I cant explain in sufficient detail my utter disdain for all things Tennessee. Whereas most of the UK fanbase great up hating Louisville and spending their time boycotting Red and Black, my dislike always centered around that “puke inside of a pumpkin” orange from Knoxville. Whether it was their absurd colors, the sight of Johnny Majors and Don Devoe or watching them absurdly build a bigger basketball arena (at the time) than Rupp, the Orange were loathsome. (I do however admit to loving former announcer John Ward and I am a sucker for “Rocky Top”….especially when Macon Vol Fan is dancing to it at weddings).
Through this entire time however, I have not had the pleasure of actually seeing the Cats beat the Vols in football. I vaguely remember 1984, but I was six years old and didnt have the passion for UK sports that came around a bit later. Since then, it has been one heartbreaking loss after another. Some have been close, many have not, but all have been painful. Last year was possibly the worst, as we were better than the Vols, had them beat and then gave it up. All the while I screamed like a child at the field and realized that I was 29 years old and needed to grow up. But I refuse! We have to beat the Vols at some point, right?
This game has a lot going against the Cats. It is Phil Fulmer’s last game, a sad day for process servers in Alabama, but also for those of us who like criminal enablers in football. The stadium will be filled with Orange and I will be there, dressed in blue, hoping beyond hope that we can somehow pull through. Will it happen? Who knows…..but this is the time and this is the year. Phil has never lost to the Cats ever….we gotta do it now…..for Billy Jack, Jacob, “Emo” Lones and all the others who have been haunted by Vols past. Please beat Tennessee…..PLEASE!