What was it like attending UT in 1998?

#26

VolGee4

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#26
I was a freshman in 1998. Unbelievable first year on campus. I went to 11 of the 13 games. I spent Labor Day weekend with friends and my brother in the Tri-cities to play golf and watch the Syracuse game. I also missed the UGA game- tickets were in demand.

My brother had just moved to Atlanta for work, so I had a place to stay for the game at USC and for the SECCG. Great stories about trips to Auburn and to Tempe.

The UF and Arkansas games are obviously the two that stand out the most. We were in the upper deck student section for UF and made it to the field in minutes. Eventually made it to our dorm after the celebration, re-grouped and then went to the Strip. The sidewalks on the Strip were overcrowded, and the police had to monitor it. At one point, I believe I remember a street sweeper or washer forcing people back. I fell asleep at 5 a.m. that night. My parents were visiting for the Arkansas game, and I recall how cold and wet it was.

Back in the late 90's/early 2000's, the UT campus was rocking during the fall. There was always a good football game to look forward to, which made it go by fast. I loved Fall Friday's because you get your classes over early and then plan out either your eve before a home game or your travel for an away game.
 
#27

VolGee4

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#27
My freshman year, soon after Peyton announced he was coming back to school for his senior year, I saw him outside my dorm. Ran outside to grab his autograph (it was apparent already that he was gonna be famous), but being a dumb 18 year kid I had nothing for him to sign, so he signed a dollar bill. I spent it 3 hours later on beer or chicken wings. In short, college was awesome but likely not much different than most other years. A few Saturdays every fall were legendary though.

Also, I ran into Tony Harris and much of Jerry Green's basketball team down on the strip one random Thursday night. They were high as a kite, but pretty nice dudes. Possibly the two ideas in my last sentence were related.
As to a basketball story, we also stormed the court in the 98-99 basketball season after beating UK to win the regular season title. So, we had a field and court storming all in one year. I remember the players cutting down the nets, and and we hung out for a while. When we left, we were directed out of TBA on the ground level and out to the parking lot for the coaches and arena personnel. Apparently, Jerry Green did not have a permanent sign for his parking spot as they attached a plastic sign to a cone in his spot. Needless to say, that sign ended up back in our dorm room.
 
#28

TrumpedUpVol

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#28
This thread is depressing. It’s literally trying to relive the “glory year” of UT football.

View attachment 353663
It could be worse; if you had this same thread on TexAgs about their last national title, any applicable responses would be contingent upon the WiFi at the poster's nursing home.
 
#29

dobre_shunka

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#29
How about a trip even farther back?

In 1985, the student Sugar Bowl tickets were going to be sold from the ticket office in Stokely. People were camped out on the sidewalk overnight in front of Stokely waiting for them to go on sale at 8 AM. As the time got closer, the line was getting pretty unruly with accusations of line cutting and stuff like that. It got so bad the UT cops there didn't think they were going to be able to keep it under control. Eventually they had to get the ticket office staff out of bed and opened the sales windows early to keep the peace.
 
#30

Jax_Vol

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#30
How about a trip even farther back?

In 1985, the student Sugar Bowl tickets were going to be sold from the ticket office in Stokely. People were camped out on the sidewalk overnight in front of Stokely waiting for them to go on sale at 8 AM. As the time got closer, the line was getting pretty unruly with accusations of line cutting and stuff like that. It got so bad the UT cops there didn't think they were going to be able to keep it under control. Eventually they had to get the ticket office staff out of bed and opened the sales windows early to keep the peace.
We hung our pre-game at the Varsity Inn and sang out with the one man band:

"Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train

And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing' in the rain
No, a' you don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even call me
Well I wonder why you don't call me
Why don't you ever call me by my name "
 
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#32

OrngeJuiceJones

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#32
I was in middle school during the national title season, so obviously I wasn't a student at UT. I was fortunate to attend some big games that year, but I was a kid. I'm a history buff on things like these. If you were a student during the 1998 football season, hit me with some cool memories as in: Everyday campus, football games, etc.
Just to sum it up, when UT is good, theres nothing like Neyland Stadium and our fans.
 
#34

livefaith

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#34
I was a freshman in 98. Campus was pretty ugly and run down looking, but the strip had a lot more character. Now it just has the same corporate chain stuff every other strip has.

The Florida game was my first game in Neyland. What an introduction. I was in Section E Row 16. When Florida missed that kick, you had no choice but to follow the wave of fans onto the field. A friend (that I met later on) still has a piece of the goal post that the fire department cut up. I unfortunately was home in middle Tennessee during the Fiesta Bowl. I did go the SEC championship game in 2001 and was ready to go the Rose Bowl that year, but we all know how that turned out...
Were you the one with that %¥¢×π√ rose in your mouth when the camera panned over there?
 
#36

knoxvol16

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#36
Just to sum it up, when UT is good, theres nothing like Neyland Stadium and our fans.
Exactly, Neyland has been "dead" for years, compared. The only time it came close to rocking like that was the Oklahoma game, and even then the amount of tailgating outside of the stadium didn't even compare.

I remember having to be on campus (or parked) a minimum of 3 hours before kickoff, otherwise nearly every road leading to Neyland was practically a "parking lot." There were nearly as many fans tailgating during the game as those packed into the stadium.

Man, those were some good times.

Edit: My wife and I had tickets; I wasn't a student at that time.
 
