There are few things more exciting than Game Day. There are few places more exciting to be than emerging out of a tunnel to look out on a filling Lane Stadium 40 minutes before the festivities start. I realize that the world seems to be enamored of the bright lights of an 8:00 PM prime time kickoff, but not me. It's probably a remnant of my first days playing football in western New York with my elementary school friends. The crisp cool air, maybe a touch of gray and a snap of cold; not so that it's uncomfortable, just so that you know it's October.
So you ask why my favorite Virginia Tech Game Day would involve a chilled, dreary, downpour, a long four hour drive in bad conditions, and a nearly midnight check-in at a hotel at exit 150? Well, we won for starters, the 2009 Miami game was a make or break for us. We had stunned Nebraska (and me because I was watching the old jumbo-tron from outside of Lane after having left dispirited.... don't say it, my wife will never let me forget it, either.) September 26, 2009 was probably the most important game of that season for Tech. Miami was ranked 9th, and we were ranked 11th. A win was going to put us in the ACC Costal catbird seat, and a loss would have meant more than a tumble down the rankings.
My daughter and I drove from NOVA through a rain front that basically covered the entire Shenandoah Valley, with mist, drizzle, or downpours. I was already exhausted by the time we reached the garage on the corner of South Main and Washington. Joshua was living in Miles Hall, which was a real blessing because his room served as a convenient dry spot in what would be a very damp day.
Oh? The game... The game was exciting; we stomped on Miami from the first play. BeamerBall was triumphant, and my daughter and I split time between our seats in the South End Zone, and the Club House where we went to get dry and watch from behind the glass when the rain got too heavy. We were still soaked, but elated.
The game was great, but the Day was precious. You see I think that's the day my daughter decided she wanted to be a Hokie, or at least I would like to think that it was. It was capped off by her finding the hotel laundry, and me having enough change (Blacksburg Parking ducketts) to operate the dryer... which I got to before at least five other guests who were also at the game.
So, sometimes, the game is just an event - but the memory of the day, lasts a lifetime.
Fall Practice is about to start, and WE ARE GAME DAY for the opener...
LET'S SHOCK THE WORLD AGAIN!!!! GO HOKIES!!!