The Volunteer Way
By: Dallas Bowlin, Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor
"There’s a jerk in every crowd, but Vol Nation is greater than any one jerk.”
That’s what Jeff Vincent had to say about an incident during the January 23rd, 2023 Tennessee vs. Texas men’s basketball game that included Tennessee fan Chris Reynolds, his son, and a few Tennessee Basketball season ticket holders.
Vincent was attending the matchup when he saw Chris’s son having a blast cheering on the Volunteers, before a couple of fans behind them asked the 12-year-old boy to sit down. The father and son would eventually switch seats, but it was apparent Chris’s son was affected by the incident, as Vincent said the boy did not move a muscle for the remainder of the game.
Vincent would immediately post to a Facebook group for Tennessee fans in search of Reynolds and his son, offering a "Daddy" hat famously worn by fans and the Tennessee men's baseball team. This specific hat was signed by members of the baseball and basketball teams in hopes that it would bring cheer to the boy. Vincent was ultimately able to get in contact and schedule a meet-up to deliver the signed hat.
That wasn’t the end of this story, though. The story touched the hearts of many others, among them Dewayne O’Dell and Cherese Key Melton, the sister of Tennessee men’s basketball player Tyreke Key.
O’Dell would donate two tickets to the game to Reynolds and his son for the Auburn game, and when asked why he felt compelled to do so, he said, "This is VolNation; this is what we do!"
Cherese felt compelled to reach out and got the father-and-son passes to meet the players after the game. "Kindness costs absolutely nothing," said Cherese.
It is moments like these, and the completely random acts of kindness that gives one hope. There are good people in this world, and there are a lot who wear orange and white.
Photo above | Chris Reynolds