Tomorrow is going to be a big day. I already have butterflies thinking about it. Tomorrow ESPN Gameday broadcasts from Blacksburg and the Hokies take the field for the first time since...
Well, since a lot of things. Since the events in April when a madman took so many dreams, and a nation associated the idea of "Virginia Tech" with "massacre." Since Michael Vick, someone who has done so much for the university and held a special place in so many Hokie hearts, was exposed participating and encouraging the cruelest of endeavors.
Due to these reasons I have mixed feelings about the Gameday coverage. When I first heard about it I was happy. It's always fun when Corso and Herbie are in Blacksburg. But now, I think the chatter is going to drive me crazy. There will be lots of talk of that day in April, of Micheal Vick and lots of references to "healing" and how the university "needs" this. How Hokie Nation can come together over....over what? Football? The truth is we came together long before that. They are portraying it like we have been a community in waiting. Waiting for football.
Hokies know that the healing begun long ago. That we have banded together in love and support, and are ready to move forward. That we have moved forward. Perhaps they will portray this tommorrow, but most likely they will bill the game as baptism. As a day of renewal.
Though I think that is oversimplyfying the matter, I must admit there is some truth. Especially for the Hokies so far removed from Blacksburg. Putting on the maroon and orange, cheering, drinking beer, high fives...it's about time we get to think of our school with laughter and smiles, with unadulterated joy.
But it won't be unadulterated, will it? The media won't allow it to be. It will be like April all over again, seeing a place I love tied to such horror and cruelty, and talking heads theorizing with sympathetic nods and bottled compassion. I'm sure there will be many tear jerking montages and profiles of victims and portraits of Hokie Spirit. But I'm afraid it will seem invasive. A private matter displayed for the nation to gawk at. Hokies will be poked and proded, tears will be induced, and emotional scenes will play out for a hungry public.
And the cameras will be there to capture it all.
(And I will be watching. GO HOKIES!)