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Hoo’s Next

It’s that time. Yes, The Game is again upon us. It’s time once again to settle state bragging rights and Commonwealth Cup ownership for another year. This Saturday the state’s two football programs will tangle on David Wayles Harrison Field at Scott Stadium in the Carl Smith Football Complex. It’s Hoo Week.

Although the luster of Tech’s season had sandpaper taken to it by Miami two weeks ago, the stakes are still fairly high for this traditional, next to last game of the season. This almost season-ender finds Tech no longer thinking of Roses, but trying to avoid an 03-style collapse that would likely find them bowling in Orlando before Christmas rather than Jacksonville for New Year’s.

The Hoos became Boise-eligible last week with the win over Georgia Tech, certainly another feather in the cap of Wally Wahoo. Despite achieving the requisite six wins, the Hoos really need another win to impress bowl officials who generally treat the Hoos and their lousy bowl fan support by scrawling the same ‘You’re not wanted here’ graffiti on the doors of the McCue Center that these days can be found on the doors of the residences of Negroes trodding Mr. Jefferson’s Academic Village in pursuits other than athletic or to mow the Lawn. It seems that this year Dr. Casteen will be turning down an invitation to the Diversity Bowl.

A win over Tech would give the Hoos seven wins, enabling algroh to match that standard of excellence set during the George Years. And algroh only had to recruit about twice the number of top prospects as did George to hit the Old Salt’s benchmark. They don’t call algroh the Great NFL Legend for nothing.

The Great NFL Legend has them whipped into veritable football frenzy in Hooville. Usually it takes Hoo General matching the correct mother and baby to generate the kind of excitement that Tech coming elicits and happens about as often, once during odd-numbered years.

Gourmet food shops in Hooville are doing a brisk business as the foie gras and escargot flies off the shelves to Hoos in preparation for the tailgates that will pepper Hooville this Saturday like French white flags on a battlefield. The Virginia wine country is working overtime to supply enough product to slake the thirst of Hoos looking to wash down all of those cucumber sandwiches. Nothing says Hooville tailgating like the quail eggs that will be in such abundance as Hoos make their tailgate brunch Victory Quiche.

The only thing that spoils such fine examples of high society at leisure are all of those Hokie ruffians running around in their RVs and SUVs, setting up their grills and smokers. One look at the brats on a Tech grill has caused more than one Hoo to exclaim, “Oh dear. How gauche.”

The good news, at least from the Hoo point of view, is that there are a lot fewer of those Tech lower orders showing up to spoil the elegant ambience of Hooville. As hard as it might be to believe, the Hoos are actually coming fairly close to selling out the Smithsonian, greatly reducing the ticket opportunities for Hokies. Imagine that.

Gone are the days of George snarling that half of his stadium sported maroon; these days it is only a quarter or so. There seem to be quite a few Hoos who actually believed algroh’s boasting that his superior football knowledge gleaned from all of those year as a Great NFL Legend would produce endless football championships. The Jets might have quit on algroh but not the Hoo fans, by golly. They are certainly living up to that ‘algroh’s Idiots’ designation.

algroh has changed a number of things in Hooville, not just proving that Hoos will too show up for a football game and sometimes stay past halftime. There is the band. The Hoos now actually have one of sorts.

George used to loudly gripe about the great football atmosphere provided by the Marching Virginians while his own Hoo Weaving Band and Hurling Society stunk like the Corner on a Saturday night. algroh, a man of action, finally did something about it. Out went the old and in came the brand spanking new Prancing Hoos. Hoo propaganda describes them as ‘distinctive’ and that they are.

Most college bands take their fashion cues from someone other than Elton John, but not the Prancing Hoos. They have copied that ‘Gay or Festive’ look favored by mascot Wally Wahoo right down to the cape. They provide the perfect accompaniment for the Good Old Song, especially the line that goes ‘where all is bright and gay.’ Indeed. The Prancing Hoos are definitely ready to stick their faces into the fan for algroh, provided it is a silk Japanese hand fan.

The Prancing Hoos were only part of the lengths to which algroh has gone to provide a real football atmosphere in the Smithsonian. Dissatisfied with the reaction his team received as they took the field, consisting of fans rising and exclaiming, “Finish your Sauvignon and let’s go inside. I think the game’s starting,” the Great NFL Legend was determined to provide the proper environment for his warriors. There was a false start. How did the blatant attempt to copy Tech and have the Hoos enter the stadium to ‘Enter Sandman’ blasting away work out? Not too good. Fans covering their ears and exclaiming, “Turn off that racket” was not exactly what algroh had in mind.

With a ‘No Metallica or anything else that sounds like evil rock and roll’ policy in effect and knowing that the numbers of Hokies attending the Stones concert made the Smithsonian look like a Tech-Hoo game from the Seventies, Hooville’s best and brightest worked hard to come up with the proper intro and they did. These days, the Hoos charge onto the field to the stirring sounds of Lawrence Welk’s Champagne Music. The Hoos are revved up to the same fever pitch as when the scones tray is brought out for Afternoon Tea on the Lawn. Hoo says they don’t get excited about football in Hooville?

Yep, it’s Hoo Week. Ain’t rivalries fun?

The rest of the ACC played some football last Saturday. All of those rows of aluminum were treated to a thrilling game in Kenan. In a game Carolina pretty much had to win, the Tar Heels managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory and lose to Maryland. How Big John Bunting brings his team back from a devastating loss to the Terps will determine whether they beat Duke this week by twenty or the usual thirty.

NC State received a lesson in power football on Chestnut Hill as Boston College man-handled the Wolfpack on both lines. As Chuckie continues to lurch from offense to offense, causing one to wonder exactly what he learned during all of those years at Florida State other than how to beat Pa Bowden, here’s a thought: Trestman’s West Coast Offense that was basically shelved a few weeks ago might have worked a bit better against Fredo than the exercise in futility that was State’s attempt to power up with them. People keep wondering about Chuckie’s coaching acumen because he keeps giving them reasons to.

The Bowden Bowl produced great hilarity as Tommy Boy laid it on the Old Man. The sight of the Noles backing into Jacksonville should certainly stimulate ticket sales and the Tech fans won’t be there to snap them up. Miami blundered around against Wake for a while before getting the kinks out and pounding the Deacons. There really isn’t much point in wishing for them to lose- it ain’t happening. Bye Week beat Duke by three touchdowns

Later this week another look will be taken at The Game and a little more fun poked at the Hoos. They do, after all, seem to go out of their way to present such huge targets. And, it’s great fun..

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