Remember the catch phrase from the spring of 2008, when everybody in the ACC rallied around the Hokies to show sympathy for the people at Virginia Tech after the tragedy on their campus?
I was thinking about that phrase today, heading into tonight's UNC at VPI football game on ESPN.
It's a funny situation. Naturally, Duke fans enjoy watching UNC fail at any sport. And make no mistake about it, Butch Davis' football team is failing big-time. A preseason top 25 pick and regarded as one of the preseason favorites in the Coast Division (one of the reasons they are on back-to-back Thursday night ESPN games), they are 4-3 (with two 1-AA wins) and 0-3 in the ACC.
It would be sweet to see Virginia Tech lay a hurting on them tonight, dropping them to 4-4 and 0-4 in the ACC.
However, I know it's a longshot, but it would actually help Duke if the Tar Heels upset the Hokies. We are 2-1 in the ACC with upcoming games against the other one-loss teams in the Coastal Division -- Virginia this week and Georgia Tech on Nov. 14. The one one-loss team we can't do anything about is Virginia Tech -- even if we end up tied with them, they'd have the first tiebreaker because of their head-to-head victory in Wade.
So if you think Duke has any chance to contend for the division title, we need somebody to beat Virginia Tech.
But does it have to be Carolina?
My thinking is that we'll know better in a few weeks if Duke has any chance to make a title run. Beat Virginia this week and at UNC a week later and our pipe dream will look a lot more viable heading into Georgia Tech's Nov. 14 visit to Wade. The nightmare is to pull for UNC tonight, then have us lose at Virginia Saturday -- that would negate the whole reason for pulling for the Heels.
If it comes to that, we can still pull for Russell Wilson to go nuts in Blacksburg on Nov. 21 or for Virginia to get their rivals in Charlottesville on the 28th.
So anyway, that's my justification for making myself a Hokie fan for one night ... not that a Duke fan ever needs a justification to pull against the Heels.
Let me posit an alternative scenario.
Winning the division is possible. But not realistic.
But finishing 7-5 and going bowling is realistic.
But barring a shocker against GT or Miami, that 7-5 requires a win at Chapel Hill.
A loss by Carolina at Blacksburg continues that team's downward spiral, further undermines their confidence, and brings them into the Duke game with some seriously bad mojo.
A Carolina upset, however, rights the ship. The sky is again Carolina Blue, all is right with the world and a confident Carolina team welcomes Duke.
Now, we could also come up with Carolina losing to VT and playing well against Duke or Carolina beating VT and being overconfident against Duke.
But neither of those requires suspending the fundamental laws of the universe. In my scenario, Duke fans can root for Carolina to lose with both their hearts and minds.
Beside, aren't we all Hokies.
To add to our Hokie fellowship, if you think about it, or take a look at the Hokie fan sites, you will see that Hokie fans also find themselves Duke fans of late--a heretofore entirely unexpected phenomenon.
See, Hokies need GA Tech to lose a conference game. GA Tech has only two more: Wake and Duke. Based on recent performance, Duke seems like the more likely upset candidate, and Hokie fans will be rooting for the Devils en masse when that game is played. That is a lot of extra Duke support out there.
Combine that with the fact that we ALWAYS want UNC to lose, and I think our rooting responsibilities this evening are clear.
"Just like you man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase." Omar Little
..... in no way shape or form would any true Duke fan ever pull for Carolina! Period.
to pull for unc against the anti-christ. Mr. Sumner is probably correct in that another loss especially if it's a bad one will continue to have the holes doubing themselves. Loss of confidence can hurt any athlete and I would love to see that happen to unc. Yeh in all sports. Go Duke!
You put your right foot in...
I hope VaTech wins, but not because of the shooting on their campus 2 and 1/2 years ago.
It would be like pulling for the Yankees because of 9/11 or England or Spain in the World Cup because of their respective bombing nightmares, or China in international B-ball because of the floods there that killed thousands. (Or Kent State because of 1970, or Evansville because of 1977 or Oklahoma State because of 2001, etc.).
So, no I am not a Hokie for the weekend. But I'll pull for their football team against Carolina. Gladly.
First, it glosses over decades of arrogant ill-treatment of other people by arrogant Yankees fans.
Second, and probably more importantly, it trivializes the losses of people in NY (and DC and PA--they existed too, despite what the media seems to think) whose family members were killed in 9/11. I'm not rooting for your sports team just becuase something awful happened where you live. That seems to indicate that my rooting for you is some sort of semi-adequate compensation, which it isn't.
When I teach, I still wear my VT polo on April 16 and October 16, in memory of those who died, including a German instructor associated with my wife. I don't think that that really adequately pays tribute. Rooting for a sports team in one game sure as heck doesn't. I'm rooting for VT tonight because I like Virginia Polytechnic and State University, I like Blacksburg and the Appalachians, and I don't like they way UNC people treat us.
A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
Some questions cannot be answered
Who’s gonna bury who
We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
---Over the Rhine
Wow....Va Tech is going to lose. What an epicly bad fumble.
<devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink
Carolina Delenda Est
Hokies! What are they good for? Absolutely nothing.
Our game vs. UVA is looking like it's gonna be even bigger than expected.