I saw this picture floating around Twitter and it makes an excellent point.
When I started school back in 2003, App State didn’t have any football championships. We hadn’t blocked any field goals at Michigan yet. It was still an awesome school, with a solid athletics program. But it was overshadowed by the UNC’S, Duke’s, Wake Forest’s, and even NCSUs of the world. Unfortunately, a lot of people walked around campus wearing Carolina blue. Some didn’t even know we had a team.
Well a lot changed right after that. We won 3 straight national championships and beat #5 Michigan. The number of freshman applicants in 2003 was 9,598. By 2011, that number had spiked to 12,959. Our acceptance standards have also spiked to be among the most difficult in the state. Hell, if I tried to apply to Appalachian State today, I wouldn’t get in.
Now we have started a nursing school, making a commitment to health sciences. Professors and students from those other NC schools come to us for leadership in the area of sustainability, as highlighted by our energy summit and award-winning solar homestead which garnered national attention.
THE POINT IS: I don’t have to tell seniors, juniors, sophomores, or alumni to take off their UNC/Duke shirts. They burned those a long time ago. Boone is absolutely dominated by Appalachian State. No one gives two shits about whatever a Tarheel is anymore.
I’m talking to YOU freshmen. Yeah your dad raised you as a Longhorn fan, or a Gamecock fan, or a Tarheel, whatever. That’s nice when you’re a kid. But now you’re a student at Appalachian State University. A lot of people wanted to go here and didn’t get in. You’re one of the lucky few, you earned it.
Any bandwagon fan can like Tarheel basketball or Alabama football just by going to Wal-Mart and buying a T-Shirt. But it’s a little more special to be an Appalachian State fan. You have a chance to be a member of a close-knit family of hardcore Mountaineers that just absolutely bleed Black & Gold.
Time to start cheering for a team you can feel good about…the one you go to.