It was an interesting weekend.
With Virginia Tech facing a bye week in preparation to determining if their usual record and high ranking have been achieved through scheduling sleight-of-hand or, contrary to most visual evidence, the Hokies are actually that good, I found myself at loose ends. Once again I pondered the vexing question: What does one do on weekends when one is not chasing around after the Tech football team?
It is a question that will pop up again and again, as Tech now moves into the weeknight portion of its schedule. My solution, following a Friday night spent re-acquainting myself with the staff and patrons of first my favorite watering hole, then restaurant, was to: Watch Football.
I don’t get to watch a lot of televised college football during the season. The opportunity to spend 12 hours in my recliner in front of my Bravia, rather than around a tailgate, did offer a change of pace.
Shortly after noon Saturday, I relaxed in the Lazy Boy with two pounds of steamed shellfish and sufficient adult beverages to get me through the day, ready to spend it in relative comfort.
And leaped right back up. It turned out the ‘Experiencing Video Difficulties’ message flashed by WDBJ was there in order for them to determine how to change from the Carolina- State game to the Hoo- Terp one. This was no doubt due to the large amount of screeching coming from those same Roanoke Hoos hoo fill up the Letters section of the Times griping about what they perceive [correctly] as far more coverage of Tech than their heroes. They got their wish.
The problem was that I wanted to watch the Heels and Pack. I will get interested in the London Miracle around Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I have far more interest in what goes on among the ACC’s RTP contingent, due not only to my own experiences at Duke but also that I have several friends who swear allegiance to either State or Carolina. I am aware that while the media fixates on the Duke- Carolina basketball rivalry, sheer numbers and proximity to each other make the Heels and Pack a huge rivalry, especially in football.
Spice had been added to this year’s clash, with Carolina coach Interim Everett [IE] Withers attempting to reverse what was one of the more endearing aspects that come from hiring Butch, immediately losing game after game to your biggest rival. Reversing the 4 straight losses by claiming State was academically-inferior to the Ivy on the Hill in Blue Heaven was an interesting ploy, especially coming from a coach from a staff that had seemed hell-bent on breaking every single NCAA rule, including those pertaining to academics.
This caught the attention and raised the hackles of usually-stoic State coach TOB, who stopped TOB-ing long enough to point out the glass house nature of IE’s put-down. The ruckus in Raleigh also came to the attention of Carolina prez Boy Thorpe, who found himself barely back from Indianapolis where he had attended the NCAA hearing into Carolina’s Butch-induced transgressions before he had to call his counterpart at State to apologize for IE’s intemperate remarks. For a guy who claims not to be a huge fan of football, Thorpe sure spends a lot of time defending and apologizing for his program.
All of this added a bit of dash to the usual monotony of yet another State win and I wanted to watch it. After determining that Comcast Cable was not showing the game being played closest to my house, I settled in at the computer to watch on ESPN3 the usual monotony of another State win. It was a hell of a job audition by IE.
Three hours, half a pound of shellfish and several adult beverages later, I was back in the recliner to watch Duke and the Canes before the usual empty house in Miami. Well, the telecast led off with shots of attractive, bikini-clad young ladies cavorting on South Beach. I wouldn’t have been at the stadium, either, certainly not after the Canes blew away the Devils quick.
Things did slow down a bit as I alternated between the Canes’ RUTS and watching Texas A&M get yet another not-so-pleasant send-off to the SEC. Just think, Aggies, in another year you will no longer have to endure poundings by Oklahoma, instead replacing them with poundings by LSU and Alabama.
The Tigers and the Tide was, of course, the day’s biggest game. It had to be watched, with forays during commercials to ABC to check out Notre Dame and Wake battle in what the ACC and UConn hope will, in the not-so-distant future, be a conference game. The Irish and Deacs turned out to be a pretty decent game, one I would not have minded watching in its entirety were it not for the latest Game of the Century on CBS.
LSU and Alabama lived up to hype, at least defensively, my favorite side of the ball. By the time the Tigers escaped the penalty kick OT with a 3 goals to 2 win, I had exhausted my football-watching quota for the day. I had no interest whatsoever in the Pac-Many game between somebody and somebody Fox Sports was wedging in at the end of the day.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday. It will also be repeated the next two, as Tech’s Thursday night schedule means I will be chewing up weekdays instead of weekends traveling to games. Between now and the end of the month, I anticipate watching a lot of football. Which is why, of course, we have the month of November.