Virginia Tech is putting a new twist on its football helmets for its game Thursday at Georgia Tech, using images of the stones that adorn many of the buildings on its Blacksburg campus. Some say the new look is ugly.
The "Hokie stone" is the type of rock mined near the university. Because it's used in its structures in the area, the stones have a strong local connection.
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"When you look at this helmet, it’s not flashy, but it means a tremendous amount to this university," longtime Hokies coach Frank Beamer told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"The outside world may have to do a double-take, but the Hokie Nation will know exactly what it is: Hokie Stone. And it’s something we’re proud of. The reason I like it is because it represents what this program and this university are built on."
While Beamer embraced the helmet design, fans sounded off about the head gear on the Facebook page of Andy Bitter, the Hokies beat writer for the Virginian-Pilot, who wrote a story about it on Monday.
"Do they have people at VT who just sit around all day trying to think up ideas on how they can make the ugliest uniforms and helmets to embarrass the team!?!?" Michael Crowley wrote on Facebook. "Leave the uniforms ALONE already!!! The fact that this will be a nationally televised game makes it even worse!"
"If they were trying to outdo Maryland for the ugliest they did it," wrote Lew W. Thompson.
User John Verrier added, "The national TV audience outside of the VT community will certainly pick up on the meaning of this very quickly -- not. At lease debut them at home, not on the road."
Patricia A. Turner, though, said she actually liked the idea of giving the helmet unique university signature.
"Thank you Coach Frank Beamer for caring for the football so much but for the Love you have and show for this University," Turner said on Facebook. "The Helmet (is) a big part of the football team and the ones who love the university."
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