How I Became a Hokie

Editor's Note: I'm happy to announce that Pierson Booher is joining the writing team. Pierson has been a longtime reader/commenter (PhillyHokie007), and understands the culture of the community here. He also enjoys Virginia Tech athletics and writes well. --Joe

Growing up in western New Jersey, college football wasn't exactly an oft-discussed sport. I was a casual fan growing up, watching guys like Desmond Howard, Ron Dayne and Kerry Collins on ABC's Wide World of Sports every Saturday. But the truth was, I struggled to truly engage in the sport because I felt no connection with a team or a player. My parents both went to small colleges, one in Upstate New York the other in Vermont, places known more for their hockey teams and record snowfalls than anything resembling football. Suffice it to say, my household was generally ambivalent when it came to Saturday pigskin. On the other hand, my grandfather had Giants season tickets through his business, and being the oldest, I reaped the benefits of that connection.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see a lot of amazing, memorable games during my childhood. My fondest memories, ranked from greatest to meh:

  1. 49ers-Giants, Monday Night Football, Montana vs. Simms, 1991. Only time I remember NOT sitting in the upper deck. I was so short at the time, I remember standing on a seat just to see over everyone's heads, and all I wanted to watch was Montana and Simms toss the ball around the field.
  2. December 23, 1995; the famous "Snowball Game". About halfway through the Second Quarter, a father three rows in front of us — with a son about my age — turned around and asked all of the men to stop throwing snowballs because it set a bad example for his child. My dad [completely out of character] stood up, deliberately packed a huge snowball, handed it to me, and without ever breaking eye contact with the whiner, said, "Throw it, Pierson." I can't even remember who won the game.
  3. Watching Barry Sanders make one of his famous cutbacks across the full width of the field and scamper 70+ yards for a touchdown. Only person I've ever seen come close to that was Kevin Jones.
  4. My father and I would ritually get to our seats with a game program in hand during player warmups and go through the individual team photos to count the number of players who literally had no visible neck.
  5. Remember when teams would actually give away real swag during games, instead of the crappy t-shirts that double as advertising space in-game? During a Giants-Raiders game, the team gave away a signed football to someone in the crowd. About 20 minutes later, some guy in the lower deck below our nosebleed seats came walking down toward his seat with a football in a glass case wearing a Marcus Allen Raiders jersey. Did Giants fans boo? No. People from all sides starting throwing food at the guy — we're talking burgers, chili, knishes. Naturally, the guy ran for his life.
  6. Giants-Jets, 1996. 13-6 final score. I will remember it because it was the opposite of a defensive struggle. Think UVA vs. UVA for 60 minutes. Snoozefest.

However, everything changed in 1999 when I watched Michael Vick for the first time against Temple. The game happened to be on local TV, and it would be an understatement to say that the 62-7 drubbing caught my attention. I had never seen someone play the quarterback position like Vick did, and the athleticism and panache he brought to the game contradicted my perception of college football. Up until that point, it had been molded [or maybe you could argue tainted] by watching too many Big Ten games where it was hat-on-hat, smashmouth football. I appreciate that kind of game, but the dichotomy that Vick created and the unique style and excitement he provided made me feel invested in college football for the first time.

I would be lying if I said Vick and the 1999 team didn't affect my college visits. The majority of the schools I visited were in New England, but I swung south to visit Tech, UVA, and Richmond during the fall of my senior year. My family didn't quite understand why I wanted to consider a place like Tech; it was by far the largest school I was considering [by that time my family had moved to Vermont, so small-town syndrome had kicked into high gear], and gosh, it was 12 hours away! I was intrigued by the opportunity to be a part of such a large, proud institution and spend my Saturdays watching big time college football. My parents were understandably skeptical. But upon visiting the school during an open house that fall, we were all sold. Between the campus and the architecture facilities, it shot up my college list. I suppose the rest is history.

