Chances are if you're a Tennessee fan, you're pretty proud of it. I know I am. So it might hurt your feelings just a little bit to see that an article published on Fox Sports (check it out here) claims that Tennessee fans are the 10th dumbest fan base in America. Okay at least we aren't top 5, but still! Say what you want about Tennessee athletics, but it's not dumb to believe in your team. I'd rather show loyalty and cheer for my team any day than be a bandwagon fan for whatever team is doing the best at the moment. So here are 10 reasons why Tennessee fans are NOT the 10th dumbest fans in the country.
1. Okay, I have to start with this one. How dumb can our fans really be if they can pull this off? Neyland Stadium resounded with pride and school spirit as each fan pulled off the best checkerboard in SEC history.
2. The University of Tennessee is the largest research institution in the state and awards the most degrees annually. The university is also ranked among the top public universities in the nation and is on the path to become in the top 25 in the future.
3. Rocky Top. Everyone knows it, everyone sings it, and every Tennessee fan feels something special while singing this song in unison with 100,000 fellow fans. Rocky Top you'll always be, Home sweet home to me!
4. According to Forbes Magazine, The University of Tennessee ranks among America's Top Colleges of 2014. This ranking judges institutions based on quality of education, student satisfaction, and student success and achievement of alumni. So I'd say we do pretty well!
5. Peyton Manning. Enough said.
6. Shout out to the Lady Vols because this lady is something else. Pat Summitt's dedication to the University of Tennessee and the basketball program at UT is unrivaled. With eight NCAA championships under her belt and nearly four decades of coaching experience, Pat herself was a hero at Tennessee. When Summitt was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011 the community at Tennessee showered her with support, even trending the saying We Back Pat. Her legacy and example of strength and perseverance is proof of the power of being a Vol for life.
7. Alongside Pat, another Tennessee hero is our beloved Coach, Butch Jones. Though he has yet to lead us to a championship, Tennessee fans have grown to be patient. And in my opinion, patient does not equal dumb. Brick by Brick!
8. Even though some may say orange is an "ugly" color... I think one of the most powerful things about being a Tennessee fan is the sense of pride that comes from wearing that color. No matter where you are, when you see orange you know it's Tennessee. And when you see a fellow vol fan, you know they're family.
9. Smokey. You can't hate on our fan base when our mascot is this cute. Smokey is a symbol for everything Tennessee and when he comes out on the field the stadium erupts. Tennessee is all about tradition. And when Smokey runs the endzone after a Tennessee touchdown, I feel nothing but big orange joy.
10. Whether or not you like Tennessee or Tennessee fans... you can't deny that we pour our heart and soul into our school. We love our state. We love our team. We love our coaches, our city, our football players, and our fellow vols. You can't judge a fan base on how successful their team is or on how adorned their coach may be. You judge a fan base on how loyal they are. How much they care for their team. How they still scream Rocky Top even when their team is losing. How orange is their favorite color and they're not afraid to wear it. And if that makes us "dumb"... well I guess I can live with that. GO VOLS!