Who used the checkerboard pattern first? Kentucky or Tennessee?

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/WYMT) - The Kentucky football team will try to do something that has not been done since 1984 on Saturday. The Wildcats are looking for a win in Neyland Stadium.

KNOXVILLE,TN - OCTOBER 04, 2014 - Arial Shot of Checkerboard during the game between the Florida Gators and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria /Tennessee Athletics

While the Cats have struggled in recent years, the rivalry runs deep.

The rivalry goes back so far, that it even boils down to a simple checkerboard pattern for some fans.

The checkerboard pattern is a major part of Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee Head Coach Doug Dickey started the tradition for the pattern in 1964. At the time, it was said to have been inspired by a magazine ad.

On the top of Ayers Hall, a popular landmark on Tennessee's campus, you can find the subtle checkerboard design. While Tennessee fans claim it as unique tradition, Kentucky fans claim that Tennessee copied them.

Old Stoll Field, the field before Kroger Field in Lexington actually had a checkerboard end zone. In fact, it had a checkerboard end zone all the way back to 1930.

For years, that was lost in the history books.

Fast forward to today and the blue and white checkerboard is even on the Wildcats football and basketball uniforms.

While it might seem like it's to honor the football past, Kentucky fans say it's to pay homage to Secretariat, the Triple Crown winner in 1973.

Whatever the reason, the checkerboard pattern is just one part of the huge interstate rivalry between the Volunteers and Wildcats.

You can watch the game on the SEC Network Saturday at 3:30 p.m.



 
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