Have Convicktion in Beamerball
by Matt Hoffmeier, 3/2/04

Editor's Note: As we post a Voice of the Fan article on this sensitive topic, we remind you that the opinions expressed in VOF are not necessarily those of TechSideline.com.

I read an article here a few days ago touting Beamerball and Bryan Randall. Correction: touting Bryan Randall and calling for a return to Beamerball. Another point the article brought up was that the lack of discipline in VTís program has precipitated its losing ways. At the heart of this discussion were Marcus Vick and his purported lack of discipline stemming from two off-the-field incidents (one at an incredibly crucial moment). The contention here is that nice guys do finish first, and thank goodness we have one poised to lead VT football.

On that note, I agree wholeheartedly. Frank Beamer is as honest as the day is long, and there is no more a stand-up guy Iíd like to have in the position of head football coach at Virginia Tech. I wonít disagree either that Bryan Randall appears to be a terrific young man (Iíve formed my opinion of Beamer based on many years versus considerably fewer for Randall). But my first point of contention with the article is this: If Kevin Rogers has taken "at best, a D-1 free safety into a bona fide starter who can win games", whatís he going to do with the younger brother of Michael Vick?

Cry Ďdisciplineí all you want. When I was twenty, I was arrested on a Wednesday night, under the influence of a rather strong adult beverage for two felonies ≠ during the school term. I ended up with two misdemeanors and a large debt to Montgomery County and the Ďcommunityí of Blacksburg. I graduated three years later with an in-major average near 3.0 and now work in a job that has me set for a long time. Moral: it was a giant wake-up call.

There may be sources close to the VT football program that know exactly what the words "unspecified violation of team policy" mean with respect to Marcus Vick and Brandon Manning. To me, however, they could mean anything from getting lost on backroads surrounding campus and missing curfew, to getting caught with alcohol, or worse. As far as Vickís involvement with this latest incident, thatís for the court, lawyers, and jurors to decide. I may give people too much credit, but I donít underestimate that those girls knew exactly what they were doing and who they were doing it with, or that they may have had malicious intent. Again, itís possible, but not for me to decide.

True, Marcus Vick needs to live like a church mouse from now until the end of his VT career. True, Marcus Vick has not demonstrated a command of the discipline pro football requires; lest we forget, heís not Maurice Clarrett.

In an age when we can question the discipline of folks who are paid much more handsomely than some of societiesí top athletes (e.g. Enron, Imclone), how can we expect every man half their age to behave much differently?

I have no qualms as to the coaching ability of VTís football coaches; they got the team this far. It would also be nice if they didnít have to play the role of parent either. If Bryan Randall is the leader heís purported to be by Mr. Beitlelman, why hasnít he been able to corral such wild children? The football coaches havenít given him that chance, because he hasnít demonstrated that he is the right man for the job on grass. Taking nothing away from Randallís integrity or athletic ability, leading four people on a smaller, much more controlled surface is entirely different from leading 10-21 people on a football field (and off it). Plus, if BR's on-court leadership ability has gotten the basketball team this far, no thank you.

Vick, no doubt, can follow Randallís example off the field. Iíd rather he didnít follow all of Randallís examples of play on the field. Vick has the ability and heís entitled to make mistakes on and off the field. Iím sure many would prefer his mistakes on the field werenít at critical moments of the season and that the rest of his off-field mistakes are on minor quizzes in Econ.

"Iím an educated man, but I'm afraid I canít speak intelligently on the travel habits of William Santiago."

And so it goes with Marcus Vick and myself. Iím an educated man, but I canít speak intelligently on the social habits of MV2. For anyone who has seen "A Few Good Men", you might be drawing the conclusion that it was thus my fault that Vick and two others were involved in the now famous incident that has the message boards roaring. Thatís about as logical as convicting him before all the facts are presented, something this writer does not intend to do. After all, Iím not involved in any way with the case, and my only ties to the Virginia Tech football program are my VT diploma, my love of VT football, and the time Iíve spent surfing TSL.

Mr. Beitlelman was right, however. Beamer is in a position of strength. He has 4 QBís on the roster, and I hear two of Ďem are pretty good.


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