MARYVILLE, Tenn. — There are two ways to find out if Tennessee or Alabama has the better football team.
- Watch the game on Saturday
- Follow the Great Gnome War of 2019
While the players battle it out on the field, two garden gnomes in Maryville will continue their war to prove which gnome is superior.
"For some reason they just seemed to be grumpy. And they just seemed to be wanting to argue over who was gonna win this ball game this year," said Cassandra Hale, gnome owner.
The war started a couple weeks ago as Cassandra and Patrick Hale started preparing for the game.
Cassandra is from Mobile, Ala., and is a huge fan of the Tide. Her husband Patrick is a die-hard Vol fan.
This is the game every year that gets them both in the true football spirit.
"Here in Tennessee it's not so much that it's a big rivalry, it's just that it's fun," said Cassandra Hale.
One gnome is dressed in red, the other in orange, both donning the school logos on their pointy hats.
Patrick's UT gnome was found in the attic while cleaning up, and Cassandra found the Bama version on a trip home to Alabama.
This year, they came to life for the first time and Alabama made the first attack.
"I saw this gnome and he was just standing there looking so, I don't know, like he needed a kick in the pants," said Cassandra Hale.
So, as one does, the Alabama gnome threw the Tennessee gnome a funeral.
Patrick retaliated that night.
"Now we have the gnome wars happening on a daily basis in this house," said Cassandra Hale.
The couple take turns every day, putting each other's gnomes in peril.
One day the Bama gnome was covered in shaving cream, while the Vol gnome held a straight razor.
"He thought my poor gnome needed a shave," said Cassandra Hale. "You never shave your gnome! What's wrong with you!"
The UT gnome tried to vacuum up the Bama gnome.
Then the Bama gnome tried to drop the UT gnome down the toilet.
The UT gnome tried to electrocute the Bama gnome, who then tried to pull an old-school cartoon move and drop a piano on the UT gnome.
"Yes we just happen to have a small enough piano that it can drop on a gnome's head," said Cassandra Hale.
The antics are elaborate and take anywhere from a minute to hours if props or rigs need to be built.
The Hales and their gnomes will watch the game together on separate ends of the couch.
At the end of the day, Cassandra said it doesn't matter who wins.
"It's fun and we love to do this," she said. "It's something that brings us closer together as a husband and wife."
Husband, wife, gnome and gnome.
You can follow their antics on Cassandra's Facebook page.