A huge crowd packs JPJ to listen to "Professor" Mike London and his staff
Update (4:16PM): Video posted by UVA football of event highlights
While the return of students to Grounds usually signals the imminent return of football, the two week gap this year has kept us on edge. Thankfully, Coach London and Student Council sponsored a great event Tuesday dubbed "Virginia Football 101" to get students ready for the season, as well as to educate the class on the work our peers put in to entertain us on Saturdays in the fall.
The event was held at John Paul Jones Arena; despite a bit of a trek, especially for first years, attendance was impressive. London reported that 1397 students attended; whether it was for the free food, orange t-shirts (they read: "Class is in Session"), prize giveaways, or the football education, people were clearly excited about the evening and the upcoming season. While thrilled about the enthusiasm, the crowds definitely hurt my access to the food and brought down my chances of winning free spring semester tuition (could you imagine a better raffle prize?)
Figured I would summarize what went down for those eager non-students out there. After the staff played a highlight film from last season, London addressed the crowd and spent some time going over the team's week-to-week schedules. People tend to forget that our athletes are students like the rest of us, and I think Coach did a good job driving the point home as he discussed weekly and gameday itineraries for the squad. They even showed a sample Rocky-themed pump-up video similar to those the team would view on Friday nights (after watching these highlights, I am convinced that we went undefeated last season and drilled poor Jacory Harris multiple times per game).
Coaches Lazor, Reid, and Poindexter then each took the floor and went over UVA's offensive, defensive, and special teams styles, respectively. This was probably the most interesting part to me, as each coordinator had prepared some pretty complex video on their units (though it may have been lost on casual fans). Poindexter stole the show here, as he had some pretty hysterical takes on some of last season's successful trick plays.
Finally, London got back on stage to lead students in Zombie Nation (have to teach those first-years how to jump) and introduce Bobby Capri's "Blue and Orange" (a UVA-themed remix of Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" that London seemed to get a kick out of), which I present for your listening pleasure below. Then the aforementioned raffles - a touchy subject for me, but congrats to 4th-year Tracy Smathers, who won tuition for the spring.
Overall, a great job done by the coaching staff, who are clearly working hard to reach out to the students. They continuously emphasized how much the team feeds off the fans and are working hard to make sure that students aren't just showing up to the games, but are engaged and aware of what's going on and how to act. However, the fans do need to feed off the team also - looking forward to doing so next Saturday at Scott Stadium!
(check out Bobby Capri's "Blue and Orange" Remix below)