“I’m sure I will always call the guy in the glass a friend.”- algroh
And so it ended. Hoo football coach algroh was algrohed early Sunday, following what must have been one of the shortest program evaluations ever undertaken. The reign of the Great NFL Legend Poetry Reader is no more.
algroh’s on-field swan song had ended in the surreal scene of the Grand Chessmaster standing, watching and listening to twenty-five thousand Tech fans, all that was left in the Smithsonian by the end, chanting ‘Keep algroh’ as his players, despite the success of their vow that in honor of their coach’s last game they would only lose by twenty-nine, found their emotions bubbling over in what could have been a very bad situation. Quick action by the game officials was all that kept algroh’s Last Game from deteriorating into a career-ending on-field brawl. But there was more.
At his postgame press conference, such as it was, algroh demonstrated that in forty-plus years of coaching football, the last nine as Head Hoo, he had managed to acquire a solid grasp of high school literature. When asked about the five-ton elephant in the room, algroh whipped out a copy of Dale Wimbrow’s poem, ‘The Guy in the Glass’ and read it. Then, true to his nature, algroh followed his poetry recitation by ending his career much as he began it, bragging on himself.
algroh declared himself trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. He then ended one of his more bizarre episodes by declaring, “I’m pretty sure I will always call the guy in the glass a friend.” It seemed a minority view.
Come Sunday morning, Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby, free at last’ Littlepage wasted little time in algrohing algroh. As the Hoos set out to make sure that algroh will be relegated to the back of the Lawn with Sally’s descendants at future reunions, Littlepage, assuming his own neck remains unblemished, now begins his so-called ‘national search’ for somebody to clean up the mess left behind. And what a mess it is.
Not since George inherited the Dick Bestwick carnage has the Hoo program been this destitute. As was on display during last Saturday’s Second Half when Tech simply shrugged off the emotion of the day and flat rolled over the Hoos, the gap between the state’s two I-A programs has rarely been this wide. It took algroh nine years, but he managed to run George’s respectable seven-win operation straight into the ground. algroh’s best years came with George’s players; once they were gone the program steadily worsened. Rock bottom would be an improvement.
The salvage operation has to begin with recruiting. algroh might like the guy in the glass, but the state’s high school coaches sure didn’t. algroh’s arrogance and disdain when dealing with the lifeblood of any state university’s program was finally reciprocated in kind. When the latest all-star quarterback Tyrod, produced by that noted Tech-hater, Hampton’s Mike Smith, cast his lot with the Hokies, the poetry was on the wall. That it took three years later for algroh to finally be algrohed was recruiting icing on Frank’s cake.
algroh now moves on to whatever opportunities await a failed coach. Perhaps he already had, finding his new calling handling Hoo football parking. What happened last Saturday morning in Hooville’s Fontaine Lot certainly had an algroh-ish quality. It has become the habit of the Clubhouse Tailgate during these odd-numbered years of travel to Hooville to set up shop in the bottom of the Fontaine Lot. It was a satisfying arrangement and by late Friday afternoon the Tailgate, which included four RV’s for this game, was in place and kicking off the weekend’s tailgating festivities. That lasted about sixteen hours.
Saturday morning, it quickly became apparent that the notion of people actually attending football games was as foreign a concept to the Hoos as algroh actually winning them. The tens of thousands of Hokies that showed up overwhelmed the lot. The nightmare that ensued must have been similar to those experienced by Littlepage of Carl not cutting algroh’s buyout check.
Things finally came to a head when a member of Hooville’s finest came by the Tailgate and informed us that the RV’s would have to move, somewhere. This went over about as well as news of algroh’s algrohing went to the Tech football staff. By late Saturday morning, the first of the Tailgate’s adult beverages had been consumed and the idea of guys whose BAC levels were approaching legal limits having to pack RV’s and head into the traffic jam that was Fontaine Avenue was not received with enthusiasm.
Hooville’s finest was in turn good-natured and apologetic, making it perfectly clear that he was only doing what he was told. Littlepage’s ‘It’s not my fault’ excuse when it came to algroh’s hiring seemed to be a popular one around Hooville. The quasi-official reason as explained was that there were some Hoos hoo had paid for season parking passes and were unable to even get near the lot, much less find parking. That there were Hoos hoo would pay for parking in a free lot seemed just a bit unusual, perhaps an indication of the Hooville admissions policy of basing acceptance into Mr. Jefferson’s academical village on how much cash Daddy forked over was having an effect. The cop promised to investigate this idiotic order and get back to us and he did.
Following the consumption of a few more adult beverages and discussions of the logistics of moving [or towing] large RV’s that were surrounded, bumper-to-bumper, by cars, Hooville’s finest was good to his word. He returned and exclaimed that he had good news and bad news. The good was that the Tailgate could continue to tailgate exactly where we were. The bad news was that he was hungry. Having obtained vast experience in feeding cops at Tech and other ACC football venues, it was hardly bad news to us. The officer was promptly invited to have at the large amounts of Tailgate chow on hand, an offer that he unfortunately declined due to having to deal with the parking mess. It was a pity. We continued tailgating while speculating that the policies of the Tech Parking Gestapo were perhaps statewide in nature.
The Tailgate, regular season and algroh regime are now over. Tech now awaits its bowl destination, perhaps yet another trip to Atlanta. Well, there are a few menu items at Legal Seafood we have not yet tried. In Hooville, they begin the slow process of sweeping up the broken glass left behind by the Great NFL Legend Poetry Reader. We shall miss algroh. To Tech fans, he was poetry in motion.