The last few posts have focused on games and players but with today’s 99 Things I wanted to dive into one of the best traditions in college football. The way a team enters the stadium has become creative and unique. Miami popularized running through smoke and others have made the entrance a part of their gameday atmosphere. Virginia Tech runs onto the field with Enter Sandman by Metallica playing. The Hokies have been using the song for more than 20 years and likely will not be changing anytime soon.
The tradition began in 2000 when the Hokies added a new scoreboard to Lane Stadium. Virginia Tech was looking for a new pump up song and considered “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses and “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons. They ultimately decided to use Enter Sandman. According to Virginia Tech, the students did not start the tradition of jumping during the song until 2001. On December 1, 2001 the tradition of jumping officially began. The Hokies hosted number one ranked Miami FL. As the song began to play a few band members began to jump. Fellow band members and classmates joined and the tradition has stuck. Now the entire stadium jumps during Enter Sandman. Virginia Tech would lose the game against Miami by a score of 26-24.
Enter Sandman has become synonymous with Virginia Tech in college football. Fans put Lane Stadium on their bucket list for the sole reason of wanting to experience Virginia Tech enter the stadium. Metallica once recorded a message for Virginia Tech and their fans rooting for the Hokies and telling the fans to get on their feet and start jumping. If you have never seen the entrance on television, take six minutes and watch this video. The anticipation waiting for the team to run onto the field gives me chills each time I watch this video.
Traditions like these are what make college football the greatest sport in the world. Each college has their own unique traditions to help set them apart from other universities. The gameday atmospheres are different at every school because the fans, the scenery and the atmosphere are different. Schools may mimic or copy some traditions but each program will have lasting traditions they put their own twist on. Some of my fondest memories of college football have nothing to do with the game result. Virginia Tech is on my bucket list because I want to experience Enter Sandman and feel 66,000 people all jumping at one time.