Fear The Chelonian
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there, so let’s dispense with the pleasantries and get down to business. Oh by the way, we are really fired up for this game, but terrified to discuss the possibilities. This team has broken our hearts too many times already this season.
Such a typical Va. Tech move. We lay two eggs against Duke and BC, and then we play arguably our best game of the last three years. There have been a lot of great moments in the last 20 years of Hokie football, and the vast majority of them have involved beating Miami. Nothing brings us more joy than beating Miami.
With about 8 minutes to go in the first half after Miami had scored to make it 21-14, we leaned over to Aaron and said, “this could very well be the defining series of Logan Thomas’ career.” He proceeded to march us down the field and connect with Josh Stanford on a 32-yard TD pass. It was an incredible game by Thomas. With three and possibly four games left in his career, his story remains very unclear. Win the two remaining games, put up a respectable performance against FSU, and win a bowl game, and he will be remembered well. Lose one of the next two, and he will be remembered as the guy who could beat Miami….and no one else. If it’s the former, that series will have been the turning point. Fun fact, Logan Thomas is 15-0 when he doesn’t commit a turnover.
Hell yes. Two huge fumble recoveries on kick returns and a turnover on a punt….that’s Beamerball. Sure, you could point out that all three of those were huge mistakes by Miami and that the fumbles were both on big returns that would have given Miami great field position. But where is the fun in that? Blocked punt vs. Maryland. Called it.
Athletic Director Jim Weaver announced his retirement effective next month. Weaver was diagnosed some time ago with Parkinson’s disease and is retiring for health reasons. To learn more about this terrible disease or to make a donation, click here. We encourage you to do so. There is no denying the success and growth of Va. Tech athletics during his tenure. And as a tribute to his service to the university, we will admit that maybe, just maybe, it could be possible that he is not entirely responsible for noon kickoffs and that TV may play a role in this decision. We doubt it, but we also didn’t think it was possible that Erin Andrews would regularly DM us and she does, so you never know. In honor of Weaver’s legacy, noon kickoffs will from now on be known as the “Weaver” as in, oh great, it’s a Weaver this weekend. I bet UVA will be a Weaver…son of a!
Let’s take a look at Weaver’s greatest hits:
- Since Weaver came on board we have developed a culture of winning across all sports…except basketball, and approximately one football game per season to a team that is ranked between 108-117 in most statistical categories. Good Weaver.
- Massive expansions to Lane Stadium. Consistently ranked one of the toughest places to play. Intimidating environment while still welcoming to visitors. Good Weaver.
- Banned Stick It In. This was perhaps the lowest moment of his tenure. Just because a few really uptight donors were offended, is no good reason to ban fun. Fun should never be banned. Not from a football game and not from life. OK band, this is your chance to make amends with Jaquays for Tubagate…the guy just gave his notice…what’s he going to do you? Just a couple of notes…PLEASE!!!! Bad Weaver.
- Partnered with ESPN to put Va. Tech on the map, no time more so than in 1999 bringing Gameday to Blacksburg for one of the two early appearances that Chris Fowler regularly references as the shows that “really made Gameday.” And bringing them in for the ECU game in 2007 was an important moment for everyone in the community. Good Weaver.
- Removed Home Of The Fighting Gobblers from Lane Stadium. Without it, we lost our only decent response to Q: what the hell is a Hokie? A: a better mascot than a Gobbler. And we lost our closest tie to the humbling experience of being a relatively crappy football team for 60 years. Bad Weaver.
- Reseating. This has been a remarkably successful process. Good Weaver.
- Noon kickoffs. Bad Weaver.
- Got us out of the crappy A-10 and into the Big East for all-sports. Good Weaver.
- Got us out the crappy Big East and into the ACC. Good Weaver.
- War on Booing. This was ridiculous and like most ridiculous things was booed out of the stadium. Bad Weaver.
- War on Tailgating. Ongoing. Good/Bad TBD.
- Hokies Respect. Despite the absurd/borderline condescending roll out of the program, and the laughable strategy of placing it on plastic cups, we came to accept and even respect the goal. Good Weaver. Who knew?
- Beamer debacle. An interesting tidbit that all the newspaper stories have gotten wrong is that Weaver successfully signed Beamer to a long-term contract and got him to turn down his offer from UNC. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it was Weaver’s unwillingness to take care of Beamer’s assistants that led to him agreeing to coach the Baby Blue Blankies. It was President Steger who stepped in at the last minute and saved the day. Bad Weaver.
