Virginia Tech, especially on a Thursday night, is one of the best places to watch a college game -- not only in the ACC, but in the country. Hokies fans take a lot of pride in their game-day festivities, and showed it with an overwhelming response in the mailbag. Even fans from several other ACC schools also nominated a few of the Hokies' traditions among the best in the ACC. As for the whole, um, drumline chant of "stick it in?" ... Well, I'll let the Hokies and AD Jim Weaver battle that one out.
Here were the ones that were mentioned the most:
Enter Sandman. Metallica starts it off, the fans bounce in the stands, and I swear you can literally feel Lane Stadium rocking under your feet.
Team walk. Two hours before game time, the Highty-Tighties lead the way for the players, coaches, dance team and cheerleaders in a walk to the stadium outside the athletic complex.
Shaking the keys. Fans jingle their keys on “key” third-down plays.
Let’s Go!/Hokies! cheer: It's the West section and the East section taking over Lane.
Firing “Skipper” after scoring. The cannon has its own story, and thanks to one reader for digging it up for us. It's also fired prior to the start of the game.
Turkey legs. They're huge, impossible to miss, and smoking from the stands all game.
Hokey Pokey. At the end of the third quarter, you put your right foot in ...
Several readers also mentioned “beating UVa every year.” Ahem. Don't shoot the messenger ...
Laith in Sacramento, Calif., writes: Heather, Love the blog. I can honestly say that nothing beats Enter Sandman at Lane Stadium. The adrenaline rush of all the Hokie Nation jumping in unison as the team runs out brings shivers to my spine every time I see it.
Scott Beard, a former Hokie swimmer now in Charlotte, N.C., writes: First of all, your blog is about the only thing that gets me through my lectures in grad school. Secondly, I can't think of a place in the ACC that gets as loud and rowdy as Lane Stadium when Enter Sandman come's on. It's one of the main reasons I signed with VT on my recruiting trip (and that includes trips to Tennessee and Penn State). And admittendly, Clemson's may have the best tailgating scene around, but lack the decibels to compete with our entrance.
Chris in Blacksburg, Va., writes: Beyond Enter Sandman and the smell of Turkey Legs in the stadium, there is "The Walk" with all of the team, cheerleaders and dance team as they go into the locker room the day of the game. Also you can't forget the 4th Quarter Stretch with the "Hokie Pokie." Then the loud boom of Skipper every time we score has been around since 1964. If the Big East blogger is gonna make a comment about the "We are...Penn State" cheer, the resonating sound of "LET'S GO...HOKIES!" by 66,233 people that sound more like 100,000 cannot go unmentioned. Also the stone inside the Tunnel that the players run out of with the phrase "For those who have passed, For those to come...Reach for Excellence!" It's always a special thing for anybody that isn't a football player to get to go through there and touch the stone.
Ben in Blacksburg, Va., writes: Best ACC tradition is....Getting schwasted and going crazy to Enter Sandman before we crush opponents...But on a more serious note; During homecoming week the Corps of Cadets rotates through groups of Cadets who run all over campus with the game ball yelling "Game Ball!" and gets everyone they pass to touch it. The game ball is constantly moving the entire week before the game. It literally goes everywhere, every day. Its not uncommon to be sitting in a huge class (3-4 hundred kids) and have a group of cadets burst in and run through the auditorium yelling game ball!...We think its cool as hell here.
Thanks to the many Hokies fans who contributed. Florida State or Clemson will probably be up next, based on the amount of responses.