LOL — so it’s supposed to be okay that App State pilfered the slogan and tradition from UT a few years ago? That makes it somehow less of a pilfering?
In actuality, the slogan was…erm…appropriated by former UT graduate assistant Dale Jones when he was hired by Appalachian State in 1996. That doesn’t really matter though. What DOES matter is that it was a poor decision on someone’s part to emphasize the abduction of a tradition that has been a part of Tennessee history since the first day we were nicknamed the Volunteer State. Not because of football, but because of Tennessee’s instant and unstinting response to the nation’s call in times of trouble. “I will give my all for Tennessee today” does honor to that tradition, and has been a traditional part of the Vols locker room and pre-game rituals for decades before Dale Jones took it to another school in another state without that same bond. So this isn’t about the shirt. It’s not even about the swiping of our traditions and making them App State’s. Heck, Vol Nation likes App State and respects them. What this is really about is going into someone’s house and swiping something, then showing up twenty years later flaunting what was snagged. Coming into Neyland, flaunting our tradition and slogan adapted to Mountaineer use is not the best way to continue that relationship of liking and respect. Because the team and staff wearing those shirts? They’ll be disrespecting Tennessee just as much as any of our rivals do, and that might not be a great idea heading into this game.