Knoxville businesses join ‘Gator Hater Week’ hype


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The big rivalry game between Tennessee and Florida is and “Gator Hater Week” is in full swing.

Several local businesses are taking part, cheering on the Vols. At The Shrimp Dock in Bearden, they are smoking gators and serving them up.

“Everybody thinks this is the year, or hopes this is the year, so we’ll sell a lot of gator in the next few days,” said Owner Phil Dangel.

It is a tradition for some Vol fans who are hoping the team smokes the Gators on the field too.

Related: Everything you need to know for the Tennessee-Florida game

“Tennessee has lost by one point for the last two games, so whatever I can do to help them out we’re going to do it,” said Bobby Howard.

The Shrimp Dock is ready to serve it to anyone ready to chomp down gators.

“We haven’t figured out what to do for an Alabama game because we can’t serve elephant. It’s just this one game everybody gets excited about gator meat,” Dangel said.

At McLemore Florist, people are encouraged to take pictures with their giant hay bale Smokey dog who they hope is predicting a good outcome for this Saturday’s game.

“He has a gator under his paw which that means we’re ready to chomp down on them,” said co-owner Beth Jeffries.

Her partner Karen Christian makes hay bale creations for all sorts of events. The Smokey is made up of about 20 hay bales. It is portraying the dreams of many Vols fans by squashing the Gators.

“They’ll honk. Everybody hollers ‘Go Vols!’ We’re all Vol fans here and have been for life,” Jeffries said.

No matter what your Gator Hater Week tradition is, these businesses and others are ready to help you cheer on the Vols. The Vol Walk is set for 1:15 with gates opening 15 minutes later. The band march will follow that at 1:50, and kick-off is set for 3:30.

If you cannot watch in person, you can catch the game on CBS.

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