Football '97
by Jim Alderson, 7/21/97

Note from Will: as you know, from time to time I like to relinquish the reigns of control here at HokieCentral and let someone else contribute. This latest contribution is from Jim Alderson of Danville.

Jim is best described as a conservative political humorist (my wording, not his). He produces an email newsletter called the A-Line which exposes the very soft and very large underbelly of the Clinton administration, all the while taking a humorous slant (because sometimes, if you don't laugh, the only alternative is to cry. This is never more true than when discussing politics).

While the bulk of the A-Line content is politics, Jim also focuses his rapier wit on sports commentary, mainly on the Hokies and ACC sports. He occasionally goes off on a diatribe about pretty boy NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon, who fits somewhere between Hillary Clinton and Al Gore on Jim's list of favorite people.

But enough of me telling you about Jim. Here's his brief bio, as relayed to me by him:

Name: Jim Alderson
Address: Danville, VA
Marital Status: divorced-and looking
Alma Mater: Virginia Tech-class of 74 (that makes me 45 and damn old)
Occupation: Real Estate

As for the A-Line, here's what Jim has to say about it (he posts this at the bottom of every A-Line newsletter):

"The A-Line is published monthly [or bi-monthly, or, actually, whenever I feel like it] for as long as I feel like it or until I can figure out how to make big bucks off of it. To subscribe, send e-mail to a-line@gamewood.net. Comments can be sent to the same address. They will probably be ignored and deleted, but feel free to send them anyway."

I recommend emailing Jim and getting on his A-Line email list ... unless your politics are liberal. In which case, email Jim anyway - he has his own recommendations for you.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because Jim was kind enough to allow me to use one of his pieces here at HokieCentral (and all it cost me was a T-shirt). Specifically, Jim wrote a humorous preview of this coming football season, in which he gives you his predictions and gives us a special look at a world where coaches say what they're thinking, not where they say what they ought to be thinking.

So, without further ado, here is Jim's "A-Line Special: Football '97." Strap yourself in, because it's a long one!

The following is a parody and should be treated as such. It may or may not reflect how I feel the upcoming season will turn out. Some names have been changed to protect the moronic. - Jim Alderson

Suppose coaches said what they really thought after games?


August 24

Wisconsin 35 Syracuse 31

300 yards total offense by Orange quarterback Donovan McNabb went for naught as the bigger and faster Badgers posted the Kickoff Classic win in Giants Stadium. Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni denied in his post-game interview that yet another season was shot to hell.


August 30

Virginia Tech 24 Rutgers 17

New Hokies quarterback Al Clark struggled in his debut as Tech continued its recent habit of playing poorly in opening games. "We stunk," Frank Beamer remarked after the game. "We've got no chance against Syracuse." Terry Shea was upbeat. "We can build on this."

West Virginia 35 Marshall 14

The Thundering Herd became the Blundering Herd and had a rude welcome to Division I-A as the Mountaineers handled them easily in this family feud. WVU tailback Amos Zeroue rushed for 205 yards and star Marshall wide receiver and felon Randy Moss was held in check. Don Nehlen showed no interest in breeding a West Virginia in-state rivalry with the Herd. "Why?" he said. "Who wants to slaughter sheep?"

Southwest Louisiana 27 Pittsburgh 21

New Pitt head coach Walt Harris picked up where predecessor Johnny Majors left off as the Panthers lost their season opener. "We have no talent," Harris moaned. "What idiot recruited these stiffs?"

Temple 26 Western Michigan 17

The Owls opened their season with their annual win over their annual MAC patsy. Temple coach Ron Dickerson observed "Maybe we're in the wrong conference." Other Big East ADs immediately agreed.

Syracuse 42 NC State 17

The Orangemen got on track with their mauling of the Wolfpack. "They're a lot easier than Carolina," Pasqualoni said after the game. State coach Mike O'Cain summed up yet another Pack loss with "It won't be the last one."

Baylor 24 Miami 14

"This bites," Hurricanes coach Butch Davis said after the Canes embarrassing loss to the Bears. "Who does Baylor think they are, East Carolina?" Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas dismissed the loss, pointing to Miami's great tradition. Boobas added that the Canes could still win the MNC.


September 6

West Virginia 12 East Carolina 10

The Mountaineers received a gift victory from the Pirates for the second straight year when ECU coach Steve Logan faked a 25 yard field goal with 0:03 left and unsuccessfully passed for the end zone. "I figured nobody would expect that," Logan justified. "He got that right," said Don Nehlen.

