It's football time in Tennessee!
In Tennessee, the excitement for football season is rivaled by none. One of the most noticeable colors in all of sports, "Tennessee Orange," is found everywhere from high-end clothing to decorated gourmet dog biscuits. Businesses change their signage and "Out of Office" notifications become more frequent. The excitement is contagious!
Although I am admittedly not a sports "guru," I've been directly involved in sports my entire life. My husband and I were both college athletes and now both work in college athletics. Every day of our lives, we are surrounded with sports. And we love it....most of the time.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a die-hard as one who is "very determined or loyal; especially : very loyal to a set of beliefs and not willing to change those beliefs."
Early on, I realized that, although I technically fit the definition of a "die-hard," I would never be given that title in the sports world. Why? Because I'm generally silent.
You will not find me blasting on social media or message boards. You will not find me dying my hair or sleeping in a parking space to reserve the prime tailgate spot. Although I like to see pregame traditions like the Vol Walk, if I miss it, it's no big deal. And the worst of all - I frequently give our tickets away and elect to watch the game from home.
Why? Because I've learned that I have to be silent.
After sitting in the stands watching my husband play in college, I knew if I was going to stay in athletics, my "fan" status would have to be different. I remember thinking,
"How can these people call themselves "fans"? Are other people hearing what these people are screaming at these guys? Don't they know these are real people? How can they write these things? They don't even know them! Don't they know his mom is dying of cancer? Don't they know his dream is to be a professional chef? Don't they care that he sends the small living stipend (yes, small) home to his family? Do they realize he wakes up on Sunday mornings to death threats on Facebook? Death threats! When is the last time you received a death threat?"
In addition to living it, I've also been fortunate to work one-on-one with some amazing students, many of whom were/are athletes. Our relationship allows us to not only discuss academic strengths, weaknesses, and goals, but also life. We celebrate successes, enforce commitment, and endure loss - and it often has nothing to do with sports.
Although I am thankfully no longer sitting in the stands hearing these things said about my husband and our friends, it's still hard to hear/read/see these things about those I know and even those I don't.
Although I love to see my teams win, at the end of the day, the score means nothing to me. For me, being a "die-hard" equates to loyalty; being supportive no matter the circumstances or outcome. To me, loyalty is not shredding a player on social media over a bad play or holding up "Fire Coach Whoever" during a national broadcast. It means remembering that these are real people, with real dreams, who experience success and failures just like the rest of us.
So while I excitedly prepare to watch the biggest game in college sports history from my couch, I'll struggle to stay silent.
Happy Friday! Go Herd & Go Vols!
Hey y'all I'm Jennifer and I"ll be hosting Girls Nights Out, daytime meet-ups and other exciting events for Housewives in the City here in K-Town! Although I was born in Bristol, TN, my dad's job had us living in 11 states within 7 years! We bounced around as far north as Pennsylvania and as far south as Alabama before relocating to Knoxville in 1989. I tried moving away when my husband's job took us up north but nope, it just didn't stick- back to Knoxville I came and here I will stay! I have 3 fantastic kiddos and I have been known to enjoy bacon...on my bacon! Now, as far as Knoxville goes, you probably know that A) Around here football season is a 5th season- Go Vols! B) We take being "Scruffy" very seriously and C) It is a town full of amazing people-especially the ladies! So come on out to one of our events, meet some amazing women, have a great time and be sure to say "Hey Jen!"