The calendar tells me New Year's Day is in January, and the top of the schedule reads September. But for we the college football-crazed, the real beginning of the year comes in August, when official practices start, tickets arrive and a randomly cool Sunday morning fills the air with the scent of FOOTBALL.
And as most major world religions would tell you, when making a new beginning, it's important to own up to your failings. Hokie fandom is no different. So, meet The Key Play's contributors as we offer our confessions and humbly request the Hokie Bird's forgiveness, then share your own in the comments. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, you know.
My 25 year old self would've hated me.
I like Scott Stadium and not just because the Hokies keep winning there. From a visual perspective both the looks of the interior and the fan sight lines are better than Lane Stadium. It holds 60k very well, makes it almost quaint and there isn't a bad seat to watch the action in the place. The absent noise level, hand holding and lack of badassness make it sub par, but it would be a rocking stadium for the right fan base. I would never trade Lane, but if I had to pick another stadium to watch a Hokie win, this is as good as any.
I would rather listen to both my kids scream/cry for 1 hour than listen to the Hokie Hotline or another post game show when Frank Beamer or Bryan Stinespring are on. Only Bud Foster and Coach Cav make it worth the listen. Coach speak ranks right up there with bogus 40 times as my biggest annoyances in college football. Beamer has mastered coach speak and Stiney can deflect blame or give a nonsensical answer to a question like it's nobody's business. Reading the recap is much less painful and saves a bunch of time.
I like Coach Paul Johnson. Yes, he's a prick, yeah, he pushes the limits of the rules in a bullshit way (with bullshit excuses) and yes he hired algroh. However, I like that he coaches with a chip on his shoulder and that he is always tinkering with his offense, like Bud does with his defense. I like that he gives no quarter and that his teams go for blood. I like that he is surly, he is anti-coach speak and gives the "I'm not playing the political game" crap. Like Spurrier (when he was surrounded by Florida talent) he gives off this, I'm not like the rest vibe and I like it, alot. Don't get me wrong I want the Jackets to lose and the next time his team does illegal blocking, I will rightfully bitch, but deep down, I like him.
When I watch games at Lane Stadium I'm not engrossed in the game. You can blame that on the a-a-a-a-alcohol. Here's how I operate on gamedays in Lane:
- When the defense is on the field I get loud.
- During TV timeouts I'm sluggin' bourbon airplane bottles.
- When we score I high five everyone I can reach.
- I shoot the shit about the game with anyone that'll listen.
- I try to analyze why things aren't going right for the offense/defense.
By the second half, because of the the tailgating and drinking during the game, I pretty much just yell and go crazy when we score. Conversely when I watch on TV I'm focused. I even take notes and re-watch plays.
We need to resume the series with WVU. I hate the Mountaineers as much as the next Hokie and in part that total disgust is what makes the rivalry special. Plus, you know, unlike the Hoos they beat us. It chaps my ass when they do, but it makes our wins against them that much better.
I only went to one game my freshman year (UConn). It's shameful and I regret that I missed out 5 other home games. I've also never gone to a bowl game. I'm saving myself for our next National Championship appearance.
I miss the Pitt rivalry. Like Boston College in recent years, Pitt during my student time always seemed to take our game a notch more seriously than they did the rest of the conference schedule; it was infuriating when they went and lost to a grossly inferior team the week after. Unlike BC, they had serious football fans, and the city is an easy (and fun!) roadtrip.
I'm not convinced Bud Foster will be a good replacement for Frank Beamer when he retires. As Eric says above, Foster doesn't do coachspeak; unfortunately, there's a reason coachspeak proliferates among successful head coaches. Kissing up to high-dollar boosters and egotistical recruits/parents is a key responsibility of the head man, too, and I don't think kissing anyone's rear end is or ever will be on Bud's to-do list. The odds are against anyone who takes the place of a legend unless the legend makes a mess of his last few years to offer a lower standard of comparison (c.f. Bobby Bowden); I don't know that Bud's an exception to that rule, nor do I think Coach Beamer is going to Bowden things up before he goes.
My season tickets probably won't last through the next reseating cycle. 2005 got me into solid east-side seats close to an upper-level ramp without a donation increase. Given the slide in my priority number despite continuous donation, I'd probably have to double my cash outlay to keep those seats, and I can beat that per-seat cost on eBay or the sidewalk without even trying hard.
I live in Charlottesville, and it's not a bad place to be a Hokie. The 2.5-hour drive to Lane is great, real Hoos don't talk much smack, and the local non-alumni Hoo fans who call in to sports talk shows to whine about academic superiority are hilarious -- I don't think they could spell either word. It would be much, much harder to be a Hoo in Blacksburg.
I don't know about Joe and Eric, but I feel better already. How about the rest of you guys? Let's hear it.
with apologies to the original concept at EDSBS