Penn State 73 Pittsburgh 0

Joe Paterno denied running up the score in this resumption of the series between these two old rivals. "RUTS. Me?" When asked what it would take for the Panthers to again become competitive with the Lions, Walt Harris replied "Get real. We have major problems here." Harris added that 100,000 additional well-heeled alumni would be a step in the right direction.

Temple 20 Boston College 13

The Big East was aghast as the Owls used the advantage of already having played a game to spoil the debut of new Eagles coach Tom O'Brien. "Wow, a winning streak," said Ron Dickerson on Temple's two-game run, his longest. "Oops," said O'Brien.

Texas 45 Rutgers 10

"We can build on this," declared Terry Shea. "We're improving."

Syracuse 37 Oklahoma 13

"Somebody sure trashed this program," Paul Pasqualoni observed after the Orangemen thumped the Sooners.

North Carolina 49 Indiana 0

"Damn, I'm good," chortled UNC coach Mack Brown after the Tar Heels easily handled the Hoosiers. "Bring on Florida $tate."

Auburn 23 Virginia 17

The War Eagles edged the hoos as Bobby Bowden assisted son Terry on the Auburn sideline during the Thursday night game before flying to Washington to appear on the Today Show. "I can handle one Bowden," said uva coach George Welsh. "Two's a bitch."

NC State 45 Duke 41

"A win," celebrated Mike O'Cain after the Wolfpack prevailed in the usual State-Duke shoot-out. "Another loss. Imagine that," said Devils coach Fred Goldsmith following his team's fourteenth straight.

Northwestern 31 Wake Forest 21

The Deacons were unable to upset the Wildcats for the second straight year. "Did you really expect us to beat them again?" Wake coach Jim Caldwell asked his post-game press conference.

Southern Cal 31 Florida $tate 28

The $eminoles followed up their Sugar Bowl loss by losing to the Trojans in overtime. The Noles appeared disorganized, possibly due to Bobby Bowden arriving late due to flight complications from Washington to Los Angeles. Bowden left at the end of regulation to prepare for his hosting of Saturday Night Live.


September 13

Virginia Tech 14 Syracuse 7

Tech's strategy of letting the Worsham Field grass grow before Syracuse games worked again as the Hokies won their season opener. The defensive struggle amid the foot-high Lane Stadium grass was decided following a fourth quarter McNabb fumble. The teams were unable to find the ball in the grass until a sudden gust of wind parted it, allowing Tech defensive back Keion Carpenter to spy the ball, scoop it up and return it for the deciding touchdown. Paul Pasqualoni denied that another season was shot to hell. Frank Beamer admitted that the grass waving like a field of alfalfa may have been a distraction, but stated that "Both teams had to play on the same field."

Tech Athletic Director Dave Braine denied that the grass had been purposely grown high all summer to slow down McNabb. Braine said that funds to cut Worsham Field and Tech's practice facility had been diverted to women's sports to ensure Title IX compliance. Braine also announced another million dollar gift from Wes Worsham, which would allow both to be cut in time for the Hokies next home game.

West Virginia 28 Boston College 14

The Mountaineers moved to 3-0 and the Eagles dropped to 0-2 as Don Nehlen continued his mastery of various BC coaches. "Does it really matter who coaches them?" Nehlen said. Tom O'Brien told reporters "Who was the genius here who hired Henning?"

Houston 45 Pittsburgh 27

Walt Harris dropped to 0-3 in his inaugural season, and attempted to justify the Panthers start by pointing to the caliber of Pitt's opposition. "Hey, Houston won CUSA last year. We're not losing to dogs." When reminded of Southwest Louisiana , Harris retorted "Okay, we lost to the dog, too. So sue me."

Penn State 70 Temple 6

Joe Paterno denied running up the score against Big East bottom-dwellers to draw attention to his nationally-ranked Lions not being in the East. "RUTS? Me?" Ron Dickerson was philosophical following the ending of his Owl's two game winning streak. "It was nice while it lasted."

Rutgers 13 Navy 10

"Hot damn," was Terry Shea's comments following his team's first win of the year. "I told you we're getting better. We don't suck nearly as bad as our fans say we do."

Arizona State 20 Miami 13

A testy Butch Davis met with members of the media following the Canes dropping to 0-2. "Do the words 'scholarship reductions' mean anything to you clowns?" Davis asked derisive reporters from the Miami Herald. "I didn't make this mess." Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas dismissed the loss, pointing to Miami's great tradition. "The Canes are back," he added.

Virginia 49 Richmond 0

The hoos evened their record at 1-1 following their routing of the Spiders. "It's a great in-state rivalry," Welsh responded in answer to questions about playing I-AA Richmond. When asked his definition of great in-state rivalry, Welsh answered "One that we win."

