I’ll admit, it was hard to hate / respectfully disagree against VMI last week. There was the whole defending our country thing and to be honest, William and Mary has never been rivals with the Cadets in the modern era.
But Old Dominion is different. VMI are adversaries. ODU is family.
Old Dominion is like the little brother we grew up with (quite literally, as Old Dominion was founded as the Norfolk branch of the College of William and Mary in 1930). Growing up in such close proximity has always been difficult.
Early on it was clear Mom (the state of Virginia) loved us best, but little brother has always been cooler. While we sat in the front of the class taking notes, they would sit in the back of the class talking to girls. It’s easy to see why girls liked him. Little brother dressed nice (blue and silver is a pretty sharp color combination) and knew how to party. Whereas we would spend Friday night working and then watching a movie with our steady girlfriend, little brother would always be out at the hottest clubs in Norfolk.
It didn’t help little brother was always better than us at sports. We could accept losing in basketball, but soon little brother was good at women’s basketball and baseball too. Heck, ODU even has decent women’s lacrosse and soccer programs now, leaving us, the poor overtired and underappreciated big brother, only with football.
For years, football has been our little brother’s deep, dark secret. It was their alone time, locked away for hours in the basement: we knew what our little brother was doing down there, but it was still embarrassing to explain to our friends. And if little brother ever tried to make us feel uncool, we could always throw them a look saying, “Do you want me to tell all your cool new friends (media members who have fallen in love with the Monarchs) your little secret.” That would usually shut him up.
But that all changed two years ago. Little brother left the basement, hit the weight room and lost ten pounds. Not only did the girls like him now, but the guys were scared of him too. Our friends asked us if he would be able to kick their asses soon.
Pssh, we said. “That little runt? We can still show him who’s boss.” But we’ve seen him flexing his muscles in the mirror. We know in two years, he is going to be a beast, and it’s scary.
So we need to stomp him now, before he goes and gets any big ideas. So get ready, little brother. We’re coming for you Saturday. And, in case you’re wondering, no we don’t hate you.
We just choose to disagree, respectfully.