April 22, 2014
By Brian Rice KNOXVILLE, Tenn.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- A fan's passion can begin as early as the cradle, an idea underscored in the Tennessee promotional video for the upcoming SEC Network from ESPN.
In the video, two-week old, orange-clad Zane Reveiz is serenaded to sleep with a rendition of "Rocky Top" sung by his mom, Brittany.
Zane gets his fandom honestly. His father is second-generation Volunteer football player Nick Reveiz, a linebacker from 2007-10. Mother Brittany (Baird) Reveiz was a Tennessee cheerleader from 2009-12. It's a storybook tale, the football player and cheerleader happily falling in love and continuing the Vol legacy with their firstborn.
"I grew up a Tennessee fan and was so thankful to get to cheer at my favorite school," Brittany said. "Nick and I met at church and got to know each other better while we both were at UT and I guess the rest is history. It's kind of silly, but we're really thankful."
Both were born into UT families, Brittany in Charleston, S.C. to a pair of Knoxville natives who quickly brought their daughter back to the area and Nick, the son of Tennessee kicking legend Fuad Reveiz, a Vol from 1981-84.
When Zane came home from the hospital in February, there was no doubt what color he would be wearing. And there was no special shopping trip needed for his wardrobe when the camera crew came to Reveiz household. "When he came home, he had a lot of UT stuff that friends and family had gotten him," Brittany said. "The little socks (as seen in the video) were just a gift from some of our friends."
The then-two-week-old was a natural in front of the camera, but a visit from the SEC Network crew wasn't the biggest thing in his week. UT Spirit Coordinator Joy Postell-Gee arranged for Smokey to meet the newest future Volunteer.
"My coach brought some of my former teammates over to surprise me and brought Smokey along," Brittany said. "We had a little tailgate and he got to meet meet Zane."
Appropriate that his first formal tailgate in the shadow of Neyland Stadium will also be the first Tennessee game televised by the new SEC Network.
"The name Zane means 'blessing from God,' and he's our little blessing," Brittany said.
A blessing and a story of being a Volunteer from the crib that many Tennessee fans, past, presents and future can all identify with.