North Carolina 31 Stanford 7

"Damn, I'm good," chortled UNC coach Mack Brown after the Tar Heels easily handled the Cardinal. "Bring on Florida $tate."

Northwestern 35 Duke 23

Fred Goldsmith fielded questions about the direction of his program following the Blue Devils latest loss. "Boy, you would think a coach had never lost fifteen in a row before," Goldsmith said.

Florida $tate 59 Maryland 0

The $eminoles got untracked by smashing the Terps. When asked about the ease of the conference win, Bobby Bowden, before leaving to appear on FOX Sports College Scoreboard, asked "Why do you think we joined the ACC?"

Clemson 13 NC State 10

The Tigers of buffoonish Tommy West knocked off the Wolfpack, continuing Mike O'Cain's 0-fer against Clemson. "Oh, come on," O'Cain said. "Even Dick Sheridan lost to Clemson."

East Carolina 45 Wake Forest 24

"Boy, that ACC's a tough conference," said Steve Logan following the Pirates latest rout of an ACC team. Jim Caldwell pointed out that the Deacons were only 0-2, and had nine more opportunities to win a game.


September 20

Virginia Tech 21 Temple 16

The Hokies used two fourth quarter scores by tailback Ken Oxendine to finally subdue the stubborn Owls. "I am proud of how my team responded under adverse circumstances," Frank Beamer told the Tech Radio Network. "For a while there, I thought we had been shot and left for dead by the side of the road."

Miami 30 Pittsburgh 14

The Hurricanes rolled over the Panthers before 12,400 in Pitt Stadium on a Thursday night ESPN game. "Our number one goal, now, is to win the Big East Conference, " said Butch Davis. With a few more teams like Pitt, that seems realistic." Walt Harris expressed disappointment with the crowd. "This place should have been full. Pitt and Miami used to be the biggest names in college football." Canes fan extradordinaire Mike Boobas predicted that Miami would go 9-2 and win the MNC on name recognition.

Boston College 17 Rutgers 13

The Eagles picked up their first win under Tom O'Brien, who said afterwards "It's nice to win. It had been a while." Terry Shea said "We still don't suck."

Syracuse 56 Tulane 13

The Orangemen worked out their frustrations in the rout over the Green Wave. Paul Pasqualoni attempted to deflect criticism from his team's record by saying "3-2's not too bad."

Florida $tate 55 Clemson 10

"Ya'll be good, hear?" Bobby Bowden yelled to the contingent of South Carolina sportswriters as he boarded the plane to head for a guest appearance on the Jeff Foxworthy Show after the victory over the buffoonish Tommy West.

North Carolina 37 Maryland 0

"Damn, I'm good," chortled Mack Brown after the Tar Heels easily handled the Terps. "Bring on Florida $tate."

NC State 49 Northern Illinois 13

"Any talk of ACC expansion ought to include these guys," said Mike O'Cain. "They bring a lot to the table."

Army 34 Duke 27

"Sixteen, schmixteen," Fred Goldsmith said after the latest Blue Devil loss. "Who's keeping count?" Told that Duke fans were, Goldsmith responded with "Gee. You'd think they'd be too busy curing cancer or something."

Georgia Tech 24 Wake Forest 12

"We're only 0-3, said Jim Caldwell. "We have eight chances left to win a game."

East Carolina 38 South Carolina 21

When asked at his post-game press conference why the Gamecocks had no more games scheduled against the Pirates, Brad Scott said "You figure it out, Einstein."


September 27

Virginia Tech 70 Arkansas State 0

"This is just what we needed," Frank Beamer told his radio audience as the Hokies put together their first total effort of the season. When asked about play-calling that had five Hokie backs over one hundred yards, paced by Ken Oxendine who gained 158 despite sitting out the final three quarters, but included absolutely no passes called, Beamer answered "What was the point against these dogs?" Beamer also addressed Tech's scheduling concerns saying, "There will always be a place for a bad football team on Virginia Tech's schedule."

Boston College 26 Cincinnati 10

"I would have bet money we would win this game," Tom O'Brien exulted, quickly adding "No, I wouldn't."

North Carolina 20 Virginia 14

"Damn, I'm good," Mack Brown chortled after the Tar Heels edged the hoos. "Bring on Florida $tate." George Welsh said "I guess you can't depend on Brown to make bonehead calls every year, just most."

Navy 16 Duke 14

"Hey, we're getting closer," was Fred Goldsmith's justification as the losing streak reached seventeen. "I'll tell you this. At least our kids belong in college. Can Navy say that?" Told that yes, Navy could indeed say that, and, unlike Duke actually won games and went to bowls, Goldsmith replied "Hey. I didn't get this kind of abuse at Rice, and we were no good there, either."

