Bristol: football or fan battle?

by Lizzy Patrick–


Photo credit: techsports via / CC BY-ND


Feelings about the history made at the Battle at Bristol are still fresh for many Virginia Tech students. From tailgating before the game to rooting for the Hokies inside the Bristol Motor Speedway, a variety of emotions took hold of Hokie fans throughout the day.

Virginia Tech and University of Tennessee students had a different approach to representing their schools. “I had a good time at the game, I had a questionable time with the opposing team’s fans,” said Virginia Tech senior, Tom Brady, who attended the game on Saturday, Sept. 10. According to Brady’s experience at Bristol, Tennessee fans were disrespectful towards the Tech crowd.

Despite the trend of mixed feelings about Tennessee fans, Virginia Tech senior Morgan Miller said, “It was college’s biggest football event ever.” She continued, “Overall it was a really great experience. I’m glad I got to be there to witness it.”

On Oct. 14, 2013, Bristol Motor Speedway announced it would transform its track to a college football venue for Tennessee to play Virginia Tech. The Battle at Bristol had 156,990 attendees—the largest crowd to ever attend a college football game—according to ESPN. Tennessee clenched the win against Tech with a score of 45 to 24.


BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sept. 16, 2016: Virginia Tech senior Tom Brady discusses his experience at Bristol. Photo: Lizzy Patrick


BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sept. 18, 2016: Virginia Tech senior Morgan Miller gives her take on the Battle at Bristol. Photo: Lizzy Patrick