November 30, 2022

1998 University of Tennessee grad shares message with current students

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Facebook post with over 2,000 shares and more than 300…

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Facebook post with over 2,000 shares and more than 300 comments is spreading the message of a longtime Vol fan to current Tennessee students following UT’s historic victory over Alabama.

Jeremy Seaton took to Facebook on Sunday to share a message, “from the Tennessee student body of 1998 to current students.”

A part of the post reads: “It was a Florida game for us in the fall of 1998, but yours is now memorialized on the 3rd Saturday in October 2022.

We have pieces of those 1998 goalposts in our offices, we have chunks of that checkered 1998 Turf in ziplock bags in our gun safes. We look at them often and remember ourselves exactly where you are at this point in your life.

You, now- will forever get cold chills when you hear Rocky Top.

He had no idea his simple post would reach so many. He said wanted to share with current students his experience from more than two decades before of watching Tennessee beat Florida in 1998.

“I think it’s so exciting that my words resonated with so many Vol fans,” he said. “It might sound silly, but we’re all family. Even though we don’t know each and every Vol fan personally, we’re all still this huge melting pot of a family.”

Jeremy Seaton in the middle at the National Championship game in 1998. (Courtesy: Jeremy Seaton)

In 1998, he was a freshman and a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and went to every game that year.

“My first ‘real’ college experience was opening the T on the field, playing a trumpet until my lips bled, while the 1998 football team rushed into the field behind me,” Seaton said. “I went to every game that year as a member of the band, all the way to the National Championship in Tempe, AZ that January. I was 75 feet away from Fulmer when he hoisted up that chunk of crystal.”

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Another part of his post reads: “Your babies get orange onesies. Your dog gets a UT collar, and no matter what car you drive, it’ll have an orange T somewhere on it.”

He explained that to him, beating Alabama was a homecoming. For many Vol fans his age, they have started their careers and families.

“I think my words resonate with so many because that win catapulted us all back to 1998. When we were kids, back to when the world wasn’t so damn awful all the time. 1998 was a pre-9/11 world. We didn’t have iPhones, we didn’t have Facebook,” said Seaton.

Seaton’s children decked out in UT orange. (Courtesy: Jeremy Seaton)

He hopes the current students and Vol fans can hold on to the memories they’ve made through this game and that it can bring people together.

“I hope it reminds them to always remember a time in their lives when they were just kids, a time when football was life, a time when EVERYONE shared the same mutual love for something,” wrote Seaton to News 2’s sister station, WATE.

His post ends: “As seasons come and go, your passion will as well, but it will never fade. When another night like last night rolls around, you’ll be hoarse for a week. You’ll watch the highlights all day the next day, and your passion will be renewed.

You are now, a Vol For Life.

Welcome.

We’ve been waiting for you.