A timeless Tennessee Tradition

Published: Oct. 25, 2019 at 5:52 PM EDT
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Back in the day, keeping up with scores at the General's house on a college football Saturday, well let's just say it could be a challenge.

Modern technology is a wonderful thing. When it comes to scores and football scores at that, those scores at our fingertips on the phone, but at the Neyland Stadium press box, you'll also find those scores on a chalkboard. A tradition UT Athletics historia Bud Ford says goes back to the early 60's, "When we built the press box in the upper deck in 1962, part of transferring all the scores and all the information was done by Western Union there was no other radio or television coverage then so Western Union had a ticker."

Ford has seen many scores of interest make their way onto and off of the Chalk scoreboard in the UT press box, which wasn't the original home for this long standing Tennessee tradition, "We had a person that would go and read the Western Union ticker, we had a chalkboard and he would come and put the scores up all the writers when they got their story would bring them to Western Union to this room and they were full of women and that's the first women in the press box in 1962,so when we built the next press box and Haywood Harris said, let's take the scoreboard so we took that one and now we've built a third press box and we've placed it up here and call it scores of interest."

Over the years, UT students, like media relations intern Lauren Claxton, have had the honor of updating scores, quarter by quarter, onto the familiar green board. It's a process the reporters who regularly cover the Vols have become quite accustomed to, reporter's like WNML's Jimmy Hyams, "I always look at it and yes, I like tradition and yes I can look up the scores and probably find them faster on my phone but I get a kick out of the tradition that they have here and I appreciate them continuing to do it and let's face it not everybody goes to their phone and there are some folks that technology might have passed them by."

This time honored tradition is unique to UT and something visiting Media appreciate . It's all part of what makes college football so special says Ford, "It's been a uniqueness, it's part of where we are and I hope we don't build another press box we'll keep the scoreboard."

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