We take our college football very seriously here in the south. I was born and raised in Florida so my family started me on Florida Gator football at an early age. I remember watching during the Spurrier days with my dad yelling at the TV.
However, I married a man who roots for one of our rivals, The Tennessee Volunteers. For the last 4 years, we have looked forward to the Florida/Tennessee match up and this year we got married on game day. (Totally not planned that way but the schedule was released 2 weeks before.) When we found out that Tennessee would be playing their bowl game this year here in our city of Jacksonville, Judd bought us tickets.
On Friday, we packed the truck with our tailgate items and headed to the tailgate lot at Everbank Field. For the day, I was an honorary Volunteer fan mainly because they are the SEC team and they weren’t playing the Gators. I rocked the crap out of a Tennessee shirt and even added a little blue to my ensemble with a monogrammed scarf just to stay in the safe zone. We ate our lunch early so we could get to the stadium in time for the Vol Walk, a tradition at Neyland Stadium where the coaches and players walk through all the fans. They drove the buses straight up to the gate but we cheered and sang Rocky Top as they exited. It was insane! The energy present was exhilarating.
We got into the stadium around 2:30pm and found our seats. We sat on the home side with thousands of Volunteer fans. Everyone was pumped! Kick-off was at 3:20pm and the crowd went wild! Tennessee came up early in the game racking up touchdown after touchdown. Each time they made a touchdown the band went into Rocky Top and the crowd sang along. We watched the bands play at halftime and they both put on one heck of a show!
The game ended in a win for the Volunteers and the coach even got a Gatorade bath! Needless to say I had a very happy husband that day! Our bowl game experience was an awesome one even though it wasn’t my team. (Go Gators!) We are thinking about going to some college games this coming school year.