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Smear the Turtle 11/16/09

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

Fear the Turtle? Well, not exactly. The Virginia Tech football team showed a distinct lack of fear of what passes for the team fielded by the Terps, scoring early and often en route to the pasting of the Terps.

VT-MD Pictures 019Tech showed none of the listlessness on display the previous week in the pointless win over the Strawgraspers. The Hokies were back in the ACC facing what looks very much like the league’s worst team. When Ralph Friedgen was hired nine years ago, there apparently was some miscommunication between the Fridge and his superiors. The phrase ‘We want to be like Duke,’ meant for Gary Williams, somehow was related to Friedgen. He has responded admirably.

The Terps are now 2-8 and seemingly looking worse each week. With Duke giving the impression that these days they are at least somewhat serious about that fall sport, Friedgen and his Terps have stepped into the breach, both on the field and in the stands. While the team was quite Devilish in demonstrating that Job #1 is to get the season over with as quickly as possible with little fuss and effort expended, the fans responded in kind, positioning themselves far away from Byrd Stadium, thus freeing up thousands of seats for the thousands of Hokies on hand to see the rout [BTW, NOVA Hokies weren’t the only ones on hand. There were at least a few of us that had traveled a bit further than the other side of DC to watch the game]. The tons of Tech fans on hand and the near-total lack of Maryland ones was about as close to the Wallace Wade atmosphere as can be found in the ACC, although Wade does get higher marks, both for proximity to the field and [these days] the quality of Men’s room. I have been in all 12 stadiums in the current ACC and Byrd qualifies as the biggest dump of them all.

Tech had bumbled and stumbled its way through the win over ECU. This time, it was either Tech being ready to play against a league foe or Maryland being that bad. The Hokies scored 091114-umd-1-tgate-099a lot, most of it early, easily putting the game away by halftime [the Saturday morning women’s Rugby game in which the Lady Terps were engaging next to our tailgate was much more interesting], allowing me to spend a goodly chunk of the Third Quarter chatting with what seemed to be a ton of NOVA Hokies who read these words on a somewhat regular basis. They discovered, as others have before them, that I don’t exactly mind being recognized.

Tech is now 7-3 and looked every bit as dominant as they did in the wins over Fredo and the Canes or any of the previous times Frank has gone up against his good buddy Friedgen [they obviously don’t talk football at the lake]. This team can be pretty good when they have their heads in the game and the opposing OC can scheme no better than the QB running for his life. While they may be wondering around the T-D what this team has to play for with yet another ACC title out of the question, the games are scheduled and Tech is playing for what most of the rest of the ACC has been playing for since Tech joined the conference.

That would be a decent bowl selection. Tech’s bowl situation remains just a bit clouded. Those Chickens that were praising Tech last week didn’t seem overly concerned about Tech fans making yet another trip to Atlanta; well, for what it is worth, I would be there. Both the Canes and Irish seem bound and determined to lose their way out of the Gator’s dream game. Closing out ACC participation in the Gator against a Li’l E team might not be the best scenario, especially if the opponent is the Cousins [ ‘Let’s get those traitors’], but I wouldn’t mind one last trip to the Landing. The bowl in Orlando keeps crossing their fingers in anticipation of at least a quasi-decent crowd of Hokies. Tech will very likely be in one of the three.

That assumes that something other than utter catastrophe happens in the last two games. Provided Captain Tom has enough players not on the injured list to actually play the game, Russell Wilson should be able to keep things interesting this Saturday.The way things have been going in Raleigh, he might have to by himself.

al-grohThen will come algroh’s Grand Finale in Hooville. The amusing spectacle seen on televisions around the state of Hoo players begging fans to come to the game won’t be necessary for that one; at least a few Hoos must have tickets, although the bi-annual cries of ‘Don’t sell your Smithsonian tickets to Hokies’ have been a bit muted this year. Of course, that will be because Tech fans already have most of the tickets, thanks in large part to that excellent job done by Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby, who says we can’t sell out our stadium?’ Littlepage in making them available early on. The colors on display at Hooville’s latest Maroon Out game should be especially plentiful, as tens of thousands of Hokies show up to express their appreciation to algroh and the fine contributions the Great NFL Legend has made to the success of Tech football. We are going to miss algroh when he is gone, especially since the new coach can’t possibly be any less competent than the Grand Chessmaster and it is very likely that recruiting the state is going to become tougher.

It could be worse- the Fridge could also be given his walking papers and millions, making NOVA recruiting that much more difficult. Indications, at least if the Post is to be believed, are, however, that Friedgen is much more skilled at negotiating contracts than he is at winning games and the ready cash is not on hand to algroh him. As Frank’s most recent Smear the Turtle campaign proved, while Frank might not like playing his good buddy, he doesn’t seem to mind continuing to beat him like a drum.


  1. Greg — November 16, 2009 #

    Well Jim,

    That was certainly fun, wasn’t it? We had a grand time, especially tailgating on the ComCast Center parking lot and seeing as many, if not more, Hokie faithful there than Terp fans. Then while walking to and from the game, again there were as many Hokies as Terps in the columns of people. The game itself looked as though we were back in Lane with more orange and maroon than black. At one point, a young Terp student turned around and asked me what it felt like to have a really good football team. Really made me feel ashamed of myself what with all the moaning, groaning and bitching I do about Stiney and other things offensive about the team. I just replied that we had paid our dues in years past when we were lucky to beat VMI and then told him it really felt good.

    One thing though – how on earth do people live in that population-exploded area? It took us a full 2 hours to go from the ComCast parking lot back to the junction with 495!!! Two full freaking hours to go about 3 or 4 miles at most. Thank God I had someone else driving and a full bottle of Jack Daniels in the van. Kept me very prophetic about the whole thing and very “happy”. Indeed, I was able to view the final few minutes of the ND/Pitt game in the friendly confines of my bed and on my own TV in the waning moments of Saturday when finally I returned to beautiful, quiet, peaceful and mainly uninhabited Floyd County.


    Jim Reply:

    Every once in a while we would see a Terp meandering through the RV lot. They did seem to enjoy the atmosphere.

    I imagine I could eventually get used to DC traffic, but I would just as soon not.


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