The Boo Crew
Take a look in your closet. I would bet that more than seventy percent of U.Va. students have a jersey, shirt, or some form of apparel supporting another college's athletics. Almost all of my friends have a second favorite football team, be it Georgia, Alabama, Florida, or even ACC rivals like FSU; the list goes on. At any of these other schools, it would be considered a disgrace to their respective programs and outright bandwagoning, but here in Hooville, the behavior is completely acceptable.
This is a product of poor recruiting and even worse execution on the field. U.Va. has put names like Tiki and Ronde Barber, Thomas Jones, Heath Miller, and Matt Schaub in the NFL, where each has gone on to have a successful career. So, with a hoard of talent, why has our last legitimate BCS bowl appearance been the 1990 Sugar Bowl against Tennessee? Sure we won the Continental Tire Bowl twice in this millennium, but that is no excuse for not consistently putting up winning seasons.
The reason I make this point is not because I have some grudge against U.Va. football, but that I want to go to the games, I want to tailgate (which is nearly impossible these days, thanks whoever changed the Lawn rules), and cheer my beloved team to victory. The truth of the matter is that the only time Scott Stadium will be full this year is to see Bono and his twenty million dollar stage.
A recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch points out that U.Va. is the only big name program to have declining ticket sales in the state of Virginia. Our most despised rival sold out the '09-'10 season before last year's season started. The University of Richmond just built a new stadium and is expecting record crowds. JMU has sold out the past 4 years. The last two mentioned aren't even division one teams. Due to their performance and dedication to football, they have created a loyal fan base. U.Va. has fallen undeniably short in this area.
Once one of the most touted rivalries in all of college football, the Hokie-Hoo hatred has long died out. There is no rivalry: they come, they win. We go, we lose. It all hit rock bottom when our fans stormed the field against 18th-ranked UNC in 2008, albeit the strong rivalry we have with the Tar Heels. I'm sorry Hoo-fanatics but it was a little too soon to be on the field. We went on to finish the '08 season with a whopping 5-7.
All I wanted was one strong season in my four years here. It looks like I will be disappointed yet again. This past weekend our football team lost to a Division 1-AA team. The William and Mary team was better coached, have better teamwork, and more efficiently executed on both sides of the ball. Coming into the game, William and Mary was ranked 14th. Does that mean that there are 13 other teams outside of Division 1 that could beat us? I dare say yes, and probably more than 13.
I believe that it is the University of Virginia's responsibility to create a successful program. Take a look at the less popular sports: lacrosse, tennis, swimming, baseball, all consistently post up respectable, if not championship caliber, seasons. Where is football's break out season? Where is the undying support for the blue and orange? Where is… Al Groh's resignation?
Sam Lyddan\nCLAS IV