KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One Vols fan has taken commitment to the team, and his word, to the next level.
Some Tennessee fans show their devotion to the team by sporting a tattoo that features “VOLS”, Smokey, or an orange-checkered map of Tennessee.
Like many, Jackson’s love for the Vols goes back many years, and that love started because of his dad.
“I remember, my dad, he actually used to bring home the little cheek tattoos and put them on while we would watch Tennessee games, but it wasn’t until 2004, he brought me to my first game, and we actually beat Alabama,” Jackson said. “Ever since then, I was hooked.”
Since 2004, Tennessee would beat the Crimson Tide once more in 2006, with Alabama claiming every victory until the matchup this year. The losing streak before Heupel’s second season is what led Jackson to vow he would get the tattoo if Tennessee won.
“Before Coach Heupel, Tennessee has found the way to… ya know, just kinda lose this game, so I just kinda said that if we do it, I’m gonna get Coach Heupel’s tattoo on me,” Jackson said.
After the game, Jackson said he began getting calls, texts, and social media messages reminding him of his promise.
Jackson got the tattoo on Tuesday, November 28. While others might have thought Jackson would get a small tattoo to simply keep his word, the inked depiction of Hepel smoking a cigar is boldly placed on his thigh. Jackson said the tattoo is roughly the size of his hand.
“When I say something, I’m gonna do it,” Jackson said. “Some, I guess, thought maybe I wouldn’t do it, or I would just go get a small one but I went all out.”
The decision to get the tattoo also came with good intentions.
“I want Coach Heupel [to know] that we love him,” Jackson said. “He’s done a lot for us, and we’re excited for what’s to come.”
Jackson’s new goal is to get Coach Heupel’s reaction to the new ink. (Photo of Josh Heuple from Tennessee Alabama Game via Tennessee Football)