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I was fresh out of college, starting a brand new job at a prominent whiskey distillery in Tennessee. Life was good, but incredibly up-in-the-air for my post college life. Driving home one day I received an invitation to attend a college football party planned for the upcoming weekend.

Saturday came quick and the anticipation was building… I swung the door open to a rented-out local bar known for having “the coldest beer in town”. Groups of people are chanting ”Beat Florida”. It was the third Saturday in September 2004. Little did I know I would never feel that good about beating Florida for at least another 12 years.

Being from Southern TN I grew up very passionate about UT football. That being said, most of my life our biggest rival every season was Alabama. However, with the current steak sitting at 11 wins in a row for the Gators, who could even begin to worry about the 9 losses in a row to Alabama.

Year after year the Gators have had the Vols number, and sometimes the wins were handed to them gift wrapped with bows. 2005-2015 would come to be the hardest years for Vol fans, at least they were for this die-hard fan.

Finally, here I sit, downtown Knoxville tailgating before Florida vs Tennessee 2016. Drinking what I think to be “the coldest beer in town”, chanting “Beat Florida”, and bleeding Orange! Now we are ready to head into Neyland Stadium via Phillip Fulmer Way to witness the turn around first hand… Go Big Orange!!!

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