I don't have the deep family tradition that many Hokies do. I will freely admit that I am, in many ways, a product of that 1999 season. Much like what Doug Flutie did for Boston College after his Hail Mary against Miami, Mike Vick changed the University from a rural [state] school to a national player on both academic and athletic fronts. Regardless, it doesn't change the way that I feel or the connection I have with our school.

We all have a different story as to how we ended up in Blacksburg. Some of us were raised in a household filled with generations of Hokies, while others came from faraway places that had little connection other than a rudimentary knowledge of the Hokie Pokie. Rebels among us were raised in the wild by Hoos, and for that a tip of the cap for surviving long enough to see the proverbial light.

Regardless of the origin, we are all bonded by our mutual love for our university, the spirit it embodies, and the impact it has had on our lives. It didn't take a monumental, world altering event to galvanize us. April 16th or the 2000 Sugar Bowl are moments that illustrate to the world what we already knew; that what we share is more than school spirit. It is a love for place, a love for school, and a love for one another. It has nothing to do with entitlement, program rankings or future salary, and has everything to do with selflessness and community. It is a feeling that was subconsciously instilled upon us the moment we set foot on campus, something that will stay with us forever, as it has molded who we are today and who we will become in the future. When I see a total stranger on the street wearing Virginia Tech paraphernalia, I have an overwhelming urge to scream, "Let's Go!" not because we do so in Lane Stadium, but because I want to let that person know we share a common bond and that we are here, together, wherever that may be.

When we hear the coaches discuss high school recruiting and they mention that they want players who, "Want to be here, people who want to be Hokies," it seems pretty simple on the surface. But it transcends our uniforms, our record, or the depth chart. It is about 17- and 18-year-olds that have that calling; that understand the meaning of Ut Prosim; that respect those who have come before us and those yet to come.

I'm interesting in knowing everyone here better. When did you have that moment where you realized Blacksburg was the place you wanted to be? What made you become a Hokie?

Comments

Good read Philly.

Babcock...time to stick it in...again.

Fosterball

The last few paragraphs were beautiful.
I think so many people fall in love with this little town because of the people in the community. Whether it's your classmates, townies, or your engineering professor, it seems like everyone in Blacksburg really truly cares about one another. From the moment I stepped on campus for the first time almost 8 years ago, I knew I would be a Hokie. Blacksburg and Virginia Tech are just so different than every other school I've been to, and I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.

I cannot agree more.

When I first stepped foot on campus as a student, I was not a Hokie football fan, nor, for that matter, a football fan in general. Yeah, I had a professional team that I wanted to win, but actually watching football was a bit "ho hum" for me.

Short story to my change of heart was the community in Blacksburg. It just felt like being part of something great, something bigger.

Tyrod did it, Mikey! Tyrod did it!

First, I want to congratulate you on your new position with TKP. I considered putting in for it, but being an engineer, I don't have any writing samples and at the moment my life is a bit in flux and I don't really have a lot of time to dedicate to writing for the site. So, again, Congratulations!! I look forward to reading some of your well written pieces.

Wallace and Gromit is a big reason I'm a Hokie.

I grew up just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia in a large family transplanted to the area from, of all places, Iowa. Well, not originally from Iowa, but most recently. Wind the clocks back to the mid 1960's in London, England. My mom, an American woman who had lived all over the US, is now in grad school at the School of London after getting her bachelors from Wisconsin. She meets my dad, a true Brit born and raised. They fall in love and start a family in Oxford, England. Together they produce 4 children, three boys and then a daughter.

My father grows increasingly frustrated with his work, a job as a social worker which pays well but doesn't satisfy him on many other levels. They make a radical decision to move to the States. Why they chose Iowa I may never know. My dad originally came over on a Green Card. With my mother being American she and all my siblings were considered American Citizens. Dad gets a job working as a carpenter, something he always enjoyed as a hobby, for some local contractor. I suspect my dad, and possibly my siblings, grew homesick of life in England. No one in my family particularly liked Iowa but they heard there was this pretty little town in Virginia that would remind them of home. Virginia has been called the England of the U.S. and the rolling hills and temperate climate of Charlottesville attracted them. I don't know exactly what year it was but in the mid 1980's they moved away from Iowa.

