Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Memory: Everything Orange

When we first moved to Knoxville nine years ago, we were absolutely astonished come football season. Flabbergasted. Knoxville, Tennessee, lives, breathes, and bleeds UT football, and the whole city is decked out in orange every Friday and Saturday from August through November. I'd never seen anything like it. We had to go right out and buy Jesse a UT shirt because the kids were supposed to wear orange to school every Friday.

I found it all extremely bizarre and quite hilarious.

Where I grew up in New York, football was fun but basketball and lacrosse were the really exciting sports. My small college didn't have a football team. We may have gone to a football game or two during our graduate school years, first at Miami University in Ohio and then at Iowa State University.

But, wow. Not even Dr. H's lunatic rants during Monday Night Football prepared me for football mania in Knoxville. (By the way: I did not know that Dr. H. was a raving football fanatic when we got married. Like I said, we didn't have a football team at our college, and somehow that never came up. But I'd have married him anyway.)

Laurel got her first UT cheerleader's outfit when she was two years old, right after we moved here. Dr. H. picked it up at the university bookstore, while he stocked up on t-shirts for the rest of the family. For her fourth birthday, she got UT Barbie and the outfit in the picture above. I love that sweet face and her cute little outfit and her Barbie doing a split.

After living her for nine years, I'm used to the sea of football orange in the fall. I hardly even notice it anymore. But on Saturday, Laurel and I went to target. We were both wearing UT t-shirts, and Laurel decided to count how many people in Target she saw wearing UT shirts.

She lost count at about 42.


  1. That is too funny. And it must be a little strange for the outsider seeing it for the first time! I think I'd be a little freaked out.

    I remember hearing Dolly Parton say something about how everyone in TN loves UT football. Did I ever mention I'm a HUGE Dolly fan as well as Christy?

    Which reminds me, I never knew they had a Christy fest!! When is it?

    Maybe I need to start trying to convince my husband to move to the Smoky mountains.... ;-)

    So where in NY did you grow up? We're in Central NY.

    Oh, if you don't want to respond in a comment on my blog, my email address is

  2. 42!? wow!! and one of my least favorite colors, too...LOL

    Did the kids have to wearorange every Friday or just during football season?

    I am not a football fan. I don't get the hoopla surrounding it.

  3. Oh my goodness, you're kidding! Here its the Oregon Ducks and the Beavers both football teams (I think? Yikes) Anyway peopel fly little flags on their cars or sport bumper stickers but nothing as bizarre as turning the whole town orange. That is just hilarious. But on the other hand, what a way to unite a town!!

  4. We're halfway between Binghamton and Albany. When did you move to TN?

  5. We moved here when I was about 7....lived on a house on Campus (which is now a parking garage) it was unreal every home game. My brother and I would stand outside and let people park in our driveway- easy way to make $100 bucks...

    And yes everywhere you go is a sea of oragne on football Saturdays...

  6. 42! That is unreal and so hilarious! That's serious football country. ;)

  7. and I love that I have had two little girls wear the same dress...and it is getting way too small on Elisa....

  8. this post made me laugh! our friend who lives in knoxville and went to UT married a lovely girl from califonia. she now resides in knoxville and his biggest goal in their marriage was to get her to say "GO VOLS". unfortunately, i think after 10 years, she has succumbed. it seems it would be really hard NOT to!


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