- Greenberg debacle. There is a lot of palace intrigue about this fiasco. While there are probably a lot of good reasons why he should have been fired, the timing was bad and the PR was worse. Want to know if this was the right decision? Well, we lost to USC Upstate and two of the players who decommitted after Greenberg was canned are currently two of the best players in college basketball. Going to have to go with a Bad Weaver on this one.
- Badass video boards (for the old school types, this is what we now call jumbotrons). Good Weaver.
- Scheduling. We’ve got to go neutral on this one. I know! We were surprised, too. A plethora of directional schools, but also a lot of really big intersectional games. Here’s to hoping this results in the end of our series with East Carolina….in 2020. Damn you, Weaver!
We are going to miss Jim Weaver. He is the coyote to our road runner. The Tom to our Jerry. While we disagreed on almost everything, there is no denying we shared a commitment to and love for Va. Tech Athletics. We hope you will all join us for his going away party, which will of course be scheduled for noon.
Where in the world has that been? Outstanding blocking game from the O-line and from the receiving corps. Turns out Trey Edmonds and J.C. Coleman can run through holes. They just haven’t seen any since high school.
Willie Byrn is awesome, and we’ve been telling you all season Josh Stanford was the best offensive player we have. That guy is going to be a huge star. Spike the football.
Huge game for Antoine Hopkins and all the DTs. When we pressure the QB, especially Miami QBs, good things happen. This is not new news.
Toping this week’s list of Things That Everyone Predicted Forever was Cody Journell’s dismissal from the team, his tenth miss of the season. The bad news: Journell had a great season last year and made a ton of clutch kicks (if you can call needing a field goal to beat Rutgers in overtime “clutch”). The good news: he cost us just as many games as he won (see, e.g. Michigan, Duke, lots of other ridiculous misses). Even though we don’t have a player on our team that has made a FG in college football, we aren’t going to miss this jackass. His departure presents some pretty incredible opportunities. Our women’s soccer team is an NCAA #1 seed and, with the exception of his miracle kick against BC, Journell pretty much kicked like a girl anyway. Surely there is some talent on that team that could play for us. If not, this gives Beamer what he has always wanted: a legitimate excuse to not Kick The Damn Field Goal. Know what cures having a terrible field goal kicker? Touchdowns. Plus, now we can go for two every single time. Best thing about losing Cody Journell is never having to see those stupid damn C and J tattoos on his arms ever again. Except on this week’s game ticket which features him. At least he’ll have a nice souvenir.
Which brings us to this week’s game…our last matchup with Maryland before they depart for the Big 10. Poor Maryland. Things were going so well for them until ACC expansion added three more annual losses to their schedule and exposed them as the mediocre program they are. We aren’t going to miss Maryland in the slightest due to them having the second worst fan base in college football (yeah, we’re talking to you West Virginia).
If it weren’t for Duke, we wouldn’t even be taking this game seriously. But we can lose to anyone anywhere anytime. And we’ve proven it. Consistently.
Maryland is 5-4 and searching for bowl eligibility. They are a hungry, endangered football team, and that makes them a potential problem. If we play the crap game we played against Duke or Boston College we will lose to this team. They are good enough to beat us if we suck. But if we play well, they can’t. The Terps have lost 4 of their last 5 including 63-0 to FSU, 34-10 to Wake, 40-27 to Clemson, and 20-3 last week to a terrible Syracuse team. Offensively, they have struggled, especially in the running game. Defensively, they are respectable. We need to dominate their running game and apply pressure to force INTs and get our offense easy opportunities like we did against Miami. Offensively, we just have to play basic, decent football. Run the ball with some success, and make sure Thomas doesn’t consistently throw to the opposing team. Losing this game would be humiliating.
We would like to be supremely confident, but we aren’t. We are oddly nervous, wondering which team will show up. If it is the one that we saw last weekend, then we will punish them. Either way, it looks like a fine tailgating weekend in Blacksburg. We can smell the bourbon from our porch. Kickoff is at 12:30. Duke vs. Miami is at 3:30.
Va. Tech 24, Maryland 0.
So long Tostitos the Turtle.
Copyright 2013 by Sir Charles Lyell. All rights reserved.