5, July 1988 UVA Hospital. Along comes Alexander Rowland Marshall. At this point my brothers are 17(about to be 18), 16 (only just), and 12. My sister, the closest in age to me is just seven and a half years old. I spent most of my childhood growing up with just my sister until she turned 16 and got her license. It was then that I became, effectively, an only child. A schism had developed in my parent's relationship and they divorced when I was 10. Around this time in my life, I gleaned as much enjoyment as I could from movies and what TV entertainment I could get a hold of. My father particularly liked Nick Parks and his creation of Wallace and Gromit. I shared his liking for it. Wallace's inventions intrigued me and I knew that I wanted to be an inventor of sorts. An engineer! That seemed to be the most practical degree that most closely paralleled the inventor I wanted to be...the inventor I saw in Wallace.

Let me back up for just a moment and say that up to this point in my life I had very little exposure to American Football. My dad played rugby growing up in England. All of my brothers played soccer and that was all I knew. My dad knew just enough about football to know that he didn't like it. He never shared his dislike for the sport with me as a child, but I never had the influence most boys grow up with in America today.

My father remarried in January 2001 and my step-mom took me under her wing. I told her I wanted to be an engineer and she helps me get my grades in order as I go into high school. I spent 4 years trying to overcome almost a decade of poor study habits (or no study habits, really...) I graduated from Albemarle High school in Charlottesville with an OK GPA on the Advanced Diploma track. VT was the only respectable engineering school in the state and is an obvious first choice of mine. With my grades and lack of extra curricular activities I think it's a long shot. I visit VCU and JMU along with VT. No doubt, VT was by far and away my favorite but I didn't have any confidence that I would get in. I applied first to VCU as my second choice and then to VT around the same time. VCU has rolling admissions and I was accepted before I completed my third application to JMU. I accept the VCU offer because I still had not heard from VT.

During the summers between my junior and senior years of High School I did construction with a local contractor. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I would go bowling with my friends after work until about 11 or so at night. My dad and step-mom were usually asleep by the time I got home on bowling nights. I came home late one Tuesday (or Thursday, I don't actually remember) and the lights are still on. Strange!

My parents have brought in the mail and there is a large envelope addressed to me from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. I'm afraid to open it and tell my parents I'll open it in the morning. Of course, they weren't about to let me do that since they just stayed up late waiting for me to get home and open the acceptance letter. So I open it....I read it to myself several times over...I'm in utter disbelieve and the tension in the room is growing exponentially with each passing second. Finally, my step-mom pipes up "Well?!?!?!"

"I got in!!!" I was overcome with so many emotions I can't list them all. Joy, disbelieve, and excitement were definitely a few of them. My dad helped me move into Vawter Hall in August of 2006. I got tickets to my first ever football game on a Thursday night against a ranked Clemson team. That game is still one of my personal favorites and I have been in love with the sport and the Hokies ever since. I am now, and forever will be, a Hokie!!

Lets Go!!

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

I wrote this at work and did not have time to edit..sorry it's a bit rough

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

It's good enough sir -and I was at that game with you against Clemson. My background with the school does not entail a degree (I worked on campus as an IT consultant -my office was in Squires) though Wife1.0's PhD I'll take some credit for. Many a friend attempted-to, or actually graduated from the school so my younger years, 91-96 were spent visiting. The town, the university and the region were so easy to fall in-love-with.

No real point... Hokie Hokie Hokie Hi!

"...sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm gonna kick you repeatedly in the balls Gardoki!"

