By: Dallas Bowlin
Senior Staff Writer
The All Vol Call in Show
For most of the fans attending the conference match up between Tennessee and Texas A&M on Saturday, it was just another game, but for Luke, it very well could be the day he looks back on as the day he became a “Vol for life.”
Clayton Hromadka and his wife Marissa moved to the Volunteer State from Texas roughly eight years ago. They are both alumni of Texas A&M and were season ticket holders until their move. The couple had planned on making a game in Neyland Stadium since they moved to Tennessee, but it just wasn’t meant to be -- until this season. Saturday, they took their son Luke to his first ever college football game.
“We got a text from a friend of mine who played golf for the Tennessee back in the day, offering us a chance to come to the game,” Clayton said. “We woke up Saturday and Luke was so excited.”
The start of their game day experience would be a precursor to the hospitable nature of Tennessee fans on game day. Clayton elaborated that when they arrived at the parking garage the attendant jokingly said “You’ll have to park somewhere else, this garage is full.” Hromadka then made the turn into the garage where he spotted an orange casket, decked in Vols colors, which they found very humorous.
The family was there early enough to see the Vol Walk, and a few tailgates even offered them drinks and food before they found their way over to the VolShop. “I could tell Luke was digging the Smokey apparel," said Clayton. “Their dog looks cooler than ours.”
Once they finally made their way inside and to their seats, they immediately struck up a conversation with fans around them. Upon telling Tennessee fans that this was Luke’s first college football game, they jokingly remarked that a first game being in Neyland Stadium may “spoil him.”
“It’s cool to see the Power-T entrance on t.v., but seeing it in person really raises the bar," said Clayton. "Lots of teams have great entrances but that one is definitely one of the best I’ve seen. Special shout out to the DJ, whoever that man was, for rocking it all day long!” Hromadka said.
With about two minutes remaining in what was a highly contested game, an older gentleman in front of Clayton turned around and said, 'regardless of the outcome, we are excited to see you at the game with your son.' "He said that he really enjoyed watching Luke and I enjoy the experience.”
“After Tennessee won, he turned back around to shake my hand again, gave Luke a big high five, and said 'great game young man!' There were at least another half-dozen fist bumps and high fives from fans all around us. I'd like to shout out Section S. It’s full of respectful people.” Clayton added.
At some point during the experience, maybe after Clayton’s post on X (Twitter) went viral, Luke decided he wanted to switch sides. “Luke has officially changed sides and wants to be a Vol. He said, 'Your Aggies never made me go viral.'
“I might have to return the Aggie gear I already bought him and buy him some orange -- or maybe not!”
One thing is for sure, Luke will never forget his experience at Neyland Stadium, and for that, I say bravo VolNation.