As a youth, September meant summer was over, the pool had closed and it was time for school. The late nights of kick the can on the hill were replaced with homework.
Growing up, our home always had three TVs blaring college football on Saturdays. Hence, there wasn’t any cable, just three networks. I know—hard to believe.
My high school years were fun, maybe too much fun because when it came time to apply for college, my dad said, “the only way you are going to get into Vanderbilt, is because they like your picture.” I was an average student. It was my brother who suggested I apply to the University of Tennessee. My dad went there, and they had football.
Lo and behold, I was accepted!
As we drove to Knoxville, my dad turned to me and said it was my lucky day, and indeed it was! Actually, it was the beginning of the best years of my life! And am proud to say I did very well after I had stumbled upon the College of Communications, within the university. Helped start a 10,000-watt school radio station, top in my com law class—I found my way! I was fortunate enough to have a class of Larry D. Perry’s, who was a law professor with an engineering degree. He worked at NASA when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. He was responsible for the communication from the capsule to NASA, then edited to our TV sets as we watched and listened to Neil Armstrong say, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Needless to say, Larry is one of the most admired persons I know to date.
We all belong to the color of a school we love. Mine is orange and white—Tennessee Vols. We cheer, jeer at the opposing team and some have shrines in their homes and wear their color proud. It’s football—college football! And it’s personal; for the love of your team. It brings friends and families together. A lot of emotion, screaming, cussing and the high when there is a touchdown and the low when your team fumbles on the 2-yard line. That is the worst! We all want OUR team to win. Unfortunately, mathematically, that can’t happen. We reflect on Sundays and can’t wait for next week’s game! I love college football, and I love my Vols! It’s family history, like for many fans across the country.
Everyone has a passion for their school or team, as I do, and can say with conviction, the words of the past Voice of the Vols broadcast announcer, John Ward, “It’s football time in Tennessee!”