I visited Virginia Tech, JMU, and UVA. I was accepted early at both VT and JMU and put on the waiting list at UVA. I had no ties to either school other than rooting for UVA because they received much more TV coverage in the early 90's. Blacksburg was by far my favorite visit. I met with a professor who would end up becoming my advisor in the Ag and Life Sciences Department. He was a little hoarse on a Friday afternoon after attending the VT beatdown of WVU the previous night. I loved everything about the campus and the fact that the professor was hoarse after a game showed me the passion that was present in everyone at the University. I was sold at that point, but made visits to the other schools. I kept hearing how beautiful the Charlottesville area would be and after arriving I just didn't see it.

I feel like I need to change my name

Let's Go...

Do'h!!

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

That's not Pierson.

You just proved his case!

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We discussed the Vick at Temple game a few months ago...

This was also the game that Michael somehow managed to put his wristband on upside down, and on the second play for Tech, Vick told all the players to just go right. Nobody had an idea of what was going on, but they went right. Vick rolled left, 53 yards untouched for a TD.

If that doesn't make you a believer, nothing will.

Took a tour of the campus after visiting UMD and JMU. Immediately fell in love with the place. Saw Pamplin where I would eventually major in Accounting, walked the quads where I wound up meeting many new friends playing basketball or tennis in upper quad, drove around the off-site campus housing behind the stadium where I would eventually move to the "Solar House" and manage the Houston Street Apartments, drove to the New River Junction where I eventually worked renting tubes and driving buses for 4 years, and strolled Main Street and College Avenues where I spent many a happy or evening hour slurping up cheap beers and meeting great people. Everytime I go back or anytime I think of Blacksburg I reflect on that decision I had to make when I was 18 and that sometimes you go places and you just realize that it is or was the place for you. Many years later, I still believe it...

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Yessir. When I was 16 and we drove through the "gate" off 460, I told my parents Tech was it. It felt like home, even though we were 400 miles from home.

Entered in 2000 after the 99 year. That football product might have tipped the scales between some other colleges, but seeing the campus tucked away in the placid mountains of Southwest Virginia, the way the drive from D.C. just seemed to melt into the Shanandoah Valley and things just slowed down the entire drive down 81; it just seemed to have a perfect match of college-to-town with picturesque rolling mountains. Tough to find a place were the town embraces the college and vice-versa. Radford isn't that for away and you would never get the same feeling in terms of how the area identifies itself.

Not to work too blue here, but after the tradgedy in 2007, a friend of mine was remarking on all the photos of campus and how much VT apparel the students and people wore in those still photos of that day, even before word of what happened had spread. And that started as just a normal day in April. People who know VT love it, people who don't will knock and and never understand. And I for one wouldn't have it any other way.

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

I meet people all of the time here that say to me, "I think I know someone that went to Tech..." My response is "You wouldn't think, you would know. They put something in the water down there, and its a part of you for life."

When people talk to my 4 y.o. little girl and ask her where she lives, she replies, "We live in Virginia Tech."

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Mine has possibly more to do with football outside of Lane than inside it.

My parents didn't attend college so I had zero ties to a university, my dad worked in Greensboro, and with his job came UNC sporting tickets, football, basketball, ACC tournament. Naturally I grew up a UNC fan. I have older cousins that went to VT, and I remember their enthusiasm in '99 but didn't pay attention really.
I graduated h.s. in '00, didn't even apply to VT. UNC, VCU, n UVA rounded out my applications. I was accepted early to UNC, never opened the rest of my letters. Growing up about an hour away a lot of my friends were going to VT.

My parents split up the weekend after I moved in. The administration at UNC was amazing letting me defer admission until January or the next year. Super nice, understanding that life has curve balls.

Labor day I go to Bburg for some much needed friendly beers. Two guys i've known since kindergarten live in Pritchard. After scoring a free ticket at a tailgate for the game that night, getting shuffled out of the stadium for lightning, back to the dorm. I played a game of football in the mud outside Pritchard. Possibly some of the most fun I had ever had, at that moment in time... exactly what I needed.

