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Busman’s Holiday 10/27/10

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

What does a Virginia Tech fan do during his team’s bye week? Why, he goes to at least one football game and gives serious thought to attending another. And so I did.

Things got off to a rollicking start last Thursday morning.  A call had been received at my homestead from a Carolina alum buddy wanting to know if I cared to accompany him to Blue Heaven to observe Butch finally shedding himself of his Bobby Bowden curse. The answer was yes.

We left Danville shortly after 4 pm. While generally on a Gameday, a mere four hours before kickoff finds me happily ensconced at the Clubhouse Tailgate smoking a cigar while sipping09GT45 my third or fourth [or fifth or sixth] adult beverage and marveling at the diversity in dead animal the Grillmaster and Senior Hokie are pulling from the various Tailgate Kitchen cooking appliances, I am aware that things are done just a bit differently at Carolina. There the pre-game experience seems to involve sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic from the outskirts of town on in.

It took just over an hour for us to motor from my driveway to the sign welcoming us to the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill on Rte. 86. It took almost another two to make it from there to a parking garage in the middle of the medical center. Time and location worked against tailgating, or even making our way back to Franklin Street for a decent meal. When a Tech alum knows more about getting into Chapel Hill on a football Gameday and the best tailgating spot than does a Tar Heel, it explains much about general Carolina football futility. So does hiring Butch Davis.

D047796014.JPGIt’s not every coach who can preside over the blowing of an 18-point Second Half lead, especially when his team seems to be running the ball at will. But, that discounts the power of Butch to blow leads. When noticed for the first time that Butch had flung his headset away and begun his first madcap jaunt down the Carolina sideline, which coincided with the Noles converting the ‘longest touchdown play in Kenan Stadium history,’ those seasoned Butch-watchers in the crowd just knew that the embattled Bobby Bowden would find a way to again [and again and again] best Butch. We have seen it before, although 18 points did set a new personal best for the now-Blue Heaven millionaire. Pointing this out amid pauses for breath during the obscenity-filled tirade on the drive home did not seem to assuage my by now angry Carolina fan. I had not heard so many f-bombs since my last visit to Trinity Road.

Saturday morning found me still chuckling over Thursday’s display of the definitive Butch and pondering what to do with the first Saturday since August that did not involve Tech football. Consideration was given to heading back to the RTP to watch Duke engage Maryland. It was shelved following a quick thought given to while I would not mind watching the Devils play a game with my rooting interest a bit different from what it was a few weeks ago, I was not going to watch them in the rain. My recliner and Sony Bravia carried the day and a good part of the night.

The first game of the day was Georgia Tech vs. the hoos. Hokies finally root for algroh to win and look at what happens. Hello, Atlanta, again? While it is still way too early to contemplate Paul-Johnsonbowl trips, the Jackets and their effervescent coach Paul [‘Yeah, I teach illegal blocking. So what if a guy gets chop-blocked out of football? Quit whining about it’] Johnson placing the ACC’s Coastal Division in a stranglehold [you’ve got to love Frank’s public whining about Johnson’s blocking and the conference agreeing. The pressure seems to be on the ACC to Do Something About It, hopefully against Duke and/or Wake] coupled with what is likely to be an irresistible desire on the part of Gator officials to resurrect the old ‘Catholics vs. Convicts’ series, at this moment, at least, yet another trip to Atlanta seems to be in the future [provided ACC officials don’t hit GT with about 20-30 chop-blocking calls against Duke and/or the conference coach who first talked about Johnson’s Dances with Rules offense , Wake’s Jim Grobe]. Beamer vs. Beamer might be interesting unless it is not [meaning Johnson’s offensive scheme will have been penalized out of football just in time for VT to head back to Tampa and perhaps a third straight trip to Miami].

The Coastal race became a two-team, multi-Tech affair following the next game, that hilarious one between Clemson and the Canes. Between Shannon arguing with his OC and Dabo’s seemingly-utter inability to figure out how to manage late-game situations, ample evidence was provided as to what a mistake it is to promote coordinators. From the empty seats-duh, the game was in Miami, after all- to the bumbling coaches, this was perhaps not the image of ACC football Little Johnny [‘how many tickets would GT sell in Tampa? Yikes! Refs, throw those flags early and often’] cares to put forward. One thing about the Canes: all that seems necessary for them to lose is for the television guys to start talking about their Backness [‘all that has to happen is #’s 1-9 to all lose and the Canes are BACK, baby’].

It was an interesting weekend. Things get somewhat back to normal in a couple of days, as Tech swings into action again, in its annual Thursday Night Home Game. It will be against Carolina, meaning Butch will again get to have a go at one of the Coaches He Can’t Beat, this time Frank, the master of the genre. Tar Heel fans don’t seem overly optimistic that Butch will have any more luck breaking his Frank curse than he did his Bobby one, as they all are bailing on me. Hopefully, they know something I don’t.


  1. Websters Dictionary — October 27, 2009 #

    ensconced, marveling at the diversity, assuage, definitive, pondering, effervescent coach…

    the master of the genre!

    i love you, man.


    Jim Reply:

    You’re still sitting in the back of the van going to ECU.


    jdanwuff Reply:

    Atta boy, Hokie Jim! Don’t fall for brown nosing!!

    I’m giving this football stuff two more years. If Obie ain’t turned it by then, I’m transferring my diploma to Tech and talking turkey.
    Forty one years of waiting is long enough.


    Jim Reply:

    Welcome aboard! Maybe all of that red can be dyed maroon.


  2. JDanWuff — October 27, 2009 #

    Note to Butch: Run the damned ball
    Note to Shannon: Don’t kick to spiller.


    Jim Reply:

    Note to AD’s at Clemson and Miami: Was this the best you could hire?


  3. Greg — October 27, 2009 #

    Ah Jim, is not Beamer the pentultimate genious? Just in time he drops the nearly one dozen pics on the ACC of those questionable blocks, then has Torrian “leak” it that the ACC agreed that at leasst 4 of those blocks were illegal, then gets Mr. Personality himself, Paul Johnson all fired up. Why just in time? You alluded to it. In time for the Duke and Wake games. Just imagine the negative impact calling penalties on those blocks would have on drives. Happened against the Hoos. The one time the refs called it, the bees were ready to score. That 15 yds forced them to settle for a FG.

    Then there’s the never-to-be-mentioned-except-within-the-confines-of-ACC-headquarters worry of a worse attendance at a championship game than the BC Eagles brought. Hmmmmmm. Do I detect a covert attempt to manipulate things to try to get a VT/Clemson championship game? That would pack Tampa. But then again, I am a conspiracy theorist – see it everywhere. So don’t consider anything I say. Then again……


    Jim Reply:

    Controversy about the blocking has dogged Johnson every where he has been. Mr. Personality does not deny it is at least ‘on the edge’ of legality and basically dares officials to call the chop block. The difference this time is that Graves got hurt. That tends to get people’s attention.


  4. badbadleroybrown — November 2, 2009 #

    Looks like Butch found a way to win, I think that the O-line being back to starters and a lack of film available made this possible for UNC. I can see the logic expecting a win against UNC but the last two games have been too close for comfort.


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