Be a Vol Without Even Trying! (Or just act like one)

The Metro Pulse cheat sheet—speak, walk, eat and watch like a real Vol fan

Always wanted to develop that fanatic air and compulsive statistic monitoring and excessive bellyaching ability so you can fit in in the City of Orange? Well here's your chance. With this handy tip sheet, there's no need to read one syllable of Sports Illustrated, listen to a single Vol call on the radio, or even go to a single game. Follow these simple guidelines and soon even the Vol Navy or the Big Orange Army might mistake you for one of their own. It also works as a protective shield: With a few simple phrases and careful wardrobe selection, you, too, can traverse the city unimpeded, even on game day—and you won't get kicked out of nearly as many bars!


End all non-business telephone conversations, your outgoing voice mail message, and calls to sports talk radio with "Go Vols"

Safe Remarks:

"Why do we play preventive defense? All it does is prevent wins."

"Why don't we throw to the tight end?"

"We're in the most competitive division in college football. Irrefutable."

"When does the team wear orange pants? When we plan to lose."

Things to Say on Sports Talk Radio:

"If Heath Shuler was in that situation Saturday... I'm gonna hang up and listen to your comment."

"If Peyton Manning... I'm gonna hang up and listen to your comment."

And the Ever-Popular "Make This Conversation Stop" Remark:

"Well, I understand basketball starts in 60 days."

Put Your Audience in Awe Statements:

"You know, of course, that Bear Bryant was never able to beat the Vols while the General was coaching. Yes, I mean Robert Neyland. Bear was only able to tie him twice in seven games."

"Hey, Dewey ‘The Swamp Rat' Warren predicted the Vols would have trouble with UCLA. Right at the Birmingham Big Orange Club Fall Football Kick-Off. That was Aug. 28. He said, ‘UCLA is going to be tough.' And he was the first UT quarterback—'65 to '67 I think—who ever passed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Shoulda known he'd know what he was talking about."

"You did know Heath Shuler has one child named Navy?"

Safely Controversial Remarks:

(they'll start a conversation, not a fight)

"I've always thought the 1986 Vols upsetting Miami in the Sugar Bowl was a bigger deal than them beating Florida State in the 1998 championships. After all, Miami was ranked No. 2."

"I kind of like the way Small Mike has been calling into sports radio shows and demanding Fulmer be fired for the past 15 years. I wonder which one of them is more resilient?"

"I wonder where the Vols would be right now if Johnny Majors never had any heart trouble?"

"Don't you think those posters against other teams with the baby using their helmet as a porta-potty are a little off-color?"

"I like Smokey IV best of the nine Smokies, even if he only got to be the mascot for one season because he kept biting people."

Show Yourself As an Anti-Vol, Blood-Sucking, Moronic Excuse Not Worthy To Breathe Air Within 25 Miles of Neyland Stadium Remarks:

"I don't understand the big deal about John Ward. Voice of the Vols? Isn't that Bob Kesling now? I mean, Ward puts on his pants one leg at a time just like the rest of us, yes?"*

"South Carolina—this was all Steve Spurrier for you—just made this great play..."

"That was actually a really good call from that ref (that lost Tennessee the game, the touchdown, the field goal, the yard, the coin toss). He couldn't have done anything else and kept his integrity."

"I don't see why we have to have a hunting dog as a mascot."

*Unless you're Bob Kesling's mother. Well, even if you're Bob Kesling's mother.


Acceptable for Men:

Big Orange-and-white seersucker suits, polos, T-shirts, checkered overalls, caps, hats

Frowned Upon for Men:

Big Orange Crocs, blood-, burnt-, neon- or pumpkin orange attire, anything in pink, even if it's got logos all over it

Acceptable for Women:

Big Orange-and/or-white skirts, shirts, pants, pocketbooks, silk scarves; orange plaid cold-weather scarves, shirts in any shade of pink as long as they've got a "T" logo

Frowned Upon for Women:

Vols don't frown at their women on game day

Acceptable for Pets:

Big Orange leashes, carry bags, harnesses, logo chew toys, baby T-shirts, saddle blankets, cheerleading skirts, headbands, bandanas

Frowned Upon for Pets:

Bulldogs dressed in Big Orange; Halloween-inspired orange outfits—a dachshund dressed like a pumpkin does not say, "Game Day."


Leave six to eight hours early for a night game. Spend the afternoon watching other college games at different bars at the Strip.