I came up a few times here and there, but the WVU game was really what flipped the coin. I had been attending a local CC to stay academic for the year, applied in December to VT. Moved to bburg in July of 2001.

My older sister was looking for a D1 soccer team with a good architecture program. VT was her number one choice. I remember she had her friends over to watch the USC-VT game and I was giving her crap for being a "VT fan" for never having even visited the school and it being across the country. I kinda ate my own words as a deep chill ran down my spine when Enter Sandman came on engulfing Mark May's blabbering.

Long story short she ended up in Blacksburg, and my first time visiting her when I was 16 changed everything. Lane Stadium showing itself over the Blue Ridge mountains and the right turn off 460 onto Southgate Dr was enough to convince me. I followed in the footsteps of my sister, and now my youngest sister just got her acceptance letter. All of my parents' kids are Hokies thanks to my oldest sister brainwashing us into the best thing ever.

Doesn't matter how, just Stick It In.

How I became a Hokie -

I was passed around at football games wrapped in a blanket when I was 6 weeks old. I don't know how to be anything else.

this is exactly the same as my GF

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

My inaugural post! I had login issues that I just now had time to solve. Merry Christmas fellow Hokies!! I love this thread and The Key Play!! Always great to take a ride down Blacksburg's Memory Lane!
When I was a rising senior in high school in 1977, I got the opportunity to go to Tech for a summer session just before my senior year when I was accepted into the 1st year of the Rising Senior Program at Tech (later called the Governor's School). I'm not sure they still do that, but I hope they do. It sure had a positive affect on me!
I lived in Barringer Hall for 5 weeks during summer session 1 that summer. Took an English class (my only English A in my life!) and a Dif Equations math class (that kicked my butt!). We were treated like regular college students and had just a little bit of guidance and some interactions with our professors to keep us focused on some rather challenging classes (at that time in our lives).
We went tubing in the New River and I jogged several miles around campus with my English professor 3 times a week, which really showed me the beauty of the campus - even though I was dying 1/2 the time.
One time when we went tubing we borrowed a car from a guy whom was related to another guy in the same program and we were driving to the New River and the cops had set up a roadblock. The guy with me in the back seat was sitting in the tubes so he couldn't see as the police asked us questions about the car. So he yells out "Eat My Shorts!" It was hysterical, but the police weren't thrilled, we got a ticket for improper functioning equipment on the car and were sent back.
Anyway, that summer sold me, I didn't apply anywhere else the following year. I knew were I wanted to go to college. Blacksburg was great and I just loved it.
Every year as I meet more Hokie students through my fraternity, other outreaches, and through more tragic events thrust in front of the media, I am more convinced each time that Hokie Nation is one of the best group of citizens I've come across - We Represent!!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

The Gov School program still exists, and now there are about 5 different ones across the state. The one at Tech is Agriculture, there's one at Lynchburg College for Math, Science, and Technology where I met my fiancee 7 years ago, and there's one for arts somewhere and maybe another one or two around.

I don't have enough good things I can say about the Gov School. It is such an awesome opportunity for late-high-school students to get out of the house and get a taste for what college is going to be like.

Western NJ? North Jersey (anything north of Trenton) OK. South Jersey (anything South of Trenton) OK. Jersey Shore (anywhere from Cap May lighthouse to Sandy Hook Lighthouse) OK. The Gap (delaware river from the tri state border to I80) OK. But western NJ is that Phiilipsburg? Camden, or Pennsville? So is western Nj like western Rhode Island? Heck MVI could throw a football from Barnegat to Philly.

Seriously though, when I visited Tech from South Jersey the first time in 1974, I knew where I would go to school a few years later. It did not hurt they had a great Chem E department and a mediocre soccer team! Also applied to and accepted to hooville and made the best decision of my young life to attend the University of New Jersey, Southern Extension as me and my many Jersey friends who attended called it ( rumor has it that some hoodlums from Jersey covered the welcome to VPI&SU sign on Southgate Drive with a welcome to the University of New Jersey Southern Extension sign on April 1, 1978).

