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Always wanted to talk about this since i've seen it said on the the OB so many times.Am I less of fan of a school just because I didn't go there or does that apply to people who jump on the bandwagon of a hot team?
Depends on the person. Not fair to generalize.
But if you're going to generalize, going to the school is just an added dimension. With all the money I sunk into VT, I sometimes joke that I paid for at least a few players to go there on my own dime. I went to Tech for about 7 years. A piece of me will always be in Blacksburg. I don't think you can feel that way unless you lived there. Partied there. Experienced part of your life there and so on. When you spend part of your formative years at a place, it's not the same as just liking a football team. You'd have to be a pretty die-hard football fan to compensate for that difference.
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Right,you can be a great fan without having attended a university. Generalizing...he or she is a person who became a fan based upon a sport or sports associated with the school. Someone who attended a university is a fan at a different level(dimension) having experienced the academic and social environment as well as the sports activities. My wife is an example. She became a VT fan after we were married,but she is not an alum. She is a huge VT football fan and she is a Hokie. However,she will never appreciate VT in the way that I and other alumni do since it goes much deeper that sports. Nothing wrong with that...just different.
Some of the best college football programs in the country enjoy tremendous success because of the support of the non-graduate following. SEC schools are the best example of that. As I've said before, many people follow many paths. Not all of those paths take you through any one particular school or maybe not any 4 year university at all. Some of the biggest VT fans I know became that way simply by working there or having a brother/sister/son/daughter attend the school. Excluding people because they never wrote a tuition check is a very elitist thing to do, and it's a practice commonly demonstrated by that school to the northeast of us. I graduated from Virginia Tech, but I consider all Hokies that proudly wear maroon and orange as part of the family.
My wife is a diehard VT fan, but not an Alum, she did grow up on top of Mountain Lake though, and has family that attended VT. My 11 year old says he is playing football for VT when he goes to college. He may end up going somewhere else when the time comes, but I don't think he will ever lose his love of VT sports.
My sisters went to U of Richmond and Davidson. They are married to alums of UVA and BC respectively. They cheer for their husbands teams unless they are playing Tech because in their words, "I love you, but both my brother and father went to VT so it is 2 to 1, I am rooting for the Hokies!" Pretty funny cause I used to take my BC Brother in law and my sister to the Tech/ BC game, and she would wear orange and maroon.
@NomadHokie on Twitter
Basically what BigCali said...
I guess I view it as, I went to VT... whether there's a football team or not, I'm always going to be a Hokie and have ties that go well beyond the athletic programs and I'm involved with the school well beyond sports as well. When someone mentions VT to me, my immediate thoughts aren't the record of the football team or who the next star recruit is or whether Logan is staying or going... my first thoughts tend to be the people I met when I was there, friends, good times, not so good times, struggling in classes but finding ways to learn and pass, etc. The football / basketball is more of an added bonus.
I think that's different for those who didn't go there and that's cool, I don't necessarily look at them as less a fan of the team but I don't think the bond to the university is quite the same either. I think VT means something very different to them. But if they out there rockin' VT gear, going to the games, etc... I'm not going to question them as a fan, nor do I look down on them if you didn't go to the school.
When I think of VT(having attended in the mid `70s),I think mostly of non sporting activities. I think about walking to class in January across the cold and windy drill field. I think of the girls I dated and wonder what happened to them. I think about the classes I took and enjoyed or hated. The only "events" that stick in my mind was attending a Doobie Brothers concert in 1974(yes,I do remember some of it) and attending the UNC vs VT basketball game during the `74-`75 season. As I posted earlier,alumni and non alumni are fans...just at a different level or dimension.
I graduated from VaTech in the dark ages. I have been a Loyal Hokie for many, many years. I have a deep love for my school and the many fond memories it gave to me. Even today when I am fortunate enough to get back for a visit just driving down the main street of town and entering the campus brings me to tears of happiness from all of the fond memories .
