GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Vol Nation didn't shy away from the Swamp. Many from Knoxville and all over the country migrated down to the sunshine state to watch the Vols take on the Gators.
10News reporter Amelia Young also traveled to Gainesville to share how both teams are putting their rivalries aside for a very special reason.
That reason? It all started with a UT shirt designed by a fourth grader from Florida. The meaning behind it is uniting not only Tennessee and Florida fans, but hearts around the world.
Since then, the boy's life has changed, and now, more than 109,000 people own a recreation of his shirt.
“The Volunteers are something special, and it’s just exciting to have a new way to show the world that," said Stacey Patterson who traveled to see the game this weekend.
As the Vols took on Florida in the Swamp, the support for the young boy was everywhere.
“I've had more people here today say 'Oh I love your shirt, I love your shirt," said Katherine Coleman who was proudly wearing UT's version of the shirt.
“The university stepped up. I think that’s fabulous," said Rob Haggerty, a UT alumnus who lives in Canada.
The shirt's message even touched fans of his own age.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing that people can turn something bad around," said 10-year-old Lily from Virginia.
Even the UT alum behind delivering UT's care package, Dale A. Brill, was showing his big orange spirit around the Swamp.
“It’s a story about being human and a story about carrying on this support for the underdog,” said Brill.
It’s more than a shirt to everyone; it’s a worldwide movement.
“My wish for this is that it would live on and not die out," said Brill.
“Gives you cold chills, just makes you feel good. Tennessee took this and did what they did," said Tammy Duke.
So, cheers to you Vol Nation. The support for this young Vol was heard loud and proud even when surrounded by thousands of gators in the Swamp.