NC State 34 Wake Forest 19

In a game played for no apparent reason, the 3-2 Wolfpack dropped the Deacons to 0-4. "I'm happy to be at 3-2," said Mike O'Cain. "That hasn't happened too often since I took over." Jim Caldwell, when asked which team on the Deacons remaining schedule could be beaten, asked, "When do we play Duke?"

Maryland 31 Temple 28

"I don't know how many more of these close losses I can take," said Ron Dickerson. "I may have to quit."

Miami 14 West Virginia 10

"We're on track to the Big East Championship and our goals," Butch Davis said following the Hurricanes tough victory over the Mountaineers before 23,408 at the Orange Bowl. Davis complained of the lack of fan support, saying "It was so quiet you could hear a trash can drop. This team is playing their hearts out, and the Orange Bowl should be rocking like a Morgantown ambulance."

Don Nehlen opined that Miami would never win under Davis. "They should bring back Dennis Eriksen." Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas exulted that "We're on our way," and said that although he did not attend games, it was a shame others didn't. Miami alumni in Utah, California, and DC urged Boobas to get a grip. Boobas continued to brag on the Canes 2-2 record, predicting a MNC and declaring "Florida $tate will go down."


October 4

Florida $tate 45 Miami 7

"I guess I'll change my tombstone," Bobby Bowden chuckled after the $eminoles continued to put miles between their program and the Canes. When asked about leaving his starters in late in the game, Bowden stated "Hell yes I RUTSed 'em. So what? Do you realize how much grief they've caused me over the years?" Bowden then left for a "Seinfeld" taping. An angry Butch Davis vowed "Our day will come." Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas accused the Noles of cheating by dressing a full complement of players and allowing fans to fill Doak-Campbell Stadium.

Virginia Tech 35 Miami [OH] 17

"That was a tough one," Frank Beamer told his post-game press conference following Tech's struggles against the Bobcats. Earlier, during the Point After, Beamer had told Mike Burnop "Do all of you people bitching about our schedule really have wanted to play Ohio State today? As far as I'm concerned, we played the right team from that state."

East Carolina 34 Syracuse 31

"I guess our season is shot to hell now," Paul Pasqualoni said after the Orangemen dropped to 3-3. "You know," opined Steve Logan, "If I hadn't made such an asinine call in Morgantown, we would be undefeated."

West Virginia 47 Rutgers 3

"I just love playing Rutgers," Don Nehlen said of the Mountaineers pounding of the Knights. "Can you believe they actually beat us in 94?" Terry Shea was depressed. "Maybe we do suck as bad as our fans say we do."

Maryland 35 Duke 24

The first question to Fred Goldsmith following loss number eighteen dealt with the Blue Devils utter futility on the gridiron and their seeming to be overmatched against every team on their schedule. Goldsmith responded "Always with the negative waves, Moriarity."

Virginia 30 Wake Forest 0

"We really needed Wake to show up on the schedule to get us back on track," George Welsh said after the hoos annual pounding of the Deacons. "When is that Duke game?" asked Jim Caldwell.

Temple 31 Pittsburgh 28

The Owls knocked off the Panthers for the second time in three years and won their second conference game in a season for the first time ever. "I guess we'd better throw Pitt out of the Big East," was Ron Dickerson's comment. Walt Harris said "Hey, I know I'm a johnnie come lately, but somebody sure did a lousy job before I got here."


October 11

Virginia Tech 40 Boston College 14

The Hokies bounced back from their lackluster showing against the other Miami by looking crisp in pounding the Eagles. "Five bowl games in a row," Beamer said of his 6-0 Tech team. "Somebody be sure and tell that to Bill Dooley." When asked about former uva assistant Tom O'Brien's chances with BC, Beamer answered "All he has to do is keep practicing what Coach Welsh taught him. At least against us." O'Brien told his news conference that it was unique losing from the Lane Stadium sideline. "Maybe in 1999 I'll go back to the press box."

Notre Dame 55 Pittsburgh 6

"What nitwit scheduled this game?" Walt Harris observed after the Panthers were pounded by the Irish, adding "If we have to play them, they should at least be required to bring Holtz back."

Florida $tate 62 Duke 13

"I thought we played pretty well," Fred Goldsmith said at the conclusion of loss number nineteen. Goldsmith reacted to the snickering of sportswriters by saying "Now cut that out. I've got feelings too." Bobby Bowden missed his press conference to catch a plane to Charlotte to appear on NASCAR Today. He called Jeff Gordon his favorite driver. "That Pretty Boy can drive."

