The Stuff Hokies Own
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 4/16/97
One of the more entertaining and interesting message board discussions I've ever seen took place on the old Hokie Central message board a few days before I had to shut it down.
The discussion was started by HokieDon, who was checking out the message board one day and got a little tired of the idiotic flame wars that were filling up the board with Tech/UVa garbage (that was the weekend I went away and the mice played). So Don posted the following message in an effort to add something of value to the board:
What kind of interesting Hokie Memorabilia do each of you have? Is there anything truly special, a lucky charm, or something prized that you have? What kinds of unique Hokie 'stuff' is in your home? outside your home? at work? Separately, what kinds of Hokie stuff do you have on/in your vehicle(s) to show off that proud Hokie spirit?
I myself have a banner on the wall in my home office, one of those Hokie VT wood/canvas chari things (like that in the window of Grand Piano downtown...) and Hokie stadium cups galore. At work, I have a ton of buttons displayed, the fav. being the 'Geaux Hokies' button from the Sugar. I also have stadium cups from the last 4 bowl games, and show them off in meetings every chance I get. Oh yeah, I can't forget the Hokie screensaver, randomly show images from Virginia's university on 17 inches of glory. On the car, well, we've got the larger 'Virginia Tech' sticker, centered. Then on one rear window there'a a square-root-of-one- VT. My license plate is the Maryland's Virginia Tech organizational plate, simply a VPI0361 and 'Virginia Tech Alumni'. It's ugly and plain, but sends the message. I also have a white and marron VT hat on the rear ledge. During the fall, of course, the car becomes the Hokie Mobile, with magnets, flags, poms and the MVs blaring. IS IT REALLY 4 MONTHS AWAY TILL THE FIRST GAME???????
Anyone else wanna contribute...??????
Did they ever. I cut and pasted the entire string of responses and assembled them into this Special Feature. The answers to Don's question were almost always interesting and sometimes hilarious. Unfortunately, due to a time crunch, I was not able to credit the authors of the individual pieces, but they stand on their own. Also, the Hokie Central Grammar Police were on break when I posted this, so it may get a little rough, but here they are:
I have one of the infamous "Hoakie" plastic stadium cups, where they misspelled our nickname (not sure what year that was, but it's OLD).
In my cube at work, I have pinned up the Hokie corsage mask that I bought in Nawlins & wore all Sugar Bowl weekend. This is pinned up along with the "Go 4 it Hokies" & "Women at VMI! What Next? Men at UVa?" bumper stickers. Also in my cube is a poster of Dell Curry (advertising for Avia shoes)...but I work for a shoe company, that's how I came upon the poster.
I've got a piece of the goalpost from the uva game, a basketball media guide signed by this year's team/coaches and a VT football helmet.
I've got something pretty cool, which I came by in an unusual manner.
My last year at Tech was '73, the year the Hokies won the NIT winning 4 games by a total of 5 points. One day at work about 7 years ago I was the guard stopped me on my way into the plant and said "I see you have a VT sticker in your window, did you go to school there?" when I said yes he said "I have something I'd like you to have, I'll bring it tomorrow."
Next day he stopped me again and gave me a poster proclaiming "Va Tech 1973 NIT Champs" with characatures of all the players. It is also autographed by Don DeVoe and all the players except Bristow. Seems in a previous life he had been the mailman in Blacksburg and a big Tech fan.
I also have a pretty neat plaque my brother (a huge Longhorn fan) made for me as payment for a 1996 Sugar Bowl bet, which has the Sugar Bowl program mounted under glass proudly proclaiming "Virginia Tech 28, Texas 10."
I've got some things that are pretty unusual. In my basement I've got a Virginia Tech stocking (Christmas variety, but maroon and orange), a VT plate glass thing for my window - looks neat when the sun reflects through it.
But my coolest VT item is in the bathroom - a VT toilet seat with the old gobbler on top and when you open it it reads - Go Hokies - All in maroon and orange.
I have most the usual stuff, stadium cups, hats, shirts, "square root of one" flag, bumper stickers, but the one I cherish most is my Virginia Tech HOKIES wrist watch with the Hokie Bird on the second hand. I wear it all the time.
I have lots of stuff also, but I was just in a wedding of a friend...and the groom gave each of us special gifts, and mine was a nice photo of Blacksburg with Lane Stadium in the foreground....hung it up 5 seconds after I got home!!!
OK, the coolest thing I have is an original printing of the score of 'Tech Triumph', from around 1920. My father in law, in addition to being a die-hard Hokie, is an antiques collector. He saw this score, had it framed and gave it to me for my birthday. The best gift I ever got.
He also framed for me the cover of the New Orleans paper the day after the Sugar Bowl. It reads, in huge type "HOKIES HOOK 'EM!" I love that poster.
Finally, I have a VT hat signed by Druck after last year's Miami game, and a ticket from that game signed by George DelRicco.
