As Virginia Tech officials announce a new tradition at football games, fans have mixed opinions about the ritual being replaced.
The “Hokie Pokie” has been a tradition for years during the football games at Virginia Tech, but now, Hokies won’t be doing the dance ahead of the game’s final quarter.
“I wanted it to be around for at least another year or switch it halfway through,” said Taylor Marshall, a Virginia Tech student.
According to athletic department officials, the song will be replaced with a new tradition – the longtime favorite “Let’s Go Hokies” cheer led by a surprise honorary guest each game.
But right now, not all Hokies are cheering for the change. An online petition to keep the “Hokie Pokie” now has more than 2,000 signatures.
“I think it’s sad,” said Amiel Bernal, a Virginia Tech student. “I think these Hokie traditions are part of what make us unique. So I liked it.”
“It creates a bond between all the students,” said Nick Armitage, another student. “They know it. It represents the school. So I think it’s a good idea to keep it rather than get rid of it.”
Virginia Tech officials said Hokie fans won’t be disappointed.
“I love the fact that we’re trying something new to inject some energy into the stadium to start the fourth quarter,” said head football coach Justin Fuente in a statement.
Some Hokies we spoke with said while they’ll miss the song and dance that bears their team’s name, they’re excited for the start of a new tradition.
“‘Enter Sandman’ – that’s still going to be there,” said Sameer Dandekar, a Virginia Tech student. “That’s always going to be part of Virginia Tech’s tradition and culture. So I think it will be fine in the long run.”
“It means a new tradition, which may be exciting to be here for the start of it and then grow with it,” Taylor Marshall said.
Marching Virginians director David McKee assured fans in a statement that the “Hokie Pokie” isn’t going away for good – the band plans to play it several times this season during their halftime show.