Okay here's the deal. Hokie football is over, sending us as a fan base into those terribly uninteresting eight months of the year known as the offseason.
During this time most fans have to take time to do the little things: become reacquainted with family, reintroduce yourself to your children, make up for all of the work that you missed when you were reading betting lines and listening to podcasts. Well, I'm going to make sure—at least for one day a week—that none of that stuff happens.
That's right, a weekly column. Let the procrastination continue.
Every Monday I will have a column that looks back at the prior week, breaking down news and notes from Blacksburg, the college sports world and anything else that needs our attention. It's going to be written differently every single week, basically depending how I feel the day of, throwing consistency to the wind. We all know the strategy... It's how Shane Beamer rotated his running backs this season. I kid... We have fun here.
But before I start tackling whatever ridiculousness is thrown at us in 2013, let's look back at what got us to this point.
Exactly one year ago I was on a plane heading for New Orleans, Sugar Bowl tickets in hand. There have only been 365 days between then and now, but it seems like it could have been ten million. Do you know what there have been ten million of though? "It was a catch" comments and jokes. Who knew that the defense shutting down Michigan's shifty Hobbit-sized quarterback who doesn't play quarterback anymore would be the highlight of my year in Hokie sports? If I had known this, I would have dropped out of school, grown an unkempt beard and thrown myself into my non-existent music career Joaquin Phoenix-style.
In other news, the basketball team went 1-6 in January. Five of those losses were by 4 points or fewer. The one win? A 47-45 barn burner over Virginia. Whatever was left of Seth's hair fell out, making him even grouchier than usual. Oh, and that whole Dorenzo Hudson/Cody Journell thing happened. Moral of that story is that you never...ever...mess with a man's weed.
Things I (probably) said in January:
"Psh... David Wilson wants to show scouts he can do it consistently in college, he won't go pro."
"You know what? Stiney and O'Cain didn't do such a bad job this season, have they turned the corner?"
"Man...this basketball team could really turn it around if they win some close games."
Tech receives National Signing Day commitments from four-star players Joel Caleb and Ken Ekanem, while being spurned by defensive tackle prospect Korren Kirven, who chose to sign with Alabama. The biggest news of the day, however, was the spotty reporting of one Matt "Matty Ports" Porter. Or, as you know him, the dude who tried to make Frank Beamer out to be a dick. YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE FRANKINATOR, PORTS.
In other news, the basketball team went 3-5. The three wins were by a COMBINED four points, and three losses (to ranked Florida State, Virginia and Duke teams) by eight combined points. Somehow, I forgot how brutal this season was. I think it was the electro-shock therapy. Yeah, that probably did it.
Things I (probably) said in February:
"I don't care about stats, Dorian Finney-Smith is the future of this basketball team."
No dancing. No NCAA Tournament, hell not even a NIT birth. Everyone is sad. Seth puts in another solid tournament coverage performance with ESPN. Seems ironic now.
Reports start to fly out of the football department that Logan was going to train with professional quarterback coach George Whitfield. The hype meter was high. What kind of performance were we going to see? Well, that would probably depend on the SHINY NEW SPREAD-PISTOLY-MOTION OFFENSE THAT WILL BE UNVEILED AT THE SPRING GAME.
Things I (probably) said in March:
"Man, James Johnson leaving is a big blow for this basketball team. I think he's very important for them."
"Logan can be better than Cam Newton."
"If he plays his cards right, we could see him become the first pick of the draft."
Spring Game is cancelled due to massive thunderstorms. Looking back on it now, it was probably the biggest bit of foreshadowing that I have ever seen. I mean...how fitting was that, right? It was like Corso's car getting struck by lightning, only less awesome and a lot more sad.
Speaking of sad, Greenberg was fired after Jim Weaver calls a mysterious press conference. At the end, good ole Seth was assistant-less and ran out of friends within the athletic department. I can just imagine his tenure ending like The Godfather 2, with Seth sitting in an empty office, reminiscing of happier times.
