On Oct 21, 1892 W.E. Anderson, despite playing right tackle, scored the first touchdown for Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College ever. Coached by Professor Ellison A. Smyth, the VAMC football players beat the St. Albans football team 14-10. These forefathers of Hokie football purchased their own equipment and had a hard time finding enough people to man a team to play on a wheat field carved out by plow. As hard as it was to get started, this was the beginning of something that 120 years later we sit here anticipating the tidbits of news from the first day of spring practice.
Last year, like many of you, I read a great deal of articles telling us that VT didn’t deserve to be awarded a BCS bowl bid. I heard a few times that we had no tradition of football, and that compared to teams like Michigan and Notre Dame, we were new to the party. I reflected on our history and wondered if not long ago were we just a Boise State ourselves. I reflected for almost 5 minutes and then I threw my bullshit flag. We didn’t start playing football when we joined the ACC. Nor did we start when Michael Vick dazzled West Virginia or when Druckenmiller lead a fourth quarter comeback. Virginia Tech football did not start with Frank Beamer nor will it end with him.
So as our 120th team takes the field for the first time today let us remember the greats like Bruce Smith, Roscoe Coles, Jimmy Richards, Carroll Dale, Ashley Lee, Don Strock, Cyrus Lawrence, Bryan Randall, Eddie Royal, Xavier Adibi, Boykin, Coale, and so many more. Our football is rich in heritage and I am proud to be a Hokie. So let the bloggers and journalists think that we don’t deserve to have a BCS bowl bid. They can hate with the people who thought we would never succeed in the ACC. Let them seethe with the Mountaineers who hate that the Black Diamond trophy still rests in Blacksburg and the Hoo’s who aren’t old enough to remember the last time Virginia was relevant. As I sit here in my maroon and orange I know that despite the swagger and everyone’s belief that FSU is back, I will be visiting Charlotte again this December ready to cheer on the Fighting Gobblers to another ACC title.