Were you born into this or did you just decide to pick Tennessee

memvol

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Born into it but resisted until my mid 20’s. Shuler is the one that got me hooked. Grew up on the west side of the state, was at the ‘88 game with Memphis State, being recruited by both teams. Ended up hating MSU for their lies, was “meh” on UT and went to school somewhere else. When I stopped playing in ‘93, I needed a team to latch onto and Shuler was the man. All these years later, lived in E Tenn for two decades and loved every minute. Moved back west in ‘20 into the second largest pocket of UT fans in the state but I still miss the mountains everyday.
 
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BanditVol

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Moved to Knoxville with family when my father's job transferred him at age 15 right after freshman year of HS. Stayed for HS and attended UT. Was not a fan until I enrolled, but did follow the Vols and would root for them, but through HS I was a Notre Dame fan and had somewhat divided loyalties all through college. The 1991 Miracle in South Bend changed all that. When the Vols got down big, the announcers started dissing us and saying we were clearly not in NDs class. You know the rest. UT no. 1 by a mile ever since then, and although I still root for ND, they are now no. 3 as I did grad school at Purdue. Purdue was my no. 2 team before moving to Knoxville.

I moved in May 1982, was bold enough to predict Tennessee could beat bama that fall, was mocked for saying so, then got a lot of street cred at my HS when it happened lol. Started college in 1985. First game was UCLA, but back then we were on quarters and school started later in the summer and you had to get a real ticket as the first game was not covered by the Student Activity Fee, so I watched that one on TV. UCLA came back and tied it after Vols got up big, IIRC (typical Johnny Majors BS!).

First full game was no. 1 Auburn with Bo Jackson as Heisman trophy favorite RB. I will never forget that game. Atmosphere was electric. Prior to the game people were batting around a bunch of beach balls in the stands, and someone released a rubber chicken hanging (garroted if you wll) from a helium balloon as a mockery of the eagle that Auburn travels with, and it was just floating around the stands well into the second quarter, lol. (Why don't we do stuff like that anymore, or is it just that I am not sitting near the student section these days?).

But it's the result I will never forget. We. Kicked. Their. ASS! Tony Robinson was on fire, they could not stop him. We went up huge, something like 38-10, before giving up two late TDs (more Johnny ball!) for the final of (I think) 38-24. Man was that a glorious day to be a UT football fan. That whole season was magical actually. My memory of the bama game is going shopping for clothes with my mother at Eastgate mall (last time my parents ever bought clothes for me lol, it was a birthday present actually), and hearing "the kick" that bama missed over the intercom at whatever dept store we were in. Longtime fans will recall, Ward ****ed up the call. He originally called it good, then corrected himself. LOL. Then of course Johnny let a mediocre team from Ga Tech tie us 3-3 the next week, or maybe 6-6. More Johnny ball! Then we lost to Florida and T Rob was injured in that game, I believe, and Doug Dickey's son took over, and then .... THE SUGAR BOWL ASS WHIPPING OF MIAMI!!!

What a great season that was to be a freshman. Been hooked ever since. But TBH, I became a bigger fan in the 90s than I ever was in my student days. I think being an alum and watching your team compete on national TV just builds pride, or it did in my case. Plus we were good for the entire decade, which definitely helps!

I was priviliged to be in my 20s during the Vol dominance in the 90s, which is a great time for enjoying such things. I am less into it now, but still a die hard fan.
 

BigOrangeTrain

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Well here is my story. So I was born in Maryland. We moved to TN in 1982 when I was 6 because my mamaw was dying from cancer. I didn’t really start watching football until 1985. My cousin had lived down here his whole life and I remember watching my very first TN game with him. The game against #1 Auburn. After that win, I have been a die hard TN fan ever since. And I will be until the day I die.
 

VOLINVONORE

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My Father first got our tickets in 1933. that have been in the family for 89 years now. I attended my first Tennessee game in 1945 I guess that is why almost every one of my kids, grand kids , siblings, etc. are Tennessee fans I even had one grandson who played in a DivisionII nation Championship game is a Tennessee fan.
 
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I'm not sure I can explain my situation with any logic. I was born in San Francisco. My dad's side of the family is from Tennessee and my parents would send me there during summer breaks when I was a kid. Anytime I would watch Tennessee football, it was always something exciting players making big plays. Reggie Cobb, Chuck Webb, Carl Pickens, Heath Shuler, Dale Carter, Charlie Garner, etc. I just became obsessed with the team and school. And then during my senior year of high school, I applied to Cal/Berkeley, Stanford, USF, SFSU, and on a whim Tennessee. Guess who sent me an acceptance letter first? I thought it was destiny. Class of 2004 and 2015. Go Vols!
 

ffemtp

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I was born into this. I have many great memories of fall Saturdays on the lake fishing with my Dad and listening to Johnny Ward. I was so excited to finally go to a game. I was 14, it was 1979 VOLS vs Rutgers. VOLS lost 13-7.
 