Conversation I (definitely) had in April:
Me: "ZOMG I just heard Shaka Smart is on a plane to Blacksburg!!!!!!"
Joe: "Who told you?"
Joe: "Yeah, that's probably not true."
Me: "Yeah...I know. Sorry, I just get excited sometimes."
Joe: "So remember when I asked if you wanted to write for us?"
Joe: "I was just kidding, please disappear like those Shaka Smart rumors."
Summer football, summer football, summer football. Here, in no particular order are some story lines that came out during the hottest months:
- Michael Holmes running hard in camp.
- The defensive line modeling themselves after the New York Giants d-line.
- Logan Thomas' importance to the Hokies.
- Ronny Vandyke doing Ronny Vandyke things.
- J.C. Coleman, Donaldven Manning enrolled early...THEY MISSED THEIR PROMS!
- Vincent Painter finally getting a chance to start.
- Vincent Painter cut his dreads.
- Vincent Painter is a scary man.
- Odds for the Hokies to beat Clemson and go into the FSU game undefeated (...yup, that was a thing).
- How Marcus Davis could ride the wave of Logan Thomas to a solid second round draft selection.
- EXUM AT CORNER! JARRETT AT SAFETY!
- Would Frank retire if this team goes undefeated? (yeah...I actually read this somewhere in August.)
- Laughing yet? It's cool...just laugh. Or drink. They both make the pain bearable.
What I (absolutely definitely) thought after each game.
Georgia Tech – "At least they just got out of there...this team always gets better after week one."
Austin Peay – "See? See? They played awesomely! Sure they only put up 42 against a team full of dudes that kind of look like me...and Marcus Davis was the leading rusher...and the line only had one sack...but these things are correctable!"
Pittsburgh – "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!? EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO, LET'S BURN IT ALL DOWN!"
Bowling Green – "Well...that was a nice way to bounce back. This is a bowl team at least, right? Sure, Logan only went 11 for 26...but at least the defense showed up!"
Cincinnati – (Insert glassy eyes and a blank stare here in lieu of words.)
North Carolina – "Nothing says bounce back game like giving up 260 yards to Gio Bernard...right? RIGHT???"
Duke – "Nothing says bounce back game like coming back from 20 down against a team that hasn't been good since the year after I was born!"
Clemson – "Marcus Davis just threw an interception late in the fourth quarter. I have no other words."
Miami – (No words, just anger.)
Florida State – (No words, just open weeping in the stands.)
Boston College – "A 60 yard pass that bounced off a dude's helmet? An overtime win against a team that lost to Army? Whatever, I'll take it."
Virginia – "Good god this game is ugly. Could someone please make sure Mike London doesn't know that taking timeouts before it's time to ice the kicker is not illegal? Oh he doesn't know? Perfect."
Rutgers – "Please make it stop. Please just make it go away, this game has felt about 10,000 hours long. Oh it's the first quarter? Sweet."
I'm sorry I had to take you through all of that...but that's where we are right now. That season is what I like to call a Keith Richards season. It added some extra wear and tear to all of our collective tires, making us look about 20 years older than we actually are, probably leading to some rash decisions.
No one likes a Keith Richards season.
At least the last year was good to this website. Numbers and members went up, I wrote something that a few people read, leading to me receiving my very first hate message. French wowed everyone with his spectacular French on the Bench series, a must-read for any Tech football fan. Kevin Burke hopped on our co-produced podcast, and Beer Control oversaw another awesome season of pick'em (well awesome to some of you, at least).
Last but certainly not least, there was Joe. The man who makes this site work, had an awesome year. He wrote a very well received post-Sugar Bowl piece that got noticed by the big boy blogs, giving him some much-deserved respect. As I think we all know, none of this happens if he doesn't work his ass off to make it so. He's basically the MVP, Coach of the Year and GM of the Year, all rolled into one person.
That all being said, we are in 2013 now. Here's to this year being a hell of a lot better than the last one.