Rocky Top you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ole Rocky Top, Wooooooo
Rocky Top, Tennessee.
I have to say Rocky Top is a pretty cool song that can definitely get stuck in your head. Like when you take a trip to a Tennessee Vols football game which me and a few buddies did this past Saturday. There was no NC State football game, since we played on Thursday night, so this sounded like a great idea. We had a Florida grad with us so he was going to root on the Gators, but I was going to watch some SEC football, check out Neyland Stadium, and experience Tennessee football & it’s traditions.
I had been to Tennessee several times before, but never for a football game. Neyland Stadium is a wonderful setting to watch college football. It sits right on the banks of the Tennessee River where the Vol Navy gathers on gamedays. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to experience the Vol Navy firsthand, but it is one of the coolest things in college football so I might have to work on a return trip so I can be an honorary member for a day. Neyland is the 3rd largest college football stadium in the country behind Michigan Stadium (109,901) and Beaver Stadium (107,282) with a listed capacity of 102,459. Saturday 102,455 people were there to watch the Vols enter the stadium by running through the T. It’s nuances like this that makes college football the great sport that it is.
With the stadium right in the middle of campus, the tailgating was scattered. We met up and tailgated with some family. They weren’t my family, but they became my family for the day. We were in a quaint, friendly parking deck about a block off Cumberland Ave. When we first arrived I wasn’t thrilled about tailgating in a deck, but being out of the sun was extremely nice on this scorching hot day so it worked out perfectly. We had several TVs right around us that were showing all the games going on so we had plenty to watch. We also had plenty to eat with a great spread that included sausage balls, spinach dip, brownies, pepperoni rolls, and maybe the best beef brisket I’ve ever eaten. It was so tender and the sauce was absolute money. I’m still hoping to get that recipe so I can add it to my Carter-Finley tailgating rotation.
There were a lot of extra curricular activities going on around the tailgate too so it was far from being a dull day. We had a Knoxville policeman bring over some applie pie moonshine (no lie). The same policeman even roughed me up and put me in some orange handcuffs. Of course, it was all just for fun. I also got a chance to hear some interesting stories from a retired Secret Service agent and see a lady pull down her pants and show her underwear which read “Hey You, Call Me.” I’m pretty sure the message wasn’t for me because I never got her number. She was the retired Secret Service agent’s wife anyway so probably best to leave that alone or risk disappearing off the face of the earth or something. All in all it was a very fun, interesting day.
Don’t worry, this has not turned into a Tennessee Vols football blog. I’ll be back talking NC State football tomorrow. We do play Tennessee in Atlanta for the 2012 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic so in addition to a fun trip I was trying to do some recon work. Not really, but that sounded good. Maybe I’ll try to do this once a year. I’d love to visit LSU, Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, Texas A&M, USC, Penn State, Oregon, Nebraska, and Auburn so we’ll see.