Yesterday I went to the UT vs. UCLA game. It was my second UT game ever, and the first as a college student. I loved it!
I've never seen so much orange in my life. It was one of my high school colors, and now it's back in full force in college. I had to go to the barn before the game, and when I drove back, it took me at least 30 minutes to get to my dorm which is usually a 15 minute drive! Luckily there were some kind souls who blocked off my parking garage and only let students with legit parking tags in. I met up with my friend Katie Ann, and we went off in search of free food but ended up eating on the strip. Then we ventured to a tailgating spot where some friends of mine would be, and it was a pleasant surprise to find the Bishop of Knoxville sitting there!
As Katie Ann and I made our way around the stadium to Gate 4, a really big golf cart was attempting to drive through the throng of people. I looked to see what privileged person that could be, and holy crap it was Bruce Pearl! He's the greatest thing that has happened to UT's men's basketball program. I told Katie, "It's Bruce!" She didn't look right away, and then all of a sudden everyone else around us realized that Bruce Pearl was right there. Everyone started clapping and hooraying and yelling "Bruce! Bruce! Brrrrrrruuuuuuuuuce!" It was extremely exciting to be 3 feet away from him.
We made it to our seats in record time it felt like. Actually I sat with Katie in section F instead of section FF where I was supposed to be. Nose bleeds seats weren't my first choice but that was what I was assigned, so I cheated and went with her. The clouds were out, so that was nice. The Pride of the Southland band formed the famous Power T, then split up to form that tunnel of people for the football players to run through. It was incredibly loud when the team ran out! Tennessee fans mean business my friends. Don't mess with them.
Kick-off was less than stellar because of well, the kick. Then the sun came out for awhile which made it infinitely hotter. I didn't feel too bad because everyone else around me was sweating buckets too. Then those two funny guys that sat in front of us got really excited. They were very inebriated, but that made the game more fun for us. At one point, we scored a touch down, and the funny guys started giving everyone around them high-fives. The one guy almost fell over he was so enthusiastic.
My favorite part of the whole experience was when the band and the crowd joined together to sing that famous chorus from "Rocky Top." It never got old to sing it, and I can't even begin to count how many times we sang it. It was also amazing how a few players down on the field could incite an entire stadium to roar and clap and carry-on. I love the UT football atmosphere: the orange, Rocky Top, roasting in the sun, sitting practically on top of your smelly neighbors, and being dog-tired while walking back home (to the dorm, not 26 miles away!).
I felt pretty witty and creative after the game, so here's my facebook status: "Ashley Siferd is tired. Today was a long day. I love the UT football atmosphere, but the game was not to my liking. I might attempt to TACKLE my laundry and INTERCEPT the growing pile before I have TO THROW IT AWAY before I get SACKED by a bunch of shirts."
Even though UT lost, I still had fun. Football is my favorite sport to watch, and especially now that I'm an actual UT Volunteer. Go VOLS!