The campus was beautiful then and keeps getter better every year. Looking forward to my next visit in the spring and seeing the new performing arts center. Singing in McBryde 100 was ok, Burruss Auditorium was cool, Lane Stadium was awesome, but I can't imagine the new performing arts center!

Woot woot Barnegat shout-out, I grew up in Manahawkin.

Once I got wait listed at Navy I knew 3 things:
1. I wanted to go to school somewhere in the South.
2. I really wanted to go to the best NROTC unit I could.
3. I couldnt decide between sailing in school or band

Came down to VT and ODU and everything in my gut said VT and I just kinda knew one day my senior year and never looked back.

Both my parents went to Tech and most of my family is from Southwest VA. We moved back to Blacksburg from Lansdale, PA when I was 8 years old. Before that I was aware of football, but it was always something in the background for me (due to the Eagles sucking eggs in the late 90s). That all changed when we went back home, because my first year of school in Blacksburg happened to be the fall of 1999 and the dawn of the MV7 era. I've never looked back.

By the way, my dad is from Charlottesville. He deserves credit for overcoming that

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Every time that someone from Charlottesville decides to attend Virginia Tech, an angel gets it's wings, and a baby unicorn is born.

My brother-in-law actually did the reverse, grew up in the 'Burg then went to UVA.
3 things allow me to acknowledge my sister's husband
1.) He was born and raised in Blacksburg and he wanted to get out from under his parent's supervision for college.
2.) He actively cheers against them at every opportunity.
3.) He rips on the 'Hoos with actual first-hand knowledge. It's like a Hokie spy that the 'Hoos think is one of them!
oh yeah... and my sister loves him, part of the family, blah blahblah blah blah

My bro-in-law grew up in Christiansburg and went to VT but is an avid WVU fan. However, I give him
credit because he keeps up with both schools as far as sports. And he does cheer for VT at games.
His dad is from WV and works at VT and is also a WVU fan. I don't get these guys but they do
still have VT somewhere in their hearts. I guess they are alright. LOL

@AMB4VT

And one more day Sam Rogers stills himself from going all "old testament" on the world...

"...sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm gonna kick you repeatedly in the balls Gardoki!"

Welcome, looking forward to a great site, getting greater. Hey, I went to a Giants - 49's game too, a scab-football entertainment piece during the NFL strike of 1987 I think - the only time I could get tickets.

Now, gotta love New Jersey students coming south to Virginia Tech? Two exhibits from my time:

A: Walking over from Cassell to Hillcrest on a late January afternoon the guy says something like, "I came down here thinking it was going to be warm. Damn!"
B: Norris Hall, sitting on the floor while waiting for class, the guy says, "I thought I'd be the smartest guy down here."

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

I want to return to Blacksburg. I left because I couldn't afford to go to college anywhere but the place that I did. I really to be back.

When I started at Tech tuition was 219 dollars per quarter ($657/year). That was affordable to me working loads of hours during the summer at two and three bucks per hour. Doubt summer jobs would pay a year's tuition these days.

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

My experience was during the Miami game in 2003 (you know THE miami game). Then, I was a senior in high school trying to decide which path my life will take me next. I was on the fence. My final schools were between Virginia Tech for Architecture/Engineering or Clemson for Architecture. I still didn't have my mind made up. As a kid I wanted to be an architect but was open to engineering and other construction related fields. I had already toured Clemson and was very happy with that trip. I spoke to members from the architecture and engineering departments at Virginia Tech but still hadn't toured the campus. I was lucky enough to score some front row seats in the South Endzone through a friend in high school (from his parents), so I used that opportunity to visit.

