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Spa-ing at the Homestead

logo-acchere is one thing you can say about the ACC: when it comes to finding pleasant places to stage their media events, they don’t screw around. The conference recently completed their ACC Football Kickoff media event. The league’s coaches and a few players gathered at the posh Homestead resort to relax and pontificate on the upcoming season to those lucky [ACC-friendly] media types invited. To Li’l E escapees Frank Beamer, Larry Coker and now Tom O’Brien, the lush surroundings and amenities of the upscale Virginia resort must sure beat the heck out of where their former conference held this type of thing, adjacent to a Meadowlands landfill. Ambience is everything.

The conference formerly known as the Big East used to hold a Media Day that was exactly that, only lasting a few hours, about the correct dosage of New Jersey for any one time. Not the ACC. When one is hanging out at some place like the Homestead, it takes a little for time to leisurely savor all of the gracious living available at what the Homestead’s Web site describes as ‘Virginia’s Premiere Mountain Resort’ which ‘has been providing luxuriously appointed resort accommodations to Presidents, Princes, and sports enthusiasts alike since its founding in 1766.’ The ACC coaches would have fit right in.

Glancing around the Homestead’s site, one discovers a vast array of methods for the conference coaches to unwind and recharge their batteries for what promises to be an even tougher season, what with the divisions and Championship Game.

There is the obligatory golf required for any event involving coaches. You never see any newspaper stories saying, ‘After a round of kickboxing, ACC coaches met the media.’ Nope, it is always golf and the Homestead obliges. They have what they describe as oldest first tee in continuous use in the United States. There is no word about the rest of the course, which has either undergone a few changes over the years or there were some short rounds of golf played in 1892. In any event, the Homestead’s course was perfect for Bobby Bowden, the ACC’s oldest coach in continuous use.

There is another attraction at the Homestead. While it usually takes a platoon of Marines or an 8-5 season to pry Frank Beamer away from a golf course, the Homestead offered something that might have turned the trick. That is the historic and famous Spa. There is a reason the Homestead is located in a place called Hot Springs, Virginia and the Spa is it. The warm waters generated by the springs serve as the basis for what the Homestead calls ‘the most innovative of luxury spa treatments available today.’ There would have been a therapy for everybody.

Big John Bunting, who projects the Real Man image one would expect from a former NFL linebacker, no doubt luxuriated in the Milk Bath. According to the Homestead, it will leave your body ‘tranquil,’ or at least your Offensive Coordinator, if not your fans.

I’m sure Ralph Friedgen went for the Allegheny Raspberry Relaxer. It is not hard to imagine the Fridge kicking back enjoying the exfoliation of his skin with a raspberry scrub followed by a luxurious application of raspberry oil. Hopefully none of the raspberries came from those thrown Friedgen’s way by his own fans as the ten-win seasons came to a screeching halt.

Chuckie Amato certainly would have gone for the Aromatherapy Massage. Given his choice of fragrances, Chuckie would no doubt have opted for a strong one that would mask the stench of that 5-6 season. Revitalized, Amato is now ready to get back to figuring out how to generate an offense, finish somewhere other than the middle of the ACC pack or beat Carolina.

Bobby Bowden would have indulged himself with some Reflexology, a unique massage of the feet and hands that incorporates the corresponding reflex points of the body. Naturally, it would have included the body part that makes the reflex statement, “No suspension.”

Chan Gailey surely went for the Lift Defense 2. The Homestead claims it is a new approach to the battle against the time that causes aging as well as that Dave Braine will be giving Gailey to win a few more than six. It uses an exclusive method to fill wrinkles in the face and defensive scheme as well as add density to the skin and defensive unit depleted by arrests and academic shortcomings. The skin will reflect visible results and hopefully for Chan, the record, too.

Ted Roof brightened when he saw available the Professional Peeling Treatment. He would have scampered for the double action exfoliation that uses a combination of salicylic and glycolic acids. It takes strong stuff to peel away a 2-9 record.

Tommy Bowden’s choice of spa treatment would seem to have been the Flash of Beauty. This hour treatment is designed to leave one’s face as radiant and beautiful as it is after beating Miami or Florida State. Also included were beauty tips on how to win more than one big game per season.

The European Facial would have caught the eye of Jim Grobe. Patterned after the European-style spas, Jim would have received a deep cleansing treatment and mask to replenish the mask he wears for meeting the media after all of those close losses. A heightened European experience would certainly have Grobe thinking that were in he coaching in a European league he would have a much better chance of winning big than he does at Wake.

Tom O’Brien likely indulged himself with the Cucumber and Mint Hand Treatment. It is described as the ‘ultimate in pampering,’ just the thing for the guy who escaped the Li’l E for what is now one of the country’s ultimate football conferences. It would also have been the perfect preparation for the Cucumber Bowl or wherever the ACC has found to send Fredo and his light fan support.

The spa selection for Larry Coker was probably the Hot Stone Massage. Larry would have allowed the tensions of a 9-3 season to be melted away with hot stones, presumably proverbial ones thrown by disgruntled Canes fans, placed on stress-filled areas of the body. The heat and pressure of the stones would have been much less than those constantly experienced from holding the Miami job.

The Seasons would have looked pretty good to Frank Beamer. This is a therapy that allows those indulging to experience Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall at the Homestead, not unlike those parts of the year Tech fans spend thinking and talking about football. The Seasons incorporates fruits or flora. No doubt Frank’s first choice was roses, although I’m sure he would have settled for orange. Tech fans remembering the last time the Hokies carried this kind of hype into a season, 2003, can hope that if the ACC’s football get-together is again held at the Homestead next year, the Seasons’ options won’t include reptiles, peaches, potatoes or auto parts.

Then there’s algroh. He would have skipped over any of the spa treatments, instead spending his time ‘taking the baths.’ algroh would have experienced complete relaxation of the mind, body and mouth as he restored that championship spirit in the natural mineral spring waters of the legendary Jefferson Pools, named for the original Mr. Jefferson. The Homestead’s Web site proclaims that for ‘over nine thousand years these springs have refreshed and rejuvenated,’ an amount of time almost equal to the staff NFL experience algroh claims. Mr. Jefferson himself sojourned at the baths for over three weeks in 1818, about the last time the Hoos won anything big. If the Hoos ever do win anything to speak of, no doubt the Homestead will be eager to rename the Jefferson Soak to the ‘algroh Soak.’

And so the ACC coaches are back on the job preparing for the upcoming season. I’m sure the ACC Football Kickoff was a great way to kick back and ready themselves for the rigors of August practice and a long season. For the rest of us not privy to the Homestead’s spa treatments, it does remind me that another football season is drawing closer and closer.

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