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Grand Finale 11/23/09

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

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.

DSC00911First, 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 2110of 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.

algrohAmid 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.


  1. BobLee — November 23, 2009 #

    Hokie Jim ….. YOU may hate to see such a fount of comedic material go away but Mother Davis’ son Butch will be dancing on Franklin Street. As Algroh’s “Guaranteed One W”, Butch kept saying “ya’lls Tar Heels’ rivals are just Duke & NC State, right? UVa doesn’t count, right?” Someone kept saying “yes, that’s right, Butch” so he never “got up” for the Hoos. Duh!

    I notice that Dabo has gravitated to Algroh’s sideline attire of “gray logoed sweatshirt” so his memory will survive him. And I betcha you will stir those ashes from time to time.

    Has “Bud” made any “Replace Charlie Weiss” short lists yet? And ….. speaking of Defensive Geniuses; wonder which press box Smilin’ John Tenuta will haunt next Fall?

    Speaking of The Chicken Bowl ….. you DO KNOW the metro location of that event, do you not?

    Spank ‘The Legend’ Really Good this Weekend!


    jdanwuff Reply:

    We aint dead yet, but might as well be. Nothing would be finer than spoiling the Chicken Bowl for them ‘Heels, but I don’t think the cards are right.


    Jim Reply:

    Butch might have finally gotten his ‘Frank monkey’ off his back, but he still can’t beat algroh. Alas, he will have no more chances.

    I’m sure Bud will express his interest in the ND job. The problem seems to be reciprocal interest.

    Perhaps Dabo should look elsewhere for coaching role models.


  2. alphahokie — November 23, 2009 #

    what’s scary is what might have happened if Groh had been hired as VT coach in 86 instead of Beamer? He so cerebral, he would have declined Dutch’s offer anyway


  3. Michael — November 24, 2009 #

    This old Hokie lives in Tennessee so I have to listen to the continuing saga in these parts too. Phil Fulmer has said that he wants to coach again, but only at a school that has national championship ambitions. So, I was figuring him to be UConn’s biggest fan last Saturday. But, I don’t see the “lady” expressing any interest in him either. So, as a back-up, I was figuring that Les would take Rich’s job at the Big House and maybe Fulmer would go to LSU. That would allow him to remain in the SEC and at a serious football school. But then Les does that clock management number that more or less says he isn’t interested in coaching at his alma mama. Should be fun to see how this all plays out.

    I realize none of this has anything to do with the great NFL legend. First of all, Jim has said all that needs to be said. Congrats on the best of your writing that I recall. I hate it when people text “LOL” and “LMAO” but that’s exactly what I did this week. Great work.

    Now, the other questions are . . . 1) Where will Phil Fulmer go? and 2) Will Rich Rodriguez leave a floater in the Michigan Head Coach’s Toilet like he did when he left Morganhole? There is no third question about Bud. There are some things I just don’t want to think about.


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