As the summer begins to wind down, BRP begins to turn attention to another passion: football. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a Virginia Tech alum and fan, and all of us Hokies are hoping for a great season. We’re 1-0 so far with a big game against Tennessee today. So how big of a Hokie fan am I? I don’t know how to measure, but when I think of great Virginians I think of Washington, Madison, Jefferson and Beamer.
My mother-in-law and brother/sister-in-law make sure that I have all the gear necessary for everyone to know the team for which I root. It’s great – they all live in the Old Dominion and find all kinds of cool, weird and quirky things with the VT logo on them. Those gifts make up the bulk of my collection. Others have contributed through the years, and I have also personally bought some “must haves,” too. I thought it might make for an interesting and amusing break from the music-focus of most of my posts to let you into this strange little world of (my) college football fandom. Please read, and please never let me know what you truly think of this. I think I have a pretty good feel for that already.
So with that, here we go. I’ve categorized things as best as I can, but threw in a catch-all for miscellaneous items at the end – don’t miss it, it has a few unusual items, even for someone who roots for a team that has an orange and maroon turkey for its mascot. And I have pictures, of course, because some things are simply best appreciated when seen. I’m not going to start with the benign clothing/hat stuff. Instead, I’ll start with:
FURNITURE AND LIGHTING
Say what? Yes, I have some items in the household collection of which you may be interested. Let’s start with the rocking chair. It’s big, roomy, some might say HUGE, and is painted in that Chicago Maroon that matches the color of my bloodstream. Check it out with a nice VT blanket on top:
Next is a fine camp chair. I have no idea who gave this to me. It simply showed up in a UPS package at my house one day. I didn’t order it, nor did the usual suspects. So if you sent it, I’m sorry that I didn’t know and didn’t acknowledge the gift, but thanks, I’ve used it quite a few times.
OK, now the prize of the collection: the octopus lamp. Straight out of the pages of Architectural Digest, this cutting edge lighting fixture should be a staple of every home. Check it out – it has two different types of lampshades, both emblazoned with Hokie logo type stuff. Beautiful and functional, too!
FLAGS AND OTHER OUTSIDE-THE-HOUSE ITEMS
I have a great VT flag that I hang up outside the house occasionally, like when we win a big game (ok, so I haven’t used it too much lately), or when I’m fired up about something like the start of the football season.
Here’s a very new item, the latest in the collection. It’s a magnetic VT mailbox cover. I need to be careful with this one because people, even in the Keystone State, get sticky fingers for the VT unusual, and well, this is unusual. This item is cool because it makes my house easy to find for those coming over to watch the Hokies on my Hokie-Vision screen. And the mailman brings me tuition checks because he thinks I’m the University’s Bursar! That last one isn’t true, but wouldn’t it be nice? Here’s a photo:
FOOD AND BEVERAGE RELATED ITEMS
I put a bunch of things in this category into one photo. Quite the ensemble, I think. Here's an image and then let’s go around the table.
Tablecloth? Got one. Everything is on top of it – gorgeous, right? Now, from the bottom left clockwise:
Napkins. They’re paper so eventually I’ll run out of them. That will be a day of great sadness.
How about the crystal wine stopper? Much needed for the Boone’s Farm set, and also fits snugly on top of Montgomery County (Virginia has one, too) moonshine bottles of applejack. No house, particularly on the Main Line, should be without one of these.
OK, the next item isn’t beverage/food related, but I saw it when I was taking the picture. Yes, it’s a VT football player night light.
Next is the Stuffed Hokie Bird. Nope, not even the grandkids, who I adore, are allowed to put their grimy little fingers on this toy. I also have two at work.
Beer/beverage holders? Many of these, including those designed for cans and those for bottles. We are all-inclusive Hokie fans, and don’t discriminate against glass or aluminum.
A VT shopping bag showing that we are orange, maroon and green.
Next is a bag of VT pasta. Yup.
And finally a VT grilling spatula.
Now let's leave the above picture and move on to ... the rolling cooler. OK, I’m going to fess up. When I first got this, I thought “what the hell am I going to do with that?” Well, those were the thoughts of an idiot (as you already know) because this has turned out to be the most versatile and loved VT item in the collection. Why? Well, first, it’s great at its primary job, which is keeping beverages and food cold. But it also has zippered pouches that are perfect for storing things you don’t want to lose, like bottle openers or car keys. And there are mesh side pouches that stretch to hold whatever the hell you want to stuff in them. Can I go on? Yes, I can, because it’s my blog. This baby is on wheels, which makes it easy to drag along, and also has shoulder straps should you want to sling it on your back when you travel. And for travel, you can take it on vacation as it carries your stuff to, say, Puerto Rico, then serves its intended purpose there, and yes, it FITS UNDER THE SEAT IN FRONT OF YOU on the plane. How cool is that? I’m going to say that a VT engineer designed this because of its amazing combination of functionality, practicality and sheer good looks. Take a look with envy:
Don’t you dare park in my spot! Can’t you see it’s reserved?
