Wish that I was on Ole Rocky Top down in the Tennessee hills…
When we planned our trip to Tennessee we knew we had to get to a University of Tennessee football game. Judd’s been a fan of the Volunteers his entire life and it’s been his dream to go to Neyland Stadium for a game. We bought tickets to the Tennessee vs. Missouri game back in September and eagerly awaited game day!
On the morning of the game we woke up to cold and rainy conditions. Not ideal for a football game! We dressed warmly, placed the Power T flags on the truck and headed to the University of Tennessee for game day. We managed to find parking a few blocks from campus by a gorgeous church. After parking we headed to walk around campus so I could get some pictures.
Let me just say, the University of Tennessee’s campus is gorgeous! During the fall the trees are colored orange, red and yellow. Despite all the hills on campus walking around is fairly easy once you get familiar with it. One of my favorite places on campus is The Hill. It is pretty much what its name states…a giant hill! Grab a spot on the greenest grass on the hill and take in the sights. It’s incredible.
I couldn’t help but admire the colors of the tress as we strolled along. Being from Florida, Fall in a different state is very exciting. Can you tell I’ve only ever lived in one state.
Tennessee’s campus is near the World’s Fair Park. In 1982 the Knoxville International Energy Exposition took place downtown. A part of the park was the Sunsphere which became the landmark of the World’s Fair. You can check it out while you are on campus and even visit the observation deck for a small fee.
We walked over to the Tennessee River where the infamous Vol Navy tailgates. Locals deck their boats out in orange and white. They grill out, throw a few beers back and sing along to Rocky Top. On a beautiful day, the Vol Navy is out tailgating in full force. Unfortunately with the unruly weather it was fairly quiet. We still managed to walk around and check out the boats decorated for game day.
This boat was by far the best boat we saw! It’s the ultimate party boat perfect for tailgating.
We strolled back onto campus in time to grab lunch and line up for the Vol Walk. Most Universities have something similar where the football team, coaches and staff arrive at the stadium a few hours before the game. Fans line the streets and reach out their hands in hopes that the star QB will high-five them. It’s a perfect way to get hyped for the game.
We gathered on Phillip Fulmer Way with the rest of the fans and waited for the teams arrival. Everyone was excited for the game and even more excited to see the team and cheer them on before they reached the stadium. A player’s mom had been standing by us while we waited and struck up a conversation with us. We talked about where we were from and how Judd’s family was the reason why he was a Vol fan. The team arrived and we cheered for each of our favorite players. Judd was like a kid in a candy store! It was fun to watch!
After the Vol Walk we had about an hour and a half until game time so we decided to go into the stadium and find our seats. Now I’ve been to a few University football stadiums but nothing quite compares to Neyland in person. The view from the stadium of the Tennessee River is incredible. Then you turn and see the stadium and field. It’s massive! Neyland is the sixth largest stadium in the United States. That’s pretty big!
The band came out prior to game time and entertained us with Rocky Top which I would hear multiple times that evening. It was senior day so the players who were graduating each got to run through the “T” by themselves to their parents waiting for them on the field. It was a touching moment for them and for the crowd. The game kicked off as the sun started to fall towards the horizon. The winds picked up as the sun set making for chilly conditions. The Vols played a heck of a game and in the end won 63-37. Judd was thrilled!