From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
Saturday’s Virginia Tech basketball game against Grambling took on a whole new experience for someone who had sat along press row for the past 20 years. I typically find myself sitting quietly at a press seat in the end zone of Cassell Coliseum. Usually, there is no one around me; thus this was a different feeling of attending a basketball game in Blacksburg.
This weekend, I attended the game but sat in the opposite end of the arena. Most of the students were gone, and it was “kids’ day” with staff and faculty receiving free tickets. Still the Cassell was much slimmer than it usually is.
Yes, there was “Enter Sandman,” and, yes, there was the excitement of the game.
I can truly admit it was a different feel for me. I had decided to sit in the stands when a group of fans wanted to go to the game.
We started up high in the arena, causing me to have a nosebleed feeling. When a seat attendant told us to move down to the student section since it sat mostly empty, we quickly accepted.
If you’ve never been to a Hokie basketball game, take time to do so. Add it to your bucket list.
Everyone should sit in the stands at least once in his life. Typically, Cassell has a packed house with as many as five sellouts this season. That alone makes it seem like a real Tech athletic event.
The Cassell Guard, a group of enthusiastic students, usually makes the game a little more enjoyable, but this Saturday, they were not present because of the Christmas break. But when they are there, they raise a ruckus.
I salute the Tech marketing staff for offering the game as special for area kids. Several were acting cameramen, others helped with warmups, and one lucky youngster got to be a guest public address announcer.
With all this being said, Saturday’s game was also a good one for basketball fans.
I would love to step off press row and go to another game simply as a fan. Spending time with friends was also a plus.
I will give Tech this: The fan experience at a basketball game or a football game is one of the best in the country.
To say Tech has become a basketball school is an understatement. In addition to the men’s outstanding play, the Lady Hokies are another reason to attend a game.
Hokie basketball is alive and well, and everyone should take a moment to enjoy a live game at the Cassell.
Back to my regular seat the next go-round.