My family are all big Florida State fans, but we wanted to see Rocky Top in-person and cheer against the hated Gators. Thus, in September of 2016, my folks came up from Tallahassee and I flew into Tyson-McGhee from Connecticut. We stayed in Gatlinburg and soaked up all the Smoky Mountains have to offer, including the awesomeness of the Pancake Pantry. We also took a cruise on the Tennessee River, which was fantastic.

On Game Day, we headed to Knoxville, enjoyed hanging out with the fans outside Neyland and had the pleasure of listening to the UT band playing Rocky Top as they marched into the stadium.

We then grabbed our seats and MAN it was hot. Had to be 100 degrees in the sun. And the Vols just wilted in the 1st half and were down 21-3 at halftime. Some folks left, but we stayed cuz, well, we never knew whether we’d get to Neyland again and “what if the Vols came back?”

Well, you know the rest if you’re a Vols’ fan! UT scored 38 straight points in the 2nd half and CRUSHED THE GATORS 38-28! We were singing Rocky Top at the top of our lungs after every UT touchdown and just had a blast. The win snapped the Vols’ 11-game losing streak to Florida and I’ve never seen happier fans than those inside that stadium late in the 4th quarter. And for those Vol fans who left? Lawd, you missed seeing one of the greatest comebacks in UT history!!! What were you thinking?

– Joe Pankowski