Mark Wiedmer: Are Vols and Dogs merely being calm before the storm?
LOLSanford Stadium will be filled with nearly 93,000 fans for Saturday's 3:30 kickoff on CBS. They'll come early, the winners will tailgate late and Highway 316 connecting Athens to I-85 north of Atlanta will likely remain a languid lava ribbon of red taillights until close to midnight.Nor have the fan shops in Hamilton Mall experienced quite the apathy seen around town on Wednesday."Alabama's been our best seller," said Sports Stop manager Don Gilman. "Bama fans seem to be loyal whether they're 6-6, 5-7 or national champs. Either way, they still buy.
One would expect Alabama gear and apparel to be a top seller coming off of its second national championship in three years, undefeated and currently ranked No. 1 in both major polls. One would surely expect it to be the hottest brand going in the Heart of Dixie.
But in Chattanooga? A town that's only about 115 miles from Knoxville and 175 miles from Athens?
We don't call it the Bama Nation for nothing.