The A-Line It is what it is, unless it is not
Currently at 354 posts / 50 categories / 530 comments / feed / comments feed

Back on the Tube

It was an interesting Saturday. For the second time this year, the distances along I-95 to where Virginia Tech was judged to be just a bit far. For the second time this year, a Saturday afternoon was spent in my recliner observing two games on my Bravia. All in all, it was not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Trying hard not to dwell on the Friday night phone call from Senior Hokie informing me of how terrific was the weather in South Florida, I settled in for the first game of the day, NC State’s visit to North Carolina. I have good friends on both sides of this rivalry, but, all things considered, do tend to root for fellow land-grant institutions. That is working pretty well these days, as the Pack knocked off the Heels for the fourth straight year.

While Butch Davis has gotten most of the media attention in that state, both for his claims of impending Carolina football greatness, eventually, maybe, and for his ludicrous explanation of how he pays no attention to what goes on in his program, especially those multiple NCAA investigations, it is State’s Tom O’Brien who has quietly gone about the business of constructing a solid football program in much the same way he did for Fredo, this time with better athletes and actual fans. The results have shown this year.

Butch was fresh off his latest wink and nod meeting with his Board, where BOT Bob was loud in his declaration that while running a football program of integrity that actually obeyed those pesky NCAA rules sounded good in theory, it paled in comparison to an Orange Bowl luxury box and selling all of those now under construction at Kenan. Even SEC boards rarely are so overt in their endorsement of cheating. Carolina’s Board, or at least some of them, declared that, NCAA violations be damned, Butch was just the guy to lead them to football’s promised land, maybe, eventually.

A good first step in the right direction would be beating State. Butch seems to have as much trouble with that as he does keeping track of what his son’s and players tutor is up to. After all, a guy whose eyes are firmly fixed on the BCS prize can’t be expected to keep track of such secondary job descriptions as running a clean program or beating his in-state arch-rival even once. Those are trivial matters when compared to the BCS bid that is just around the corner for Carolina, maybe, eventually.

The State-Carolina game ended as they all seem to these days and years, with TO’B celebrating another win with his players and a downcast Butch explaining away yet another loss. That was the preliminary game.

We then moved to the main event of Tech vs. the Canes, a match-up of the guys who constantly blabber about how Back they are against the guys who actually win ACC championships. Tech and the Canes have played a lot of high-stakes games, both in the ACC and the old days in the Big East. Tech has won most of them and such was the case again Saturday, as the Hokies prevailed in a very rough, hard-hitting game which is usually the case when these two rivals lock up. I am sure Cane Loons who had been loudly expounding on the Backness of the Canes were quite satisfied with Randy Shannon’s postgame claim of, ‘We did everything but win the game.’

Shannon has had a long association with Butch, first as a player, then as bag man in charge of handing out cash under the rollicking Jimmy Johnson era, then as a coach under the master. It shows. Be it the constant claims of running a ‘clean’ program while doing the exact opposite, the loud pronouncements of impending Backness, the Fourth Quarter dazed and confused look that was a mirror image of that shown by Butch earlier in the day, the top-notch teaching of the quarterbacks to throw interception after interception to the Hokies, or the inability to win championships or beat Tech more than once in a while, Shannon clearly demonstrates that he has learned his lessons well. Actually, those Canes celebrating after they thought they had knocked Tyrod from the game demonstrated that the bad old Canes are Back in at least one regard. How did forcing Frank to go to Logan Thomas for a play work out, guys?

As is often their habit, Tech wrapped up the ACC’s Coastal Division and now moves on to their primary rival, the Hoos. We shall see if Mike London can reverse the results against Frank turned in by the algrohed algroh, or at least keep the losses closer. Beating the Hoos is always great fun; hopefully, that will be the case again Saturday.

The Hokies await somebody to emerge from the Atlantic Division to provide championship game opposition in Charlotte. Gee, who do you think the boys in the Queen City will be rooting for in the State- Maryland game? While a Terps win would exert a nice downward pressure on ticket availability, at least from the perspective of Tech fans, those in Charlotte’s hospitality industry must be salivating at the thought of Russell Wilson and the Pack getting another crack at Tech and all of the hotel rooms and meals that would sell. We shall see how Ralph Friedgen’s pre-game rallying cry of ‘Win one for the Noles’ works out.

As for me, while spending the occasional Saturday watching games on television is a nice change of pace, I shall be back in the saddle this weekend at Tech. After all, it is he Hoo game, the last home Tailgate of the season. And, I really don’t want Senior Hokie calling me again to explain what I am missing.

The A-Line wishes all a very happy Thanksgiving.


This is posted on Tuesday morning, November 23. This afternoon, Republicans of the 19th Senatorial District in Virginia will conduct a canvass to determine a candidate to run for the seat being vacated by Congressman-elect Robert Hurt. I strongly suggest that all eligible voters reading this cast their ballot for current Danville City Councilman Fred Shanks, a fellow Hokie and my friend. My opinion is that he would make an outstanding State Senator. Thank you.


  1. JDanWuff — November 23, 2010 #

    I’m hoping the Pack can find a way to get around theTerps.  They ALWAYS find a way to “get” us.  Doesn’t matter if it’s Phillip Rivers last home game or Jerry Claiborne’s wide tackle six defense stopping Dr Lou and the Buckey twins.
    I hope the Marine is brewing something special for them as I would love to see all my Hokie buddies again in Charlotte.
    Good luck against the Hoos!


  2. Jim — November 23, 2010 #

    Best of luck to the Pack on Saturday. Hope to see you in Charlotte. Just don’t beat us.


Leave a comment

captcha-block *