Hello. As I write this, it is Monday morning, and the entire nation has decided to take a day off from work to celebrate the labors of your Virginia Tech Hokies. I feel like it would've been better to call it Hokie Day, but they are recognizing the effort, not those who put it forth. Which is a lunchpail thing to do, and I commend them for it. But it makes me appreciate the fact that the Hokies are now going to be putting forth those efforts most weekends for the next three months and I am here for it. This coming week, Tech welcomes the "Fightin'" Blue Hens of Delaware.
I've been there! It IS that exciting!
1. Yay. Wait, what were the results of those efforts the Hokies made?
A. Oh. Well. As Dickens wrote, it was a tale of two halves; through a combination of defensive goodness and offensive players remembering the hard way what NOT to do during a football game, there were only 17 points scored by halftime, while I think there were more punts. Then all hell broke loose, Pacey started juking and jiving and slinging, the Hokies found a semblance of a running back rotation1 and Joey Slye intentionally missed a couple of field goals to give the Mountaineers the maximum amount of hope at the end of the game.
2. AND THEEEEEEEEEEEN?
A. West Virginia drove all the way down to the Tech 15, then as the clock expired, WVU's offensive line got called for multiple infractions, which was a makeup for the massive amounts of holding they were doing all night. What was delicious is that everyone that saw the flag2 knew the game was already over; it didn't matter what Will "The Font of Awesome" Grier did. And it ended with sweet 'Eer tears and the Black Diamond Trophy returning to its rightful home for another four years.
3. That sounds great.
A. It was! But it'll be nice to get a break from playing an intense game like that. The Hokies have actually never played Delaware before, so aside from the basic win or loss, there's no draining emotional factor to this.
4. Who are they?
A. Glad you asked. Delaware is actually a "state" which is just about as big as the average county in Wyoming, only they don't have scenic vistas, they have retirees and nondescript office buildings. Originally formed back in colonial times, they respectfully named the peninsula after a prominent representative of Virginia, adding some French flair to it, christening the area De La GWAR.
They drew the borders so it would resemble Oderus Urungus's codpiece.
De La GWAR was eventually shortened to Delagwar, and somehow transmuted into Delaware over the centuries. Delawaronians were always a contrarian bunch, and their worship of GWAR gave them an oddly militaristic and violent nature. They would pick fights with other colonists over stupid things, like accusing a neighbor's latrine of smelling like corn husks, or painting their fence the wrong shade of taupe. Out would come the swords and muskets and mayhem would ensue. To top this off, they would frequently steal into their neighbors barns and kill their livestock, splash the blood and entrails all over the farmyard and leave the carcass, having painted it odd colors, on their neighbor's doorstep.
All this would be fine if the government actually punished the offenders, but they adopted an attitude of "Boys Dressed Like Freaky Aliens Will Likely Slaughter Their Neighbors and Their Animals" and let everything carry on. So while they originally had the entire Delmarva peninsula, Virginia and Maryland eventually took away parts of it because of their shenanigans. Maryland had to post armed guards on the border to keep the Delwarers from sneaking in and ritualistically slaughtering chickens. Things on the peninsula existed in an uneasy truce until the English up and started a war, uniting the colonists in their common hatred of the oppressors of the Welsh. In this case, the Delwarists predilection to violence was a plus, and they were often deployed on the front lines because they frankly scared the bejesus out of the English.
In order to keep them occupied and prevent them from unleashing their violence on the rest of the Continental Army during long breaks between battles, the rest of the colonists would give them various animals as a sacrifice. The Delawahns formed a habit of painting the chickens blue and making them fight each other3; they would then dress up like chickens and fight each other to the death.
This is actually intimidating if you know the guy inside the chicken is bats#*t crazy.
5. Uh...that's weird.
A. Which part?
6. Good point.
A. Well, you may have heard, we eventually won the Revolutionary War and became our own country and got a flag and everything. Then, we wrote the Declaration of Independence and Delaware made a BIG FREAKING DEAL about being the first to ratify it. But go ahead and take a look at the Declaration:
It's fun how some founding fathers knew calligraphy and some wrote like second graders.
