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VOLUNTEER VOLUMES: Vol. 1, Ch. 2. James Barter

The story of James Barter, aka: NormalVolFan (NormalVolFan)

By: John Dunn

Founder, Managing Editor, Producer, Host

The All Vol Call in Show


Born and raised in the northeast, James Barter's Tennessee fandom is recent. He recounts his path to Tennessee fandom as well as some of his favorite memories during that time. Barter seems to be a good luck charm for Tennessee athletics. Since his fandom began, the Vols have defeated Alabama in football, won a national championship in baseball, and made the Elite 8 in men's basketball for only the second time in school history.

"I’ve always been an avid sports fan, but growing up in New York, there were never any college teams to cheer for up there. I then later moved to middle Tennessee and a buddy I had worked with asked me if I had ever been to a Tennessee football game. Of course, I told him no and he brought me to my first ever Tennessee-Florida game in 2022.

I fell in love with the atmosphere and Tennessee orange. The story gets a little crazy from here. I loved the team so much I decided to use a sick day and go to the Alabama game in 2022. Of course, I stormed the field and lit the cigar. I even helped pull down the goalposts. I’ve never looked back. I'm now a die hard fan. I actually got fired from my job for taking a sick day to go to the Alabama game.

They found out where I was and fired me for it. I've never regretted that decision to this day, and don’t think I ever will. It changed my life forever and I will always be in Knoxville if the football team is at home in Neyland.

I am now a season ticket holder for life. Luckily I got them before now where you can’t get them at all.

It's only up from here for Tennessee athletics. We just won the national championship in baseball, and I think the football team will win one within the next three years. The men's basketball team is on the cusp of doing the same thing. Rick Barnes has the team in the tournament every single season and this year's team may be even more talented than the last. I'm extremely excited about the trajectory of Tennessee athletics."

Follow James on X, (@NormalVolFan)


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