I am a graduate of Virginia Tech, a school that prides itself on its college football program. Some of you football fans may know that Lane Stadium, the Virginia Tech Hokie’s home field, was voted the number one home field advantage in college football in Rivals.com and the second scariest place to play for opponents at espn.com.
One of the most impressive features of a home game at Lane Stadium is the entrance onto the field of the Hokie team. Just before the team enters, they play the introduction to the song “Enter Sandman” by a group called Metallica. When the Hokie fans hear that song begin, they go crazy. Sixty-some thousand of them jump up and down and scream to the top of their lungs. And when the song reaches a particular fever pitch the team runs onto the field with huge flags spelling out “Hokies.” The whole thing is a trademark, deafening display of football frenzy that gets everybody’s adrenaline pumping, fans and players alike.
After all of that you might think that I am going to tell you a story about the Virginia Tech football team, but I’m not. I am going to tell you a story about the Virginia Tech lady’s softball team instead. Actually, it is THE Virginia Tech softball team, because there is no men’s softball team. About three weeks ago my brother sent me an article about an interesting occurrence at one of their games.
The Hokie’s softball team was playing in the regional finals of the NCAA Softball Tournament against the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee was the number one seed in the Hokie’s bracket. They have played in the Softball World Series for the last three years. The Hokies have never been in the World Series.
But the ladies from Virginia Tech managed to win the first game of the best of three regional series. The next night there was a double-header that would decide the regional winner of the tournament. In the first game Tennessee crushed the Hokies 7-1 and the Hokies were losing in the second game in the fourth inning when there was a rain delay of about an hour.
At the end of the rain delay as play was just about to resume, the announcer played a song. You need to know that this game was being played in Tennessee, not Virginia. Guess what song the Tennessee announcer played over the loud speaker just as play was about to resume? “Enter Sandman,” the Metallica song that is famous to all Virginia Tech fans as the one that is played when the football team enters the field. Well, the softball players for Virginia Tech went nuts. They jumped up and down and screamed just like the fans and players do when that song is played at a football game. Many of the fans in Tennessee along with that announcer who played the song must have wondered what in the world was going on with them.
The Hokies were at bat and they scored four runs in that half of the inning after that song was played. Those were the only runs they scored in the entire game. Before the rain delay the Hokies had one runner on base. Misty Hall came up to bat, the first batter after the rain delay, and she smacked a 2-run homer that put the Hokies up 2-1. She said, “When we heard 'Enter ... Sandman,' we all pretty much got our adrenaline going. My adrenaline was at the peak when I was up to bat …”
The Hokies went on to win the game 4-2 to advance to the Super-Regionals for the first time in the history of the program, and the team said it was because the announcer played “Enter Sandman.” Angela Tincher, the picher, said that song “Got us pumped up—it was awesome.”
By the way, the Hokies wound up making it to the World Series for the first time ever too.
What is your source of inspiration in the game of life? What gets you pumped up to accomplish what God has called you to do. The apostle Paul seemed to be inspired by the source of his strength: "We proclaim [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me" (Col. 1:28-29, TNIV).
Do you think Christ provides energy to us all for accomplishing his mission? I think so and that seems like a pretty good reason to get pumped up.