Thursday, August 21, 2008

Anatomy of a Program: Our Fanbase

This is part of a series of posts just before the season that will go over certain aspects of the football program I find interesting. There will be posts on the Virginia Tech football team's peers, strengths, weaknesses and fanbase. It won't just be on-field related issues, either.

Virginia Tech has the best damn fans in college football. We're passionate, loyal, loud and sometimes go a little overboard. I drive cross country several times a year to see the Hokies play football. It's an obsession. An unhealthy obsession? Probably, but an obsession nonetheless.

And I'm not unique among the fanbase. There are plenty of fans that put forth a lot more time and effort into attending Virginia Tech games. Tailgating at Virginia Tech is on-par with some of the best game-day atmospheres in the country. We take our Hokie football very seriously.

But, my main problem with the fanbase is the expectations of many Hokie fans. It doesn't sit well with me that some are content to contend for a conference title every year and not really ever have a shot at the MNC.

I think fans should expect more. Fans in places like Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio State expect to content for a national title every year, whether its realistic or not. The Hokies aren't nearly on the same level of those programs. But until you start expecting greatness, you won't be great. I'm sure the coaching staff expects greatness, but the fans seem to be content with going 10-2 every year.

I'm not. I want this program to be in contention for national titles. Until we win one, we'll be a second-tier program. This year my expectations are a little tempered because of the influx of new faces and concerns at key positions. But there's no reason for expectations to be sky-high for the 2009 and 2010 teams.

The 2008 version of Hokie football is very good. It may not be great, but I expect them to have a chance to win every game they play this year.

Hokie fans are the best around. But its time to start expecting more from the program. Virginia Tech has come a long way from where it was in the early 90s. Now they have the facilities and the conference affiliation to play with the big boys. It's time for the program to take the next step.

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