Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Lane Stadium Effect

Before college, I didn't really "get" football - I watched it, I knew about it, it was on in the background on Sundays, sure, but it wasn't really a big deal in our family. Neither of my parents had / has a strong allegiance to an NFL team, and when we moved to Virginia, my sister and I decided we were Dallas Cowboys fans out of pure stubbornness because everyone around us was a Washington Redskins fan. What can we say, we were in elementary school!

I chose to attend Virginia Tech for a multitude of reasons, but being a "football school" was not one of them. I knew little, if anything, about college football. I didn't know about the game, I didn't know the history, I didn't know about tailgating or traditions or superstition. My freshman year, I went to a couple of games, and they were fun, but I didn't really care. I had a long-distance boyfriend that I would have rather spent the weekend visiting with, and hadn't made a lot of friends or connections yet.

Sophomore year, though, I found a group of friends who really cared about football, and I joined a sorority, both of which totally changed my attitude about Hokie football (not just because of tailgating, promise, although that was an added benefit!).

My roommate, Michelle, and I
I finally figured out how much fun it was to experience a game, packed into the stands with a huge group of friends, proudly wearing your school colors and screaming your heart out, watching your team play hard and win (or lose). I learned about BeamerBall and the Lunch Pail Defense. I shook my keys on cue and lost my voice from cheering.

One of my favorite views of campus
After that, I'm pretty sure I never missed a game while I was in school, and some of my very favorite memories are were made in and around Lane Stadium. Words fail me here, because I don't think I can truly describe the experience - unless you've been there, you just won't get it. When you're in Lane, you're with 65,000 of your closest friends and it always feels like home.

Thursday night fireworks
Friends and sisters <3

Ten years after I started college (WHAT), I fully understand that there are weekends when you get up at the crack of dawn to tailgate (12 PM games are the devil). I don't think twice about face paint and noise makers and cornhole and grilling in parking lots. I faithfully wear my maroon and orange on game days and I know that my team will likely break my heart at least once a season. I planned my wedding around football season, and I don't make plans on Saturday afternoons (and the occasional Thursday night) in the fall (unless you want to watch the game). Hokie football means the world to me, and any time Enter Sandman comes on, no matter where I am, you better believe I am going to START JUMPING.

the best.

Tailgate Tuesday

Sweet Little Ones


Jessica and Katie Sweet Little Ones said...

Yep, every Saturday in the fall is booked at our house too. And I know exactly what you mean about the atmosphere at college football games! We are big Notre Dame fans here, and it is just incredible and indescribable! I love sharing that with our kids now! Stopping by from Erin's! You should link up with us for Tuesday Talk this week (and every week!) - several hosts are doing the football theme with Erin. We'd love to have you! -Jess, Sweet Little Ones

emily @ a little bit of emily said...

I wish I had gone to a school with a football team...we just had a club football team. It was super fun to hang out and watch them play, but watching a team play on the same football field as our sorority played powderpuff football on, wasn't quite the same as a "real" college football game!

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

Everything revolves around football in the fall, and we always try to make sure that for all home Texas A&M games that we don't have any plans. We actually have a couple of friends that planned their weddings on home games this year (if my husband and I weren't in the weddings we might consider not going), and I'm so sad that we'll be missing them, especially since it'll be in the newly completed stadium :(

Erin LFF said...

Love your post- and I def checked out the VT youtube video you linked, and then a few more haha. You guys are awesome fans!! :) Thanks for linking up :)

Andrea H. said...

I went to a small liberal arts college so I never got that big football school experience! Sounds amazing!

Kayla MKOY said...

That's so awesome! I am a total NFL girl but I would love to experience a legit college game (along with the tailgating hehe) one day and see what it's all about!!!! :)

Julia said...

Stopping by from the link up! :) I am the same, I never cared all that much about football until I started really getting into the game itself and understanding it better, and being around others who enjoy it totally sweeps you up into the passion for the game!

Julie said...

Look at that stadium pic - so many fans having a great time!

Stopping by from Erin's football link up :)

Laura J said...

College football is the best!! Love all the cute pictures with your girlfriends! And I agree -- 12 pm games (11 over here in Alabama!) are the worst!!!

Julie Casola said...

Hey there!! LOVED your post for many reasons but mainly because I'm also a HOKIE and love reading, hearing, and talking about Lane Stadium! I'm also jumping whenever I hear Enter Sandman!

Laura Darling said...

I already have the whole Penn State schedule in my planner for the fall so I make sure I don't double book myself! :) Going to a football school was so much fun - there's nothing like a good college football game!