Gratitude Day 10: Knoxville, Tennessee

Last night I attended the first University of Tennessee Men's Basketball game of the 2012-13 season at Thompson-Boling Arena. I love the experience of going to basketball games: Wearing orange and white, singing "Rocky Top", smiling at the antics of our mascot Smokey, moaning at bad calls from the officials, cheering loudly when local star Skylar McBee hits another signature McThree point shot, laughing at the awkward moments captured by the KissCam during the under-8 timeout during the 1st half. Yes, I love it all.

Perhaps the thing I love most about going to the basketball games is arriving at the arena, situated adjacent to Neyland Stadium on the banks of the Tennessee River. From the street level on Philip Fulmer Way one has to walk up a switchbacking ramp to the plaza level and the entrance to TBA. From this vantage point I can follow the river all the way to downtown. At night the lights on along the waterfront reflect in the river and the heart of Knoxville seems to glow. While admiring this magnificent sight last night I was overcome with warm fuzzy feelings for this place I call home.

I love Knoxville. I love that she isn't a big city, but she's not small either. I love that Knoxville is an overgrown college town where Rocky Top is at the heart of everything. I love that almost everything a person could want is here - great arts and culture, spectacular scenery and outdoor adventures, preserved architecture and history intermingled with contemporary things, and wonderful communities filled with caring people. It's a happy place to be and I'm grateful to call this place home.

The Tennessee River and downtown Knoxville from Thompson-Boling Arena

Neyland Stadium from Thompson-Boling Arena

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