Virginia 17 Clemson 7

"If you can't out coach the buffoonish Tommy West," said George Welsh, "You don't belong in the business."

Syracuse 59 Rutgers 12

"We could be a Top Ten team," said Paul Pasqualoni, "If it wasn't for the fact that we've already lost three games." Terry Shea was depressed. "Why is it that we so consistently suck?"

North Carolina 51 Wake Forest 9

Damn, I'm good," chortled Mack Brown after the Tar Heels easily handled the Deacons. "Bring on Florida $tate." "We really are out of our league in the ACC," sighed Jim Caldwell. "Anybody given any thought to Division III?"

West Virginia 42 Maryland 21

"They should change coaches every year," Don Nehlen laughed after the Mountaineers pounded the Terps.


October 18

Florida $tate 48 Georgia Tech 15

"I love the ACC," Bobby Bowden said at his abbreviated press conference as he left to make an appearance as Guest Forecaster on The Weather Channel.

North Carolina 28 NC State 0

"Damn, I'm good," chortled Mack Brown after the Tar Heels easily handled the Wolfpack. "Bring on Florida $tate." "Yeah, I've never beaten them," Mike O'Cain said of his latest loss to the Pack's arch rival. "How about next year we keep score by team GPA?"

Virginia 23 Duke 13

"All I have to say is I'm sure glad I'm not Fred Goldsmith," George Welsh said after the hoos listless win over the Devils. "How does somebody manage to lose twenty in a row?" Goldsmith was touring the uva campus. "I've always wanted to see the Rotunda," he said. "What was Mr. Jefferson's record?"

Miami 24 Boston College 14

"This team is completely focused on winning the Big East," Butch Davis announced after the Canes knocked off the Eagles. "The polls will take care of themselves." Tom O'Brien tried to explain BC's 2-5 record with "Two words. Dan Henning." Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas announced that, due to the high quality and insightful nature of his posts, he was now charging $1 per e-mail to read his words of wisdom.

Syracuse 58 Temple 0

"I sure would like to have the Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and East Carolina games back," was Paul Pasqualoni's lament following SU's laugher over the Owls. "I've had enough of this, I quit," exclaimed Ron Dickerson, quickly adding "No I don't."


October 25

Virginia Tech 30 West Virginia 7

The bigger, faster, stronger, and deeper Hokies wore down the Mountaineers and broke open a close game in the fourth quarter. Don Nehlen griped, for the fourth straight year, that he was at a competitive disadvantage due to the lack of football prospects in West Virginia. "Dammit, that state's loaded with them," Nehlen fumed. "It's not fair." Nehlen also said that WVU players and coaches had difficulty concentrating during games with Tech due to staring at "That funny-looking thing on Frank's neck." Beamer responded with "I can understand Coach Nehlen's frustration. I'd be upset if I lost even three in a row to them, much less four."

Florida $tate 41 Virginia 21

"I think we should only play them on Thursday nights," George Welsh said after another defeat at the hands of the $eminoles. Bobby Bowden, offering a quick comment as he left for Washington and an appearance on C-Span, said "Yeah. We'll play on Thursday night again when they change the name of Rugby Road to Tech Turnpike."

Duke 45 Wake Forest 42

The capacity crowd watching basketball practice at Cameron Indoor Stadium erupted in polite applause when it was announced that the Blue Devils had finally ended the losing streak and defeated the Demon Deacons. A response by a Duke student in attendance, when asked if he was aware that the 0-7 Devils were playing the 0-7 Deacons next door at Wallace Wade Stadium, was typical. "Get out of the way," he said. " I can't see Battier." Jim Caldwell said afterwards, "Oh crap. Duke, too." Fulfilling a promise made to his team earlier in the week, Fred Goldsmith ran naked through the Duke Chapel.

Miami 38 Temple 13

"There's nothing wrong with Miami that a few more Temples won't cure," said Butch Davis. "Temple losing to Miami," offered Ron Dickerson. "That's not exactly man bites dog."

Rutgers 24 Pittsburgh 14

"It's about damn time we won again," was Terry Shea's comment following the Knights turn at beating the Panthers. "I sure want to thank those 15,000 fans who showed up, and the 5,000 not carrying signs saying we suck." Walt Harris tried to remain upbeat as the Panthers dropped to 0-8. "Hey. I'm a football coach, not Mother Theresa."

Notre Dame 31 Boston College 21

"At least we covered the spread," Tom O'Brien began at his news conference. "I didn't mean that."


November 1

Virginia Tech 59 UAB 6

"Boy, they were pretty bad," Frank Beamer told the Point After following the Hokies conquest of the Blazers. Beamer again defended Tech's weak non-conference schedule, saying "Hey, drop a State here and a Birmingham there and it looks pretty good."

