Welcome to the University of Tennessee. A place where this Saturday it will be the best place in the Country. As a 5th year Senior I have appointed my self as team captain. Welcome to a place where football is tradition and the students are the faithful followers. This is Tennessee.
As a part of the Vol faithful we always cheer the Vols, but there other aspects that are not discussed and I feel that they should. See here, we have something called tradition and pride. This is place where fans arrive early and leave late. So freshman please allow me to hit you with some knowledge that I have gathered while attending this University.
1.) Tailgating– This is essential to any game day activity. This is where friendships are made and stories that you may or may not end up telling your kids happen. The only things necessary are food, drinks and a good attitude. Pack that iPod you got for free with your mac with some good tunes and don’t forget the songs “Wagon Wheel”, “Rocky Top” and anything by Eric Church and Lil Wayne.
2.) The Walk- Once you have filled your stomach with good food and discussed all of the reasons why the opponent will lose it is time for the walk. This is the trip everyone takes to arrive at Neyland. A place where legends such as Reggie White, Peyton Manning, Tee Martin and many others have given their all. A place where the General commanded his “troops” and demanded perfection. As you make your way to the stadium, it is essential to talk as much smack as possible. I’m talking about good clean smack though since We are southern gentlemen and belles. As you enter the gate make sure to take it all in. As my last year as a student I find that the moment from the gate until you see the checkerboard end zones rival any rollercoaster ride in the US. Once inside, find your seats and sit down, because once the game starts you’re not sitting down. If you do sit down I will personally find you and give you a lecture.
3.) The T- The pregame tradition of opening the T gives me chills every time (currently occurring while I write) it happens. It possibly is one of the loudest moments of any UT game and there’s nothing better than seeing Smokey run through the T howling. As the Tennessee state flag comes running through along with the Power T flag take a moment to reflect that this is why you go to Tennessee.
4.) The Student section- I like to consider the Student section the Thunderdome. A place where only half the people actually have tickets, but nobody ever questions. A place where alcohol is passed and coke is a mixer not a beverage. A place where friends high-five total strangers and the only place two dudes can hug it out. For four quarters we are more than a student body, we are family. At halftime we sing the Alma Mater. If you don’t know it better start because this will save you one day on Spring Break (Ask any of my room mates). Also this should deserve the same respect as the National Anthem. If you don’t show respect I pray you don’t sit by me (once again ask my room mates).
Overall the Volunteer tradition is something that started way before me and will continue to endure long after my tenure here at Tennessee. Everybody please soak up every minute you can of this because once you graduate it’s not the same. This will be a tough year since our team is young, but I plan on treating it like YMCA game. The scores won’t matter unless we come out on top and everybody can go and get snacks after the game. I have coined a new phrase for the season and I feel that it’s a perfect way to end this.
“We not win many games this year, However we will never lose faith, heart or a tailgate.”