That is the scale. "Refined, culturally elite pansies", dainty as a flower, or "unrefined, borderline criminals" with substance abuse problems. I don't know about you, but I'd like to avoid both. So where are we on this scale? To put it in 'TECH'nical terms, (UVA+WVU)/2 = VT. When you average out the insanity, there is a perfect balance.
The Hokie respect campaign is a good idea in principle, but if you take too much of the "fan experience" and excitement out of the game, before you know it we're all wearing ties and crying in our Zima after the games. We can do that from home in front of the TV (and it looks like we've started doing just that). You have to let people be fans and not just spectators. >90% of the fans are respectful anyway. I don't know about you, but I don't want to sing songs and hug after TDs. It might wrinkle my sweater vest. Please Mr new A.D., don't let this continue. We don't want to be proud of our cricket trophies.
On the other side of the spectrum, without any guidance from the administration, Blacksburg could turn into Morgantown. Anybody ever been to a game in Morgantown? I did, 4 times in the 90s. It was insane what you'd see then, compared to what VT would have allowed, and that was pre-Hokie respect. I remember seeing forty-year old guys walking around, inside the gates, with open beer cans. VT was searching and patting people down with big coats at every game, and at least forcing a few students to attempt to sneak in their booze. WVU didn't even try. Then they let all the students leave and go to the parking lot to drink more during half time. The ones who could walk might come back in the third quarter. Then people wonder why there's yelling, cussing, spitting, threatening...and that's just to their own team. They throw batteries and endanger opposing fans, throw trash cans at opposing coaches, not to mention burning couches....
So what does the administration do? The only thing reasonable thing. If your not going to enforce your alcohol policy, just get rid of it and start selling alcohol! Now let's be real, when you go to WVU, 65,000 people aren't trying to kill you. About 1000 are, and that's enough that you don't notice the other "respectful" 64,000. As I said before, more than 90% of the VT fans are respectful anyway, and WVU is probably no different I'm sure. I'm sure most are decent folks out to support their team (well, PROBABLY). It's the small percentage allowed to go unchecked that helps bring down the masses to their level. They make more and more fans see their behavior as acceptable.
SOME level of control of fan behavior is necessary, surely we can all agree. I don't want any opposing fan to feel threatened at Lane stadium. I want him to feel humiliated watching his team play. I want everybody to be very friendly as they feel sorry for the guy who's team is getting whipped. So keeping the over the top taunting, threatening type behavior, as well as keeping the B.A.C. levels within reason should be the job and focus of the Lane staff. Stopping people from singing "nah nah nah, goodbye" and "stick it in" should not be. And "sit down, you suck" was my favorite part of basketball in the 90s. We couldn't win (thanks Ricky-Bobby), so the least we could do was give the opposing team a hard time. That's what fans are supposed to do. Make them not focus on the game. Not make them fear for their life or injure them. An A.D. has to know the difference. One method leads to a lot of losing and lack of dedication from the fan base. The other leads travelling to opponents 1000 miles away when realignment happens. There is a place in between the "intellectual" fan and the "barbaric" fan. It's called normal. We don't want to be WVU, so don't turn us in to UVA.