident record, I have to be the top by far.
MM: Taylor mentioned you're the slowest driver. Everybody always says you're the slowest at everything.
BS: I'm pretty slow at things, I'm not going to lie. Slow and steady wins the race in my book.
TP: There's a point where slow is just absurd. This past weekend, my girlfriend timed him eating his sub, and she told me it took him two hours to finish his sub. I don't know; it just feels like a little much. He says he forgot to eat the other half and had to come back. You can't really forget to eat a sub though.
BS: I got distracted. I was watching TV, and I was on my laptop. It happens. I'm not going to deny any of that happening.
TP: Two hours is a long time. You don't really hear people going to eat for two hours.
BS: Clearly his eating speed has helped his massive growth spurt.
MM: Taylor, you have a cheer called "The System." Care to explain?
TP: I learned it from the guys who used to be here. It really came back to our team last year against Georgia. Johnny Thornton was up in the crowd and he started yelling about "The System." You win a point and say "that's the system." People get upset because they don't know what the system is. I don't really want to disclose that information because you never know who might be reading this. It's good stuff.
BS: The system always works. That's what we've found.
MM: Bryan, do you ever get annoyed at Taylor's cheering?
BS: Yes, I do actually. I try to leave a good barrier between where he's sitting and where I'm sitting. Along with his voice, the clap that he does is pretty loud as well. I think he has the loudest clap I've ever heard. It hurts my ears and my brain--everything in general if I sit too close to him for a long period of time. I think anyone will tell you the same thing.
MM: Do you ever get embarrassed to be around him?
BS: No, of course not. It's not embarrassing, just really loud. It's a good thing for us as a team. But for my eardrums, it's not too great.
MM: Taylor, I heard you scored your first FIFA goal on the Xbox in the past week. Is that true?
TP: I'm not sure if it was the first one, but it was definitely a memorable one. I'm not the best FIFA player. I'm probably the best NCAA Football player. No one will play me at that though because I'm the best at it. They all want to play FIFA because that's what they're good at. I get dragged into it, and then I get really upset because I can't do anything. I don't really know how I scored the goal.
MM: Is there anyone on the team who's just terrible at video games?
BS: Matteo Fago is really bad. Matteo is really bad. Everybody else can at least play somewhat, but Matteo is just awful. It's really funny to watch him play because if he ever does something even remotely great, it's just the most exciting thing for him, and he loves it. It's hysterical.
TP: Have you ever seen Jarryd Chaplin play? I don't know if he has played video games.
BS: I've never seen Jarryd play, but I know for a fact that Matteo is horrible.
MM: Who has the weirdest quirk on the team, other than Bry eating really slowly?
TP: Colton sleeps all the time.
BS: That's not a quirk.
TP: I can think of one I have, but I'm not going to talk about it.
TP: Bry, we have to come up with an answer.
BS: I'd say Tennys Sandgren going "Zombie Nation." If Tennys puts his iPod in, he's just unreachable.
TP: That's not a quirk.
BS: If me going slowly is a quirk, then this counts. JP Smith drinks so much water. He has to go to the bathroom four or five times every night. I was actually rooming with him on the road one time. He wears orthopedic soles in his shoes which squeak a lot. So in the middle of the night I hear this squishing noise. I could never figure out what it was. I looked up and JP is walking around in his shoes going to the bathroom back and forth. It would wake me up every time. It's like 11 p.m., 1 a.m., 3 a.m., 5 a.m. every single night.
TP: I'd say Ed Jones has a pretty big quirk. He brings a teddy bear. He puts it in his luggage and sleeps with it at night. It's pretty weird. No one else really knows that, but he puts a teddy bear in his bag and sleeps with it at night.
(Ed. Note: Taylor later revealed this wasn't true.)
MM: Do you guys have any funny stories about the seniors?
TP: I took Boris Conkic to a football game. He did not know basically any English back then so we sat there the whole time and never said anything. I tried to talk to him, but I couldn't understand what he said. I'm pretty sure he asked me some questions, but I didn't know how to respond. I bought him a pack of peanut M&M's and a Coke. I think he owes me about $5.74, so if you could tell him to pay me, that would be great.
