Wide Right: A Dilemma for the Ages
by Jeff Cockey, 3/31/04

So much is happening now and oh so quickly. VT menís basketball is over. VT womenís basketball is over, even though the fallout from Techís decision to let Bonnie go has just begun. (If you have lush fields on your side of the fence, you ainít lookiní for greener pastures. Weaverís got no green thumb folks.) VT football has begun spring workouts.

With all of these transitions taking place, I ask you, are we technically in the ACC now? This is something that I need to know. It has a bearing on every aspect of my life. Like, do I have to root for Maryland now? I still canít bring myself to like Bobby Bowden and his Florida State Shoplifters but for some reason that $#%@! chant keeps working its way into my head. Is that now allowed? But what really has me over a barrel is this yearís Final Four . . .

What do I do? Am I to be proud that two ACC teams have made it to the Final Four and have a shot at playing each other for the championship? Do I root for this? What about UCONN? Do I show any allegiance to our Huskie brethren, or is it time for me to switch gears and root for our future home? Is our future home now, technically, our current home? More importantly, is it possible for me to write a sentence that isnít a question?

Look. This is a decision that could alter the realm in which I have been living. The complications that might arise from premature ACCulation could be catastrophic. A bit over the top? Maybe. But letís look at this from my point of view. I have a father, a Maryland graduate, whom I have peppered with Twerp jokes for all of my twenty-nine years. Even in the womb I was anti-tortoise. I have friends and family who graduated from UVa. The ramifications of suddenly rooting for this league are . . . well letís just say that I am having enough trouble bringing myself to do it at all, and thus I have no intention of doing it too early. This sounds like a problem to be hammered out on a strangerís couch for $120/hour. Itís just one of my numerous issues.

So the Final Four . . . first a little background on the teams involved. To Georgia Tech, I have no allegiance. Donít know anyone who attended. Never been to their campus. And so on. Georgia Tech is playing OK State. Now these two teams have quite a lot in common as far as I am concerned, because I couldnít care less about OK State, either. I know of no one who attended and if not for their football team beating Oklahoma a few years back, I wouldnít have even known of their existence. So as you can see, this game means less to me than the "Hanson is all grown up" tour. A bit of knowledge imbedded in my brain thanks to a combination of too much time on my hands and horrible programming by MTV. But who knows, maybe Oklahoma State can "Mmm Bop" their way to the finals.

Now the problem really comes to light with the second game. I have good friends who graduated from Duke. I went to the same high school as Grant Hill and Joey Beard (Joey transferred from Duke to a lesser-known university in order to increase his playing time . . . might not have been the smartest move, Joe). So since my senior year as a Seahawk, I have been a Blue Devil fan. But now the flip side of this "who really gives a flying crap who you root for, Jeff" coin: UCONN. Friends of mine have graduated as Huskies. They were joining the Big East with us. They were our choice to go to the ACC to get the New England television market, but for some ridiculously stupid reason (read "Shalala"), the Boston College trust fund babies are following us around instead.

So you see now why I need to know, and why I obsess about the dumbest things. Are we still in the Big East, which means itís time to truly embrace the Omeka in me, or are we now technically in the Atlantic Coast Conference and thus I should be a fan of Honey Bees and Cameron Devils? Please help. Either way, I believe that the actual championship game is going to be played between the Dookies and the Dogs this Saturday.

Movie trivia had taken a hiatus but it is back with this column. Hereís one to try on for size. I had to dig into the mind and memory of the Twerp grad for this one, so obviously I will verify its accuracy before going to print.

"Well that's fine by me pal! She's a pain in the [backside]! An albatross around my neck! You're welcome to her. Keep her, and may you both rot in Hell!"

I seriously need direction about this Final Four thing. If we are now officially a part of the evil empire, than I must begin the long walk down the "suck it up hallway" and root for our new conference. Ugh, well at least I like Gary Williams Ė but only because he sweats more than anyone else on his team, in his organization, or in the ACC or NCAA for that matter. Have you seen that guy? Like heís been standing on that "observation" deck of the log flume ride at Kings Dominion. The one with the signs "You will get soaked." Or is that White Water Canyon? Either way Gary is a water ride enthusiast at every game. But you people have no idea of the hellish world of red, white, black, and gold in which I am forced to reside. To embrace it now might just kill me.

And as always questions, comments and insults are encouraged. [email protected]


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