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Help Out the Hoos
by Jim Alderson, 9/25/00

These do not seem to be the best of times up in Hooville. George’s rather inauspicious start have Hoos everywhere boo-hooing their fate and pondering what exactly can be done about this rather sad state of affairs. It must be very tough, as usually at this time of the year they are excited at the possibilities of achieving yet again that Holy Grail of UVA football, participation in the Peach Bowl. Instead they are moaning at George’s continued inability to Lantz that festering boil known as the Hoo defense, pondering how difficult it is going to be for George to maintain his Seven Society membership, or failing all of that, how soon he can be run out of town. Tsk, tsk.

I notice with dismay that some Hokies are taking pleasure in the long shadow George’s nose has cast over our neighbors’ football program and their wonderful Smithsonian Football Complex. This is unfortunate. We really should only be basking in our own good times for, let’s face it, these tribulations being suffered by the Hoos, who perhaps soon will be forced to remember their salad days by heading into the Smithsonian Annex to view those seven –win seasons, show that fame can indeed be fleeting. While it may seem like great fun to kick them while they are down, remember, their problems are coming against that extremely difficult schedule they love to boast about. We should be concentrating on what should be, surprisingly enough in the ‘weak’ BE, a tough game at Boston College, leaving them to prepare for the next potential stumbling block in their Murderer’s Row of a schedule, Wake Forest. After all, it was only a week ago that George was pointing out what a huge rival Duke was for Virginia. Certainly that Duke-UVA game has become a closer contest than last year’s Hokies-Hoos classic, so of course they must be right, since we were only laying waste to East Carolina, a bunch that slipped by Duke 38-0. They must have a point.

Let’s face it; the Hoos have a lot on their minds these days without having to endure ridicule from us. There was that Great Debate over the new ‘no pass out’ policy instituted at the Smithsonian as a means to keep Hoos from stampeding for the exits at halftime, going straight for the bottle and thus missing George reinventing the blowing of a 21-point halftime lead against BYU. Saturday, as instructed by George, they stayed right there and passed out in their seats. At least the sound of their snoring provided some crowd noise as Clemson put the game away. Also, those vaunted academic standards the Hoos love to lord over us seem to be suffering a little slippage, as it appears the current football squad is going to have great difficulty counting to seven. With problems like these, they certainly do not need us fueling the fire upon which they are tossing all of those tickets.

We should be pitching in to help them through their times of woe. I propose that we all desist from engaging in the hilarious laughter that comes from observing that bunch of braggarts get what they so richly deserve, and instead strive to point out the positive aspects of football life in Hooville. We can start with their newly expanded Smithsonian. The new end zone is really beautiful to behold. You really have to admire the architectural genius involved in designing an edifice that would draw the fan’s attention away from what is happening on the field. The guy who designed that knows his Hoo football. What difference does a lousy defense make when you have a pergola upon which to admiringly gaze? Then there is the overall design of the Smithsonian Football Complex. The Hoos endured much derision when their last attempt at football construction turned out to be in the shape of our ‘VT.’ It would seem steps have been taken to make sure that didn’t happen again. Look closely at aerial views of the Smithsonian; it is exactly the shape of the head of their beloved mascot Wally Wahoo. Pat them on the back for this design excellence.

While it may seem like great fun to make fun of the Hoos, let’s instead try hard to lift their spirits. Refrain from making any crass remarks about a decline in their Seven and Seven [and Seven, and Seven….] standard of football excellence. Make them feel better by pointing out that if they are not pleased with their record so far they can simply take it over to Hoo General where it will be switched for a better one. Explain to them that while things may look bleak now, just wait a while and another Lawn Balcony crashing to the Grounds will make these football woes pale in comparison. And, in a few short weeks it will basketball season. Pete Gillen is putting together an excellent program and they probably can squeeze in another season before U-Hall is condemned. Don’t laugh at them. Help out the Hoos. After all, what are in-state rivals for?

Jim Alderson, who first made his mark with his biting political commentary on the A-Line email newsletter, also brings a unique, sarcastic, and well-informed perspective on college sports, particularly (1) Virginia Tech sports and (2) ACC sports.  While Hokie fans currently have very little use for subject number 2, Alderson is an entertaining and informative columnist on subject number 1.  For even more fun, visit Jim's A-Line home page.


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