Tennesee Fan Tears ACL Celebrating Vols Win Over Bama – ‘I’ve Been Waiting On That Win For 15 Years’

Vols fan Matt Wheeler was in tears. It wasn’t from the pain of blowing out his ACL while celebrating Tennessee’s win over Alabama, the first time that had happened since 2006.

These were tears of joy, just like tears shed by hundreds of thousands of Vols fans around the world who could finally celebrate slaying the Nick Saban dragon in dramatic 52-49 fashion when kicker Chase McGrath’s wounded-duck kick made it to the holy land of Neyland Stadium. 

Giving up an ACL for a Vols win over Bama: Was it worth it?

Tennessee Vols fan ACL
Vols fan Matt Wheeler’s knee damage, left, was all worth it to celebrate this historic victory with his father as Chase McGrath’s kick inched over the crossbar. / Twitter @IBleedOrange05

“Of course it was! I’ve been waiting on that W for 15 years,” Wheeler told OutKick during a Twitter direct message exchange.

The emotions had to come out. There were too many tears built up from so many years of coaching changes and blowouts. Wheeler lived through games like the 2016 matchup in Knoxville when No. 1 Alabama beat No. 9 Tennessee 49-10. Bama rushed for 409 yards that day. Tennessee rushed 32 times for 32 yards.

Right after I got hurt, I sat down and started crying and my wife came running over because she thought it was from the pain I was in,” Matt recalled. “I told her those were happy tears because we finally beat Bama. She was not happy with that since she said I didn’t cry at our wedding, but I did for a football game. I told her I hadn’t been waiting 15 years to marry her.”

During our Twitter DM exchange, Matt tried to put it in perspective what this win means in a conference that lives by the “It Just Means More” slogan.

Vols ACL blowout hero Matt Wheeler says he "shared a little cry and a hug" with his dad after Tennessee beat Alabama 52-49.
Vols ACL blowout hero Matt Wheeler says he “shared a little cry and a hug” with his dad after Tennessee beat Alabama 52-49. / Twitter

[My wife’s] been telling me on multiple Saturdays this year that she doesn’t recognize me when I’m watching games now either. I told her I’ve never really had anything to be excited about since I met her in 2011,” Matt wrote.

Relax, ladies, Matt’s clearly talking about his relationship with Vols football. Outside a Gator Bowl and a win in the Outback Bowl, it’s been slim pickings for Matt and his fellow Vols fans. Matt had to live the married life through the end of the Derek Dooley era, then the Butch Jones years, and finally, the ultimate disaster that was the Jeremy Pruitt mess.

Minus the knee damage, that’s a new man right there. Look at that smile. It says it all.

“My body was literally not ready,” Vols fan HUGE writes.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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