“Robert R. Neyland”

Lost in the nothingness of the last Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium was a truly magic moment at the halftime ceremonies honoring the newest inductees into the Tennessee Athletic Hall of Fame.

When Gen. Neyland’s name came up and the visage of his son, Bob, came up on the big screen, fans began applauding as Jeff Jarnigan recounted the General’s accomplishments as head coach and athletic director at Tennessee.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to realize that this was a special moment in the history of Tennessee athletics as fans begin to stand and the decibel level began to increase all across the stadium.

Tennessee fans are perceptive, and they seemed to realize the impact Gen. Neyland had on Tennessee athletics, the campus, and the community as a whole, from his name on the big stadium, to the thoroughfare behind the stadium’s south end, to the scholarship fund for non-athletes that also bears his name.

The committee was a year late in figuring this out, but the fans, who are the backbone of the program, made sure that Gen. Neyland was still appreciated for his contributions to the University of Tennessee.

It was, indeed, a magic moment.

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017