The drive down from Fredericksburg to Blacksburg was beautiful, except there was a weird horrid smell somewhere along the ride on I-64, which at the time I did not know what it was and later i would find out. My tour of campus went great. The food was amazing. I enjoyed the town of Blacksburg itself. To that point I knew my decision was gonna be tough, then the Miami game happened.

The atmosphere, the festivities, the entrance, all of it was amazing. I was instantly blown away by the LETS GO HOKIES chant followed by an entrance on a very electrifying night that gave me chills like I've never felt before. I was having the time of my life. I instantly got caught up in the fandamonium. Joining in with all the cheers, yelling my lungs out on defense, i fit in just fine.

Then about 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter this happened..

Eric Green had picked off a pass from Brock Berlin and housed it. He then took it to the back of the south endzone to the crowd where he was greeted by a barrage of fans including yours truly (:24 seconds into the above video). After joining in the celebration by slapping his helmet and shoulder pads for some odd reason i think my mind was made up. That this is where i belonged. It was all sort of instant, as strange as all that sounds. And that small, strange, instant decision turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

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@VTimHokie85

I moved to the US (VA) when I was 17 or so I did not know anything about American colleges at all let alone have a favorite college sports team. I visited the in-state schools VT, UVA and ODU but could only see myself going to VT out of the 3. I also got offered in-state tuition from LSU and WVU so those were my top 3. In the end, it came down to LSU and VT but Tech just felt more like home so I chose VT and it has been a blast!

My first visit to VT was my first Football game ever. It was the GT game in '09 I think. David Wilson returning that kick off to win the game sealed a great visit for the weekend.

One last funny/interesting thing.
I really like Nike Basketball shoes and have been buying them for a while now. The very first pair of shoes that sparked my interest in 3rd grade were these:

Shoes

At the time I did not know the name or model of the shoe. I just thought they looked cool and begged my parents to buy them. I wore them for a year or so and got rid of them since they were so beat up. Fast forward to last year, I'm browsing ebay for shoes and see the same shoe and sort of freak out because I haven't seen that model since I had them. I look at the model name to see what they are called and what do you know... "Nike Zoom Vick II". Yup, I was rocking Mike Vick shoes when I was in 3rd grade without even knowing it.

VT '15

Grew up in Norfolk so I knew I didn't want to join the Navy. Knew I wanted to do ROTC though and decided I'd do Army ROTC. Came down to Tech or ODU and I got my acceptance letter from Tech first and I knew it was the right decision. Never really watched much college football until a year or so before I got here, but in the 6 years I've been here I've only missed two games. I like Blacksburg so much, that I still live and work here since I didn't commission into the Army. Getting to work in the Athletic Department has been an absolute blast and I now try to attend every Hokie event I can, because we have some of the nicest coaches and athletes out there. The more I'm here though the more I'm considering going back to school to add a different major to my degree and possibly doing grad school.

Vick

I had these Vick's in high school - thought they were cool because they were the Blacksburg edition - complete with 24060 going down the tongue

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

Between the growing up in Norfolk and deciding between Tech and ODU I swear we have the same back story as to how we became hokies. I would've gone to ODU if I didn't get accepted into VT (god am I happy I went to VT and not ODU)

Carry Me Back

How I became a Hokie? I was conceived on campus that's how. My parents made damn sure of it.

where on campus?

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

I'm not exactly sure but I know my dads dorm was Barringer.

I would say that your TKP Handle is the name of the dance your parents did that fateful night on campus...

@PhillyHokie007

Open House, fall of 2000. My mind was made up that day.

I had also applied to GT, Maryland, and ODU (and been accepted). But none of them was gonna hold a candle to Blacksburg in my mind.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

I'm going to get emotional here.

I grew up a Tech fan. Neither of my parents went to a 4-year university, my dad has an Engineering Associates from CVCC and has worked his ass off to get to where he is, and I'm very proud of that. My Mom does pretty good with only her diploma and I'm proud of her too. The point is, neither of my parents went to VT for schooling. My Dad grew up on the farm and became involved in FFA in high school, and being the agricultural school VT is, he went many times for State Convention. That's where he fell in love. He has been a Hokie ever since he visited in the early 80's. The old logo sticker is still on his old bedroom window in my Grandmother's house.

