Wednesday, December 22, 2004

What Have You Been Doing Lately?

Nope, I'm not dead. But, I'm now well-rested. So what have I done over the past month or so?

1. Watched Virginia Tech defeat UVA-Charlottesville at home. Not only have we avenged our loss last year, but we've also regained the Commonwealth Cup (we regained the Black Diamond Trophy from WVU earlier this season) and this win assured us of at least a share of the ACC title. The UVA-C team was very good, and if the game had been held in Charlottesville, it might not have gone our way. However, last year's game was decided by the exact same point margin, so I think the basic conclusion is that, at least against each other, our two teams are about equal (though we've won seven of the last ten match-ups; we've done the same with Miami (FL) and WVU, too). Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't hate UVA-C like a true Hokie perhaps should. Maybe it's because I don't have to fear for my safety when I'm at an away game there. Besides, the folks at the UVA Wesley Foundation were very kind to me last year when I stayed for them, and didn't even gloat after winning last year. Strange to say, but I even hope they win their bowl game against Fresno State (though the Hokie in me thinks that it's pretty darn funny that they have to play at the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho). In fact, they're not even in my Bottom Five of football teams. That list would be, in alphabetical order:
-Boise State: Tell me that playing on a blue field while your team wears all-blue uniforms isn't the cheapest thing in sports. Well, perhaps beating up on the WAC every year and going undefeated as a result is a close second. I know Oregon wears green on a green field, but the fact of the matter is that grass is green, not blue. If this BS team will wear primarily orange or play on a green field and will actually play against real opponents, I'll be happy to take them off the list.
-Miami: See Below.
-Notre Dame: You took our Fiesta Bowl my Freshman year, and I still have a thing against eating Tostitos as a result. If ND joins a conference, much will be forgiven, and they'll probably make it off the list. (Sorry, Christian; nothing personal!)
-Pitt: Classless jerks. However, pretty non-violent, and so they're likely to be first off the list once I travel to the game against Maryland.
-WVU: Classless, dangerous thugs. Last year after their win, some of them tried to duct-tape some Hokies to a couch before setting it on fire. I think trying to immolate opposing fans crosses the lines somewhat. After the game, the civil-defense alarms were going off. My personal opinion is that we should buy out of next year's game against WVU, schedule a home game against someone like Kent State or Ball State, and keep the Black Diamond Trophy for all time.
-Maryland (Waiting List): I've heard their fans are "classless thugs." I plan to travel to that game, so we'll see if the can't knock Pitt out of my list.

2. Road-tripped with nine other friends down to see the unofficial ACC championship game against Miami (FL). Our tickets were in what was supposed to be a visiting team section, but we were the only Hokies to be seen in our area. We nonetheless stood and cheered throughout the game, which apparently enraged the Hurricanes fans around us, as quite a few of them were rude to us throughout the entire game, even after being warned by event staff to tone it down. However, several people there apologized to us for the other fans; my understanding is that the actual alumni and parents of students were good people, but the bandwagon fans who had no direct connection to the university (an expensive private college) had an awful lot of hooligans. Saying "Eh, whether Big East or ACC, one or our teams is going to win it" tended to have a conciliatory effect, though not always. At one point, a guy in a bright yellow vest that said "ID Inspector" came and challenged two of the girls in our group (only one other guy and I were twenty-one or older), saying that he'd seen them drinking earlier when they were on the concourse and demanding to see their IDs. I told the girls to hold it and demanded to see his identification, as some sort of badge is required on his part. He didn't have anything, and eventually we realized that he was some crank. One of our guys went to get event staff, whereupon the guy ran off through the crowd.

3. Saw the Newsboys in concert in Salem. Todd Agnew and Rebecca St. James were opening acts, but I didn't know any of their songs, so I didn't really get into it much. Rebecca St. James' show was...interesting, as she used the strobe and really bright lights pretty liberally. That, combined with little flashy-colored-light balls people had bought at one of the sales booths made the place look like a rave for a lot of the time. She and most of the Newsboys (I have no idea about Todd Agnew) are from Australia, which made for interesting listening when they actually spoke. John James, lead singer for the Newsboys, gave a talk of about twenty minutes that was absolutely riveting. He's certainly not a shallow Christian, and I'd love to find a recording of the talk he gave. He also said that after the concert, there would be people distributing free Bible study books (each marked at suggested retail of $10). In any case, they put on a fantastic show, playing nearly every song I'd hoped they would except Love Liberty Disco (can't have everything). They did play Breakfast, Million Pieces, Shine, Spirit Thing, and several other hits. Come to think of it, I don't think they played Cornelius, John Woo, or Live in Stereo, though those weren't really hits so much as outstanding tracks from their "Thrive" album (available at LifeWay Christian stores for only $5.97!). Newsboys, Relient K, Less than Jake (despite their hatred of President Bush), Reel Big Fish, OC Supertones, Audio Adrenaline, DC Talk (on hiatus), and Jupiter Sunrise are probably the only bands I'd pay to see in concert, and I'd happily see all of them again (except LTJ, which I have yet to see the first time). The Newsboys have got some concerts coming up in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, and here in Virginia over the next few months...we'll see.

4. Finished my first semester of grad school. I've got two A's, a B, and an Incomplete that will probably resolve into a B. I hate to say it, but this isn't very challenging. And, honestly, I'm a little bit sick of academics, after about eighteen years of it. We'll see how that plays out.

5. Celebrated one month (at least officially) with my girlfriend. Huzzah!

I apologize to those who've contacted me about this blog while I've been out; I've not really been paying attention to HokiePundit at all. Part of me would prefer that this be a group blog (only Hokies need apply), but I'm not sure about that, either. In any case, I've had several things kicking around in my head which I'll probably post over the next day or two.

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