This Saturday, Ohio State and Virginia Tech will play a football game, standing on opposite sidelines, attempting to assert dominance over one another. Not long ago, though, the two teams stood together in the wake of tragedy.
For their 2007 spring game, the sparkling Ohio State helmets didn't display any of the iconic buckeye leaf stickers but adorning the domes were a different logo: the "VT" of Virginia Tech.
Ohio State's spring game was held five days following the on-campus shooting that took the lives of 27 students and five professors while 17 people were keft injured by the events and the Buckeyes football team wanted to show a symbol of solidarity to the school and those affected by the events.
"One of our student athletes said, 'You know what, how about if we figure out a way to let them know we're with them?' " former OSU head coach Jim Tressel said in a phone interview with Fox Sports.
After asking the school's equipment members to check if it was permissible and feasible, and a quick phone call to Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer to inform of their intention, the Buckeyes ran onto the field of Ohio stadium with VT decal on their helmets. It was a gesture not forgotten for the Hokies.
"What a tremendous gesture," Beamer said. "I think the whole country was sharing in the sadness around here at Virginia Tech, and certainly for them to wear our Virginia Tech [logo] on their helmet in the spring game, that was going beyond what you would think about.
"So it was very much appreciated -- we very much appreciated the Ohio State people and all the people who were thinking about us back during that terrible, terrible time."
Complete story from Fox Sports
Coach Beamer, Coach Tressel and I reflect on Ohio State's classy 2007 tribute to VT with FoxSports' @sam_gardner: http://t.co/VSdPZLau1S— Bill Roth (@VTVOICE) September 4, 2014