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Fun and Games

Now comes the hard part. After spending from the middle of September through October pounding a succession of weak teams, with the only resistance coming in Raleigh, Virginia Tech now prepares for the November from the nether regions. Next up, a Thursday night visit from Georgia Tech.

As we take a week off to ponder who is the toughest Tech in the ACC this year and what might have been had the Hokies garnered one more lousy first down at FedEx, it seems an apt time to reflect on hoo who will be coming into Lane next. That would be the Great NFL Legend, algroh. His last appearance in front of a Tech crowd was last year’s swan song in Hooville’s Smithsonian. While there were very little left in the place but Tech fans by the time algroh wandered off the field for the last time, and we certainly did our best to serenade him, proper appreciation by 66k fans in Lane has yet to be expressed.

That needs to be remedied and a fitting tribute given the outstanding coach so instrumental in bringing Hoo football to its current exalted stature. Frank & co would have had a much more difficult task this last decade were it not for the major assist given by algroh infuriating high school players and coaches alike, paving the way for Tech to continue the fine job of dominating state football begun in the last days of George.The importance of algroh to Tech’s ongoing success is not to be minimized.

I propose that next Thursday night, algroh accompany jimmy to midfield to read the ‘Hokies Respect’ message. Imagine a beaming algroh on the big screen as jimmy introduces and thanks the Great NFL Legend for his not insignificant role in Tech’s football success. algroh could read the prepared spiel, reminding us to respect all opponents except for him, then perhaps again recite his ‘Checkers’ speech, finishing by clasping his hands together and waving them over his head as fireworks blaze over the scoreboard and tens of thousands of appreciative Hokies roar their approval.

Then, maybe algroh could join Frank in the tunnel and trot onto the field alongside to ‘Enter Sandman.’ Given the defensive success enjoyed by the guy who has managed to become the ACC’s highest and lowest-paid Defensive Coordinator against most all teams except his former one, this might be the last time Tech will ever have to render a heartfelt thanks. It would be an inspirational moment. Perhaps ESPN would discontinue the pre-game Mark May droning and Lou Holtz sputtering to carry it live. It would be compelling television.

With Tech again blowing out an over matched opponent early, sending fans scurrying from Lane to the cold adult beverages at tailgates  [Tech fans seem to have a different reason for leaving games early than do their Hoo counterparts], there was plenty of time to observe other conference teams last Saturday.

There was algroh weaving his special magic for his current employer team preparing to algroh him, doing his part to essentially eliminate Georgia Tech from the ACC’s Coastal race. Perhaps algroh owns a vacation timeshare somewhere for the first week in December. He always ensures he has that week open.  GT’s strong effort against Clemson sure made the LSU-Auburn slugfest a lot more enjoyable without switching the television back to check on the Jackets-Clem score. With algroh on the sideline, you just knew who was winning that one.

The day’s most compelling game, however, was the prime-time one between Carolina and the Canes. It was heartwarming to observe Randy Shannon enjoying a quiet pre-game conversation with Butch, a student with his former mentor. One can only imagine what was passed between the two closest of friends. Perhaps they discussed the going salary rate for a top-notch defensive end, or reminisced about the good old days when rap stars could shower players with hundred dollar bills in South Beach discos, or grades could be simply given to ‘student-athletes’ without having to go through a pesky middleman tutor. Nothing but trouble happens when players are actually required to attend class and take those darned tests.

It was a simpler time back then, before coaches had to worry about players spilling the beans on Twitter or a major program benefactor mentioning that he paid thousands of dollars to Canes’ players while pleading guilty in federal court to running a Ponzi scheme. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

Butch would certainly have been wistful about how easier things were when ‘Win at all cost’ meant just that and there were none of these irritating discussions  held about sacrificing any shred of academic integrity to the BCS altar. These modern problems sure make a coach’s job tougher. It was a lot easier being Back back then.

Of course, then the game started and Butch demonstrated that even his special coaching genius could not overcome the loss of all of those players due to the violation of all of those NCAA rules that Butch knew absolutely nothing about, not the first thing. Just ask him, or DickieB, or Boy Thorpe or anybody else whose job is on the line. After all, Butch is paid millions each year to oversee the program, a job description that most definitely does not include overseeing the program, at least according to Butch, or DickieB, or Boy Thorpe or anybody else whose job is on the line.  Who really cares about a few NCAA rules, or even most of them, when the BoV can enjoy a luxury box at the Orange Bowl? Well, maybe not this year, but sometime real soon, darn it.

If the ACC can’t have really good football, and once again it seems they can’t, at least they can make it entertaining. The conference does a much better job of that than it does producing a Top Ten team. That will be on display this Saturday as Tech fans finally take a Saturday off. The biggie this week will be the Canes at the Hoos, high noon on ESPN. That network will sure get its $13 extra-large per team’s worth in that one. A few Hoos might even stop by the Smithsonian for the traditional few minutes before hauling ass up Rugby Road. Keep those cards, letters and message board comments coming, Hoos. A week from this Thursday, it will again be spleen-venting time. The Great NFL Legend will be at Tech.


  1. BobLee — October 25, 2010 #

    HJ: Was it just me, but during the ESPN2 telecast of ButchReturnsToTheU, did the announcers several mentions of “the suspensions” sound more like “poor poor Butch has had to overcome all these unfortunate circumstances”.
    I felt like I was watching that movie about Marshall after the crash. “poor poor Butch …..”  Gimmee a freakin’ break.


    Greg Reply:

    Yes Bob, that’s pretty much how it sounded to me also.  Poor, poor Butchie.  Just a few unfortunate instances totally out of his control and at the hands of some crooked hireling over which Butchie had no control and knew nothing at all.

    Gotta love the angle ESPN is taking on this whole thing.


  2. Jim — October 25, 2010 #

    I especially liked the announcer saying the Canes wouldn’t be truly Back until the return of the on-field thuggery. He had a point.


  3. John — October 25, 2010 #

    Y’know, for just the few minutes I watched, I thought I saw some of that “old back magic” on display before the mostly empty seats.  One could almost sense incipient thuggery, or at least a hint of swagger, at times.  Ahh, nostalgia…


  4. JDanWuff — October 25, 2010 #

    Somebody ought to take these academic pinheads and stuff them back in their wall lockers or at least give them all a swirlie after gym.  Sheesh!  They obviously don’t know who BMOC is or what it’s about.  Sitting through classes and all that study stuff is for losers.  Chicks dig jocks, you know, because they’re jocks.


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