Loyal ODU Fan Counting the Days Until College Colors Day – and Monarch Football!
Clay Ransone '01 has been alternately annoying and amusing his Facebook friends and Twitter followers since early in the summer, with posts each morning counting down the days to Old Dominion University's first football game of the year on Sept. 1.
"I didn't plan to run a countdown. It just kind of happened in early July (July 8 to be exact) when I realized I was really fed up with summer and needed Monarch football back," Ransone said.
"I was going to give it up until (former Virginian-Pilot football writer) Rich Radford told me to stop rushing things. That steeled my resolve to take it to the end." His countdown of days until kickoff is now in the teens.
Ransone, who graduated from ODU with a degree in sport management, has erected a shrine to his beloved Monarchs at The New York Times offices in Norfolk, where he works.
"The amount of Monarch gear I have in the office is probably a little frightening, at first glance, to the new hires. I'm the second stop when someone comes in the door on their first days, so they are greeted with a wall of blue and silver and a stuffed Big Blue," he said.
On Friday, Aug. 31 (the day before most teams' first football game, including ODU's opener against Duquesne), college fans across the country will sport their team colors all day.
A season-ticketholder for men's and women's basketball, as well as football, Ransone estimates that 40 percent of his casual-wear wardrobe is blue and silver Monarch gear. So of course he'll sport his favorite team's apparel on College Colors Day.
"College Colors Day is fantastic! You can get just about everyone in the office to show up sporting the colors of their college, their kids' college or the college they have adopted as their own. With College Colors Day 2012 falling on the day before the home opener, also Spirit Friday, there is no excuse for Monarchs everywhere not to be wearing their blue and silver."
Dan Campbell, director of constituent relations with ODU's Office of Alumni Relations, said proud alums have been posting pictures of their Monarch-decorated offices on their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/odualumni).
Campbell said College Colors Day is a great way for alumni, in Hampton Roads and around the world, to connect with their alma mater.
"We love seeing examples of our alumni showing their spirit with their office decorations. It helps connect them back to our campus and foster school spirit," Campbell said. "We encourage everyone to keep sharing pictures of their Monarch pride with us."
In conjunction with College Colors Day 2012, ESPN is sponsoring the inaugural Pledge Your Allegiance for College Colors Day spirit competition. By visiting www.espn.com/collegecolorsday, Monarch fans can register to pledge their allegiance to ODU as the school with the most college spirit and loyal fan base. The winning school will receive the College Colors Day Spirit Cup, along with $10,000 toward the general scholarship fund.
ODU trails well behind leaders Penn State and Texas A&M in the online voting. Those two schools have totals more than double that of any of the other 163 participating colleges and universities. The contest will run the entire month of August. Throughout the competition, standings will be tracked nationally, as well as by conference.
The event also features a College Colors Day photo contest on Facebook (www.facebook.com/collegecolorsday), where fans can enter a photo of the week contest. Weekly prizes are given to winners across multiple categories.
All registrants are entered to win weekly $50 gift cards from ESPN Shop and one of two grand prizes, including a $500 shopping spree at ESPN Shop.