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    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    But Can The Hokie Throw A Flaming Spear?

    Ok, so let's get this out on the table.What the heck is a Hokie? And, is that thing a bird, a turkey or what?

    Over a century ago, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University held a student contest to write a new cheer. A senior by the name of O.M. Stull wrote the “Hokie” yell, which can still be heard at home games in Blacksburg.

    The yell goes like this:
    Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi!
    Tech, Tech, VPI
    Sol-a-rex, Sol-a-rah
    Poly Tech Vir-gin-ia
    Ray rah VPI
    Team! Team! Team!

    The word “Hokie” was conjured up by Stull simply because he needed a word that would be an “attention-getter.” Up until then, VT athletic teams were known as the Gobblers and “Home of the Gobblers” was proudly posted on the outside of Lane Stadium until recently. However, after the school adopted the yell, Hokies became the permanent nickname.

    Though the costumed mascot is a depiction of a fictional bird that resembles a turkey, he has become a fixture on the VT sidelines. His performance on gamedays has made him a crowd favorite.

    At some schools, the cheerleaders or students will do pushups after each score for the number of points their team has on the scoreboard. Not the HokieBird. The cheerleaders bring out a bench and barbell and he gets a workout doing bench press.

    His calling card comes at the end of the third quarter during home games. He leads the 65,000 Hokie faithful in doing a group performance of the “Hokie Pokie.” It must be "awe inspiring" to see this six foot bird turn himself around.

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