UConn In Tennessee



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Went to Knoxville, Tennessee for a long weekend to catch the BYU vs. Tennessee game (heartbreaker I know) as well as hike the Smoky mountains. Rocked my UConn gear all weekend and here are a few notes that I thought were funny to share:

-Our legit first interaction with people as we stepped out of the plane look at my shirt and say *que southern accent* "Geno Auriemma been the bane of my existence for 10 years."
-Also met people who have lived in Tennessee their whole life, but mentioned they own UConn apparel somehow, which was cool.
-SEC football is just different down there. They live and breathe it. Made me wish we cared more about the football program and were able to put a better product on the field.
-Everyone down there knows about Kemba and Shabazz. Talking with a bunch of people they all respected us as national champions and still think of us as such. So that was a little surprising but awesome to hear.
-Out of respect on college gameday we went to a bar and had them put the UConn vs. Illinois game on and the guy next to me says "who put this UConn game on?" Got a kick out of that lol. We bleed blue everywhere baby.
 
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Went to Knoxville, Tennessee for a long weekend to catch the BYU vs. Tennessee game (heartbreaker I know) as well as hike the Smoky mountains. Rocked my UConn gear all weekend and here are a few notes that I thought were funny to share:

-Our legit first interaction with people as we stepped out of the plane look at my shirt and say *que southern accent* "Geno Auriemma been the bane of my existence for 10 years."
-Also met people who have lived in Tennessee their whole life, but mentioned they own UConn apparel somehow, which was cool.
-SEC football is just different down there. They live and breathe it. Made me wish we cared more about the football program and were able to put a better product on the field.
-Everyone down there knows about Kemba and Shabazz. Talking with a bunch of people they all respected us as national champions and still think of us as such. So that was a little surprising but awesome to hear.
-Out of respect on college gameday we went to a bar and had them put the UConn vs. Illinois game on and the guy next to me says "who put this UConn game on?" Got a kick out of that lol. We bleed blue everywhere baby.
Living in Atlanta, I’m around a lot of Tennessee alumni.

That athletic department is a dumpster fire right now.

The football program makes them angry but I get the sense the WBB program just makes them really sad. A complete disgrace to Pat Summit’s legacy.
 

Horatio

RIP Pedro Bell
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Living in Atlanta, I’m around a lot of Tennessee alumni.

That athletic department is a dumpster fire right now.

The football program makes them angry but I get the sense the WBB program just makes them really sad. A complete disgrace to Pat Summit’s legacy.
It’s criminal that the WBB program is not back on track by now. The sport needs Tennessee to be good again.
 
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Living in Atlanta, I’m around a lot of Tennessee alumni.

That athletic department is a dumpster fire right now.

The football program makes them angry but I get the sense the WBB program just makes them really sad. A complete disgrace to Pat Summit’s legacy.
You could feel the tension/disgust in the air during and after the game. Like if they lost, all hell would break loose.
 
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You could feel the tension/disgust in the air during and after the game. Like if they lost, all hell would break loose.
You shoulda been there the week before when they lost to...

Georgia State.
 
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You could feel the tension/disgust in the air during and after the game. Like if they lost, all hell would break loose.
But yeah when my wife and I lived in DC and would drive down to the North Georgia Mountains to visit her folks, we would drive through Knoxville and I was always impressed by the number of sideways glances and (mostly) good natured comments I would get on my UConn stuff.

That rivalry is (was?) real.
 
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I remember driving to Knoxville around 1993 to see the Smoky Mountains. I went into a grocery store and was surprised by bright orange sweatshirts that appeared to be everywhere.
 
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I've been a UT football fan since the early 80's - I saw them play Wisconsin in the Garden State Bowl.

It's some dark days now, but going to Neyland for a big game where both teams are ranked is a great experience, although that hasn't happened in a while sadly. The third saturday in October used to be meaningful and it was always a ton of fun.

If the Vols didn't have the tradition of generations of fans going to games it would be a tough go in that 100k seat stadium.
 

MattMang23

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I was sitting at a bar in Knoxville in 2014 in a UConn hat and some older southern “gentleman” in his 60s next to me leaned over and said “UConn huh? Y’all are known for being a great girls basketball school.” Or something to that effect.

I couldn’t tell from his tone if he was trying to poke fun at UConn or if he was praising the school but I didn’t care for him calling the women’s team the girls’ team so I was like “yes we are very proud of our women’s basketball team but you know our men just won the national championship this year too.”

He stopped talking to me after that.
 
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I was sitting at a bar in Knoxville in 2014 in a UConn hat and some older southern “gentleman” in his 60s next to me leaned over and said “UConn huh? Y’all are known for being a great girls basketball school.” Or something to that effect.

I couldn’t tell from his tone if he was trying to poke fun at UConn or if he was praising the school but I didn’t care for him calling the women’s team the girls’ team so I was like “yes we are very proud of our women’s basketball team but you know our men just won the national championship this year too.”

He stopped talking to me after that.
I 100% believe you but that surprises me.

The guy was probably a football-only Walmart fan.

Most of the Tennessee alum I know love their lady’s program and, when someone introduces themselves as a UT alum, my go-to line is “oh nice, so you went to the school with the second best women’s basketball coach ever.”

They take very...kindly to that.
 

MattMang23

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I 100% believe you but that surprises me.

The guy was probably a football-only Walmart fan.

Most of the Tennessee alum I know love their lady’s program and, when someone introduces themselves as a UT alum, my go-to line is “oh nice, so you went to the school with the second best women’s basketball coach ever.”

They take very...kindly to that.
Well, he may not have meant it as a jab. I just couldn’t tell. I remember asking my buddy an hour or so later if he thought the guy meant it callously and he said he didn’t take it that way. It coulda just been some old out of touch dude that doesn’t realize that calling grown women “girls” is not really a correct reference.

Maybe I was overly defensive because I’m just used to other people calling UConn a “women’s basketball school” as an insult... like we are supposed to be ashamed that our school has the most successful sports program in the history of sports...

This was the day before a Utah St/UT game at Neyland and many people were arriving from out of town so who knows. I just got the impression that this guy was one of those “we a foosball school and you guys play girls basketball” fans.
 
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Well, he may not have meant it as a jab. I just couldn’t tell. I remember asking my buddy an hour or so later if he thought the guy meant it callously and he said he didn’t take it that way. It coulda just been some old out of touch dude that doesn’t realize that calling grown women “girls” is not really a correct reference.

Maybe I was overly defensive because I’m just used to other people calling UConn a “women’s basketball school” as an insult... like we are supposed to be ashamed that our school has the most successful sports program in the history of sports...

This was the day before a Utah St/UT game at Neyland and many people were arriving from out of town so who knows. I just got the impression that this guy was one of those “we a foosball school and you guys play girls basketball” fans.
No, that makes sense and they definitely do exist.

There’s a phrase down here, “Walmart Fan”- someone who didn’t graduate from an SEC (or southern ACC) school - but is a fan because they walked into a Walmart and bought a T-shirt.

I’ve never seen anything quite like the cultural split between SEC alum and these redneck/dumb fans.
 
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