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Blue Heaven

Last weekend was the occasion of Tech’s biannual visit to the University of North Carolina at the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill. Both teams, as well as the tailgate company, pitched in to ensure it was another good one.

I relish all Hokie games in the Old North State, in large part because any of the four ACC stadia in that state are closer to my abode than is Lane. Shorter drives always work for me. Plus, since joining the ACC, Tech has yet to lose in any of them. For people who claimed for years that they didn’t want us in the conference, Carolina, State, Duke and Wake sure roll out the red carpet every time Tech shows up.

An added treat whenever Tech plays at Carolina is the chance to tailgate with the incomparable BobLee. The Clubhouse Tailgate certainly appreciates his recent kind words. The laughs tend to be many wherever and whenever the Clubhouse pitches camp. There are more when BobLee is around. It was good to see you again, my friend.

Carolina, of course, plays its home games in Beautiful Kenan Stadium. It is certainly a looker, but, upon closer inspection, one does notice a few warts. The most obvious is the cramped nature of the place. The rows are simply placed too close together. Having knees constantly jammed into one’s back while doing the same to the unfortunate soul unlucky enough to sit in front of me does tend to minimize enjoyment of the game. One learns to appreciate the vast emptiness of Duke’s Wallace Wade.

Another demerit is added whenever anybody sitting in the middle of a section decides to head out for concessions or a trip to the [very] small number of rest rooms. The entire row must head out into the aisles to allow egress and ingress. Considering that venturing out to stand in the long rest room lines will chew up about a quarter and a half, perhaps that explains the eerie quiet that always seems to envelop Kenan. It was louder when Maxwell Smart and the Chief conversed under the Cone of Silence. But, people putting off trips to the rest rooms and missing the huge chunk of the game that would involve perhaps does not lend itself to, say, the Lane Bounce.

Of course, Tech won the game. They always do in Kenan. Since joining the ACC, the Hokies have made four trips to Carolina and walked away with as many wins. Frank also boosted his personal record against Butch to 8-2. Carolina’s head coach [for now] moved into a tie with algroh for most losses to Frank. Perhaps those ‘I Love Butch’ shirts sported by a few of the Heels should have borne Frank’s signature.

Butch afterwards no doubt claimed no knowledge of the score. He does seem to claim no knowledge of anything involving his program, including but not limited to that massive stadium expansion going up in one end zone, the school colors and nickname, the location of his school [he seems to think he is still at Miami], that Public Ivy ranking enjoyed by Carolina Butch seems so determined to make a mockery of, where the Old Well might be or the first thing about the Order of the Golden Fleece [well, it is an honor society]. He likely is aware, however, that Boy Chancellor Holden Thorpe announced plans to change Carolina’s alma mater from ‘Hark The Sound’ to ‘BCS or Bust, one of these years.’

The latest of Carolina’s multiple transgressions of which Butch claims to be blissfully unaware involves the ‘tutor’ [snicker]. It was reported by the good old N&O that not only was she writing papers for Butch’s scholar athletes  and providing all of the personal services that seem to fall under the ‘impermissible’ [LOL] category, she was paying the players for the privilege. Usually in financial arrangements of this type, the flow of cash goes in the other direction. When Butch took shears to Ramses, new meaning was given to the ‘Carolina Way.’ In addition to the aforementioned BobLee, I am friends with several Carolina alums, none of whom seem to fit the so-called and ultra-liberal ‘Carolina stereotype.’ All deserve better than Butch’s repeated and comical utterances of  ‘I know nothing.’ I don’t believe him and neither do my Tar Heel buddies.

With the win, Tech moved to 6-0 in the ACC and turned this Saturday’s trip to the land of obliging jewelers into something other than compelling [In the postgame handshake, did Butch ask Frank to bring back some more bling?]. Tech does not have to beat Shannon’s underachievers to secure a spot in the ACC’s championship game in Charlotte, although knocking them off again would be nice, if for no other reason than habit. The Canes will have their Back against the wall and just might play like it, meaning Tech would also have to lose at home to the Hoos to blow the Charlotte game. Well, stranger things have happened.

While Tech continued to breeze through the ACC’s Coastal Division, things are far more interesting in the Atlantic. Presumably, somebody will emerge to provide championship game opposition, although ESPN might get better ratings by bagging it and running more poker. All three contenders won last Saturday. NC State and Maryland had the strong advantages of a Second Half meltdown by the Hoos while Russell Wilson dueled Tyrod for 1st team all-ACC honors by going off against woeful Wake. Florida State had a bit tougher time of it, but were saved when Clem’s defense pulled a Dabo in the last minute of the game. As strange as it may seem, the Atlantic could come down to the season-ending Pack- Terps game. Few predicted that back in August.

I will spend this weekend enjoying the rare treat of watching college games on the Bravia. While the Clubhouse will be in Miami, I won’t, judging the geographical distance just a bit too imposing. Senior Hokie, Grillmaster and Atlee Hokie are made of sterner stuff than I. Enjoy the trip, guys.


  1. BobLee — November 15, 2010 #

    OK, who came up with the stoopid idea of playing TWO halves in a football game?   Geezzzzz.  Butch’s intrepid “Us Against The World” young warriors ran out of gas as dusk settled ‘oer Kenan’s lofty pines.  When we get us those $3,000 End Zone seats we’ll be ready for you guys by golly.
    Clubhousers ROCK !!!!  The Kindly Ol’ Bill Friday Center Parking Lot was honored by your presence.


  2. Jim — November 15, 2010 #

    Good to see you again! This Saturday, Pack-Heels then Tech-Canes mean an entire afternoon spent in front of the Bravia. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday.


  3. Atlee — November 15, 2010 #

    We’ll just how much “sterner stuff” I’m made of once we get back.

    Was good meeting BobLee again.  And it was a fine day for football.


  4. Randy Barnhart — November 15, 2010 #

    Great stuff, Jim. Glad to hear the Clubhouse crew is doing well. Wondered how you guys would fare surrounded by vegan tailgates in CH.


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