MM: Are there any high maintenance players on the team?
TP: Boris is definitely high maintenance. Tennys has to have the perfect racket tension and all of this stuff, but I would say Boris is the most high maintenance. I mean, we had to get him some different shoes because Flash Conkic needs pink adizero shoes.
BS: I'd say JP also. He changes string tension all the time, so you have to throw that in there. I think he's changed string tension maybe thirty times this year back and forth. He can never seem to get it just right.
MM: Is there any player that cares about their looks too much?
BS: I would say Rhyne Williams just because he goes with some pretty funny fashion things sometimes. He's the one who will pull out tank tops. When we were coming back from Hawaii, we were coming back to snow. He was wearing flip-flops, shorts and a tank top. So when he got here, he was frozen.
MM: It has long been held that JP is the king of pranks on the team, but Jarryd claims he's the best. Who would you guys say is better?
TP: Personally, I've never had a JP prank, but I've had a few Jarryd ones this semester. For me, it would have to be Jarryd. I think JP kind of died off without Davey (Sandgren). He lost his Robin.
BS: I'd say JP is more of the Robin. I think JP lost his Batman for the pranks. JP and Davey were kind of pranking each other most of the time.
TP: Jarryd doesn't really care. He'd prank Sam right now if that's what we wanted. I think Jarryd is the biggest prankster now.
MM: If the tennis team had to field a team in another sport, what sport would that be? What other sport could you be successful at?
TP: I've always wanted to play football, but I would say with the size of our team that would not be the best.
BS: The problem with us is that half of our team is American and half is foreign. Half of us would be good at football and half would be good at futbol.
TP: Half of us can't throw, and half of us can't kick.
BS: We would have half a team of good players and half of not good players.
MM: Do you think you could train for a week and then make a halfway decent team at like volleyball?
BS: We could do that.
TP: I can jump. I can get up there really high. I don't know what a small person does at volleyball--digs, maybe? Just grind, that's what I would do.
BS: We'd have to find somewhere to put Boris next.
MM: If the team formed a band, who would assume what role?
BS: Matteo would play the trumpet because he plays trumpet.
TP: I would say Rhyne would sing. We would have to be a rock band because he goes around and crushes his head and yells. I would say Tennys would play bass because he's Zombie Nation.
BS: I would think Rhyne and Tennys would play guitars and Jarryd would be lead singer. He's probably the most outgoing. He's only been here for a semester, but he's been up on stage in Hawaii at the luau. He had that rose thing where he gave out the roses to the students. Rhyne does not like talking to people or giving speeches, so I don't know if he would be the singer. He would definitely be up for the rock band though.
TP: This is the first time since February 4 that I've agreed with Bryan.
MM: You've mentioned February twice now. Did you two have some form of falling out?
TP: No, that's just about a week and a half after school started again, which is enough.
BS: It was already done. We've had tests almost every week, so we're constantly comparing who did what on the tests or who did well on that quiz. We're competitive with each other, but it's all in good fun.
MM: If you had to be a superhero who would you be?
BS: Who's the fire guy from Fantastic Four? Human Torch. That's what I would be. You can fly, and you're on fire. You've got two powers in one.
MM: How does the fire help you though?
BS: It would be cool.
TP: He's using it for party tricks.
BS: You would always survive in the wilderness.
TP: I'd probably be the Green Lantern, solely based on the fact that I just bought a really cool Green Lantern shirt. I've become a pretty big fan.
BS: He also has a Cookie Monster shirt, so he could do that too.
TP: It's not my shirt.
BS: That makes it worse. That's his girlfriend's shirt, and they wear the same size. That's 100% true no matter what he says.
TP: That's not an insult to my girlfriend. That's trying to belittle me.
BS: That's not an insult to his girlfriend. His girlfriend is completely normal sized. It's Taylor who is not.
TP: Again, if we fought right now, I would win--because of the size of my bicep.
BS: There's no chance you would win.
TP: He's so slow...