|This is the face of the enemy.|
Alabama/Auburn is the Iron Bowl. Georgia/Florida is the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Oklahoma/Oklahoma State is Bedlam. Oregon/Oregon State is the Civil War. Pitt/WVU is the Backyard Brawl. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech is the Techmo Bowl.
I hereby move that we refer to the Virginia Tech/UVA rivalry as the Culture War.
I fucking hate Virginia. I hate so much more about them than just their football program. I hate their pompous, self-important attitude. I hate their sense of entitlement. I hate their fairweather fans who hide behind non-revenue sports and academics when their football team sucks (often), only to come trolling out of the woodwork as soon as the program displays some basic level of competency (rare). I hate the fact that they have to create a YouTube video begging their apathetic, whiny student body to fill their shithole of a stadium against their in-state rival.
There is a basic, fundamental divide between Hokies and Wahoos. Hokies are rowdy and rough around the edges. We drink bourbon at a wine tasting. We're intense, not pretentious. We expect more than success; we expect excellence. We are proud to support our football team. We show up after losses. In fact, history proves we show up harder after losses. And we don't lose to the fucking Wahoos.
A man walks into a bar in Richmond on the last Saturday in November with a little dog under his arm. The bartender says, "No dogs allowed in here." The man says, "This is a special dog. He's been trained to watch the UVA/Virginia Tech game and react to it. When UVA scores a touchdown he barks. When VT scores a touchdown he does a backflip. When Virginia Tech wins he walks in a circle on his front paws." The bartender says, "That's amazing! What does he do when UVA wins?" The man replies, "I don't know. He's only seven years old."
This rivalry has become a joke, and I feel robbed for it. But start sculpting mountains out of your mashed potatoes, because this means something.
What's at stake? The Coastal Division. Our shot at redemption against Clemson. Our first 11 win regular season since 1999. Pride. Our dominance over the Hoos. Take your pick. But for me, first and foremost, this game is about maintaining dominance.
Mike London is doing his damndest to enact a culture change at UVA, and in year two he's already making some headway. He's starting to reestablish in-state recruiting. He has some signature wins to his name. Perhaps most importantly, he has his players believing they can win. If they beat us it has the potential to become a moment of transition between to two programs. We cannot afford to let that happen.
Throw the stats out the window. I don't care who leads what statistical category for the Hoos. On Saturday in Scott Stadium there is one maxim to follow, one supreme commandment: break them.
Whoever is trying to pass the ball against us, break them.
Whoever is trying to run the ball against us, break them.
Whoever is trying to tackle us, break them.
Break the Hoos. Win the Culture War. Own the state. Earn our shot at redemption.
One more time.