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VOLfrombama

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Born into it - Jonesborough, where most of my family still lives. My husband and I live in South Carolina now, but we are ALL VOL!
Small world. My grandfather was the minister at the Presbyterian church in downtown Jonesborough for 40 years.

I was born in Alabama but my dad is from McMinn County, TN. He mostly lived in Athens but they moved to NE Alabama before I was born when he got a job with TVA.
 
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stolitonic

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I am a bit of a hybrid

Born in TN. Really didn't care about the Vols that much growing up. Family were baseball people and not football people. Have converted me mom over the years though.

Only became a Vol fan when I went back for grad school in Knox
 
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VOLfrombama

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My favorite downtown in all of TN.
My brother and I used to go down to the general store and buy bubble gum and baseball cards. Great memories on Main Street. My grandparents had a house on West Main and then East Main and we could walk to Church.

A family friend owned the Exxon. BR used to give us candy from the service station every time we saw him. I still have a glass pitcher he gave us that says put a tiger in your tank in about 10 different languages.
 
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Tennman

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Born in it. Born in Alcoa, joined the Army. Traveled the world and stayed orange. Now retired from the army and stayed at my last assignment. Live in Alabama and wear my orange and power T EVERYWHERE. I'm known as the Tennessee guy. Quite surprised at how many vols fans that actually live here. It all VOL all the Time. Ive seen Tennessee jerseys and t shirts in Germany, Jungles of Panama and Hondurus. Saw them in Afghanistan too. LOL GO VOLS !!!!
 

UT_Dutchman

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I was born in Missouri and moved to Ridgetop Tennessee in 1979. My parents weren’t big into sports so I didn’t have a lot of exposure to it but when the Volunteers won the ‘86 Sugar Bowl that’s all anyone talked about in the community, there was even a song that I remember on the radio a lot around that time. (I found it on YouTube but can’t figure out how to attach it) There was a little store at “the bottom of the hill” on highway 31 going to Ridgetop called Bakers Market and I remember seeing these special Coke bottles commemorating the ‘85 season and I thought they must be the baddest team in the land to have their own coke bottles! Anyway long story about my first memories of becoming a Vol fan and have been one ever since. Now representing in Texas letting them know who the real UT is ;-) ….. and I still have that old Coca Cola bottle as I’m sure many of you do. Go Vols!
You talking about these coke bottles! 20200110_155221.jpg
 
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Born into to it, I can remember listening to the Vols while grading tobacco. My first UT gear was a sweatshirt with the football guy with old helmet and carrying a flag. The old timers probably remember what he looked like. The only way I got to see them play back then was the Johnny Majors show. They showed nearly every play and it was great to hear the coach's comments. Went to my first game when they gave tickets to my high school football team. They played UTEP (Miners, I think).
 
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J C Higgins

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I am sure somewhere along the way there has been a thread like this one. I'm just curious and figured it would make for some good stories while we wait on Saturday. Were you born into being a Tennessee fan or just decided one day that you liked Tennessee.

My story: My dad grew up in Cleveland, TN. He is obviously a lifelong Tennessee fan. I was born into it and never thought for a second to like any other team.
I'm a Tennessee native. Dad was from Alabama and an Auburn graduate. I chose Vols in 1950 at age 10. Dad and I used to go to UT-Auburn games, the most memorable of which (for me) was 1964 at Legion Field in Birmingham. I spent Friday night in the Winfield, AL jail for "Violation of the Prohibition Law". Was late meeting my Dad at the the flagpole at Legion Field Saturday, told him why I was late and he replied "It happens to the best of us". The subject never came up again and except for a few moving traffic violations have not had any legal issues since. I had the "prohibition law" citation framed and hung it in my apartment bathroom in Denver in the late 70's. Somebody stole it during a party I hosted.
About 30 years later I was sitting in a sports bar in La Quinta, CA and struck up a conversation with a couple of guys from Alabama. They were county judges...one from Fayette County. I told him the story and he said if it ever happened again to give him a call.
 

utfantilidie

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Born into it. Use to not have anything but radio to follow and the Sunday coaches show after the game. Did make a few trips up with my dad and family for years. So much fun. We use to win a lot a whole lot. The last 15 or so years don’t explain The Tennessee Volunteers at all. We’ll get back to football glory one day . Believe me it’s worth the wait.
 

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