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#37

RoanokeVol

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#37
All of my years at UT were amazing with the ‘98 season being my senior year. It was absolutely unreal. Words can’t even begin to explain that entire era of football I experienced during my time at Tennessee. I was a freshman in ‘94 and needed an extra semester to graduate so I graduated in ‘99. The only thing that sticks out as being bad during that time was Peyton not being able to beat Florida and that killed a number of us in our group. But the thought of not getting at least 10 wins didn’t even cross our minds. SEC title or bust. I lived in the fraternity house so we had big tailgating events before the game and band parties afterwards. And they were even more fun since the vast majority of the time we were celebrating a win. Then Tee took over and we won it all. It was truly a magical experience. I feel so fortunate that I was able to experience that, but it makes the type of failure we are going through so much more difficult to stomach.
 
#40

kcvols1

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#40
Exactly, Neyland has been "dead" for years, compared. The only time it came close to rocking like that was the Oklahoma game, and even then the amount of tailgating outside of the stadium didn't even compare.

I remember having to be on campus (or parked) a minimum of 3 hours before kickoff, otherwise nearly every road leading to Neyland was practically a "parking lot." There were nearly as many fans tailgating during the game as those packed into the stadium.

Man, those were some good times.
Cal in 2006
UGA in 2007
Oklahoma in 2015
FU in 2016.

Only times this century I’ve seen it approach that energy.
 
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#41

jes

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#41
I gave my student ticket to the FL game and my ID to my brother so he could go to the game with his girlfriend who was a student. They left at halftime... I have never forgiven him.
I lived in the apartments on James agee and laurel. After the game friends were running up the street with handfuls of grass off the field.
Partied on the strip until the city sent street sweepers with water canons to clear out the crowds.
 
#43

jackcrevol

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#43
Best game I’ve ever been to in person was the Florida game that season. That game and the Wilhoit kick were the two loudest games I’ve ever been to. Amazing crowds! I miss the student section not worrying about standing or being too loud and just everyone around you screaming as loud as you possibly can.
I had to deliver pizzas during the Arkansas game with the Stoerner fumble but John Ward brought me to tears listening to him during that game in some random person’s driveway.
was it 110K? Florida fan behind us cried after Wilhoit was true. Absolutely one of the best feelings to know he drove 12 hours to lose. Behaved like a spoiled little girl the entire game. Yup.
 
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#44

spyfish007

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#44
I was a Senior that year and it was great. I went to all the home games and never left without a victory. It was fun seeing All Wilson and Leonard Little hanging out in the cafeteria. I remember rushing the field after Florida. Many of my friends carried the goal posts out of Neyland. They cut one of the goal posts up at the fire station for souvenirs. I took a chunk of sod and had it in the dorm for at least a semester before it deteriorated. The party after Arkansas was pretty good. Getting meals at restaurants after games was hard. Everyone just kept hanging out. It was a fun time for sure.
 
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#46

ThreatLevelOrange

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#46
In August of 97 I was walking behind the strip and Peyton was with “his boys” in the big parking lot back there. I was just buzzed enough I went right up and wished wished him good luck on his Sr season, and shook his hand. He’s maybe an inch taller than me but his hands were enormous. .
 
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#47

theFallGuy

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#47
I was in middle school during the national title season, so obviously I wasn't a student at UT. I was fortunate to attend some big games that year, but I was a kid. I'm a history buff on things like these. If you were a student during the 1998 football season, hit me with some cool memories as in: Everyday campus, football games, etc.
It was sick.
 
#48

TNV

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#48
It was the only time I have ever seen the goal posts torn down in the General's House. Almost getting hit by one on the field was kind of scary but worth every penny.
 
#49

TNV

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#49
Watching a part of the goal post strapped to the back of an 80's van painted orange and white with an inflatable gator dragging on the concrete behind it (with the tailpipe sparking off of the concrete)
headed off campus afterwards was something that movies were made from
 
#50

P.O.T.S. VOL

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#50
I was a freshman in POTS the 98 season and didn't know how lucky I was at the moment.. I was able to attend every game that season.
Looking back things seem so much more simple then.... even though it was some odd years ago....we were winning and life was good... The Carrier dome was an experience it was a really cool stadium and something I had never seen before.. Donovan McNabb almost cost us that game that year.. but I think we won something like 34 33 but I'm probably off by a couple numbers.... By the time Florida rolled around everybody was extremely hype about our football team.... once Chandler.... I believe.... missed that kick the entire stadium went nuts and all I can remember is seeing all those cool fellows rushing the stadium while I was sitting back playing Rocky top in a wool uniform.

That was a special night...we finally beat UF....we were up all night. Band members begging for parts of turf from friends..... glorious!

On a side note.. I had never heard Rocky top play so crappy once Chandler missed that field goal.. we were so excited.. we just couldn't play Rocky top to its full extent.

As the stories go before me.. that night was a very good night.. go polsts traveling down Cumberland avenue and fans singing Rocky top until 5:00 in the morning are all very true.

Georgia was fun because they thought we were going to lose because we lost jamal lewis..... they didn't know we had a couple Travis's that were going to carry the load.. and they did carry the load.

Thank God for the Shaun Ellis interception return at Auburn..,..or who knows how that outcome would have come.

All other games were great I just remember sitting at commodore stadium and being like what the hell are we doing here!

In short.. life was very simple back in those short days.. we were very good and we didn't worry about losing and the stadium was rocking..... the atmosphere was rocking... and when we won the strip and the fort and the campus were absolutely rocking

In another short... Life was great as a freshman in '98.. we would check the daily bacon everyday to see what the rankings were....

But in summary.. life was pretty good in the 1998 season.. we all were banking on a national championship run.. and that's kind of what we focused on.. we loved our football team and we monitored the papers all the time
 

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