Fast forward to when this little stud was born in 1992 (I haven't lived in a time where VT didn't make a bowl). I was born, bred, raised, molded to love VT, and hate UVA. I dreaded going to school on December 1st, 2003 because I knew what would come of it. I was in 6th grade. Hated the UVA kids. I cried the night Matt Ryan, well you know. I hung up on my girlfriend at the end of the 2009 UNC game. I looked up at the TV in the Sugar Bowl and saw Danny Coale's face and cried because I knew he caught that football. All this in middle school, high school, and eventually community college to attempt to get those grades needed to get into Virginia Tech's School of Engineering.

Eventually, I didn't get those grades. I cried that night too, I'm not ashamed. It's all I ever wanted, and as happy as I was for my study buddies in Community College, I hated that they got in and didn't know anything about the school nor care as much for it as I did. I hate myself for not getting in because I never feel like I real Hokie.

I'm currently taking video streaming classes through ODU's Teletechnet Program. It's cool, I guess. I hate not being able to talk to my professor face to face. It's not all bad though. I applied to an internship at VDOT and I'm pretty sure if I hadn't stayed local I wouldn't have gotten the job. I make more than double minimum wage, have a chill boss and awesome coworkers, and am getting experience in an engineering field. It worked out, but I still regret not working harder in life to be a real Hokie.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

@VT_Warthog

I think what you wrote proves that you are absolutely the definition of a Hokie.

Thank you for sharing Warthog.

@PhillyHokie007

^What Philly said. I was actually talking with my brother recently about something along the same lines. He made a comment about not being able to call himself a Hokie since he didn't go to Tech. Truth of the matter is, I'm a Hokie because of him. It all happened during the '06 GT game iirc. We were watching the game and my little brother in 8th grade is going on and on about how he wants to go to VT and here I am a sophomore in high school and haven't given it a thought. Since that game and with all the gushing my bro was doing, I was convinced I wanted to attend VT. Fast forward to today, here I am a VT grad and my brother never had the grades to go to a 4 year institution. But the Hokies were the first sports team he was ever a true fan of, he indirectly convinced me to love VT, and he has been to Blacksburg/Lane multiple times and loves it there as much as I do. Damn straight he can call himself a Hokie just as much as you or I can.

Carry Me Back

What a great thread. Congrats to Pierson for joining the TKP team; I look forward to your future contributions!

I don't have a grand story of how I became a Hokie, but I'll share my experience anyway. My sister went to VT before I did, and I toured colleges with her when she was making her choice. We did the usual circuit of Virginia schools, including the likes of JMU and UVA. I was about 13 or so at the time and had barely thought of college, but when we visited UVA, I was struck at just how arrogant they were. Seriously. The tour guide spent more time trying to bash VT than sell his own school. I wasn't off my rocker, either, because my whole family got that impression. It left us all thinking, "Why do they spend so much time and effort knocking another school? Maybe VT really has something going for them." My sister settled on VT for computer science, and the UVA trip experience wasn't really the deciding factor, but it left an impression on me. I didn't even apply to UVA when the time came.

My HS guidance counselor knew I was interested in science and told me that JMU was the place to be, with new facilities and whatnot. I applied and got in, but I waited to hear back from VT. I had visited my sister during her time there and had watched most of the games on TV, so I had a pretty good feel for the community, geography, and feel of the place. The only thing that stuck out about JMU was that I would have to cross I-81 to get to class on a bridge that actually wobbled.

I got my VT acceptance and never looked back.

just curious philly, but what kind of stuff will you be writing about?

"It's worth it right? It's worth it to lay it all on the line for your brothers!"
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster (both quotes)