You notice something missing? Neither GWAR NOR Delaware signed it ANYWHERE. How has nobody noticed this before, you say? Oh, it's known. Only everyone knows that as soon as someone makes a stink out of it, Delaware is going to take that as an act of war. See, they essentially turned into the modern day Sparta, only without Gerard Butler and all the six pack abs. That's all the University of Delaware is; a giant cock fighting training center. They're just waiting to unleash their giant chicken men on the rest of the country. JUST GIVE THEM AN EXCUSE.
7. So do you need a passport to go to Delaware?
A. Why would you ever go to Delaware? The Federal government built a giant bridge, the Delaware Memorial Bridge, that passes over the entire state to ensure US citizens don't have to interact with the Delawarios. It's like 200 feet long. It's a memorial because it's to remind us all of the flock of looney tunes it's carrying us over.
This happens far more than you would believe. I saw a different car fire on this bridge a month ago.
8. So what's cool about the University of Delaware?
A. Uh...well. They produced the most elitist quarterback in the history of the NFL, Joe Flacco. They also produced the current government of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who majored in Civil Engineering with a special focus on urban planning and traffic. The last Veep and the Second Lady went there...look, nothing really interesting came out of UD, but it's almost as big as the entire state, so we're going to broaden our search parameters.
Perhaps the product of Delaware that has contributed the most to society is George Thorogood. In fact, I'm disappointed that the University didn't change their mascot to honor him and his band, the Delaware Destroyers. Hell, I'm officially doing it right now. While he didn't write the original, he popularized an entire song about drinking bourbon. The man's a hero and should be treated as such.
They should rename the entire state after him just for that jacket.
9. Are you going to talk about football at any point?
A. Not really, but I'll pay it some lip service here.
The Destroyers are a perennial powerhouse at the Junior Olympics version of college football. Winning six national championships, they really got going under Bill Murray, winning their first national championship before he got hired away by Lorne Michaels. Their next coach invented their weird looking striped/wing thingy on the helmet, which Michigan eventually copied and pretended like they invented it, colors and all4.
This reminds me of a Sugar Bowl-losing helmet.
A recent coach, K.C. Keeler, bragged that Delaware was "the LSU...of Division I-AA" right before eating a fist full of grass, then idling along for another 10 years while slowly sinking into mediocrity before getting fired. Disappointingly, Delaware is one of the few local I-AA schools to have never beaten LOLUVA, though this is only due to the fact that the Hoos keep ducking them.
10. Now, c'mon, everybody is scared of something. It's just that for LOLUVA that something is everything.
A. Right. So Delaware uses players when they play football, and here are some highlights. They've got TE Alec Scheetz, who is majoring in Schmutrition and WR Thyrick Pitts, who was named after a glandular disease. Up front, they've got Jake Trump, who's like a wall, believe me, a big, beautiful wall, folks. Jake is joined by Brody Kern, who is playing college football to help cope with his midlife crisis.
He transferred in from playing for AARP.
They've also got Armen "Hammer" Ware at LB, who was a failed experiment in making a casserole dish out of baking soda, and at running back...wait, they've got THOMAS JEFFERSON at running back?! Oh, hell no, I didn't care about this game before, but now I'm pissed, ain't nobody bringing the Ginger Dandy into Lane Stadium and expect to get out alive.
Is he wearing blush? Oh, he needs a heapin' helpin' of Tim Settle.
11. Do they have any Fullers?
A. Nope. They have some brothers, including the Kehoes who look exactly like they went to private school in Connecticut.
How did this guy not end up at LOLUVA? Probably too good at football.
The highlight for me, though, is defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, who played linebacker at Virginia Tech. Luckily, he was here before Beamer returned as coach, so he's got no direct connection to Bud Foster nor the lunch pail.
12. Any cool football related traditions?
A. Well, according to their official Traditions page, Delaware is home to many unique and fascinating game day traditions unlike anywhere else in college football. They've got a band that doesn't just sit there, oh no, it *MARCHES*. They've got a group of students called cheerleaders who lead cheers and "pumps up the volume" in the stadium, so I'm assuming this is just a fancy name for the Audio Visual Club. They've also got a "mascot" that roams the sideline, which is a symbolic physical embodiment of their chosen avatar, in this case a fictitious female bird.
