I was driving through an intersection this weekend when the SUV behind me started beeping vigorously. Startled, I looked around and tried to figure out what I had done wrong. The SUV pulled up into the lane next to me, and the people inside rolled down their windows and started yelling. I braced myself for profanities, insults, and a general order to turn in my driver's license. Instead, I heard "Whooo! App State! Whooo!"
Oh. Okay then, "Whooo!" right back at ya.
For the past couple of years, football has been a big deal at my Alma Mater, Appalachian State University. People who know that I went there, either by knowing me or reading the sticker on my car, imagine that I care. I mean, I care a little bit. I'm happy that my school is getting good publicity and recognition for something other than the cheesy Hot! Hot! Hot! video. But I never attended an ASU football game, and whenever we do win a big game, I find out about it by someone else congratulating me. I guess I'm supposed to act excited or even take some sort of credit for the win. Yes, they won because I went there. Of course, I do pull for the home team and I do root for ASU. But it's more in an after the fact sort of way. "Hey, we won? Cool."
While I got some congratulations over the national championship wins the past two years, the recent victory over Michigan has seemed to really get everyone in an uproar. I am sort of amused about all the attention. Strangers give me compliments on a game in which I didn't play, guys in SUVs honk at me. Everyone seems more enthused about it than I am. Ohio State fans have apparently been calling up the ASU campus bookstore and trying to order t-shirts. I bet I could drive through Ohio this week and get beeped at so much as to cause me to have a nervous breakdown. We made the front page of The New York Times and the cover of Sports Illustrated. But the neatest result of this whole Michigan State game was that now Division I-AA teams are now eligible to be nationally ranked. Of course, now that we've had our big win, we'll go back to beating teams like Lenoir-Rhyne, and so we probably won't get enough attention to break the top 25. Still, that's quite a legacy for the Mountaineers.
Even Wikipedia is becoming an ASU fan. I just imagine some undergrad bragging to his friends about "hacking" into Wiki to make the following change (click to read):
And then his friends say, "Dude, you misspelled 'awesome.'" Oh well, as long as we can play football.