Photo by Josh Armstrong
? “Enter Sandman”, written and recorded by the heavy metal band Metallica, is the song which has been used during the team entrance since 2000. During the incredibly close 2011 Miami game, the Town of Blacksburg registered a 4.3 on the Richter scale from Hokies jumping up and down to “Enter Sandman.”
? The slab of Hokie Stone above the player’s tunnel exit has been in place since the stadium was built in 1965, and every Virginia Tech football player has touched it. A quarry near Blacksburg, in operation since 1958, supplies about 80 percent of the Hokie stone produced every year.
? “Gobblers” was the popular name of the VT mascot until the late 1970s. It changed to Hokies after a new football coach heard that “Gobblers” originated from student athletes gobbling up their food. The gobble sound was removed from the scoreboard in the early ‘80s after the Gobbler name fell out of favor. Head Coach Frank Beamer, who played for Virginia Tech in the late ‘60s, reinstated the gobble in 1987.
? Flyovers are coordinated by the Corps of Cadets. In 2012, two historic World War II planes, named “Axis Nightmare” and “Cincinnati Miss”, flew over as part of Corps Homecoming and Military Appreciation Day.
? Football at Virginia Tech officially kicked off on Oct. 21, 1892 after an athletic association was organized in fall of 1891. Early major sports efforts were concentrated on football, and organizers had to go into the barracks every day and beg men to play because those who were not placed on the first team one day would refuse to return the next.
? Turkey legs used to be sold all over Lane Stadium until cooking them was declared a fire hazard. Now turkey legs are available in one location between the East and South stands, and they’ve installed a bigger grill to meet demand.
? VPI held a contest to create a new cheer after its name changed in the mid-1890s. O.M. Stull won the $5 prize for making up the word “Hoki” as an attention grabber. The final e was added later.
? “Skipper”, the cannon, is made of melted brass donated by Corps of Cadets classes of 1963 to 1966. The president of the Virginia Foundry Company offered to craft the barrel for free after asked how much it would cost. He was in the Corps of Cadets class of ’37.