I am a rabid football fan and have met many non graduate fans who were as devoted as any Tech graduate I have ever met. Literally thousands upon thousands have adopted the Hokies as their team and surprisingly enough not nearly all from Virginia. Some of these fans have more in depth knowlege than most fans of any team. To me, they are fellow Hokies.
This post was edited by Leanderthal1547 16 months ago
Here's my story...I've been on both sides of the fence. *Warning: Kind of long"
My Dad went to VT and I grew up watching and going to Football, Basketball, Baseball and other sporting events with him. I loved the sports programs but also the school and campus just as much. Like JBCili-4-VT, I can't even remember my first football and basketball games because I was so young. Out of high school I was accepted to VT for academics but I had a chance to play baseball as "recruited walk-on" at a smaller D1-AA school (no football) in NC. The first semester there I got really sick, missed like 4 weeks of class and ended up having to finish the semester out from home.
So I transferred back home to a smaller CC/JUCO to play baseball and after about a year and a half I decided to hang em up. I had no real idea what I wanted to do/major in so needless to say my grades were pretty crappy and I didn't even apply back to VT. For awhile there I was kicking myself for not going to VT straight out of high school but it ended up being the best decision I ever made. When I came back home to play baseball I started dating my future wife (who was a senior in high school at the time). We both ending up going to Radford. I discovered my future major/career there by accident by taking a web design class as an elective. At Radford with the web development major/concentration you take around 10 classes solely on graphic design, web design, coding, etc. Whereas at VT I believe it's more broad degrees that touch on several different IT areas.
Anyways, I spent 4 years at Radford with my now wife. I still had a ton of friends at VT to party with there and go to football and basketball games. My wife and I graduated in may of 2009, got married and bought a house a month later in June and I officially started my own web development company.
Now back to the topic of the thread. I've always considered myself a true Hokie through and through. But I did always hate being at a game or tailgate and having people ask me "So did you got to VT?" or "What year did you graduate?" etc. and telling them I went to Radford. Not because I was ashamed of Radford. I LOVED Radford. Just every once in awhile you'd get that person who you could immediately tell dismissed you as a fan when you know good and well you probably have more love for VT in your pinky toe than they did in their whole body.
Fast forward to about a year ago, my business is growing and I've decided I want to offer other services to clients besides just web and graphic related services like networking, computer repair, IT security and so on. So I decide to want to get my masters to continue my education and learn more about what other things I can offer clients. Boom. The VT Masters of Information Technology Program. I applied, was accepted and just finished my first class during the summer. I should graduate in sometime in 2014 or 15. Now, when people "So did you got to VT?" or "What year did you graduate?" I answer "Well I got my undergrad at Radford but I'm currently getting my Masters here"
So, to end all this rambling, I'm a VT fan that didn't go to VT/went to another school AND a current VT student and future alumni and I can tell you it feels no different. Regardless of the circumstances a true Hokie is a true Hokie!!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by DanvilleHokie88 16 months ago
I do not believe that if you're an alumnus of any particular institute of higher learning, that you could make a valid claim as being a better fan for an athletic program from that school. That would be like a veteran of the military saying he loves our country more because he served in the military and a civilian did not. When it comes to feelings of this nature, I do not see how someone could quantified these feelings.
I do however believe in an exception though. If say someone on Virginia Tech football team was to state that he was a "bigger" fan of Virginia Tech football than myself, I would be inclined to concede that to him because of the blood, sweat, and tears he put into the program. Citing an similar example from my previous one, I think my love for the Air Force could not be trumped by some fan boy of jets, no matter how passionate he was about it, because he didn't commit the blood, sweat, and tears I did as a PJ.
I met some dude at a bar once who was thrashing the Hokies. His reasoning? All his friends were bandwagon Virginia Tech fans simply because they liked the Hokies, even though they didn't go to Tech. They went to JMU and Radford. Dude was a loser. I told him that was the dumbest argument against the Hokies. Support who you want.
How does this theory apply to the NFL? Is there no fans that are as "real" as college fans? Do you have to have grown up in the same city? Is there a requirement to have been faithful to the team through at least one losing era?
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