Thursday, November 21st, 1996

Scales is the Man

Just when I’d given up on the Washington Post, they run a great article on a Tech player. We’re talking about an article that was featured on the front page of the Post, not just the front Sports page.

The article, titled “Finding His Way,” tells the remarkable story of Shawn Scales, who grew up in a drug culture with an addicted mother and a drug-dealing brother. Shawn would have none of that, recognizing that it led nowhere, and the article details his perserverance and efforts to make something of himself. It’s really inspiring, and makes for great reading, especially after all the garbage that has happened this year.

I was already starting to like Shawn Scales a lot, after reading many of his quotes and watching his composure in front of the press. He is, as I’ve said before, a true leader, and a young man with his priorities very much in line.

Click on the following link to read the text of the story, which I have copied from The Washington Post:

Warning: if you’re the sentimental type, bring a box of tissues.

Hokie Stats

Druck’s passing performance against Miami moved him up to #16 in the country in pass efficiency. One of the things you have to remember about Druck, and one of the things that make his performance more remarkable, is that he hasn’t played that much football. I estimate that this is only the fourth year that he’s been a starting QB - one year in high school, one year in prep school, and two years at Tech. The fact that a guy with so little game experience can play mostly mistake free football is remarkable.

Combine that with his size and his ability to take a hit - one Miami fan joked after the game, “I hit Druckenmiller with a baseball bat on his way off the field, and he shook that off, too” - and you’ve got a guy that some NFL team is going to be very lucky to draft next spring.

In other individual stats, the Ox is 13th in the NCAA in scoring and 28th in yards rushing per game.

In team stats, here’s how the Hokies shake down:

Offense - #13 rushing, #64 passing (!), #24 total, #19 in scoring.

Defense - #10 rushing, #31 pass efficiency, #21 total, #16 scoring.

Last, and most certainly least, the Hokies are #109 out of 111 teams in net punting. It’s incredible that a team that is this bad in punting is 8-1.

The Fighting Gobbler

By now, most of you have probably heard about the male half of the Hokie bird, Todd Maroldo, being suspended for the rest of the season following a brawl (there’s that word again) with the University of Miami’s Sebastian the Ibis during Saturday’s game. The female half of the Hokie bird, Amy Wells, will now see full-time duty until the end of the season.

It seems that the usual playful punching got out of hand, and the Hokie Bird pounced on Sebastian and pummeled him into the turf. Orange Bowl security guards had to pull our Hokie Bird off the confused and bloodied Sebastian. The Bird was escorted into the tunnel, not to be seen again, and VT associate AD Danny Monk handed down the suspension later.

As a Hokie fan and alumnus, I’m outraged. I’m furious. I’m .....

Actually, I’m almost hysterical with laughter. The sight of that grinning turkey punching out that stupid looking ibis is something that I’m sorry I missed.

CBS - Callous Broadcasting System

One of the more disgusting things I’ve seen on a football broadcast lately was the announcers on Saturday’s game yucking it up when Tech tight end Shaine Miles went down with a knee injury. Miles hurt himself solo on a special teams play. He went down field, made a funny cut, and collapsed on the field, holding his knee.

During the replay, the CBS announcers hee-hawed at the sight of Miles falling down, making jokes about “self-tackle-ization” and generally laughing like it was funny. It was, as I said, disgusting.

Miles is listed as doubtful for the WVU game with a sprained knee.

Nice Job, Roanoke Times

I've got to hand it to the Roanoke Times, and I'm not being sarcastic. Last Saturday, while Tech was beating Miami, the Charlottesville High School Wahoos were making a great comeback and beating North Carolina. The Hoos victory over UNC was arguably as big as Tech's win over the Canes, because UNC was ranked #6 and the victory revived UVa's flagging bowl hopes. But come Sunday, Tech pictures and articles dominated the front of the Roanoke Times's sports section, with columnist Jack Bogaczyk writing about the Hokies, while UVa got a small slice on the right-hand side of the page. Overall, I'd say Tech covered about 75% of the page.

For all the complaining we do about coverage, even from the papers in our home state, that was a nice job by the Roanoke Times. It makes sense to me, though. Remember, I watched the game at the Hooters restaurant in Roanoke, and although Roanoke is supposedly just as much a Wahoo town as it is a Hokie town, I didn't see it. Nearly all of the restaurant's televisions were on the Hokie game, and the place was packed with fans yelling for the maroon and orange, not the orange and blue.

I don't really have a point here. I just thought you might like hearing something positive about the way the Hokies are covered, for once.

Miscellaneous Notes

Cornell can’t stop tackling: something else that came up while reviewing the Miami game tape was a flagrant holding on Cornell Brown during Keion Carpenter’s interception return. As Carpenter was running downfield on the play, just about when he reached the Miami 30 yard line, Cornell reached out and hooked a streaking Tony Gaiter by the back of his shoulder pads, and wham, took him down. It wasn’t anything I noticed until a Roanoke TV station pointed it out. The refs obviously didn’t see it, and Keion’s 100 yard INT return is forever in the books.

Conaty highly rated by Kiper: ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, who has been fairly kind to Hokie seniors in his draft previews, rated Tech center Billy Conaty as the #7 center available in the draft. Billy’s got the size and the ability to play through pain, but his history of injuries could prove a barrier to the NFL. Best of luck to Conaty, and we’ll just have to wait and see if he can be the second straight Tech center to find a home in the NFL.

Lastly, thanks to Marion Ballard for suggesting that “AP” stands for “All Politics.” I now use that prominently on my Game Analysis page.


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