It might seem like now is the time to hang our heads and give up. An early upset from East Carolina and a dozen lost opportunities against Boston College mean that the Virginia Tech Hokies don't have a moose's chance in Sarah Palin's backyard of surviving to go on to something such as the BCS National Championship. Heck, now they'll be lucky to make it to the ACC Championship game for a shot at the BCS Orange Bowl.
But now is not the time to give up. Chins up, Virginia Tech fans. We have a winning record, though all of those wins have been frustrating and close, but it's a winning record nonetheless. That's not so bad considering all of the very young talent on the Hokies' lineup this season. And you know, if we beat Florida State and win out the rest of our schedule, we still have a pretty good chance at playing in the title game. Maybe there will be a chance for revenge against BC, a repeat of last year's ACC scenario.
You know what though? Even if VT loses more games, we as fans still have plenty to be proud of. I'm not saying we shouldn't criticize Bryan Stinespring or boo Sean Glennon when he makes a rare appearance if that's what you feel like. That's all part of the culture. In the long run though, we're all Hokies, and no one else will ever know what that means. Regardless of who wins or loses, we're all always there in Lane Stadium giving it our all on every key play, just like the players are.
As an undergraduate, I went to a school with a relatively good history when it comes to football. Marshall University has two FCS national championships under its belt, and it's produced players such as Troy Brown, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich and Ahmad Bradshaw. There was also this little movie about the young Thundering Herd football team called We Are Marshall. But y'know, even all that did not resonate with the student body there. I went to only one football game as an undergraduate, and I just did not have a good time. People sat down and looked bored. Others left way early. There was really nothing special to it all. It seemed as though only the alumni really cared while the students would rather pack up their suitcases and head home for the weekend.
Enter Virginia Tech and graduate school. There's just something different about Lane Stadium and about Hokie fans. They are more passionate, and they do not sit down during the game. There are so many traditions and neat happenings surrounding every sporting event at VT. Now, I'm not knockin' Marshall. I love my alma mater, and I can't wait to go back for homecoming and watch the Herd take on the knights from down at UCF. What I'm saying is that Hokie fans are a special breed, and until you are one and you stand side by side with other ones, you'll just never know what it means. There's a mysticism that surrounds Blacksburg, one that seems to unite people, regardless of race or age. I can't explain it, but I guarantee you if you ask anyone else they'll know what you're talking about.
So chins up, Hokies. We still have a lot to be proud of. It's not all about what the football team accomplishes (or doesn't accomplish) — it's about inventing the future, it's Ut Prosim, but most of all, it's family.