This article is part of a series for the 2nd annual Deacs Day of Giving, a 24-hour fundraising event being held today, February 6th, 2019. On this impactful day, the Deacon Club is aiming to raise money to fund investments in recruiting, training, and educational resources for Wake Forest athletics and its student-athletes.
In honor of the Deacon Club’s 2nd Annual “Deacs Day of Giving” the BSD Staff have compiled their thoughts on a few questions related to the theme of “Giving”, and what it’s like to be a Wake Forest fan. This article is the 2nd in the series, and revolves around some of the staff’s favorite memories as a Demon Deacon and the value in being a member of the Wake Forest fanbase throughout our lives.
“What’s the most valuable thing being a Wake Forest fan has given you over time?”
- Ned: A sense of community. Growing up in northern New Jersey with no tie to a college program whatsoever, one of the primary reasons I ended up choosing Wake Forest was the opportunity it gave me to be a part of a fanbase. As a sports-crazed teenager, I undoubtedly dreamed of jumping up and down in a vibrant basketball student section and screaming my lungs out on 3rd Down in a rivalry matchup. But deep down I also longed for the indirect and hidden subtleties of being a fan. The never-ending dialogues on Message Boards, the “What If” recruiting conversations, the Twitter threads full of Wake gifs on a random Tuesday night. All of these aspects of the fan experience are inevitably with people I likely will never meet, but feel connected to at the same time because of our shared passion for Demon Deacon sports. It is what I appreciate the most from being a Wake Forest fan over the last 6 years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
- Elijah: The most valuable thing being a Wake Forest fan has given me over time is a sense of pride and uniqueness. In some ways, cheering for the smallest Power 5 school is signaling that one didn’t fall into the trap of joining a mega fan base. There’s a reason LOWF (“Little Ole Wake Forest”) started and continues to permeate; It’s about how this small school in Winston Salem, NC continues to be relevant in the big league of collegiate athletics. Anyone could choose to be fans of the Patriots, Clemson, Yankees, Lakers, etc. It takes some willpower to proudly be a fan of smaller school like Wake.
- Edward: A lifelong die-hard fandom. Even from a young age when I told the sales lady at the shoe store that I didn’t want the Michael Jordan shoes, I wanted the Tim Duncan shoes, and then jumping non-stop to Zombie Nation’s “Kernkraft 400” at basketball games, I’ve been an obnoxious Deacon fan my entire life. Through the ups and downs, Wake has given me something to take joy in and look forward to each and every time they take the field, court, or whatever else they may be competing on.
- SF: I agree with the answers above and would only add that it has increased both my love of, attachment to, and affinity for any underdog stories. Among any P5, we are pretty much the quintessential underdog.
- Cam: 100% on board with the underdog stories, but also the expansion of my appreciation of other sports. When kids come to college the expectation is only caring about Football, Basketball, maybe Baseball? But with such an emphasis on being well rounded everywhere else, you find yourself going to Spry for a few matches. You find yourself at Ketter cheering on Field Hockey. You find yourself going to see the top ranked Tennis team in the country.
Deacs Day of Giving is all about creating more moments like these. Tomorrow is the day, but you can commit your support now at https://t.co/7mRckEChey #CommitToExcellence #DeaconClub #GoDeacs pic.twitter.com/JDCxSE5AXL— The Deacon Club (@WFUDeaconClub) February 5, 2019
“If you could give a Wake Forest sports memory to a friend, family member, or eventually son/daughter, which one would it be and why?”
- Ned: Rolling the Quad with my brother, Whit, after Wake Football’s win vs UVA to become Bowl Eligible in 2016. Despite never missing a Men’s Basketball or Football game as a student, I attended Wake during a time where both these programs were struggling to compete consistently in the ACC. After 3 years of no postseason appearances for either program, I entered my Senior year desperate for a chance to see a Bowl Bid or NCAA Tournament appearance, but acknowledged that much like the classes that graduated right before me, nothing was guaranteed. The eventual moment itself was worth the wait, with Jessie Bates’ famous “Pick 6-Win 6” being followed immediately by my brother and I sprinting back to the quad to celebrate with fellow fans. After 3 consecutive Bowl Titles, it seems funny to think of how overjoyed I was in that moment to simply get to 6 wins. For the first time since becoming a fan 4 years earlier, I finally felt like one of Wake’s revenue sports had created a moment I’d always remember, and I couldn’t have been more proud.
- Elijah: The one Wake Forest sports memory I wish I could give would be the best 17 days of Wake Forest basketball in the last 10 or so years. My freshman year of college, Wake Forest defeated North Carolina (No. 3) on January 11th, Clemson (No. 10) on January 17th, and then Duke (No. 1) on January 28th. Granted, there was a heartbreaking loss to Virginia Tech that made the Deacs lose the No. 1 ranking in a short week but nonetheless, the buzz and excitement on campus was tangible and everyone felt that there was something very special due to this being Skip Prosser’s heralded recruiting class.
- SF: Rolling the quad with my family in the POURING rain after the 30-0 victory @FSU. I lived at home at the time. Dad is also a Wake grad so it was special for him too. You’d have thought we just won the National Championship. It was wonderful.
- Cam: Wake winning the Belk Bowl. I wasn’t able to go to the Military Bowl, so I made SURE I went to that one and wasn’t disappointed. Drama, points, defense; You name it, this game had it. However, not only was the game incredible, the support by fans and students was honestly insane. Outclassing the fanbase of one of the most populous schools in the nation was such an accomplishment for me and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend a cold afternoon in December with anyone else, doing anything else. That game helped proved getting to a Bowl wasn’t a fluke, and as you can see this year, it keeps happening and the Deacs keep winning.
- Edward: The atmosphere that was Tie-Dye Nation under Coach Skip Prosser. I’ll never forget what it was like to be in a sea of black and gold tie-dye and take down Duke on multiple occasions. Those were special times that I will never forget, especially since Coach Prosser actually took the time to write back when I wrote a letter to him and sent a signed poster for my birthday. Skip never met a stranger and I’ll always remember his kindness to kids like me.