I just put up a new clock downstairs in the Man Cave. It’s a big analog (hands and numbers on a dial to those of you digital kids out there…) clock with a fake pendulum in a little window right at the 6 o’clock position. My son laughed, "you and your clocks!". He doesn’t wear a watch, "I have a cell phone, he says"; thus spoiling any class Christmas or birthday gifts that might come from a catalog… one with a VT engraved or painted somewhere. A plastic case for the S4 doesn’t have the same class appeal for an old timer like me.
Well I guess as you get older you get a bit obsessed with time, and clocks are such elegant pieces of machinery that no matter how modern still reach into the soul as a physical representation of time. Most folks don’t realize that time on a clock has a shape. It’s elliptical like an orbit. It’s a mirror one way, along the vertical axis but not along the horizontal axis. 3 and 9 match, 10 and 2 match, but 6:30 and 12:00 don’t.
But that’s just old men looking at clocks on the wall, contemplating the advance of time. That all brings me to the reason for this piece; the changes that have occurred over time, and the reality that changes will occur in the future.
I was responding to Dave’s article regarding VT Facilities, and was suddenly struck with the realization that there are natural changes that are occurring, but we as Hokies and even sports fans in general, are stuck in some sort of frozen time warp. Roy posted a film clip of a long passed loss to UVA, the East stands were two-thirds of what is currently there. It was call out time, and did you hear the waft of "Enter Sandman" after the call out "Let’s Go Hokies!"?
It’s funny, each of us here are from different eras of Hokie Sports and fandom. I am probably the only Fighting Gobbler, contributing here. Well technically all "Hokies" are actually "Fighting Gobblers", but the mascot symbol on my laundry bag, passed down to son #1 "BlueLoneWolf" and taken to school with him from 2008 until 2013 was the Fighting Gobblers.
We all knew "Old Hokie" but it wasn’t our only cheer, (There was "Rah! Tech!", and "Rip Rah Ree" - the A Company cheer.. D Company had "Yah, yah, Yah yah". And Everyone could sing "Tech Triumph" and wave their hats back and forth in time to the music. But those were the big traditions for us.
It didn’t get interesting until the Beamer Era. I distinctly remember watching the 1995 Sugar Bowl. Do the math; it’s that time thing again. My baby who wasn’t born yet, my wife was 8 months pregnant, now is now a rising sophomore Hokie.
Bud Foster looked like a kid, and Frank Beamer looked like one, too. Two standouts on that defense were certain current Hokie assistant coaches, Torrian Gray and Cornell Brown. Special teams and receiving were headlined by Bryan Still with the game turning punt return and high impact pass receptions. I can still remember jumping around the den at my mother’s house whooping it up, and cheering.
Time. Let’s hope that on the 20th anniversary of that amazing win, Hokies are looking at a chance to be great again. We are nearing the end of an era. Savor the memories and understand that all things change, eventually, but winning should be a life habit.
So, where were you 20 years ago and what were you doing? I bet the answer tells a bunch about how you look at the current prospects of the program.