There are many thousands of items in my Hokie museum, but the one that brings out the most conversation is the dried turkey claw with the orange ribbon on it. It seems some guy went up to Harrisonburg and bought a bunch of turkey claws from a poultry processing plant. He had them dried, shellacked, and tied a small orange bow on them. He was selling them out of a cardboard box in front of the stadium on a game day sometime in the early '80s.
The funniest thing I ever did with it, occurred in (of course) Charlottesville. If you have been to games there, you know it is best to park at U-Hall and take the shuttle busses to the stadium. To take the shuttle, you buy a ticket and give it up as you board the bus.
As I was standing in line to get on the bus, I pulled my sleeve down past my hand and inserted the turkey claw so that it looked like it was my hand. I stuck the ticket in the claw and when I approached the ticket taker (a female UVA student), I raised up my "hand" to give her the ticket. She started to reach for the ticket but jerked her hand back when she saw the claw. Everyone who was standing in line (including Wahoos), broke out laughing. Unfortunately, the ticket taker did not have quite the sense of humor as everyone else and glared at me as I entered the bus.
What USED to be my prize possession was from Tech's 1995 run to the NIT. After Travis Jackson beat New Mexico at the buzzer I was one of many who stormed the court. I was the only one, however with the presence of mind to pull the huge NIT sticker off the floor. That hung proudly on my living room wall until I graduated that spring, when it was purloined from my car while stopped at McDonald's on the way out of town. Sigh.
Other items of interest are a Hokie pom-pom from the painful 59-59 double overtime loss to UVA in 1991 (complete with teeth marks from gnawing on it) and a floor pass from the UNC game in Roanoke, signed by the Dean himself (who, by the way, was as rude as could be to all autograph seekers there).
A former Tech footballer I know has a toilet in his basement that is just off his 'Hokie Playroom' that has a V (in navy blue) and a Cardinal (Lousiville) painted in the bottom. I laughed my butt off the first time I was there and had a few beers. He's since added crosshairs so you can aim if you want to. I asked him about them that day and he said he thought about it and wasn't going to do it because they really aren't good enough to be ..... on. But, he decided to anyways. Everyone who seems to go there has a good laugh during games.
Other mementos he has, pieces of UVa'a astroturf, their goalpost(the '83 squeaker he tells me), a real nice picture of Don M. bawling on the sideline. It's a pretty nice little collection.
I have a Dr. Pepper bottle that I bought in an 8 pack (the old glass bottles) in 84 or so. It was commemorating the undefeated home season of 1980. It had the fighting Hokie on it and a list of all the home games and the scores.
My freshman year at Tech ('87-'88) I was at a home basketball game against U of Richmond doing my usual hootin' and hollerin' and wavin' of my pom-poms when I was approached by a few members of the senior class who were sponsoring a 'Most Spirited Hokie' award and told my I had been picked out of the crowd to receive an award during halftime - I got to go down on the court with two other winners and received a very nice VT sweatshirt - it is still my favorite.
I also still have those same pom-poms that I carried to every football and basketball game I have ever attended. They have even been dragged to Shreveport, Jacksonville (Gainsville), New Orleans and Miami.
I have a sort of sad memoriabilia item. I have an official (i.e., handed out prior to the game) 3-point card with the ACE of Spades on the back from the first game we didn't hit a 3-pointer in (@GW 1995-96 season)....
I have a framed picture of a VT basketball uniform, sneakers, and rim with a 1995 NIT Champions gold logo affixed to the picture. The picture has all of the signatures of the 1995 men's squad including Coach Foster. In addition, I have 3 football game jerseys from the 1995 season for Druckenmiller, Oxendine, and Semones. Each jersey is autographed. Finally, I have a full-size replica VT football helmet that I created myself.
Well, my roommate was at the NCAA tourney last year, and he got the banner that was hung from the table that had Virginia Tech listed on there with all the other teams that were in Dallas (I'm not kidding!). That's probably one of the coolest.
A friend of mine also got a U of Miami football from the game in 95 when we beat them 13-7. Well, it doesn't have VT on it anywhere, but it does commemorate one of my favorite games of all time! Then there's the usual stadium cups and everything else.
By the way, HokieDon mentioned that he had the MV's tape blaring in his car; I'm on that tape!!!!!!!!!! I'm a tuba player in the MV's! Yes, I dance the Hokie Pokie at the games, I'm the tall one!
Mine is just a single sheet of notebook paper and it doesn't even have Va Tech written anywhere on it. But oh what a memory....
In 1978, my sophomore year, a bunch of us crazies decided to go to the Alabama game at the last minute...no, it wasn't in Blacksburg. It was in Tuscaloosa and it was homecoming. We drove down in my 7 year old Red Plymouth Duster. We got there just in time to see Lee Roy Jordan drive by campus as the Master of Homecoming.
