Well, there is little to be said about last Saturday’s game. Tech was supposed to win and did. Tech was supposed to win by a lot and did. The Hokies sent the seniors out in style, blasting an injury-riddled NC State team and coaching staff [be well, Dana Bible], setting the stage for the Grand Finale of the regular season and algroh’s coaching career. More on the exit of the Great NFL Legend shortly.
First, let’s talk about ME! Some are aware that I never, ever, refuse media coverage. WSET, Channel 13 in Lynchburg, obligingly provided some. I have concluded a delightful hour or so with Sarah Bloom from that station. We chatted about this thing I do, the Clubhouse Tailgate, Tech football and most any thing else that popped up. Presuming I don’t end up on the cutting room floor [and, since 13's Executive News Producer is a Hokie, I'm betting I don't], at least some portion of the interview can be seen this Friday night at 7:30 during a special Hokies-Hoos program. Get those DVRs ready!
Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, the game. A few minutes, hours at most, after Saturday’s game, Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby, just one more game. ONE MORE GAME!’ Littlepage will algroh algroh. That algroh will be algrohed is not a terrible surprise. The Great NFL Legend’s days in Hooville have been numbered since that comical opening loss to William and Mary. It hasn’t been a state secret. The biggest question seems to be whether Craig’s will also join the heads that will be rolling down the hallways of the McCue Center. Littlepage’s defenses of ‘I didn’t hire that clown’ and ‘how about that lacrosse team, huh?’ may or may not sit well with Carl and the rest of the fat Hoos hoo will be a bit lighter in the wallet come next week by this time. There are always humorous storylines coming out of Hooville and Craig’s frantic attempts to hang on to his job now move to the head of the list.
One thing is for sure and that is that algroh will be missed, especially at this keyboard. It has been great fun these last nine years poking fun at the Grand Chessmaster. Sure, the dourness of George and his ‘Tech ain’t our rival’ schtick was always good for a few laughs and as for the Hoo basketball program, Petey and then Fallback Dave kept Hokies rolling in the aisles.
algroh, however, was in a class by himself. From the time he was hired and immediately began bragging about how smart he was, in possession of football and chess skills far above that of simpletons Frank Beamer and Bobby Bowden, we knew we were on to something special. And what about that ‘faces in the fan’ comment? That lasted about a year before Tech fans laughed it out of Hooville. Seemingly every time algroh opened his mouth, fresh material gushed out like oil from a wildcat strike. While algroh’s inane postgame comments could be and were exasperating to Doug Doughty and Jeff White, they were pure gold to guys like me.
And now it is almost over. algroh’s swan song will be this Saturday, fittingly against the guy he so ridiculed when hired, Frank. The Tech coach must also be going into the game with the same bittersweet feelings as I. While I will no longer have access to the treasure trove of material provided by the Great NFL Legend, Frank faces what is likely to be a tougher recruiting environment in the state. algroh having pissed off just about every single high school coach in the state sure made life easier for Tech coaches.
This Saturday in the Smithsonian it will all come to an end. It will happen in Hooville’s bi-annual Maroon- Out game. There will be an even heavier representation of Hokies than usual, which is a lot. Littlepage, perhaps attempting to raise extra funds for a trip for the women’s field hockey team or to augment Carl’s contribution to algroh’s buyout, cast aside his usual, ‘please, PLEASE, don’t sell/give your tickets to Hokies’ rhetoric and threw in the towel, offering up tickets to whoever the heck wanted them. As has been noticed around good chunks of the ACC from College Park to Durham, if tickets are available, Tech fans will buy them. There will be a lot of Hokies on hand to witness algroh’s final act.
Amid all of the hoopla surrounding algroh’s Grand Finale, which will be none, there will be a game played. The outcome hardly matters in the overall scheme of things. Win or lose, algroh will be algrohed, while Tech is heading apparently to the Chicken Bowl if Clem beats GT D5, the Gator if they don’t. This following those extraordinary efforts undertaken by Charlie Weiss to avoid having to play the Canes and despite Butch’s whining about how bowl bids should not be allocated according to who can sell the most tickets, not the first time that has ever been heard from Butch. About the only thing to play for is the goofy Commonwealth Cup and weauxfing rights between the two fan bases. Come to think of it, that is plenty to play for. While there has never been the unabashed hatred between the two sides that one will find this week in Alabama or South Carolina, due to the more level-headed fans, at least, getting along fine with their in-state brethren, all Hokies I know still want to beat the Hoos like a drum and all Hoos of my acquaintance want to return the favor. It is, after all, a rivalry game. You play them to win.
The overriding game story, however, will be the end of the algroh Error in Hooville. It has been a great ride and lots of laughs, oh Great NFL Legend. I will miss you.