The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

U.Va.'s oldest rival: Charlottesville?

Ah, yes -- Cavalier athletics, our pride and joy as members of the University community. In our eyes, it is what presents us to the rest of the nation, what portrays the image of Thomas Jefferson's foundation. It is what paints the picture of a Virginia Cavalier.

No wonder we show love for our teams. No wonder we cheer our hearts out and scream at the top of our lungs, hoping to lead our Cavaliers to victory. No wonder we trek the lengths to Scott Stadium, men festooned in shirt and tie and women in dress and heels. No wonder we wait hours at the doors of University Hall, faces painted and bodies adorned in navy blue and that unsightly, blinding shade of orange. Devotion, affection, enthusiasm, fanaticism, you name it -- we have and give it all.

After all, it might as well be the University out there on the courts and fields. Our athletes are warriors in battle, fighting for our name and the right to boast our superiority. In our minds, we are all Cavaliers, trying to uphold our excellence. Here, everyone believes Cavalier athletics is supreme.

But not if you're a townie.

What many of us forget is the existence of a life in Charlottesville outside the University realm, where residents who are not authorized members of the U are forced to suffer the side effects of living in a college town. Some might think these people would be grateful for the nearby presence of Virginia sports. In fact, they are quite the opposite.

"What's that?" you say. "Ungrateful for our teams? Inconceivable!"

Actually, very conceivable, and very real. When it comes to University athletics, most townies are oblivious, indifferent or annoyed. Some are even bitter and scornful. They would rather shop at Food Lion or watch PBS than observe orange and blue scurry up and down and aimlessly around. They would rather listen to NPR or discuss the weather than hear or talk about The Object of Their Disaffection.

Why, might you ask, are they so unconcerned? Why are they so resentful? Having been a townie once before, I might be able to shed some light onto this sinful state.

Living as an independent in a college town is more complicated than you might think. As a townie, one has to endure and sustain many consequences and instances that we as University members see as tradition, but townies view as irritation.

Let's say you, a townie living north of Charlottesville, have to run to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of ranch dressing for the salad your family's having for lunch today. When you near Route 29 and see southbound vehicles backed up to what it seems like Culpeper, you come to the dreaded realization: that absurd football or basketball game against God-knows-who is, of all days, today. So, what began as a 15-minute trip to Kroger becomes a 2-hour wait through insane traffic in your claustrophobic car.

This is why we might see townies frequently checking the season's athletic schedules. You would think they were actually interested in our sports, but don't let that deceive. They only want to know which days to confine themselves in their homes or someplace far, far away.

If by chance, however, a townie accidentally finds himself on Alderman Road during hell-fire, it is not an incessant line of vehicles that will aggravate him. Instead, he will moan and groan at those idiots overdressed for a moronic football game for which he has to stop every five seconds to let cross the street. First of all, why don't they just watch the thing on TV where they can actually see? Second of all, why are they so ridiculously dressed up knowing they will be trudging through gravel and dirt and jumping wildly in the air? Third of all, why don't I just run them over?

But wait, you say. Don't some townies watch our games? Of course. You might also want to notice that either 1) the townie has the word "ALUMNUS" stamped on his forehead, or 2) the game being watched involves Florida State in football or Duke in basketball. Bitter townies will seize any attempt they can get to smirk and prove their point.

Naturally, they believe it's all foolishness and a big waste. Who cares about the University's excellence? Who cares about the fatuous tradition? Who cares about Cavalier athletics? We care, of course; but we are, by choice, a part of the University's domain.

Townies, however, just want to rest in peace.