Monday, November 07, 2005

Da Realist Plays Witness To A Massacre

here is my account of my trip down to blacksburg...or should i say NoBlacks-burg, VA.

first of all, blacksburg is about 4 1/2 hours away from us. it's nestled in the appalachian mountain range in southwestern virginia. there really is one way in and one way out. there are only 2 large hotels in blacksburg and they are owned by virginia tech. this means that for big games the only people that are able to stay in blacksburg are big wig alumni. the rest of us have to stay in roanoke, a coal-mining town about 45 miles away!

so we arrive in roanoke around 10:30 saturday morning. our rooms weren't ready so we went to eat breakfastat the Roanoker Restaurant. this restaurant had rave reviews for it's food so we decided to try it. we walked in and it felt like we walked into a 1950's era tv show where, apparently on tv, blacks didn't exist. we walked in and we could just feel everything stop. no forks clanging the plates, no conversation, no nothing. everybody wanted to sneak a peak at the black people. they were friendly each other. everybody knew each other, even talking across tables to hold conversations. our waitress was...not exactly rude, but certainly wasn't that friendly. the food was as bland as cardboard, only burnt. we got out of there as fast as we could.

we get to the hotel and it's STILL not ready. front desk girl tells me on the hush-hush there is a LARGE group that won't check out until 4:30 that day. she says "don't tell anyone, but the HOKIES are staying here. shhhhh." i just want a room to take a nap. so we go to the car and wait a little longer...

we finally get our room about 1pm and start to settle in. about 1:30 we go to the lobby to find some water and we see several of the players in the gameroom shooting pool and chillin' while the texas/baylor gameis on the screen. i point out marcus to Da Wife and start to walk away, prompting this exchange...

Da Wife: shouldn't they be, you know, excited or something? they don't look like they are about to play in TBOY (the biggest game of the year)

me: yeah, well, i know if i was on the team this close to game time i would be bouncing off the walls. but maybe that's why they're successful. they are not getting too worked up so they can concentrate on their assignments and pay closer attention to detail.

needless to say, this exchange was brought back to my attention about 9 hours later.

we get up and make the long trek down to blackburg at4. we arrive at 4:45 (a full 3 hours before game time). it takes us an HOUR to find parking in this little hillbilly town. we finally park at some rundown autoshop and literally had to walk about 5-6 miles to get to the stadium. we stop to eat something at a place called buffalo wild wings. they supposedly have the best wings in the area. i wasn't that impressed. where's hooters when you need them? we sat down and ate while watching tennessee give up 40+points to notre dame.

we finally convinced them to put on the fsu game. hokie fans found out i was a nole fan and they start riding me hard. "they suck!" and "i hope they lose!" followed by "we're gonna kick your ass!". i said to Da Wife, "these idiots don't realize they should WANT US TO WIN!" i tried to explain the bcs ramifications to their chances if fsu lost and i got a bunch of blank stares. (do they even WATCH???) anyway, we now know it didn't matter.

we get to the stadium and had GREAT seats. rightabove the 40 yard line about 40 rows up. hokie fans going crazy. we might have seen 4, maybe 5 other blacks at the game. it's no stretch to say we felt isolated even though we were going for the home team. in fact, we felt more comfortable in charlottesville wearing our fsu gear than here.

i should have known i was in trouble when i walked around and saw a lot of people wearing shirts that read, "miami sucks and UVA swallows". i told Da Wife, "you know, it's just a game. do they really want little kids seeing those shirts?". we were there for about 3 hours and no one said a word to us the wholetime. oh wait, someone did say something...

when miami scored on a fumble in the end zone to mak eit 27-0, fans started leaving. there was this one drunk fat white girl yelling at everybody, apparently upset that the fans were "giving up". she yelled all kinds of obscenitites. i told Da Wife, "is she crazy? they are down almost 4 touchdowns going into the 4th quarter. is she WATCHING THE GAME? they are done." but being mindful of fsu's comeback from 4 touchdowns to the florida gators 11 years ago, i said "if theydon't score a touchdown on this posssion, we're leaving." the next play, marcus throws an interception and we get up to leave. the drunk, fat white girl said, "FUCK YOU!!!". that was the only time someone said something to us the whole time we were at the game.

the 5-6 mile trek back to the car was the most painful. not because of the game...i already acceptedthat. but it was 11pm and we were tired. remember when i said there was one way into blacksburg and oneway out and everybody stayed someplace other than blacksburg? well this is a recipe for disaster. the road was incredibly backed up. it took us 3 hours to drive 45 miles.

i've been to 2 championship games, 1 SEC championship game, florida state, clemson, maryland, virginia and now virginia tech and this was by far the worst experience i've had going to a game. it will take a lot for me to go back to blacksburg. the noles play there in '07, but unless it's a big time game with national championship aspirations i won't be going.

as far as the game is concerned, congratulations d. the canes showed the kind of heart i wish my noles would display every once in a while. i don't like them but i respect the hell out of them. after that display go ahead and do your thing. i can't go for them if they play the noles in the acc championship game, but if they make it to national championship i'll pull for them. don't be surprised, i once pulled for the hated detroit pistons in 1990. my philosophy is, it's better to lose to the bully you know than to the one you don't.

No comments: