Tennessee Hate Week: Smoke ’em if you got ’em
By: WVUA 23 News Reporter Savannah Denton
It’s that time of year again. Alabama and Tennessee football fans from all over look forward to this weekend each year.
A lot of that has to do with the special traditions that surround it. You may have noticed that after every victory against Tennessee, tide players, coaches and fans light up the stadium by smoking cigars.
While smoking cigars is usually considered to be a nasty habit, its also a long-time tradition for the winner of the Alabama-Tennessee football game.
It dates back to 1961, when Jim Goosetree, a former assistant of Alabama, brought out a box of cigars in the locker room following the tides win over the vols. This officially ignited the victory tradition that has continued to grow today.
For the owners of R&R Cigars in Tuscaloosa its their biggest week of the year in sales, but the experience is priceless for fans.
‘It’s a huge tradition. I look forward to Tennessee weekend every single year just so I can smoke a cigar after the game,” said, Alabama fan Devin Spencer. “All my friends smoke a cigar, they really don’t ever smoke cigars throughout the year but they know Tennessee weekend is the time. We are going to win and it’s time to smoke a cigar,” said Spencer.
It will be 5,838 days on Saturday since the last time Tennessee beat Alabama in 2006.
The last time a Tennessee fan was able to light a cigar, Nick Saban wasn’t even the head coach of Alabama.
Bryce Young Bama’s quarterback was only five years old, and Myspace was the top social media site. Not to mention the first iPhone hadn’t even been released yet.
Alabama is ranked 3rd and Tennessee 8th. This will be the first time since 1989 that both teams have been undefeated going into the rivalry game.
Saturday evening cigars will be lit in Knoxville, the only question is, will the smokers be wearing crimson or that orange that Bama fans have come to hate.