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Tech Wins [Again]

Beating the Hoos just never grows old. It happened again last Saturday with that 84-57 demolition job in Cassell Coliseum. It’s not too often that the spread of the basketball game exceeds that of the football.

As usually happens after the Hokies have beaten the Hoos, I jump for the telephone in order to cackle at my buddy the Hoo Lawyer. This was done early last Saturday evening, meaning it was a weekend, meaning he was into his second quart of Scotch, meaning he was mostly unintelligible. There was certainly nothing to compare with his famous and hilarious utterance after the football game, “I wish algroh’s Napoleon complex also included the battles before Waterloo .”

Amid all of the sputtering, I did manage to make out a few phrases, such as the Hoo Lawyer’s griping about the spread of algrohitis through the Hoo athletic department. It seems Fallback Dave can lose to Tech just as easily and badly as can the Great NFL Legend. If this keeps up, the Hoo Lawyer vowed that he would quit sending that annual check for twenty bucks to the Hoo Student Aid and Merlot-tasting Foundation.

The Hoo Lawyer also managed, before returning to drown his sorrows in a vat of Vat 69, something about how it ain’t much of a rivalry if one side wins all the time. He had a point.

Among the great joys of Tech beating the Hoos is to observe the reaction on the Scissors, that august Web site devoted to proving that Mr. Jefferson’s academical village does not produce the state’s best and brightest. The Hoo message board loons were out in full force. A rollicking good time was had reading the Hoo loons put the ‘Wah’ in Wahoo. It was great fun, every bit as side-splitting as reading the comments of the Tech loons following a loss.

Amid the thigh-slapping whining and complaining were little nuggets proclaiming that Tech was not a rival of the Hoos. It sure seemed the Hoo players felt the same. After mailing it in against Tech, they should certainly be well-rested for that really big game against traditional rival Longwood. One thing is for sure: they aren’t losing nearly as much to the Lancers as they are the Hokies these days.

Tech has now beaten the Hoos this year in football and basketball, both men’s and gal’s, AKA the Sports Anybody Cares About. To the Hoo loons, however, these are inconsequential. The Hoos remain the best in the competitions that really matter, according to the Hoo loons, such as fencing, polo, squash, croquet, ballet, hurling, wheedling money out of Daddy, pomposity, identifying the year of wine from taste, begging Daddy for a job, reciting Poe from memory, shirt-stuffing, arrogance, pretension, running Daddy’s law firm into the ground, elitism, speaking French, tracing lineage back to Mr. Jefferson, salad spinning [“mmm, mayonnaise”] and ambulance chasing, in all of which the Hoos are without peer.

The game was billed as a battle between the ACC’s two best backcourts. That was not exactly how it went down. Tech operated under a handicap, as Zabian Dowdell got into immediate foul trouble and stayed that way for virtually the entire game. This enabled the final margin to be only twenty-seven instead of forty.

While Jamon Gordon picked up the backcourt slack, the Hoo frontcourt, otherwise known as the stiffs, had no answer for Hokie forward Deron Washington . He sliced up the Hoo big men, hoo showed all the mobility of the statue of Mr. Jefferson on the Lawn.

The game got out of hand fairly early, sending Mac into deep depression and causing the Hoo Lawyer to ditch the ice and those Hoos hoo live somewhere other than Daddy’s servant’s quarters [pounding away on keyboards] to go racing from their drawing rooms in horror. The handful of Hoos in Cassell ran away like the Jeffersons when Sally’s folks show up at the reunions. It was great fun.

It was a game Tech had to win following the consecutive losses to NC State and Fredo. A once-promising season was in danger of slipping away. They had to respond and did in a big way. The numbers on the uniform were the same, but otherwise the fired-up Tech team bore very little resemblance to the dispirited bunch that had stunk up Chestnut Hill. Tech looked very much like the guys that had spent a week re-energizing while the Hoos looked a lot like a team that had played a very tough game at Maryland . Those Hoos yapping about the inequality of a schedule that gave Tech a week off but not them are no doubt at the moment bombarding Little Johnny with demands that the 07 football schedule be amended.

Tech won the game they had to win and stayed alive for an NCAA bid and a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament, possibilities that were given a boost on Sunday when Florida State lost at home to Fredo and Duke bricked up the Comcast Center . A two-game lead looks pretty good at this point in the season.

Tech still has challenges, to be sure. There is the little matter of a Tuesday visit to Dean’s Dome where the Tar Heels will have revenge on their minds. In a couple of weeks there will be the return game with the Hoos at their brand spanking new arena, the John. But, for now at least, Tech remains a player in the ACC basketball race. Not bad for a so-called football school.

The football school pounded the badminton school in basketball. This year, the in-state rivalry has a decidedly one-sided feel in the major sports. Of course, the bottom-feeding Hoo message board loons claim it is not a rivalry and so far they are being proven right, for once. A good rivalry requires that both sides win every once in a while.

For a Saturday, at least, the basketball rivalry greatly resembled the football one, which for thirty years was battled even up until the Hoos hired algroh and brought the tradition of close games to a screeching halt. Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby lost too’ Littlepage likely hoped for a little better from Fallback Dave.

It was all great fun. Beating the Hoos never grows old.

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