“Rocky Top you’ll always be, home sweet home to me…” ~ traditional University of Tennessee football game song
Before I attended college, the only thing I knew about football was that there were two teams and one ball. I wasn’t a big fan.
Once at the University of Tennessee, as a poor college kid, I took advantage of the free student tickets available for home games. It was like going to a party with 100,000 of your best friends. I was at UT during the Johnny Majors era. The Volunteers were a force of nature.
True story: In my senior year, 1986, I was among more than 73,000 fans attending the Spring Orange and White intra-squad game. That stood as a conference record for 11 years.
Even now, I look forward to the start of football season. I dress in my team colors (Orange and White) and if necessary, the same shirt I’ve worn while watching winning games. If it’s a close game, I’ll don either my orange Rocky Top or white Volunteers ball cap for added luck. (I also have a large, orange and white checker board T magnet on my car year-round.)
I yell louder than my husband, but not as loud as my daughter. (She’s a FSU Seminole, and that’s fine. We’re not conference rivals.) I worry sometimes about what the neighbors think when they hear screams of, “Get HIM!” coming from our house on any given Saturday.
The team has dealt with more than it’s share of coaching shenanigans in the past few years. Lane Keffin… Derek Dooley… nothing else need be said. We now have a coach who seems to have his shit together, and hopefully is well on his way to rebuilding the Volunteers into a viable conference contender. No matter, I’ll always be a UT fan. And… karma is a Butch.
There is a pro football teams I cheer for too… Denver Broncos, and their QB Peyton Manning. A fellow UT alum, Class of ’97.
I’m grateful for:
- Being a Tennessee Volunteer
- SEC college football
- Cable TV coverage of my favorite team’s games
- Knowing all the words to “Rocky Top”
4 thoughts on “Home sweet home”
I hadn’t watched college football since my 20’s when I was a Notre Dame fan because John is a pro football fan but never really liked college ball. Now, our two favorite nieces (who are sisters) are attending PSU and Ohio State respectively. Talk about RIVALS! We follow the games, we turn them on on Saturdays and Gio, well my Gio, does color and play by play better than most of the announcers. He’s invested and then we are too.
In high school I was infatuated with football…not the game, actually, which I knew next to nothing about, but all the sensory excitement around it. The pep rallies in the auditorium when we could scream ourselves hoarse (very therapeutic!), the intramural games where I drank my first hot coffee loaded with sugar and cream to warm myself up, the look of the players in their uniforms, the cheerleaders’ antics, the thrill of our team winning State in my senior year. In every other aspect of high school, I felt like a misfit, but at the games I blended right in.
Then I went to a women’s university, so that was the end of my football crush. Now I consider it a brutal sport with a sad legacy for all the players with lifelong disabilities from their injuries. But where I come from, Texas, football will always rule.
I love that you were in Knoxville at the same time I was in Knoxville. 🙂
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Too bad we didn’t know each other then.