Imagine being a University of Tennessee football player and walking into your first home game at Neyland Stadium. The bus doors open, you slowly exit walking with your teammates only to get overshadowed by the cheers of over 10,000 fans cheering you on as you walk through a sea of orange into Neyland Stadium. This is the time-honored tradition of the "Vol Walk."
Started in 1990 when UT's bus was running late, then coach Johnny Majors got the clever idea of walking his players from the player's dorm into Neyland Stadium which was just a short walk away. Threes later a new Tennessee tradition was born!
The Vol Walk tradition has continued to evolve over the years with changes in its path and length. When the Tennessee Lettermen's Wall of Fame was erected outside the Neyland-Thompson Football Complex in 2000, head coach Phillip Fulmer had the walk begin with players running their fingers along the wall's marble surface that bears the name of every Tennessee letter winner in every sport in the program's history.
Then in 2009 the route of the Vol Walk was shortened when team buses dropped the players and staff off at the head of Peyton Manning Pass to make the walk through the tens of thousands of cheering fans. The route down the street named for the Tennessee legend leads past the Pride of the Southland Pep Band, before turning left on Phillip Way to the cheers of more fans and a right-hand turn into Gate 21A for a quiet final journey down the ramp to the field level.
Next time you are attending a Tennessee Football game be sure to join the Vol Walk tradition to see firsthand this most sacred of Tennessee football traditions. The Vol Walk takes place 2 hours before each home game.
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