There's one constant in Neyland Stadium for every home game: Smokey.
UT's live mascot was selected in 1953 by the student body during halftime of the Mississippi State game. The Bluetick Coonhound breed is native to Tennessee and was also chosen via a polling by the UT Pep Club. To select the first mascot, 'contestants' were led out by their handlers and fans were instructed to cheer for their favorite dog.
The last hound, "Brooks Blue Smokey", was led up to the cheerleader's ramp to be seen by everyone in attendance. The announcers called Blue Smokey's name and he howled. The crowd cheered. The dog howled even louder. The crowd and dog continued going back and forth until the stadium was in an absolute frenzy. It was clear, the Vols finally had a live mascot to call their own.
Ever since that night Smokey has been a part of UT Tradition and a staple for sports. Today, the dogs are chosen not from a specific bloodline, but to avoid any inbreeding issues are selected based on appearance and temperament. They are beautiful dogs and give Tennessee fans a great sense of pride when they see him leading the Football team out of the T on Saturdays.
Smokey X, the tenth dog to be given the title, has been reigning his domain since 2013 and will continue to do so for many years to come.
We are huge Smokey fans here at Volunteer Traditions. One of our previous employees handled Smokey while he was at UT (that's him with the leash above) so it's understood just how important he is. We felt it was time to use our favorite canine on a shirt, so Vol fans could show their love for him all the time. The Vintage Smokey logo we use originally appeared in the 80's and sets us apart from other shirts out there. Plus, he's wearing an awesome sweater.
Click the pictures below to view our awesome products featuring your favorite Tennessee pup: