In my four years of high school, our football team won two games – and one of them was a forfeit because the other team cheated.
Suffice to say, I didn’t exactly catch the football fever.
Then I came to Virginia Tech, with little knowledge of football and even less interest.
I didn’t go to a game until halfway through the season of my freshman year when I happened to get a ticket from a friend.
As far as introductions go, it was pretty awful: I was woefully unprepared for the freezing wind up in the stands. It was raining. And we lost.
And yet, I loved it.
When I say I have little knowledge of the game of football, I’m not modestly underselling myself.
I genuinely know next to nothing about it.
In fact, saying that I have a “little” knowledge might actually be a bit too generous.
For instance, do I have any idea why this particular play is apparently so key? Not at all. But that doesn’t stop me from shaking my key ring with all the force I can muster.
I couldn’t tell you what a tight end does, I only just learned what the phrase “Beamer Ball” means (still don’t know what a special team is though) and the referees might as well be speaking gibberish for all that I can understand them.
But when Enter Sandman plays and I’m jumping with 60,000 plus of my fellow Hokies, my football knowledge or impressive lack thereof, is immaterial, because the best part of Hokie football isn’t memorizing stats or playbooks.
The rush of a whole stadium jumping, or the wild camaraderie of tailgating, or the silliness of trying to do the Hokie Pokie in those cramped student stands is what makes it the absolute best.
Please excuse my use of the most clichéd of buzzwords here, but football at Tech is the unmatchable because of one thing - community.
It might sound trite, considering how frequently the word gets tossed around in reference to our amazing school, but this is one instance where it’s a cliché because it’s true.
Nothing can compare to huddling in the north end zone with your friends in a valiant, but failing effort to stay warm in the Blacksburg fall.
And there’s no greater thrill than screaming “Let’s Go! Hokies!” with thousands of what feels like your closest friends.
Maybe I genuinely believe this because I’m a sap or maybe I’ve just gone and drank the Hokie Kool-Aid, but either way, I’ve been counting down the days to the first home game of the season.
And you can bet that come kickoff, I’ll be in the north end zone getting a bit rowdy and making obvious my complete incomprehension of most football rules.
Let’s go, Hokies.