As a member of the 2007 Pride of the Southland Marching Band that was lucky enough to play in the Vols' last SEC championship appearance, I felt firsthand the love that Tennessee fans have for their band.
Who knew that redneck, hillbilly, Southern-born and bred Volunteers could know or care so much about a marching band?
The Pride kicks off each college football Saturday with small pep rallies at various tailgates. Then, they make the famous march to the stadium where they play Rocky Top, Fight Vols Fight and Down the Field over and over to the crowd's content.
At the bottom of the steep Andy Holt Drive that passes by the beautiful Haslam Business Building, the Pride flips up toward the Hill and the hallowed Ayres Hall to perform their weekly mini-concert—the Salute to the Hill.
Right there on Phillip Fulmer Way, old and young fans of the Vols alike get acquainted and reacquainted with the power and precision that is the Pride of the Southland Marching Band.
Opening the T is perhaps the best college tradition of all. The annual Circle Drill half-time show is truly awesome (yes, band members catch glimpses on the JumboTron), and the humorous 12 Days of Christmas performance is always great.