So my wife as a gift for Father's Day and acknowledging I'm not going to be back in Blacksburg for awhile likely bid on a sideline pass for the Spring Game 2018. I encourage everyone to bid on the other items to support Hokie women's sports. http://www.hokiesports.com/cws/
Well she won as the only bid, no idea why. Well Friday I was on my way to my hotel in Hillsville for the game Saturday. First a meal stop recommendation, Mountain Fried Chicken near Winston Salem. Great wings and sides.
So Saturday morning I got to chicken hill lot around 9 ish and met up with some of the Lot 18 folks, hey everyone. After watching them MacGvyer the flag pole with Chic-Fil-A straws to hold it up I headed over to the annual Hokie Club meeting. You can read my bad attempt at live blogging that here:
After the meeting back to Chicken Hill for some great smoked chicken and other foods from fellow TKP members.
Now to the sideline part, I met my "handler" in the Merryman lobby for my "tour". Honestly this was the most disappointing part. I've seen Merryman last year when I won the meet and greet with Fuente so this just showed me a lot of areas I already had seen. The areas I hadn't before were Fuente's waiting area (picture 1), football weight room with a recruit being shown around by Hilgart and Cassell (picture 2).
Then we went over to the "loot room" in Lane Stadium with memorable from all the sports from many years, including a giant bowl game ring for every bowl game Tech has played in. I was hoping to see more behind the scenes in Lane at least but alas that didn't happen.
Now everywhere I looked in Merryman and Beamer barn was filled with recruits, their families and players and their families. I'm not great with faces so I can't tell you who all was there but there were a lot of kids wearing lanyards with recruit access passes. Players I did see and thanked for coming to tech included. Quincy Patterson, James Mitchel and Artis.
Once inside Lane I was able to start talking to players like Chase Mummau (he told me to say it like a baby cow calling for its mom) thanked him for his pass in the bowl game, to,d me he tweeted his leg and couldn't play on Saturday. Watched players drill and took up a watch spot for the first quarter on the defensive side of the field. I just kind of took in the setting at this point.
After talking some shop talk with some Tech public safety employees I got my handler to walk over to the offensive side of the field where all the famous people were standing. At this point the day got really fun. My handler hid in the shade and I was able to get farther away from her. At this point I was able to walk about and speak with: Joey Sly (who several people called Sam Rogers), Greg Stroman, Edmundi, Tim Settle, Tyrod Taylor, Bucky Hodges , Isiah Ford and several other players that I wasn't 100 percent sure I knew. This was both during the game and after when I used my all access pass to stand next to the tunnel and talk to players. It was a great feeling that many of the players and support staff remembered me from a year ago and asked about my trip up and my wife and kids. Even a few coaches and their spouses asked.
As I was waiting for the field to empty and my day to be done, Darryl Tapp, his wife and kids walked up trying tot are pictures but as any family can attest someone always gets left out well I offered to take a family picture for them, and I'm glad I did. Because once inside Merryman Darryl had me come over and take a picture with him and none other than Bud Foster.
I stood there a good 10 minutes listening to them talk about the old days, other players, the lunch ail etc and Tapp's plans for the future. I also got a picture of Quincy talking to the two of them that gives a great size perspective.
My day finished at the Taphouse for a burger where I met another recruit and commitment for Virginia Tech, this time a PhD aero space student. He and his fiancée raves about the school, the campus and the stadium.
Be warned I'm really bad at taking selfies and I make some weird facial expressions.