As some of you know I am a Virginia Tech grad. As others of you may know Virginia Tech’s women are playing in our first Final Four basketball tournament here in Dallas. Nancy and I are going to watch us play LSU in the first game tonight.
I don’t want to bury the lead, so I’ll just say here that this team and Coach Kenny Brooks have made Virginia Tech grads so proud. It’s not just because they are winning. It’s because of who they are, how they support each other and play as a team. If you care about such things, and have some time, just watch this post game interviews after our team defeated Ohio State in the Seattle regional tournament.
As Elizabeth Kitley said in the interview: “We all come from different places, but this year we came together because we all wanted the same thing. It’s so nice to be at this spot, but we know that we don’t want to be done either yet because we have so much fun playing together.”
She’s right. Our star point guard Georgia Ammore came all the way from Australia to Blacksburg, Virginia.
I read in the Dallas newspaper this morning that of the four teams the oddsmakers in Las Vegas have our Virginia Tech team as the least likely to win the championship. Of course, those same oddsmakers predicted we would not win two games in Seattle to get to the Final Four.
Nancy has always told friends that if I ever have a heart attack it will be from leaping out of my chair to yell at the television during a Virginia Tech football game. She’s right, but why do I care so much?
I’ve never cared about a pro sports team or my high school team like I care about Virginia Tech teams.
Why do I, and thousands of other Virginia Tech grads care so much? I think it is a few reasons.
First, college sports gives us a visible thing for which to be proud.
Second, It provides a reason for us to see friends we’ve not seen in a long time. It let’s us reflect back when we were in school together.
Third, the exposure on national television raises visibility and increases applications by future students. You can be sure, for example, that TCU is receiving thousands of more applications this year after its football success.
Fourth, we feel like the team and its coaches are like a part of our family, even if we never meet them in person.
Finally, I think part of what makes grads care about their college or university is traditions. I could write about several from other schools, but if you went to one you know its tradition.
Ours is “Let’s Go Hokies” at a deafening level, followed shortly thereafter by “Enter Sandman.” The NCAA wouldn’t let us play it at our women’s tournament home opener so the students sang it a capella. This headline appeared in USA Today: “Virginia Tech students sang ‘Enter Sandman’ after the NCAA banned the school from playing it and it was so much better.”
This morning when I clicked on the Dallas Morning News I read “Women’s Final Four preview: Virginia Tech has already made history, but it’s not enough.” The writer suggested that, “Maybe someone at American Airlines Center should add Metallica’s Enter Sandman to the pregame playlist.”
That isn’t going to happen, but if they added it however the number of Virginia Tech fans the place will be jumping. “Exit Light, Enter Night…”