So it goes whenever my hometown Cavaliers play the Demon Deacons from my alma mater. A bona fide Charlottesville townie and U.Va faculty brat, I grew up rooting for Virginia. I have known the lyrics to The Good Old Song for as long as I can remember. If I searched hard enough through the relics of my childhood I could probably find yellowing scraps of paper bearing once-treasured autographs from the likes of Wally Walker. I well remember going to football games at now sold-old Scott Stadium in the days when Saturday afternoons would find it barely half full.
But, despite (or perhaps because of) my U.Va upbringing, when I reached the wise old age of 18 I decided that I needed to go away to school. After a passing flirtation with Sewanee, I decided to follow in the footsteps of my father (and his father, and numerous other relatives of various stripes) to Wake Forest. With that decision, my formerly orange and blue blood quickly started turning to black and gold.
Eventually though, after four years of college and another three years of law school at Wake, I wound up back in Charlottesville. Thus began my life as a Deacon in Hooville. On the whole, it’s not hard to maintain my dual allegiance. It’s not like I went to Tech, after all. Most of the time, I have no problem pulling for my hometown ‘Hoos while staying true to my Demon Deacons. But, whenever Virginia and Wake play each other, I’m at a loss. So, whenever I am fortunate enough to be able to go to a game, as I was today (thanks Mark!), I don’t know whether to break out the orange gear, or go with the black and gold. I generally wind up splitting the difference and doing both, hence today’s confused ensemble of the Wake hat and belt combined with the orange U.Va shirt.
As is clear from the photo, my kids have inherited the same conflicted loyalties, although they tend to manifest theirs in a somewhat more flamboyant fashion. The black and gold boa over the orange U.Va shirt garnered quite a few double-takes at today’s game. While I’m hesitant to do too much to overtly encourage the Wake Forest allegiance, as Wake’s tuition, room and board currently hovers around $44,000, I have to admit that I do take some not-so-secret pleasure in it. As I’m a 43-year old man with this as the ring tone on my cell phone, I guess there’s no getting around the fact that my primary loyalty remains to my alma mater.