I'm currently watching 2002 VT-Marshall for the first time. Why? I grew up in NC and ACC Basketball has been my college sports foundation. I went to VT as a freshman in 2005. Football became something entirely different for me. It was a newfound outlet to express my college sport passion. That being said, I happened into a spoiled setup. Beamer was a seasoned coach. Our defense and special teams set the tone for every. single. game. It was blue collar and relatable. It was fun.
In watching this 2002 Marshall game, it is uncomfortably obvious why our fan base is having its current identity crisis. Frank set a tone. Frank had a presence. A stat was put up on the screen regarding special team play and blocked kicks. This was what you expected from a Hokie football team. Again, it was fun. Hell, I came in after this and I knew this is what you expected. As a fan, this is what you screamed about till you had no voice till the following Wednesday.
Frank found a niche. He found something he could exploit and make our team nationally relevant. The unfortunate thing is., it's nothing special anymore. Because of that we have to reassess what our team is about. I think most of our fan base wants to knock our opponent into the dirt and try to dominate. We used to do that. I'll never forget saving my a friend of mine from falling down the East Stands in the 2005 GT game following King's blocked kick. We made GT feel small, and it was amazing.
I think Fuente or whatever coach that coaches VT has to find its "Frank-ness." They don't have to do it exactly like him. Football, like anything in life, evolves. However, they have to establish what VT football is about in a way the people who support it can get behind. That's how you get fans to buy in. That's how you get recruits to buy in. That's how you get players to play every single down like it means the world.
It's been written on this site that we, as a fan base, have a lot of fear. I think we, as a fan base, long for what we are familiar with. We want stability. We want identity. We want to dominate.