Well, that was a fun weekend. Well, take away the nagging cough, sniffles and general all-around feeling of malaise that won’t seem to go away [the rain during the Canes game- the gift that keeps on giving] and it was still a fun weekend. Well, take away the annoying fact that Duke and Tech combined to keep me sitting in the broiling hot sun-splashed Wade Stadium until the very last second had ticked away [I have learned my lesson about leaving early], and it was still a fun weekend. Football weekends tend to be fun ones, no matter what.
Friday night got things off to a riotous beginning when I managed to convince my buddy BobLee to cast aside his usual and understandable less-than-positive feelings about setting even a heel into ‘Derm’ and join us in the Bull City for that A-Line away game Friday night tradition of stuffing ourselves with seafood. Whenever BobLee and this poster get together there tends to be lots of laughter and last Friday night was no exception. Considering how things went the next afternoon for BobLee’s beloved Heels, it might have been the only time he laughed all weekend.
Large numbers of crab legs and some good-natured three-way ribbing with some Hoos hoo wandered into the joint later, we were on the streets of downtown Durham. The best thing to do when one finds himself in such circumstances is to 1] seek immediate cover and 2] begin plotting one’s escape. Both were accomplished with a minimum of casualties and negligible loss of life, always a plus following adventures in downtown Durham.
Saturday morning found me at the Clubhouse Tailgate feeling somewhat poorly from either all of the crab legs that had been consumed or lingering effects of whatever I still have [ if I have managed to infect several thousand people with swine flu I'm sure it would have been pointed out to me by now]. After a somewhat subdued [by my standards, at least] Tailgate morning, I managed entry into the Wally for the game.
I then watched an understandably-flat Virginia Tech team meander around the stadium, generally holding a spirited bunch of Devils at arm’s length, winning by only 8 because Duke managed a cosmetic score in the last 30 seconds. While whether Tech won by 8 or 15 might have held an interest to gamblers, a group that never includes me, it mattered little to this author or, it would seem, to those voting in the various polls. While the NC papers might have been trumpeting the heroic effort Coach Cut wrung from his boys against mighty Virginia Tech, the stories didn’t seem to be read by poll voters who promptly jumped the Hokies over Boise State. Imagine that.
What poll voters might have noticed is that, for better or worse, this Tech team is coming up with a variety of ways to win football games. Nebraska partisans can cry about who SHOULD have won, but Tech did. The handful of Canes fans around can claim that only rain that fell on one side of the field stands between them and Complete Backness, but one team did manage to eke out a 31-7 win and it was not the Canes. Tech is doing what good teams do, finding different ways to win games. With a couple of big games on tap, against regular season thorn Fredo and then at Georgia Tech, that ability might just prove handy unless it does not.
The ability to win games by any method seems to have escaped Butch’s boys. It was not a good Saturday for any team hailing from NC’s Triangle. Over the years, a lot of coaches have experienced difficulty in beating Frank and/or Bobby Bowden, so Butch’s less-than-stellar record against them can be excused. But, 0-3 against algroh? Is there another coach in football who is winless against algroh? I’m sure Carolina not bothering to show up against the Hoos had the fat Heels clamoring to buy those new luxury suites.
By the time I was back at my computer shortly after noon Sunday, ACC standings were in a bit of, uh, well, flux. While reasonable people might conclude after the first five weeks of the season that the league’s 3 best teams were, in some order, Tech, GT and the Canes, all residents of the Coastal, there sit the Hoos undefeated and tied with the Hokies in the loss column. Well, it was only one game and the Great NFL Legend is through bitch-slapping his boy Butch for another year. But, then again, hoo knows?
Over in the Atlantic, comedy rules. Bobby Bowden’s string seems to have finally run out. While Jimbo and Chuckie battle it out over who Bobby likes best, Mickey contemplates a new retirement boat, Terry [Terry? How does he shine in?] stirs the pot with stupid comments, some failed politician [keep switching parties, Jim] urges Bobby to step down right this minute and Ann defends her man, what remains to be seen is whether anybody in Tallahassee can be found with the authority to tell Bobby that it is over. ‘Anybody’ does not seem to include FSU President T. K. Wetherell, who apparently finds quitting preferable to attempting to oust St. Bobby. What fun times in Tally.
The rest of the Atlantic seems determined not to win the division, or at least pitch in to help the Noles from getting too far behind. After spending a frightful September piling loss upon loss, Maryland barged into October by beating Clemson and staking themselves atop the division after one game. Wouldn’t the Terps and Hoos stage a crackerjack ACC Championship? Clemson will seemingly be Clemson no matter the coach. Wake’s latest donnybrook with NC State kept the Deacons hanging around and Tom O’Brien gazing at his secondary and navel. And don’t look now, but Fredo, that bane of Virginia Tech, the rest of the Atlantic, Little Johnny Swofford and hotel operators across Florida, is sneaking around again. In other words, things are pretty much normal.
Assuming I feel no worse than I do at the moment, I will be heading back to Tech for this weekend’s game. Geez, after Saturday the regular season, at least, will be half over. Well, time flies when you are having fun and football season is always great fun.