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Blacksburg 2016

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NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Virginia Tech Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

To say that I am a nostalgic person is an understatement. I do harbor the logic and understanding to recognize that I am only remembering the good times, and I can easily find the parts that were not good. BUT, even more I am acutely skilled at blockading such reason! Without a doubt, the most nostalgic I can get is when I am Blacksburg, Virginia.

Every season I do my best to get out to the East Coast for Thanksgiving to visit friends and family, and partake in the greatest of holiday traditions, College Football. Four of the last five years I have been able to make it out to the game. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the 2014 matchup, but all the other years I got there!

The plan is to make it out for Thanksgiving and to the Virginia Tech versus Virginia game. On occasion, my vocation precludes my ability to get to the game, but this year was not that year! 2016 was particularly exciting for Gobbler Country. The site was granted press box and sideline passes, which allowed the site to provide even more fantastic coverage. The staff of Gobbler Country allowed me to simply enjoy the experience instead of having to work the game, for which I am eternally grateful! I did have intentions of going live, on Facebook, after the game, but a weak signal and the highly-publicized iPhone battery bug had other plans for me. I do apologize for that, but hope to make it up to you with this article about my visit to Blacksburg this past November.

One of the best parts of this annual sojourn is getting to see my friends and family. I count myself lucky to have made friends, during college, that I am still very close to over a decade after graduation. Admittedly, my sense of staying in touch is skewed. I am regularly used to not having contact with close friends and then eight months later reconnecting with nary a hiccup. These wonderful people understand that about me. I normally do not see them for twelve months, and we didn’t skip a beat.

Two of my good friends, have season tickets and when in Blacksburg they always provide a solid tailgating experience. This year was a bit different, thanks to them. Normally we end up buying tickets via my father’s UVA alum friend, but this year, my friends leveraged their season ticket holder status to buy tickets that were in the Hokie section! Thus, this year, instead of being surrounded by Hokies fans that bought UVA tickets... I was surrounded by Hokie fans in the Virginia Tech section! Which, for the record, was fantastic. I love Hokies!

I stayed at the Main Street Inn during the weekend, which is within walking distance of everything, to include the stadium. Blacksburg was in full bloom. The trees were still explosions of maroon, orange, and yellow. Simply the environment of the NRV, trees exploding maroon and orange, and seeing downtown resulted in the first bout of nostalgia.

The second occurrence of insurmountable and uplifting nostalgia reared its head before the game started. Enter Sandman. The rush of memories was overwhelming. I remembered my first VT game. 2000, season opener after Lee Corso’s car was destroyed. VT was playing Akron. Vick was still there and things went exactly as you would think against the overmatched Zips. It was the first time I experienced a live Hokie football game. This also happened to be one of the first instances of Enter Sandman being played during the VT entrance. I was there, it was awesome, and it set the standard for all my future sporting event experiences. This past year when Justin Fuente and the Hokies entered the field, 16 years after my first Hokie experience, when Enter Sandman played, I couldn’t help but remember the first time I heard the song paired with the Hokies. I’ll reiterate what I said in a previous article. The players are in, they are fully in with Coach Fuente and his philosophy.

The game was fantastic, and there are plenty of articles encapsulating the 52-10 defeat of the Cavaliers, so I won’t go into detail. Being in the stands, surrounded by the Hokie faithful was truly fantastic. After the game my friends and I regressed to our former drinking holes. My father and wife joined me, and joined me in retracing the steps of my younger years. We first started first at Champs and their wall of televisions showcasing sports. We then moved on to the Cellar where we spent most the post-game evening. After that we called it a night and retired. It was fantastic to be back in Blacksburg and to see how the town has grown in the last decade. I’ve been to quite a few places in this world, and nothing will ever replace Blacksburg in my heart!

Let’s go Hokies!!!