If you've never been to an Alabama game, then you can't imagine just what "everything RED" actually looks like. My Duster fit right in.
Well, for the game. Alabama was #1 in the AP polls at the time and Tech, well, wasn't ranked at all. The good news was that we scored first...in fact, it was the first rushing TD given up by 'Bama all year (this was game #6). The bad news is that we didn't score again and lost something like 35-7.
Now, just how does this have anything to do with the sheet of notebook paper. Well, much like Tech, there is a two lane road into and out of the stadium...traffic uses both lanes coming in and then it turns around to go out. Well, all of these 'Bama fanatics were passing me in the left lane blasting on their horns and yelling at us about how they just whipped us, etc (they all saw my Tech sticker in the rear window).
This one particularly obnoxious ALL RED Cadillac (even the hub caps were red) pulled up along side of us and was really giving us the what for. I proceeded to roll up my driver's side window where the sheet of notebook paper was precisely taped. On it were 5 simple letters:
It just so happened that USC was #1 at the time in the UPI polls and there was a stirring debate in the press about the differing opinions.
At the sight of that, the Cadillac sped away while the passengers gave us their own version of the #1 sign. We had a great laugh at the time and I have a great memory from many years ago.
I have the front page of the Wahington Post sports section that has a picture of the coach trying to trip Antonio Banks at the end of the uva game in '95. It is so obvious that he's trying to trip him - his leg is sticking straight out.
I have it laminated.
My wife "found" an Orange Bowl Official Car sticker which we have stuck on our wall. We have the requisite VT flag, and my Bronco has a VT tire cover, and the back is absolutely plastered with Tech stickers. I park it next to my UVa friends at work. And of course, the Tech bitmap on the 17 inch monitor! GO Hokies!
I'll be showing my age a little here but some of the things I have in the house are two very light weight rugs that say "Welcome to Gobbler Country" and includes a picture of the old style Fighting Gobbler plus the outline of the state with Virginia Tech written inside it. I drape these on the couch in the family room.
On the mantle I have a clock with the old style Fighting Gobbler. Several mugs connected to VT are on the mantle. The grandfather clock has an engraving of the University seal on the pendulum. My car tags read "6T9 VT" plus I have a VT decal, a Tech Alumni decal and a Marching Virginia decal on the rear window.
On game day I also have the flags and magnetic signs on the car. The most unusual items are a piece of turf taken from Worsham Field right after the Syracuse in 1995 and a piece of turf from that field up in C'ville taken right after the great win, also in 1995.
I have a golden retreiver named Hokie who is the family favorite. Years ago, we had an orange tabby named Hokie for 12 years. We have crosstitch Tech emblems hanging in the den, a wall hanging there also, and a print of the duck pond by Elva Davis. My non-work wardrobe consists of Tech shirt of the day, especially lots of Sugar Bowl ones, both the ones we got in New Orleans and a fresh supply when they went on clearance in Blacksburg.
I, too, have one of the infamous "Go Hoakie" cups. It happened in BBurg at a UVa game; I want to say '75 or '76, because I was about 14 or 15 and visiting my sister, who was either a senior at Tech or in the first year of her MFA at Radford. I remember the UVa Pep Band took credit for the cup; they say they did it, but im sure it was just some quick ad libbing on their part.
Most people didn't realize the error until the Pep Band pointed it out and up came a collective groan from the crowd. I also have a VA license plate from the first or second year that says VPI H85. Plus one of those cool VTCC navy blue sweaters. Various stickers and clothes, plus a lot of VTCC memorabilia.
One wall of my "office" is covered with Hokie stuff--my fav is the framed "Kick" poster my brother made up for me one Christmas. Of course there's the obligatory pennant from each Bowl game, and the extra copy of my VATECH Arizona vanity plate--the other is on my car.
"The Button Hat" has about thirty Hokie buttons dating to the 1950's including a 1950's UVA one with the "\" through the middle. I'll wear it back to Spring game if I can get it through the metal detector at the airport. It started as a plain orange cowboy hat I bought for $10 at the Independence Bowl.
As for my car, the official plate which I've owned since 1983 is VA TECH; the front plate is an old (no longer registed) Arizona plate "1HOKIE" In the back window I've got one of those old style "Virginia Tech Fighting Gobblers" license plates---I still love that logo and name even if no one else does. My Tech cap and maroon umbrella sit in the back window too---it does rain on occassion in the Cactus State! All the bumper stickers are on the wall in my office as I'm not big on bumper stickers on the car except my Virginia Tech alumni window decal. I guess it's because we have a lot of "beater cars" out West here that seem to be held together by a plethora of bumper stickers.
Finally, I like to wear my license plates---yes I'm the one who wears the VA TECH(on my back) and 1HOKIE (on my chest) plates to the Bowl games. Those Husker deadbeats at the Coors Pre Game Party at the O-Bowl couldn't believe it!