Magnets. I only have two as a third was nicked in Arlington when I foolishly left it on my car overnight. I told you, sticky fingers for all things VT exist. Here you go, the classic VT, but I also have one with the Hokie bird which I did not picture so as to avoid home break-ins:
License plate? Why the hell not! And hey, for those mandatory state-required plates, let’s enclose them with a license plate holder of true value. Here’s just the big VT on the black Hokie party mobile:
Shirts? Got a stack of t-shirts plus a nice golf shirt when only something with a collar will do. I singled out this truly unique black and silver one like we are the Oakland Raiders or something:
Sweatshirts? Of course, multiples. So cozy and warm. I have all the seasons covered.
Hats? Check. And even one to wear with the black and silver VT shirt – flat brim, off-center “VT” and just so fly.
Cuff links. I wear these a lot, particularly to black tie events where graduates of snooty eastern schools show up with their ties and crests. Yeah, yeah, check this out buddy. Here I am at the same event as you and I didn’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for my degree, nor spend the rest of my life with my head stuffed firmly between my butt cheeks like you did. Oh, and yeah, I had fun in college. Check out the music section below and watch your jealous meter blow up.
Yes, I use the plural because one just won’t do. I have a maroon VT-emblazoned one that is lightweight and soft that you saw above. I can feel your jealousy from here.
And I have one with famous buildings from the VT campus. I think I did something bad in every one of these places (and then some - thank god the Donaldson-Brown Center is not shown. Southern Baptist ministers watched a very famous moonshot in there). But the blanket company was thoughtful enough not to include the student judicial room where I was placed on disciplinary probation for some trivial rules violation issue. They didn’t catch the best stuff that your humble blogger did waaaaaaaaaay back in the day.
The grab bag, the uncategorizable, the truly good stuff. Let’s dig in and get right to it.
VT Barbie. Check her out in her cute little uniform. Whenever someone starts to disrespect Barbie, you think of this and respond “hey, wait, that’s not fair, I know of this VT Barbie that’s truly awesome.” Please don't ask me why I own this.
The Gobbler Shaker. Yes, this requires some explaining. And a video. Here we go. When I was a student at the school, the official school nickname was the Fighting Gobblers. It’s true. To this day, the scoreboard in Blacksburg makes a turkey gobble sound to fire up the crowd. So that’s the source of all this turkey stuff. Now that we are the Hokies (a name which means nothing), we haven’t abandoned all things Gobbler, and the shaker is a reminder. This thing is a noisemaker that makes a turkey gobble sound, and is used to celebrate touchdowns, torment the dog, scare the kids, do lewd and lascivious things, or whatever. It’s a sound of Appalachian heaven. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my video to load. I'll try again another time, so sorry.
Umbrellas. Two. In the shape of football helmets. Tre cool.
Trash can. Used to throw away fund-raising appeals from UVa. NEVER! Take a look:
Luggage handle. This is useful because all bags look the same… except for those emblazoned with the VT logo, which of course, are of significantly higher value.
No office is complete without an ensemble of Hokie stuff. I have in my office the following:
Business card holder. Too gorgeous to put cards in it and block the artwork. Painted by a follower of Da Vinci. It is said that the master himself was jealous because he didn’t come up with this on his own.
Pen holder. Functional and nice. And not the same one used by your plumber while he bends under your kitchen sink and you drool.
Pens. Found only in the non-plumber holder. Only for the most important documents.
Commemorative Coke bottle. A true antique that commemorates Tech’s successful 1980 season.
Coffee mug and another couple Hokie bird toys. I don’t drink coffee. I do play with the Hokie bird toys.
AND FINALLY, SOME MUSIC
Nope, I’m not going to link to the Hokie fight song (you go check it out on your own, but please stand up, face south and put your hand over your heart as it plays). I’m not even going to link to someone playing the Hokey Pokey, which, when danced with Helen, is quite naughty and fun. No, this link is to the Hokie football team entering the field at Lane Stadium while Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays and the crowd bounces. A chill just went up my spine and I have chicken skin! It’s a great spectacle and one of college football’s great traditions. Watch, enjoy and envy me. Yup, I was lucky enough to go to this school. GO HOKIES:
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.