A Writer’s Take on College Football: Marrying into #HokieNation
To begin my initiation, Brad took me to my first Hokie home game at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA this weekend where 63,257 fans gathered to shake their keys (like gobbling), wave their arms in a triangular formation (like turkey tail feathers), and do the Hokie Pokie. When asked, “What’s a Hokie,” I already know that I’m supposed to say, “I am.” A hokie is just a nonsense word as far as I can tell (though a deeper story awaits to be told) and that word plus the team’s turkey mascot make for loads of fun fan merchandise and tradition. I watched the Hokie mascot shake his mighty tail feathers on the sidelines and crowd surf atop the VT Cadets (impressive!). Did I mention that Ducks and Turkeys are both large birds that taste good to eat? The transition has been nearly seamless, and I don’t even feel like I’m cheating on anyone.
To top off game day, it was also Military Appreciation day, and I enjoyed the special halftime show honoring each branch of the military. If I were a veteran, however, I believe I might have had a hard time relaxing in the bleachers across from the three men in black [pictured above] pulling security. From a distance, their gestures appeared much like the snipers our U.S. ground troops have been battling for 13 years…
It was a rough first quarter against Eastern Carolina University that came back to kill us in the end. Poor passes (or failures to pass) from the VT quarterback (who had been unstoppable just a week prior versus Ohio State), avoidable penalties (such as substitution screw ups), an out-of-bounds kick at kick off, and other plain old mistakes by the offense in particular accumulated throughout the next three quarters to lead to a disappointing 21-28 loss. Still, once I got over the initial vertigo, being in a crowd of that size was exhilarating. In fact, it got me thinking. What would a writer’s life be like if each time she wrote a blazing good sentence, she was cheered on by thousands much like this: