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Game Travel 09/02/09

Once again, a long and dreary Dead Zone is at an end. Very soon, football will be played. The tedium of waiting is almost over.

Like thirty-some odd thousand other Hokies and an equal if not greater number of Bama fans, I will in a couple of days be journeying to Atlanta to observe the opener. While I will  be rooting quite hard for a Tech win, sweating out a friend’s heart surgery earlier this week again reminded me that there are things around that are a lot more important than who wins or loses football games. More on that later in the Clubhouse Tailgate injury report.

rasputinAs often happens, among my traveling party this weekend will be a Russian. There is good and bad with having him along. The best upside, of course, is that the cost of the rental van and gas gets split another way. That is not to be minimized during these tight budgetary times.

An added benefit, something that also happens often during these trips, is that I have the opportunity to engage in extended conversation with the Russian. The close quarters dictate it. I will have the chance to again pick his brain and add his world view to my own, very different one. If it hadn’t been for my conversations with him, I would never have learned that the Golden Horde were actually a peacekeeping force, Rasputin the victim of bad press and Stalin merely misunderstood. I look forward to hearing more such historical nuggets before we turn him loose to pillage midtown Atlanta like a rampaging Cossack.

The downside to traveling with the Russian is traveling with the Russian. We won’t have made Charlotte before he begins, like an impatient nine-year old, the Repin_Cossackscries of, “Are we there yet?” They will come at such regular intervals that watches can be set by them. There is also the Russian’s rank inability to distinguish between the American interstate highway system and the wide open spaces of the steppe. He feels that speeds should be maintained on I-85 that could be achieved on the grassy plains were Russia capable of producing cars that could reach them. Shouts of ‘Go faster’ will also be our companion on the road. It will drive the short-strawed designated driver to distraction , along with everybody else within earshot, which will include all van occupants.

Hopefully, we will reach Atlanta relatively safely and with at least a few shreds of our sanity intact. I continue to have it on good authority that a football game will be played Saturday night between Tech and the Tide. As might be expected in a game between a representative from the World’s Greatest Conference Ever [TM] and one from the lower athletic orders, Bama is favored. They probably should be.

Frank’s record in these early-season made-for-television extravaganzas is not overly good at 1-2. The win came back in 02 over LSU. Since, there has been the tough FedEx loss to Southern Cal and the debacle at LSU. Well, the win was against a Tiger team coached by Nick Saban. Maybe that is a good omen.

If the Crimson Loons are to believed, the game will not be close. One hasn’t read this much weauxfing from Bama message board braggarts about how badly the Hokies would be pounded by the Tide since the last time the two teams played at the 1998 Music City Bowl. That one was won by Tech, 38-7. There are reasons football games are played on football fields rather than message boards.

As always, the Clubhouse Tailgate will be on hand for the festivities. Or at least most of us. Members of the Tailgate have been going down like Tech running backs. Things got started a couple of weeks ago when Internet Curmudgeon Atlee Hokie joined me among the group who have had their throats cut by surgical quacks in search of offending matter and new Mercedes. I am happy to report that the small cutting was a success and Atlee will be on hand in Atlanta none the worse for wear, with one notable exception.

Atlee’s minor surgery has left him unable, for a couple of weeks, to consume solid food. The Clubhouse Tailgate is perhaps not where one wants to spend time if one cannot partake of the constant parade of dead animals that will be steadily coming off the grill and out of the smoker. And this is the Prime Rib and Lobster Tailgate, too. Atlee will only be able to stand by bufharp2helplessly sipping his Ensure, no doubt spiked with a generous amount of Wild Turkey, while watching the rest of us tear into the chow like ravenous wolves into a bison. I certainly feel for him, although it will leave more for the rest of us.

Not quite as fortunate and unable to make the trip will be Clubhouse Regular and all-around good guy Keith Carr. A trip for a cauterization last week turned into major surgery. Keith is taking his ease at a Roanoke hospital while recovering. Get well and hurry back to the Tailgate, big guy. We will miss you.

The Return of the A-Line Board of Football Experts


  1. Atlee Hokie — September 2, 2009 #

    My bout with the surgeon pales to insignificance compared to what Keith had to endure. I know I join everyone else in wishing a quick and speedy recovery. Get well and get back to the Tailgate.


  2. JDanWuff — September 2, 2009 #

    Our thin young secondary just got thinner with Morgan going out with injuries. Hopefully the D-line can get enough push to keep the gamecocks at bay. Either way, it’s football tomorrow night.


    Jim Reply:

    I picked the Cocks to win in the Experts because I like to spot the rest of the field a game.

    I was astounded at Tudor’s column in today’s N&O.


  3. JDanWuff — September 2, 2009 #

    Caulton’s just trying to put the old Tudor Jinx on us by proclaiming State better than the Flagship. No matter what he writes, he’s still an idiot.


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