Tuesday, October 16, 2012


                 TENNESSEE 35, ALABAMA 28

Knoxville, Tennessee (HOUSEOFNEYLAND) Coach Bear Bryant owned the Tennessee Volunteers in winning 11 consecutive games from 1971 through 1981 & I experienced every one of them. 

That might explain my hatred of the Crimson Tide. 

But I also experienced the joy of the victory on this day 30 years ago, October 16, 1982, when the VOLS broke the streak & beat the Bear.

1982, of course, was the year of the WORLD'S FAIR held in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Knoxville was the place to be that fall.  

                                                                               1982 World's Fair
                                                                           Knoxville, Tennessee
                                                                     Photo by John White (1982)

I was in my 1st years of ushering at Neyland Stadium working in the EE-FF section of the East Upper Deck.

It didn't look so good in the 2nd half as the VOLS trailed 13 to 21 but then they fought back to take the lead 35-21 on a 35 yard touchdown run by CHUCK COLEMAN.

Still, the victory wasn't sure. There were so many times the VOLS had lost the lead against BAMA late in the game.

But this time, it was our turn.  

The TIDE was turned back, after cutting the VOLS lead to 35-28, with an interception by Tennessee's MIKE TERRY in the North end zone.

Coach Johnny Majors was carried out to the center of Shields-Watkins Field to get a much-deserved handshake from Bear Bryant.*

Coach Bryant, ever the gentleman, said:

"Johnny, you had a good game plan. Congratulations."**

*For any Bama fans who might read this post, while we do hate Alabama, we have great respect for your program & your legendary coach.

**Source: The University of Tennessee Football Vault: The History of the Tennessee Volunteers by Tom Mattingly, Whitman Publishing Company, 2007.  

                                                                      John White & Coach Majors
                                                                          Lindsey Nelson Stadium
                                                                        Alabama at Tennessee BB
                                                                      Knoxville, Tennessee (2012)

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