When it comes to college football, few teams capture the hearts and ignite the passion of fans like the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Steeped in tradition, boasting an impressive stadium, and embraced by a vibrant fan base, the Volunteers football team is a powerhouse in the collegiate sports realm. In this blog post, we'll explore the fascinating world of Tennessee football, from intriguing facts and game-day festivities to the iconic "Go Vols" chant and the beloved team mascot. Knoxvillians are known for the catchphrase "Vol for Life" and they truly bleed orange and white. There is no time in Knoxville, TN like football time. The city lives and breathes for the fall football season!
Rich Tradition and Intriguing Facts
The University of Tennessee football team has a storied history that spans over a century. Founded in 1891, the program has seen remarkable success, with numerous conference championships and iconic moments etched into college football lore. Did you know that the Volunteers hold the record for the most consecutive home wins in NCAA history? It's an impressive streak that showcases the team's dominance and the loyal support of their fans. They also have been National Champions twice in the history of the program. Their first championship was in 1951 with a win over Alabama and then again in 1998 when they defeated Florida State.
Game Day Festivities
When game day arrives in Knoxville, the city buzzes with excitement as fans eagerly gather to support the Volunteers. Before kickoff, the Vol Walk takes place, where fans line the path as the team makes its way to Neyland Stadium. Tailgating is a cherished tradition, with fans proudly displaying their orange and white, grilling delicious food, and engaging in friendly pre-game festivities. The electric atmosphere sets the stage for an unforgettable experience.
Neyland Stadium: A Colossal Venue
Neyland Stadium, the home of the Tennessee Volunteers, stands as a testament to the team's enduring legacy and the passionate fan base. With a seating capacity of over 100,000, it ranks as one of the largest college football stadiums in the United States. The sheer size and energy within Neyland Stadium create an awe-inspiring backdrop for every game, amplifying the excitement and camaraderie among fans. You can expect to hear "Good Ole Rocky Top" ringing out throughout the games, fireworks when the team scores, and a sea of orange and white as the fans bring the team colors to life.
"Go Vols" Chant: A Unifying Battle Cry
One cannot discuss Tennessee football without mentioning the iconic "Go Vols" chant. It serves as a unifying battle cry, uttered by fans to rally behind the team and express their unwavering support. Whether it's echoing through Neyland Stadium or resonating in living rooms across the nation, this chant unites fans and creates an indomitable spirit that fuels the Volunteers' pursuit of victory. The "Go Vols" cry and ensuing cheers reached a whopping 125.4 decibels during the 2022 game where Tennessee routed Alabama in a 52-49 win. Tennessee Vol fans are not afraid to make their feelings known!
Smokey: The Beloved Team Mascot
The University of Tennessee football team has a lovable and revered mascot named Smokey. Smokey is an energetic bluetick coonhound, embodying the tenacity and resilience of the Volunteers. With his spirited presence on the sidelines, Smokey adds an extra touch of charm and enthusiasm to the game day experience, captivating fans young and old. His companion is the costumed Smokey mascot who also helps lead the band, the fans, and everyone in a true celebration of the Vol nation's spirit of fun.
The "Lighting Up Cigars"
The University of Tennessee Volunteers have a storied history and a longstanding rivalry with the Alabama Crimson Tide. While the battles on the gridiron have been fierce and hard-fought, there is one tradition that shines brighter than any other after a victory against Alabama: lighting up cigars.
When the Volunteers emerge triumphant against their archrivals, players, coaches, and fans alike come together to celebrate the sweet taste of victory with a cigar in hand. This unique tradition has deep roots in Tennessee football and represents a symbol of pride, camaraderie, and a well-deserved celebration.
The origins of the cigar celebration date back to the 1960s when the Volunteers secured a memorable victory over Alabama. As the story goes, legendary Tennessee head coach Doug Dickey and his coaching staff decided to savor the moment by lighting up cigars in the locker room. This impromptu celebration became a cherished tradition, one that has continued to this day whenever the Volunteers emerge triumphant against the Crimson Tide.
The cigar celebration also serves as a symbol of unity and brotherhood within the Tennessee football program. When players and coaches share cigars in the locker room, it signifies their shared commitment, hard work, and dedication to achieving success. It reinforces the bond that forms among teammates and coaches, and it is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made and the journey undertaken to reach that moment of victory.
So, the next time the Volunteers emerge victorious against Alabama, keep an eye out for the celebratory cigars. It is a tradition that embodies the spirit of Tennessee football, the resilience of the team, and the unbreakable bond between players and fans. As the smoke rises, it signifies not only a memorable victory but a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Volunteers.
Note: Smoking cigars can be harmful to health. This blog post focuses on the tradition and symbolism within the University of Tennessee football program and does not endorse or promote smoking.
The University of Tennessee football team, the Volunteers, is a beacon of pride and passion for fans across the nation. From its rich tradition and intriguing facts to the vibrant game day festivities, the team's undeniable spirit permeates every aspect of Tennessee football. With the colossal Neyland Stadium as their fortress, the thunderous "Go Vols" chant as their battle cry, and the lovable Smokey as their mascot, the Volunteers' football program continues to captivate hearts and inspire a sense of unity. So, don your orange and white, immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere, and join the legions of devoted fans as you embrace the Volunteering experience like never before. Go Vols!