Florida $tate 56 NC State 3

Bobby Bowden again cut short his press conference to catch a plane to appear on CNN's The Capitol Gang. Fielding only one question, about the $eminoles caliber of opposition in the ACC, Bowden answered "Are you kidding? If we were in the SEC I'd actually have to coach some football."

Syracuse 28 West Virginia 12

"One of these days we're going to beat one of the BE's Big Three," claimed Don Nehlen after the Mountaineers lost their fourth straight to Syracuse and twelfth straight to SU, Tech, and Miami. "Hopefully, in my lifetime."

"Any chance of Tech and Miami both losing to each other?" Paul Pasqualoni wondered. "I don't want to get stuck in the Liberty Bowl again."

Rutgers 35 Temple 28

"Teams that suck don't put together winning streaks," claimed Terry Shea following the Knights second straight win, a first for Shea at RU. Ron Dickerson, commenting on the Veterans Stadium crowd listed at 0, said "It's enough to make you want to quit," quickly adding "No it's not."

North Carolina 26 Georgia Tech 7

Damn, I'm good," chortled Mack Brown after the Tar Heels easily handled the Yellow Jackets. "Bring on Florida $tate." When reminded that the $eminoles were indeed the next game, Brown amended his comments to "I mean, I certainly am looking forward to playing that great Florida $tate team under that wonderful coach, my former boss Bobby Bowden."


November 8

Virginia Tech 27 Miami 7

The Hokies used their superior size, speed, conditioning and depth to knock off injury-ravaged Miami and clinch a share of the Big East Football Championship. The 9-0 Hokies also wrapped up a third straight Alliance Bowl bid. "I congratulate Coach Beamer and Virginia Tech," said a gracious Butch Davis in defeat, adding "We'll be back one of these days." Frank Beamer saluted Davis, saying "Believe me, it's tough dealing with scholarship reductions. I've done it, and I sure as hell don't want to have to go through that again."

Hampton Roads Miami fans picked up right where they left off after the 1995 game with A-Line tailgaters in the Lane Stadium parking lot. Following four hours worth of post-game festivities that involved fifty-six sausage biscuits, over a thousand deviled eggs, and five cases of Lite Ice, the Canes bought all Tech paraphernalia off of the A-Liners, saying "We may need this for a while." No one knew what Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas had to say. Even the other Miami fans weren't buying his rantings.

Florida $tate 17 North Carolina 14

The tough ball game was overshadowed by events stemming from a Friday visit by Bobby Bowden to the Big Show radio program. When asked by host Johnathan "John-Boy" Eisley: "Coach, are there as many homos at F$U as at UNC?" Bowden had replied "Not at all. All the ones that aren't dead of AIDS are in Gainesville." Enraged members of the Peoples Republic of Chapel Hill-based group ACTUP picketed Kenan Stadium before and during the game, with some blowing past security guards and running onto the field, where they were distracted by the players.

"I'm getting the hell out of here," was Bowden's only comment following the game. Mack Brown had little to say concerning the Tar Heels loss, instead spending his news conference introducing his wife and children. ACTUP representatives presented a list of demands to Carolina administrators. They included no more games scheduled against the "homophobe" Bowden, changing UNC's colors from light blue and white to lavender and pink, renaming the Bell Tower the Celebration of Sexual Diversity Tower, Franklin Street to Homosexual Drive, and the Dean E. Smith Center to the AIDS Awareness Center, or Queen Dome. Carolina officials meekly agreed to all demands but one.

Clemson 31 Duke 0

The Blue Devils quickly returned to form, losing to the buffoonish Tommy West's Tigers. Fred Goldsmith bristled when asked by a sportswriter if he was aware that the Devils were now winning games at the clip of 0.5 per year. "What have we got now, Math majors as writers? This is as bad as that slumlord writing an Internet newsletter."

Virginia 23 Georgia Tech 20

The hoos kept on track for another minor bowl bid by knocking off the Yellow Jackets. The game was temporarily halted in the third quarter when one of the Scott Stadium upper decks collapsed, killing all 213 people seated there. After the field was cleared of rubble and bodies, play resumed. "Well, it's a shame," said George Welsh afterwards, "but it's not like we have any fans who sit up there." When asked about continuing the game following the tragedy, Welsh said "If we stopped everything anytime something fell down around here, we'd never get anything done." It was decided not to attempt repairs until the November 29 Virginia Tech game, when sufficient Engineering talent was expected to be on hand to properly evaluate the structure.