Lastly, they alternate between staging pregame cock fights at the 50-yard-line with painted chickens and freshmen. Sadly, we will not be able to partake since the game is in Blacksburg.
13. Do they have rivalries?
A. They do! Their instate rivalry with Delaware State is actually less competitive than Virginia Tech's, seeing as Delaware State has never beaten the Destroyers in eight tries. Impressively, the Hokies have beaten LOLUVA more times IN A ROW than Delaware has beaten their instate rival EVER. This brings me joy.
There is an alleged rivalry with James Madison, but we do not speak of them, and besides, it didn't start until 1983 so it's meh. Same deal with William and Mary; they played twice back in the day, but didn't start playing on the reg until 1979, so I don't feel like this counts. Anytime the Wikipedia page starts talking about "Colonial Colleges" when they're talking about football, you know there's not much meat on the bone.
What appears to be their main rivalry is with Villanova, which is weird because I thought Villanova only existed as a basketball team. Nice to know there's a football team and university and everything! It's called the Battle of the Blue because it's depressing to watch. They played back as far as the 1890s a few times, but still, didn't really start back up until the 60s and took a hiatus in the 80s because Villanova dropped football. So really, my question is, who the hell has Delaware been playing in football for the last 130 years? Because it sure as hell hasn't been anyone near them.
14. Do they eat in Delaware?
A. Yes. According to Google, the best place to eat is Wood Fired Pizza, which is a Thai restaurant. From Felix the thesaurus robot:
Wow what a unique, diverse selection of different, and delicious pizza pies at this spot. If you're looking to munch out in a nice aesthetically pleasing environment with friends and/or family then come right in. Good beer/wine selection as well. I just had to give this spot a positive and deserving peace of mind.
Felix writes like a Russian Twitter bot. The only guys that talk anything like this in real life are trying to talk their way into a girl's pants and surprisingly, it has never worked, not evah, evah. Let's throw it over to Pierce:
Locals know it as The Hot Woody!
15. And do they barbecue?
A. Apparently, although Google keeps recommending places in Maryland to go eat at5. The only place I could find in Newark is Madison's Smoked BBQ, although I feel like if you have to stress that your BBQ is "Smoked" we're already starting off on the wrong foot. Let's hear from Brody:
I go there all the tyme. It's soooooo good! Very good BBQ An the mac n cheese is bomb! MUST TRY
I don't...I mean, I...I'm just going to assume Brody just took some medication before writing this. This next one, from Jason, needs to get broken down:
I'm a Midwesterner from ATL
Jason, have you ever seen a map of the United States? No part of Atlanta is mid-anything or west-anywhere. Your struggles run deep.
The corn bread was the best tasting item and I cant stand corn bread.
Uh, you're from the south AND/OR midwest and you don't like cornbread? Do you hate sweet tea and peaches as well?
Woukd not eat here again if you paid for my meal.
Really?! Because I'd even eat at Famous Dave's if someone paid for my meal, and that place is hot, humid trash. I mean, I'd probably get a salad because their barbecue is terrible, but free food is free food.
16. Tell me about FAINTs.
A. Pacey proved to be a strong understudy of Jerod Evans, electing to throw the ball to the other team exactly zero times. Trevon Hill (?!) is your early season leader in the clubhouse for interceptions on the season, which...that's cool, actually. And it must be preordained that Tim Settle's first pick would identify him as a SAINT.
17. What should we watch for this Sunday?
A. I'm watching for:
- Let's hope it's A.J. Bush time by halftime and Jack Click makes an appearance as well
- Seriously, Tim Settle returning just one punt. THIS IS THE GAME TO DO IT
- Thomas Jefferson to get his stupid whig knocked off by an Edmunds brother
- Hopefully they just let Frank carry the Black Diamond Trophy around Lane all day
1I think Frank must've brought Shane along and he was RB Coach Whispering in Zohn's ear.
2The best was seeing the WVU offensive lineman realizing he got flagged and there was no hope and it was HIS FAULT.
3Blue Hens really does come from Delaware soldiers cock fighting in the Revolutionary War, only there's no such thing as a Blue Hen. But we're down with made up birds.
4Obligatory IT WAS A CATCH
5If you are pushing someone to go to MARYLAND to eat barbecue instead of wherever you are, wherever you are has a problem.