1. Show up early
There are two types of U.Va. fans — the ones who show up an hour early and get front-row seats, and the ones who show up five minutes before kickoff. The latter still get pretty good seats — albeit practically under the scoreboard — but they have to live with the knowledge that they could've gotten better seats if they had only submitted their Bio assignment earlier. I mean, seriously. Showing up to a football game right before it starts? The audacity.
2. Wear school colors
Once upon a time when I was a young first-year, I wore a green shirt to a football game. Nothing happened. Nobody made any remarks. A good time was had by all. But the next day, I realized something — if I had worn blue or orange, I would have had a lot more pep in my step. And although orange is a hideous color that should return to the depths of Hell where it came from, these are the sacrifices we must make to be spirited. That afternoon, I went to the mall and bought the only orange shirt I’ll ever own. I only break it out during football games, and I will burn it upon receiving my diploma.
3. Show off your best dance moves from the bleachers
This tip is multitask — it’s to help spread school spirit, meet like-minded people and make new friends. While there are already a number of classic traditions incorporated into our current repertoire — who could ever forget how fun it is to spell out U-V-A with our hands 39 times per game — I personally long for the day when we incorporate square dancing into our game time festivities.
4. Sing the “Good Ol’ Song” after touchdowns but with conviction
Everybody knows that you sing the “Good Ol’ Song” after every score, but not everybody is willing to do it with conviction. I understand that many of us aren’t proud of our singing abilities. In fact, I used to mouth the words — ashamed at my meager vocal range of C3 to C3.5. But I’ve realized that it is not the quality of the voice that matters — it is the volume. Nowadays, I belt the song with pride, regardless of quality.
5. Don’t leave during halftime
If you leave during halftime, don’t talk to me. Seriously. I still haven’t talked to my first-year roommate since he left last year’s Miami game to hit up Arby’s. Look — if the game is 54-5 and you have a final that coming Monday, I understand. But if it’s a close game and you’re leaving because your favorite “Grey’s Anatomy” rerun is at 9 p.m., don’t expect a Christmas card.
6. Cheer for the horse when it makes its entrance
Every time the horse runs into the stadium, I lose my mind. I mean, how cool is that? Seeing animals in any place where animals normally wouldn’t be really excites me, so a live horse inside of a football stadium certainly fits the bill. And the best part? This is all being done for you. The fans. It probably doesn’t like the commute up I-81, but the horse makes it. For you. So get off your phone and cheer for our buddy. He works hard, and he can’t unionize.
7. Don’t litter on our precious Grounds
This should go without saying. It isn’t that hard to take your Bojangles’ box with you as you leave the stadium. The last thing we want is for that precious horse to accidentally step in a French fry container during his triumphant entrance. While it is convenient to just leave your trash under your seat, ask yourself what Cav Man would do. You know the answer.
8. Rush the field but only when the timing is right
Rushing the field is like getting an A — the less often it occurs, the more satisfying it is when it does. Call me controversial, but field-rushing should be kept to a maximum of once per season. It should be saved for our sweetest victory, or for our rudest of opponents. But when it happens, you should really consider participating.
9. Make some friends
Outside of Scott Stadium, we all come from different walks of life. We have different hometowns, political views, faiths and views on pineapple on pizza. But inside Scott Stadium, we are all the same. We are a people with a common mission — excellence. Or more accurately, watching excellent athleticism while I eat Bojangles’ on the sidelines and complete my newly-trademarked “Sophomore 70.” But at any rate, strike up some conversations. Share some high-fives and spread some love.
10. Enjoy yourself
What a fun Top 10 this has been. I’ve given some good advice and told some jokes along the way. But above all, the best advice I can give you is to maximize your own happiness — if that means showing up three hours early to get the perfect seat, go for it. If you would never be caught dead wearing blue or orange, wear anything you want — just not Tech colors. Regardless of your T-shirt’s color, make sure to have a good time.