Just as disparate nations have for years sent ambassadorial envoys to promote trade, diplomatic relations and covert business transactions, so do I find myself in the land of the Hokie.
As I write this, I am well behind the corn-fed, buzz-cut, Appalachian enemy line of Virginia Tech. As a member of the Tribe, I take this as a valuable opportunity to report back to my fellow Griffins about how the other half of the intellectual bell curve lives.
As with any discussion of Virginia Tech, we begin with sports. Although unlike most discussions of Virginia Tech sports, this one will involve little to no dog drowning. Football here is a religion. We’ve all been to at least one half of one football game at the College of William and Mary, and we can all attest to its status as a glorified high school game. I’m not saying the players aren’t talented; with the exception of VMI — who every year seems like they just asked, “Who here has ever played a sport and feels like traveling to William and Mary?” before they got on the bus — CAA football is the cream of the I-AA crop. But just because you beat up the neighborhood kid down the street doesn’t mean that you won’t have your ass handed to you in a gravy boat if Chuck Norris comes to town. VT football games are orgies of at-least-we’ve-got-sports enthusiasm. Tens of thousands of drunk mountain folk screaming at men in tight pants. It’s like watching “Deliverance.”
Another thing they seemed to have gotten a better handle on than we have is campus dining. I’ve gone on record in this column as saying that the Caf and I have had our … spats. It’s not that I don’t love the Caf. All I’m saying is, how come you keep shitting in my mouth? But regardless, Virginia Tech boasts the top-ranked campus food in America. Yes, that’s a little like being the world’s tallest midget, but our own dining could take some pointers. First: Use real meat. No, spider meat does not count — I’m looking at you, “turkey” wraps. Secondly, offer more options than either cereal or disappointment. Thirdly, don’t preface dish names with sad adjectives like “Tasty Pepperoni Pizza” and “Acceptable Chicken Soup.” Not that those aren’t both gross exaggerations.
School spirit may be the biggest difference I notice. Yes, it seems like there’s always some sort of half-assed protest at the College for which people are idly milling about, but people at Virginia Tech love Virginia Tech. Yes, we definitely love our Tribe at home, but that love is always tempered with a pithy after-remark: “Yeah, it’s great here … when we aren’t studying ourselves to the bone.” Or, “Yeah, the campus is beautiful … when it isn’t a stank ass swamp.” Now, upon hearing this, I’ll always defend our beloved College, saying, “President Reveley, please, such language!” and he’ll mention my succulent bits. At Tech, they aren’t ashamed to love their school, flaws and all, unabashedly, and I admire that.
Most of all, however, visiting other Virginia schools just reinforces how glad I am to go to the College. Because here, when you’re standing in line at the keg and you ask a guy his major, he probably won’t respond, “You’re looking at it.”
Then again, that’s pretty awesome.
Jason Rogers is a Confusion Corner columnist and he is proud to have been to one half of a Tribe football game.