House Divided: Tennessee v. Florida brings out family rivalry


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – There’s one day a year when husband and wife, mother and son, brother and sister aren’t friendly, but rather, rivals.

No texts, calls, or talking during the game — unless it’s “smack talk” for the Wilkins family. The rivalry, present all year, but especially tense on game day.

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“There have actually been people to watch us, than the actual game,” said Shonna Wilkins.

Shonna and her husband, Jeff, knew when they first met there was one thing they would never agree on: Tennessee vs. Florida.

Shonna, a Vols fan since ’98 and Jeff, a Gators fan since he was a kid. They’ve turned their love for their respective teams into a loving family rivalry, expanding their fan bases to the kids.

“When I leave the house, he likes to sneak gator gear on her. This one tells on him. She says one of her jobs as a sister is to tell her when Daddy puts Gator gear on her,” said Shonna.

Jeff took step-son, Tres, to his first game in Florida against Tennessee. Since then, Tres was a Gators fan.

The family, going viral in 2018 after Jeff posted a video of a back-and-forth with daughter, Harper.

The video, nearly amassing half a million views, is only a peak inside this family’s love for the Vols… and the Gators.

Courtesy: Jeff Wilkins, Facebook

Their love, Shonna says, backs every tense moment or game day that doesn’t end the way they’d like — which makes it all the more fun.


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