There is no shortage of bad blood between Tennessee and Florida. And as is often the case in the SEC, the rivalry hatred starts young.
That was very much the case on Friday ahead of this weekend’s highly-anticipated matchup in Knoxville.
As fans continue to gather around the city, tailgates are popping up all over. In parking lots, on the water of the Tennessee river, and on campus. The party has begun and it won’t stop until the final whistle blows at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night.
Prior to the game, a group of Vols fans made their allegiance very clear— both to those who walk by and their daughter. Dressed in a Tennessee orange cheerleader outfit, she was photographed hanging a blow-up Gator by a rope.
The knot, which could have been a different kind of knot, bears a striking resemblance to that of a noose. In turn, the young Vols fan looked like she was hanging the Florida Gator by a noose.
It just means more. Take a look:
That was not the only ‘Florida Gator’ hanged in Knoxville leading up to Saturday
At an apartment complex near campus, a much more realistic looking Gator was dangling from a stairwell. Below it, a sign chirped female Florida fans with a Tennessee twist.
Another sign somewhere in the city took a jab at Florida coach Billy Napier’s wife and crossed the line from witty to tasteless. It called her a hooker, playing into Tennessee Hendon Hooker’s last name.
While game day chirps and banners are all in good fun, this one takes things just a bit too far.
Tension is running high over in East Tennessee, clearly. Saturday is going to be wild and a lot of fun, so long as the Vols fans keep things just classy enough.