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The REAL Reason

I knew the phone call was coming. I was barely home Sunday morning when I received the first. That had come from the Hoo Lawyer. The only thing that will drag him out of bed before noon on a Sunday morning is the possibility of free booze. He had drug himself up and called to inform me that he did indeed care to wager a fifth of liquor on the Tech-Hoo game. Hoo could blame him?

The other caller took me by surprise. I also knew it was coming- it was the first words that took me by surprise. After a late night that saw the clock hit three a.m. before my head hit a Roanoke pillow, followed by a dour early-morning drive home, I was perhaps not at my best. It takes a very special gift to cause me to laugh under such circumstances, but it happened. The comment reinforced my belief that the person on the other end is becoming fairly important in my overall scheme of things. I also learned that while I have been spending much of this autumn gallivanting around the mid-Atlantic region watching Tech football, she had been making very good use of her time reading apparently every single column, paragraph, sentence and word I have ever written. And she remembered it. The comment that put me in a much better frame of mind for when we met for a late Sunday brunch? ‘The Weauxf Gods will get you every time.’

Indeed they will. The Tech- Miami debacle certainly proved that most true of all sports truisms. Don’t mess with the Weauxf Gods. Tech did and paid the ultimate price. The awesome power of the Weauxf Gods rose up Saturday night and swatted down the aspirations of what turned out to be a vastly overrated Tech team. Pride may goeth before the fall and did, but so will the weauxfing.

The weauxfing before this case really reached extreme levels. We should have seen it coming. Tech was in serious trouble immediately followed an idiotic message board thread where Tech loons debated how much it would help Tech’s Rose Bowl chances were it to RUTS the Canes. Yikes! You can bet that got the attention of the Weauxf Gods.

They snapped to the edge of their thrones and began rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation after reading a message header proclaiming ‘Miami is Tech’s b****.’ If the decree didn’t go down then it certainly did when Frank Beamer got into the weauxfing act, openly discussing Tech’s MNC chances on ESPN. Memo to Frank: You might want to brush up on Oliver’s Woofing Theorem before Tech’s next big game. Does the phrase ‘in any given athletic competition the team that is the most over-hyped by its fans is doomed to LOSE the competition’ ring a bell? It sure should.

I was as guilty of offending the Weauxf Gods as anybody. Well, maybe not as guilty as some of the loons pondering how much playing time Tech’s reserves would see. Still, I did my part. After steadfastly spending all of the season refusing to even consider making travel plans to Jacksonville, or buying ACC Championship game tickets, I meekly acquiesced Saturday morning while traveling to Blacksburg when informed that hotel reservations had been acquired in Jax. I should have immediately leaped from the SUV, even if its speed was on the high side of 80. A few broken bones would have been nothing compared to what the Weauxf Gods had in store.

The whole week was one that guaranteed to have the Weauxf Gods drooling. The hype was enormous. Kilgore and Kaine could only watch enviously as their final electioneering week took a backseat to Tech and the Canes. It was fueled by ESPN. Tech has long been Bristol’s team, and they seemingly moved their operation lock, stock and barrel to Tech for the week. When Cold Pizza did a remote Friday morning from Frank’s restaurant you just knew things might be out of hand. If Tech did not catch Texas in the BCS standings, it wasn’t going to be from lack of effort by the Total Sports Network.

What they didn’t figure on was Miami spoiling the party. When all is said and done, about all that can be done is to tip one’s VT hat to the Canes and especially Larry Coker. While the media spotlight shined brightly on Tech and Frank Beamer basked in its glow, Coker took a decidedly lower profile. Coker reacted to those outlandish Web stories claiming that Tech had supplanted the Canes as the top dog of whichever conference both happened to be in by focusing on getting his team ready to play. When the Weauxf Gods had sung it is now Miami lurking around the edges of the BCS Top Two, ready to pounce if there is any sign of weakness shown by the Trojans or Horns. From what I saw Saturday night, Miami looked a lot like the best team in the country.

We are certainly now aware of who is not. As any Miami fans who care to bound totally out of character and actually attend the ACC Championship, I would imagine there are some very good deals on tickets and lodging to be had these days on eBay. While the merchants along the Jacksonville Landing can’t be overly pleased that Tech fans will not be hugging Hokies in early December, the ACC will get what ABC really wanted, a ratings-friendly Miami- Florida State championship game.

As hard as it was to believe, the rest of the football world did not come to a halt in order for the Tech-Miami game to be played. They actually elected to continue their schedules in the rest of the ACC. The results were, shall we say, a little surprising.

Earlier in the week there had been a column in the N&O claiming that while football in the Old North State might stink, just wait until what’s really important, basketball season. It seemed to have gotten the attention of John Bunting and Chuck Amato.

Walt Harris once said that the worst thing about playing Tech was the next game. The physical toll the physical Hokies would inflict would cause problems. After reading in the Boston Globe last Monday what was a very long injury list, it became apparent to one person, at least, who was going to win the Carolina- BC game. Perhaps the weauxfing I barked at a certain Mad Russian Saturday afternoon as we watched the Heels put the finishing touches on Fredo was the last straw for the Weauxf Gods.

Big John Bunting continues to construct a program piece by piece in Blue Heaven. He has put together a decnt home field advantage for Carolina, despite last Saturday being another one of those Aluminum Out days at Kenan that are so popular this time of year. This Saturday when they host Maryland in what will be a very important game for the Heels, they deserve much more than the pitiful fan support they received last week.

Just as the media and much of the Wolfpack Nation had finished burying Chuckie, lo and behold, look what happened. Lazarus could have learned a thing or two. It seems that when things got their most desperate, Chuckie decided to ditch that new-fangled offense that wasn’t working out so hot and actually go to one for which talent had been recruited. Gee, it only took two-thirds of a season for him to figure out he might profit by using that stable of talented running backs. State’s season can indeed be salvaged, although one has to suspect that it won’t be too long into next year before Chuckie will again be shopping for an OC. He might want to think it through a little better this time than he did the last. Chuckie will still be around and so will the revolving staff door.

Duke and Clemson and Wake and Georgia Tech hooked up; the outcomes surprised no one. How many Duke fans are still paying enough attention to have discovered that no, things are not getting better under Ted Roof?

There will be some games this weekend that, while lacking the marquee value of last, will go a long way towards clearing up the ACC’s still-murky bowl picture. They will be looked at later this week. Tech has the weekend off, giving me a chance to get far away from football. I will, too. From the looks of things, it also seems the Weauxf Gods will have little to do this weekend, too. They had their fun last Saturday night.

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