As the Tide rolls in, so does the business

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- It's the third week in October.

Old friends get together, restaurants are packed, and the Crimson Tide comes to town.

The game doesn't kick off until Saturday night, but thousands have already flocked to Knoxville.

The mood before the Florida game was electric, but Friday night it was a much different atmosphere.

U.T. and Bama fans are rabid about their team. But fans of both seem to agree on two thing. One, Alabama is very good and U.T. will have to play great to win. But, second, they're ready for a good time.

Fans both teams tailgating together, "GO VOLS! ROLL TIDE!"

Dinner tables and tailgates are divided in Knoxville

"We'll we get along pretty well until game time. But tailgating we have a good time," said Gerry Allen, a Vols fan.

"Took a lot to ride up here in a Tennessee RV, but it's a free trip so I couldn't turn it down," said Steve Bankston, a Bama fan.

The overwhelming color in Knoxville will always be orange. But at the Rocky Top Gang's tailgate on the strip, Allen says 15 will be Crimson Tide fans.

The Crimson invasion is also a welcome sight to restaurants and bars lining Cumberland Avenue.

Copper Cellar expects about 50% more business this week.

"They start early. One good thing about the third week in October game gets for these Bama fans, is they get to come up and enjoy the leaves and the Smoky Mountains," said Copper Cellar General Manager Jess Bersin.

As for the game, do fans think the Vols have a chance?

"Not much, no. No, no," said Allen.

"Our friends in the next motor home say it's gonna be a close game, and that's from the Alabama fans. I'm like, 'I don't think so,'" said one Vols fan.

"I hope it's a blow-out, but I think it's gonna be a close game. Tennessee always gives Bama a good game. They shouldn't but they do," said Bankston, the Bama fan next door.

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