The past two Saturdays UGA has faced off against two different UTs- losing to both. I was in attendance to both beatings, but one was more horrific because it brought me back to my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee where the Dawgs lost 96-50 to the University of Tennessee basketball team.
Growing up my family had season tickets to men and women's basketball. The roar of Thompson-Bowling Arena was nothing new to me. Neither was the religion of UT sports that everyone in a 50-mile radius follows. This time, it was different, however. I used to be a part of that roar. I used to be a part of that religion. Now, as I looked around the arena, I saw very few others dressed the same as me.
All I saw was that hideous light-orange. All I heard was the cheer of UT fans as the score gap grew larger and larger.
When Georgia did score- which was rare- I swear I was the only person there that clapped and hollered. It was different for me to be alone in what used to be my second home.
Volunteer Nation was my home until 2017. I lived, breathed, slept, and ate UTK. Now, I was all alone surrounded by strangers that wanted nothing more than my team's defeat.
Most of my high school friends go to UTK, so I should feel at home here, but I never felt more ostracized in my life.
Every person I know there mocked me. "Now you know what it feels like to be a UT football fan," they would say. Or, "isn't too fun, is it?"
After a blistering defeat in a place that used to bring excitement to my life will never allow me to feel the same. I have felt the burn of the infamous UT fans. Looking from outside in, I know why everyone, including referees, hates the big orange.