Friday, December 16, 2011

Virginia Tech's Story

Before Michigan's Sugar Bowl selection, most probably would have thought the term "Hokie" was some sort of joke about Michigan coach Brady Hoke. However, now that Michigan has been scheduled to play Virginia Tech for the first time in its 132 year history, many have been eager to learn about this school rich in tradition and athletic prominence. So here's a summary of Virginia Tech's Story:

Virginia Tech Basics

  • Virginia Tech or VT is located in Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Officially named "Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University" (Yeah, I like Virginia Tech better too)
  • Founded in 1872
  • 30,739 Students (Michigan has about 41,000 students overall)
  • Ranked #71 in the nation by US News
Fun Facts
  • A student coined the term "Hokie" in 1896
  • The "Hokie Stone" is the image of the campus (imagine the Spartan statute at MSU)
  • Before the Homecoming game, the Army ROTC group on campus runs the game ball over 100 miles on campus
  • Virginia Tech is one of the few colleges that still has a "class ring" system
  • VT's mascot started out as a "Gobbler" and became a "Hokie Bird"
Game Day Traditions
  • Team walks to the stadium 2 hours before the game with cheerleaders, etc.
  • Fans shake keys on 3rd down (Hey we do this too!)
  • A Huge "Let's Go Hokies!" Cheer
  • Fire off a huge cannon after scoring
  • Turkey legs at their stadium
  • They do the hokey pokey after the 3rd quarter
Famous Alumni
  • Kylene Barker - Miss America 1979
  • Michael Vick - NFL QB
  • DeAngelo Hall - NFL DB
  • Roger Craig - Winner of 2011 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions
  • Chris Kraft - First NASA flight director
Obviously, the school not only has a rich athletic history, but also has a lot of history surrounding campus and academics. Unfortunately, because of Virginia Tech's inability to sell tickets, there is probably not going to be a huge Hokie presence in New Orleans. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech head football coach, remains confident in the team's ability to travel, but I'm still skeptical. There have been reports showing that they are significantly behind their goals in ticket sales and even added an option to purchase tickets that will be donated to charities for fans and alumni that cannot attend the game.

Regardless of how many Virginia Tech fans are there, it will still be a great game with a lot of excitement. It's been quite a while since Michigan has been in a BCS game, and it's great to have interesting opponents.

On a side-note, I did not mention the two shootings that have occurred on Virginia Tech's campus since 2007. These are extremely unfortunate events, but not something this blog is designed to report or analyze. However, we encourage all readers to learn from these horrible events and pray for the victims and their families. If you wish to read more look here and here.

Photo Credit: Hokie Sports

1 comment:

  1. You forgot about their tradition of playing "Enter Sandman" when the team comes on the field for a home game.