A Freshman Finds Home
by Nathaniel Bishton, 9/26/03
So weíve made it a third of the way through the season, and it seems that we have yet another promising product on Worsham Field every Saturday. It is amazing the tumult of emotion that goes through a freshman. Iíve been to many a Hokie football game in my day, but I canít say that Iíve anticipated any more than I anticipated the three that have passed us to this point.
The UCF game was a great experience. Though Iíve always thought of myself as a born-and-raised Hokie Fan, you never truly feel what itís like to be a real Hokie until youíve been to your first game as a student. Itís a wonder of life to see Blacksburg blossoming into a conglomeration of personalities as the weekend approaches. With the UCF game being on Sunday, it made it an even more wholesome experience. It was great to see first hand how Blacksburg came to life in the matter of days. Of Sunday games, though, I am not a fan. They wear you out for the next day. But the game itself was quite enjoyable. Though we hit a mid-game lull, with this highly anticipated season, it was most exciting to see the Hokies finally hit the field. Bryan Randall amazed, and won me over. To me, and many across the nation, there is no quarterback controversy. I still love you Marcus Vick, but your time will come.
After a great first game as a student, next on the docket was James Madison University. I never thought Iíd say this, but I was excited about this game just as much as the one before. The game had its interesting moments, some of them much too interesting. I think theyíve implicated the player-ejection rule for the own players safety. After Demetrius Shambley pushed KJ into the wall, he needed to get off that field, or pay the sacrifice of life. Instead, his QB paid two plays later. That push by Shambley was mistaken-laden twice over, as the crowd and Hokie players were ignited. Until that point, JMU was fighting their way in the game. It was over after that. I was much proud of my fellow Hokie fans, as they stayed for most of the game and cheered as if Miami was in occupants of Lane Stadium. It was great to be a part of that crowd.
Onward we march then, to Texas A&M. What a game it was. I must say, I have never enjoyed a college football game that thoroughly, save Miami and BC, í99. The atmosphere was amazing. Though the weather was not pleasing, and many fans that I happen to run into seemed to be put in a bad mood by all of this, I was invigorated by the rain nonetheless. I sat not a second, and I donít believe a word that came out of my mouth was spoken at a normal tone. That paid me back the next day, as I am still recovering from loss of voice.
Many of the friends I came with left after the first and second quarters, but I held true to my blood, orange and maroon, and stayed the entire game. Is there any other way? I sat by a great group of fans (those of you with season tickets in section 7, much love to you). I also received the greatest compliment of my life at this game. The dialogue ran something like this:
Iím not the Bud Light man, and I never caught his name, but he is what Hokie fans are all about. In the game, Kevin Jones made me his biggest fan. He held onto the ball and ran like it was the National Championship. It was a great breakout game for him, and he deserves it. Bryan Randall played efficiently enough to secure victory, and though that one interception made things a little less stable, I had all the confidence in the world in him. He also showed A&M and the rest of the world that he can hurt you with his legs, making some great moves to seal the deal.
Now I understand that everyone reading this knows all of these things, and I am being quite repetitive of previous columns. Youíll have to forgive me. Thereís nothing like being a student at Virginia Tech. Excitement and adrenaline runs through my blood at no end when I know thereís an upcoming game. There is no greater feeling in the world than walking through the gates to go see your Hokies play on an autumn afternoon or evening. There are many great schools out there; I have no doubt in that. But when it comes to me, thereís no way Iíd be anything but a Hokie. I know you feel the same as well.