The Blacksburg Road Trip

By Bill Glose, 5/19/00

It's been a few months since my last article here, but I've been busy with work and some projects of my own. Of course, my office has been happy with the respite, receiving a break from my constant ranting over yardage, pass efficiency ratings, and possible bowl scenarios. Gearing up for the 2000 season, my master plan has been to work twice as hard now so I can take some deserved R & R once football gets cranked up again. If I can just get my boss to agree with my point of view, I'll be all set.

This self-imposed exile built up my desire for Hokie contact. So, for the first time ever I traveled to Blacksburg for the annual Spring Game, and I must admit I was quite pleased with my trip. You see, I hadn't made the journey in order to see the football game. If I had, my opinion of the trip would be severely altered. Sure, it was nice to see Vick receive the inaugural Archie Griffin Award for college football's MVP and slobber thinking of what he might accomplish with the remainder of his career. And I was thrilled to see Davis returning punts, thoughts of 'why hadn't I thought of that?' and 'goodbye Big East return yardage record' flashing through my head.

But, overall the game stunk. Yes, there were limitations on the players. Yes, Vick wasn't allowed to scramble. And yes, mostly vanilla plays were run. But, even those restrictions couldn't detract from sloppy play evidenced that day. However, I'm not worried. The Hokies are a long way off from their first game and Spring practice is the first time many players are being worked into the rotation with playing time. They're adjusting, and I'd much rather see a performance like that against ourselves than against an opponent.

Regardless, I traveled to the heart of Hokie country with another purpose in mind. I wanted to put faces to the screen names with which I'd been reading and exchanging ideas for the past several years.

Since HokieCentral's inception, thousands of us have come to view this site as our digital home-away-from-home. Particularly for those of us who just can't seem to settle down in one area. In the past few years I've relocated 4 times: from North Carolina, to Chicago, to Connecticut, and finally back to Virginia! No matter where I roamed though, I could always plug in to the wall and hop into the middle of Hokie happenings, giving myself the slightest feeling of stability.

As I mentioned, I did not venture across the state to Blacksburg to see the final Hokie scrimmage, I traveled to meet my fellow cyber-Hokies. I finally got to meet Will and N2, as well as Baltimore Hokie, Culpeper Hokie, Atlee Hokie, Russian Hokie, A-line columnist Jim Alderson, and Fatman (who, contrary to his name, is anything but fat). Just as when you read a good book, I had formed pictures in my head of these people. And, just as when I see a movie of a book I've previously read, the pictures in my head differed from the characters I viewed. However, everyone's personalities were just as I expected, and it was exciting to meet everyone at long last. Now, when I read the posts, I've got an accurate vision of the people's whose responses I'm agreeing with or attacking.

Hopefully, I will make the trip a few more times this year and enjoy some more HokieCentral tailgating. Until then, I'll just have to keep logging hours at the office as I count down the days, minutes, and seconds until kickoff.


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