Angering the Gods
by Jim Alderson, 5/9/02

While the season is still over three months away, it is never too early to start speculating on what will be one of the best schedules in Tech history. LSU, Texas A&M, plus the usual Big East contests, and the usual battle with the Hoos will provide us with many challenging games. With the Tigers and Aggies, we finally have the sort of OOC schedule for which many Tech fans have been clamoring for years. I look forward to it.

You would never know, however, that the Hokies are preparing for a visit from the SEC champs or a trip to one of the neatest college football environments around, that in College Station, Texas, from looking over huge chunks of the message board. It seems fans of the Marshall Thundering Herd have a very high opinion of the abilities of their heroes, and they don’t seem to be shy in expressing those sentiments. Look out Hokies, the Herd is coming to town!

Now, that might seem a little odd coming from fans of a team that last year ranked 84th in DI-A in total defense (against a MAC schedule no less), gave up 61 points in an obscure bowl game against another team from a lesser conference before benefiting from one of the most spectacular collapses in football history, and in its entire history in Division I-A football has exactly two victories over BCS teams (in 1998 over a South Carolina team that would go 1-10 in the last year of the Gamecocks’ Brad Scott futility and go on to lose twenty-one straight games, and Clemson in 1999 in the Tigers first game under new coach Tommy Bowden), but that seems to be the case. Forget LSU, aTm, the Canes, the Orange, Pitt[sburgh], BC or the Hoos; the Herd is on the schedule and, according to them, we’re in big trouble now.

I have two words for those Marshall fans having trouble restraining their optimism in advance of a huge Herd win over VT: Weauxf Gods. They have to be salivating.

For those unfamiliar with the Weauxf Gods and the stranglehold they have on football and all other sports, I refer you to Oliver's Woofing Theorem, posted by Jim Oliver, self-proclaimed prophet of the Weauxf Gods (I much prefer the alternate ‘weauxf’ spelling).

Oliver's Woofing Theorem states, in a nutshell, that in any given athletic competition (team, individual, amatuer, professional), the team/player who is the most over-hyped/over-praised by his/her/its fans/supporters is likely to LOSE the competition. Weauxfing itself, for those unversed in some of the old flame wars on the Usenet group, is defined as any outlandish, outrageous, inflammatory, ridiculous, unsupported, sophomoric, or otherwise brain-dead commentary or predictions regarding a specific team, player, or athletic event.

Little is known about the Weauxf Gods, other than that they are all knowing and all-powerful, and that they and they alone decide the outcome of ALL sporting events. Do the words ‘Herd’ and ‘Leftwich’ ring a bell?

Tech fans have much experience with the power of the Weauxf Gods, as every year it seems there is some East Carolina, Central Florida or Directional Michigan on the Hokie schedule that has waxed a lot of inferior competition in some non-BCS league and felt that they were ready to make their move to the top of the college football world at the exact instant Virginia Tech appeared on their schedule, and they came out in message board force to let us know about their MNC aspirations that were bound to be realized just as soon as the easy win over Tech was out of the way. (I thought the OOC upgrade was supposed to eliminate these types of games, but that does not appear to be the case). The rest of them were swatted aside with relative ease, a display of the power of the Weauxf Gods that you think would have had an effect on Marshall, but that also was not the case.

We had front row seats as well to the demonstration by the Weauxf Gods that Miami was not going to be truly ‘back’ until the Weauxf Gods were appeased. The Weauxf Gods will also take note of weauxfing by non-fans as well; who can forget a confident Mike Gottfried declaring back in 2000: "East Carolina WILL beat Virginia Tech"? 31-0 by halftime was the revenge of the Weauxf Gods.

It is a powerful might with which the Herd fans are trifling. Comments such as "Byron Leftwich won’t be stopped" and "Marshall lands the knock-out blow" by a group who brush aside their NCAA probation with "so what if a few players got paid well to do ‘janitorial’ work" will cause the Weauxf Gods to cease their usual laughter over the annual antics of the Texas and Notre Dame fans and pay close attention. Retribution can be awful.

Marshall has a fairly good team by D-1A standards and stands a good chance of winning the MAC and participating in whatever Deuce-inspired bowl that invites -- because they don’t pay enough to interest BCS conferences -- that league’s champion. There is a difference between declaring oneself one of the big boys and tangling with the legitimate article. They would be wise to ponder the differences in depth and overall team speed that usually separate non-BCS teams from the real ones. And, it would be to their benefit to dwell on the catastrophic consequences that can come from screwing with the Weauxf Gods.

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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