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Is a Checkerboard Neyland a Real Possibility?

Thanks to this tweet – and awesome artwork –  by Spencer Barnett, the idea of the world’s largest checkerboard has been running wild on the Internet following Tennessee’s loss to Oklahoma on Saturday. In that game Sooner fans “striped the stadium” and it actually looked pretty impressive on television, so , naturally, Tennessee fans are hoping to take it to the next level.

Here is a shot of the crowd in Norman on Saturday:

Pulling off something of this magnitude in Neyland Stadium would either require a lot of coordination between the University of Tennessee and its fans, OR about 100,000 free t-shirts (visiting fans for the opposing team receive no shirts in my scenario) distributed throughout the stadium.

Assuming the university could get a bulk-rate on the shirts, the average cost should come out to around $2.00 per shirt. This would put the total cost of the shirts at approximately $200,000 – mere pocket change for a school set to receive $28 million per year from the SEC Network.

Natural Gas sponsored a similar – and much smaller – event for basketball in 2006 when they donated close to 25,000 orange and white shirts for the “TURN UP THE HEAT” campaign when the Vols hosted Kentucky. The results for that game were both impressive and memorable.

My suggestion would be to round up the folks at, oh, I don’t know…Coke, Eastman Chemical Company, Natural Gas, Pilot and Verizon to go in together and make this event a reality…Maybe for the Florida game, maybe. (Hint, hint).


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