Rutgers 27 Wake Forest 17

Terry Shea began his postgame remarks with "You know. If the fool Athletic Director here hadn't scheduled Texas, we'd have a shot at a bowl game." Jim Caldwell was too preoccupied reading help wanted ads from the New York Times to answer questions.


November 15

Florida $tate 105 Wake Forest 0

Bobby Bowden conducted his post-game interview from the tarmac at the Tallahassee airport as he rushed to catch a plane for a guest shot on The TV Food Network's Emeril Live. When asked about leaving his starters in late in the game to score one hundred points, Bowden said "Hey. I always wanted to do it once." Wake finished at 0-11. Jim Caldwell was heard muttering "Damn Duke."

Miami 20 Rutgers 17

A quarterback controversy erupted in Coral Gables when Butch Davis replaced Ryan Clement with Scott Covington in the second half of the Canes struggle with the Knights. The move came when Clement, tired of the delay of game penalties incurred when he constantly went to the sideline to argue play-calling with Davis, started ignoring plays sent in from the coaching staff and began calling his own. "Boy, you would think after three years everybody would have gotten the message," Davis told the media. "This is my team." Clement held his own press conference and vowed never to play for Davis again. Davis responded with "That would be my guess too."

West Virginia 31 Temple 3

"I would like to remind people in Miami and Jacksonville that we bring lots of fans to bowl games," Don Nehlen voiced after the 6-3 Mountaineers qualified for one. Ron Dickerson's Owls closed their season at 2-9, prompting Dickerson to say "I'm tired of trying to win at this graveyard. I quit. I mean it this time. No I don't. Yes I do. No I don't......"


November 22

Virginia Tech 35 Pittsburgh 10

"We were totally focused on winning the Big East Championship," Frank Beamer stated as he thumbed through the copy of the virginia Football Media Guide he had been carrying throughout the game. "Our concentration was one hundred per cent on beating the ....uh... BC? Temple?..[Jack, who were we playing? Pitt?]. Our concentration was one hundred per cent on beating the Pitt....uh... Pitt Panthers and we haven't thought at all of next week's opponent and the dirty, underhanded way they stole Isabelle." When asked how long it would take for his Panthers to beat Tech, Walt Harris replied "Yeah. Like that will happen anytime soon."

Duke 6 North Carolina 0

The Tar Heels were forced to forfeit when the Carolina players refused to take the field wearing the new lavender jerseys with pink pants. "A win's a win," said Fred Goldsmith. "So much the better if you can get one without actually playing." Mack Brown was not available for comment. He was reported to be distributing resumes to all Southeast Conference schools.

East Carolina 45 NC State 27

"Boy, that ACCs a tough conference," said Steve Logan following the Pirates latest rout of an ACC team. "Thank God that's over," Mike O'Cain said of the Wolfpack's current schedule of games with ECU.

Florida 47 Florida $tate 19

Bobby Bowden's words continued to haunt him as the Gators rolled over the $eminoles. The post-game handshake consisted of Steve Spurrier snarling "Who're the faggots now?" and striding off Florida Field. Bowden stated afterwards on ESPN's GameDay "Dadgummit, I like Steve, but he sure takes things personally."

Notre Dame 34 West Virginia 7

"Make that check out to the West Virginia Athletic Department," Don Nehlen said following the Mountaineers latest loss to a ranked team.


November 29

West Virginia 36 Pittsburgh 20

"What a terrific series this is between two terrific football teams," Don Nehlen said of the latest edition of the Backyard Brawl. "Who really cares about beating Tech or winning the BE as long as we can beat Pitt." Asked to give a realistic appraisal of 0-11 Pitt's chances of returning to prominence anytime soon, Walt Harris answered that the Panthers could go "6-5 in 2-3 years, which would get Pitt back into a bowl, and me back into the Big 10. Maybe sooner if Cooper keeps blowing games to Michigan." Harris vowed to "Do everything humanly possible to improve Pitt's fortunes and get me off of this stepping-stone."

Miami 33 Syracuse 28

"This is an excellent foundation for a future move to the next level," Butch Davis said after the Canes annual win over the Orangemen." Paul Pasqualoni was circumspect: "Jesus. You'd think the law of averages would catch up after a while."

Virginia Tech 24 Virginia 14

The Hokies completed the first 11-0 season in school history by beating uva in a physical, hard-fought contest. Immediately following the game, Frank Beamer was interviewed by ABC Television commentator Bill Dooley. When asked by Dooley how it felt to be 11-0, Beamer responded with "It feels great, but you wouldn't know about that, would you? Put any programs on probation lately, jerk?" Beamer praised George Welsh, adding "I hope he stays at virginia for many years."

