I haven’t had much to write about lately, mainly because I’ve been extremely busy, what with the Ratline and all. But since I have very little energy to contemplate world events, I figured I would at least write about something that relates to the beloved Institute. So tonight, dear reader, let’s discuss Keydet Football. Now, as I write this, I am sitting in the J. Smith Ferebee Lounge, overlooking Foster Stadium, and witnessing one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. I wish you could see the sunset, what with all of it’s red, yellow, and purple hues, just painted upon the sky, and making House Mountain look all the more majestic. The best I can do is give you a glimpse of what the view looks like during the daytime.
Now, if you’ve never been to a Keydet game, then it’s somewhat difficult to explain to you what they’re like. They’re special to say the least. The entire Corps is always in attendance, and they are LOUD. A game in Foster Stadium is like no other football game in the world, just like VMI football is unique.
Every game starts with the Corps marching into Foster Stadium and onto Alumni Memorial Field. They then present the colors and fall out into the stands. The Corps sits as a group, with the Rats sitting as a group. And when people say that the “Corps roots the LOUDEST,” they aren’t kidding. It does indeed. The sound is deafening; a mixture of the Band, the Corps, and all of the fans. I can barely put into words the noise made. And the heckling, the heckling is second to none. If the Corps is unhappy with what is going on on the field, it will let you know. A referee makes a bad call, then expect jeering and booing from the sea of cadet gray. If the team is struggling, then the Corps will do its absolute best to cheer them on. And when we score, it’s complete pandemonium. But, when the final whistle sounds, and Little John sounds for the last time, a reverent silence falls over the crowd as the team forms up in front of the Corps, and Keydets past and present stand and sing the Doxology.
Another peculiarity about Keydet Football is that no matter how the team does in game, as long as they fight to the very bitter end, the players are congratulated. The Alumni are always proud, and the Corps always supportive. I have never been a part of a program that got congratulated when it lost, nor who’s fans were excited over a 1-10 season. Football here is definitely special, and something that no place other than VMI could achieve. Football here is all about hard, physical, disciplined play. As the saying goes, “Real men run the ball,” and here at VMI, we indeed have real men. ONE CORPS, ONE TEAM!