Don't drink beer before games. Too few bathrooms.

Cry when the Pride of the Southland band marches in playing "Rocky Top."

Only tip the in-stands hot dog or soda vendor once, if at all, even after someone tells you they're middle school kids making $2 an hour. Drop peanut shells in the stands. Leave your empty cups, even though they have Vol logos.

Beat the rush out of the stadium by leaving half-way through the third quarter, even in a close game.

If you have season tickets, stay home if it rains.

Watching the Game on TV:

Turn down the volume on the television set and listen to Bob Kesling of the Vol Radio Network instead.


You don't have to actually have a tailgate, be parked in the lot near the stadium, or even go to the game to have an excuse for orange-y snack foods and grilled, smoked pork products. These are good at home, too, or in the Smokies where you went since everyone else was at the game.


Never, ever mention the calorie content of a tailgate food. They're exempt; all that shouting (at the players on the field, at the TV) absolutely cancels them out.

If the recipe came from Southern Living, the Junior League, or any Vol player or their relative, living or dead, you can serve it. If it didn't, say it did.

Seivers Summer Sausage

The ultimate guy food, made right in your own kitchen, could last you several games. And the very best part: the recipe comes from Frankie Seivers, mom to UT two-time All-American wide receiver Larry Seivers.


5 pounds ground chuck
5 heaping teaspoons Morton's Instant Tenderizing Salt (salt cure)
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in an air-tight plastic container. Store in refrigerator for four days, mixing each day.

2. On fourth day, measure into 1 cup portions, shaping and firmly forming into desired shape. A long log works well.

3. Bake at 150 degrees for 12-18 hours on broiling pan. Turn once.

Makes 11 rolls.

From Potluck Survival Guide (FiveStar Publications, 2008) by Knoxville author Cherie Kimmons

When You Don't Feel Like Baking, Bring:

Orange Moon Pies: They sell 'em at Wal-Mart, and if they're good enough as dessert for the UT Alumni Association's Big Orange Tailgate Tour, which costs $15 per meal, they're good enough for us.

Oreos: Peyton ate 'em in a commercial. If they're good enough for him...

Magpie's Creamsicle Cupcakes: a seasonal specialty of orange buttercake sprinkled with orange juice, finished with vanilla buttercream and topped with crunchy orange sugar crystals. Good enough for anybody

Drink Like a Vol:

Knoxville Lemonade

Note: Like with so many other foods, try not to reveal your un-Volness by fretting that though it's for the Big Orange fan, there's no orange flavor in it whatsoever unless you eat the garnish.

Knoxville Lemonade Recipe

1/2 shot vodka
1/2 shot peach schnapps
6 oz. lemonade, preferably from concentrate or fresh
2 splashes ginger ale

Pour peach schnapps and vodka into a mason jar three-quarters filled with ice. Add lemonade and ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of orange, add two straws, and serve.


Five Steps to Buying Like a Vol:

1. Poke gentle fun at the item, mostly to find out if anyone else has one yet.

2. Say it is too expensive (too silly, too fragile, too orange, too corny).

3. Buy it for (your grandfather, your college roommate, your next-door neighbor) who is a much more dedicated Vol fan than yourself and would never be able to find such a thing for him- or herself.

4. Use it once.

5. Keep it.

A Selection of Products to Practice With:

Lip Coolers SPF 15 lip balm with orange "T" logo—tastes remarkably like Vaseline, claims a "Natural Mint Flavor"

Orange Tic Tacs—breath mint of the gods, but, since they actually are orange-flavored, not very effective

Power "T" Bucket Cap—catch fish or just look like Colonel Blake on M*A*S*H*

Bergamot "T" galvanized beverage tub—so a bucket from the hardware store costs $10 and this costs $52 and has a nice orange "T" on the side. Oh, no, don't use it at tailgates. Not until Vandy, probably, or the ice will melt before you've had the second course. But it's good for show, and for potted plants.

Tennessee Vols UT Cornhole Bean Bag Toss Game—This is that nifty beanbag game and you could surely play it as a drinking game until you can't see the $106 price tag

Collegiate Helmet Christmas Ornament—for your Very First Christmas as a Vol Fan

Baby Fans University of Tennessee Rocking Chair—it fits just right!

Tennessee Volunteers Glass Door Refrigerator—let's not think about why this is for sale at Toys 'R Us locally