It appeared that would not be the case as Welsh opened his post-game press conference by observing the assembled half-dozen of the state's sportswriters and saying "You guys drew the short straws, huh? What are you, the interns? Well, I'll make it easy for you. I have nothing to say. Screw it. Go interview your precious Frank Beamer. He's got the big record, doesn't he? 11-0. Ooooh, undefeated. What a great coach he must be. He gets a full house whenever he plays somebody decent while I walk onto my own field and see more Hokies in the stands than hoos. He gets real fans who make noise while mine show up drunk for noon games and spend the second half vomiting on each other. He gets a new weight building while this whole damn campus is falling down. Mr. Jefferson my butt. He takes thirty thousand to Miami while we've got to give tickets away to orphans to make two. But he's the great coach. That's what you think, isn't it? I can tell. I can see it in your faces. I turned down the Notre Dame job before they offered it to that fool Holtz, although God knows why. Do you think I'm appreciated? I'm out of here. I'm going to go sailing or divorce another wife or something. And that's another thing. Forty years of marriage, so what? I didn't knock her around, did I? Not like that imbecile Jones. He'll lose more games in December than I've lost in the Nineties, but noooo, he's Terry's boy. He gets the new arena. Not exactly like what few fans we've got have any reason to fill that bandbox he's in now, is there? And Holland, that's another story. How many titles did that pompous ass win when he coached Sampson? None, that's how many. Nada. Zilch. At least I've shared two, which is two more than Mr. Wonderful. I've had it. I'm leaving. Do you know how hard it is to win at this dump? Just let that idiot Corso or Holtz come in here and see what happens. I'll tell you what'll happen. Right back to the 2-9s is what'll happen. It'll be Sonny Randle city all over again. And another thing....." Paramedics sedated the agitated Welsh and he was reported to be resting comfortably at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Athletic Director Terry Holland, citing "Unfortunate stress on Coach Welsh's part," announced that Defensive Coordinator Rick Lantz would coach the team in the bowl game.


THE BOWLS

Liberty: East Carolina 17 West Virginia 7

The rematch between the CUSA Champion Pirates and the Big East's fourth-place team went to ECU as the Mountaineers and Don Nehlen reverted to standard WVU postseason form. Nehlen defended yet another bowl loss, saying "You know, more people live in North Carolina East of I-95 than live in the entire god-forsaken state of West Virginia. That makes it tough." Steve Logan mouthed the standard Pirate refrain of "Hoo, boy. If only we were in that conference."

Peach: North Carolina 27 Auburn 21

The Tar Heels notched the victory when the sight of Carolina's lavender and pink uniforms caused too much laughter in the Tigers for them to concentrate on football. Mack Brown did not attend the post-game news conference. He was reported to be hurrying to catch a flight to the Midwest to distribute resumes to all Big 12 schools. Dean Smith filled in and discussed his team's number one ranking.

Carquest: Syracuse 27 Virginia 0

The Orangemen scored 20 second half points to overcome a strong hoo defensive effort. When it was pointed out at the post-game news conference that the cavaliers appeared to have had no offensive game plan, Rick Lantz responded with "You've got to draw up one of those, too? I'll be damned." Paul Pasqualoni denied his team had underachieved again this season, claiming that SU's 9-4 record "Would have won all conferences except for the Big East, ACC, SEC, Big 11, Big 12, WAC, and Pac-10." When told that the only Division I-A leagues left were CUSA and the MAC and Syracuse also lost to East Carolina, Pasqualoni snapped "Bite me, Webb."

Gator: Miami 21 Clemson 17

Butch Davis ran his bowl record to 2-0 as the Hurricanes handed the buffoonish Tommy West yet another bowl loss in downing the Tigers. "Only three more years until full scholarships and my next contract extension," Davis told the media. "We'll be in fine shape by then." Canes fan extraordinaire Mike Boobas immediately predicted a MNC for "Next year," adding "The Canes are back."

Fiesta: Nebraska 31 Florida $tate 20

The Cornhuskers handed the $eminoles their second straight bowl defeat in a game missed by Bobby Bowden, who had flown to Hollywood to appear on the Tonight Show. Bowden was joined on the show by exercise guru Richard Simmons. Jay Leno suggested they "Kiss and make up."

Sugar: Virginia Tech 31 Notre Dame 10

Frank Beamer had declined the offer of legendary Irish loser Lou Holtz to serve as special Big Game Preparation Coordinator, thus enabling the Hokies to knock off the Irish. Despite Tech's 12-0 record, the Hokies finished only third in the final polls. Beamer was upset, saying "It is a shame that a team with no losses or felony arrests should receive such little MNC consideration. And with the schedule we played."

          

TSL Columnists Archives

TSL Home