Posts filed under ‘Football’

Class at Lane Stadium

There were a couple of classy moments from yesterday’s game, I thought I would share.

Thank You, ECU
Prior to kick off, the crowd cheered, “Thank You, ECU”.  Not only did the school give us a very generous donation, but they did still come and played us in some intimidating circumstances.  🙂

Cheerleaders Hold Up Thank You Signs

Welcome ECU
Our own Corps of Cadets lined the entry way to welcome the competitors as they came out on the field.

Virginia Tech’s Corp of Cadets Welcome ECU

Lack of Sevens
I was pleased with the almost complete lack of #7 jerseys.  In fact, I only saw one the entire day:

One guy still wears a #7 jersey… for Ron Mexico.

ESPN Coverage of Retired Numbers
I saw some of the fourth quarter on television.  At one point they talked about Frank Beamer and what he has meant to the school.  They showed some old photos of the coach and then for the remainder of the piece, they showed the flag at the stadium that reads “Beamer 25”.  In the ESPN shot, though, the flag is very far to the right.  Beamer’s name wasn’t centered.  What’s to the right of the Beamer flag?  Vick’s flag.  I suspect ESPN kept the Vick flag out of the shot on purpose…which was nice, kept the focus on the positive story about Beamer.

Beamer 25, Vick 7

September 3, 2007 at 12:21 am Leave a comment

ECU vs. VT Pictures

Well…. the actual game was a bit of a let-down for me.  But I did have my camera and I was able to capture some parts about the Lane Stadium experience (Not all ones that I favor).  And now I share with you!

I freaking love flyovers!  One time I was on my deck alone and some war planes passed by.  I still felt compelled to cheer.  Yesterday, two F-15s flew over after the national anthem.  I cheered.

I *LOVE* Flyovers!!!!!

Virginia State Flag
I first noticed our team running out on the field with the Virginia flag after September 11.  They may have done it before, but every since I noticed it, I’m touched by the state pride.  This season, they added another flag to the mix– the VT Ribbon. 

Team is accompanied by three flags– Virginia, VT Ribbon and U.S.

Block That Kick
Even though I’m a football fraud, I’ve traveled to a number of away games (UVA, West Virginia, Pitt, Boston College, Rutgers, Temple, Texas A&M, Wake Forest as well as four bowl games) and have gotten to see a lot of school traditions and gestures.  What I have never seen was another team that embraces the fourth down as much as Virginia Tech.  We take pride in our special teams and it really shows when the other team is punting or trying to kick a field goal.  The crowd almost unanimously gestures for “Block that Kick”.  It is quite a sight.  I think it looks like little worms.

Block that Kick!  See the section in the upper right where hands are not raised?  That’s the ECU section! 🙂

I like how even if I’m in the stadium, I can enjoy the beauty of our mountains.


Key Play
Eh, I’m more of a subscriber to our fourth down gestures.  On third downs when we’re on defense, fans shake their keys.  I didn’t think there were that many people who participated, until I took pictures.

A fan (very enthused) shakes his keys.  Cassell Colliseum is in the background.

Wow, that many people shake their keys?!?  I never noticed!

Stick It In!
When our offense gets in the red zone, the crowd joins the band and the cheerleaders in the “Stick It In” song.  The lyrics are quite deep:

Oo-oh  Oo-oh  Oo-oh  Oo-oh
Oo-oh  Oo-oh  Oo-oh  Oo-oh 
Stick It In!
Stick It In!
Stick It In!

Sometimes the cheerleaders try to remind the crowd of the tricky lyrics by holding up the O and the H (from H-O-K-I-E-S).  Anyway, I tried to take pictures of people dancing to the Stick It In song.  Sadly, our opportunities were limited and the pictures I did take didn’t do it justice.  BUT– I did get this picture of a guy wearing a shirt inspired by the song.

Stick It In!

Hokie Pokie
Okay…. this one isn’t my favorite at all, but it happens… A LOT.  Touted as “one of the greatest college band traditions in the land”, the Marching Virginias perform the Hokie Pokie.  I don’t participate, but I do like watching the goofy unison of the band as they turn themselves around.

You do the Hokie Pokie and you turn yourself around…

I’m missing a really, really good shot of the Enter Sandman frenzy when the team first comes on the field.  It is difficult to show the whole stadium moving as people jump up and down to the song.  All my shots look pretty tame compared to the motion that is actually occuring. 

Those disappointing Enter Sandman shots and more from the ECU vs. VT game can be found on my Flickr site.

September 2, 2007 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Lazy Man’s Mirror

Last weekend at the family reunion, I tied my hair back and wanted to check the integrity of my work.  Rather than get up and consult a mirror in the restroom, I took my camera snapped a quick picture and checked the results.

No missing strands of hair and eyeliner is in tact.

And with that I realized I left off a key cell phone duty in my “Cell Phone… As Versatile as Duct Tape” post.   I often use my cell phone as a quick mirror.  This may seem absurdly lazy.  But I’ll have you know I most frequently use this technique at airports.

Airport Commodity
I often braid my hair at the gate.  If you aren’t familiar with traveling alone at airports, then trust me– going to the bathroom at the airport is a pain in the ass.  Having someone watch you luggage is a luxury you take for granted.  When traveling alone you have to take all your luggage with you.  You can suddenly find your trek extended thanks to remarkably poor-timed bathroom cleanings.  And when you finally get there, gawd forbid, you actually have to use the toilet.  Managing a rolling suitcase, a laptop and a plastic bag full of provisions in a cramped stall is like playing one of those sliding number games, but in much more disgusting circumstances.

Slide Vicky and her luggage around the bathroom stall to open the inward opening door.  Note: Game not to scale– there is not this much wiggle room in an actual airport bathroom.

Anyway– I’ll braid my hair and rather than consulting a mirror I’ll use the cell phone.  I usually delete the pictures right afterwards, but here is a reenactment for you:

Pretend my living room is the gate and pretend Jimmie and Henry are actually passengers making out.

But…there are times when I do it when I am just purely lazy.  Here is a shot I took of myself when I was working and on a whim wanted to see my chin sag status:

Checking on my chin, February 15, 2007 

Usage Disclaimer
I do have a usage disclaimer about the Lazy Man’s Mirror.  If you are using it, make sure you are in the position to take any corrective action, if necessary.  Otherwise, it only serves to depress you. 

Last year’s away game at Wake Forest is a good example.  I’m the master of mismanaging blemishes and I woke up the morning of the game with gruesome evidence of that fact on my face.  It was soooo bad, I considered skipping the game.  When I proposed the notion to my husband, he burst out into song.

You’re so vain,
You probably think this game is about you, don’t you, don’t you?

My husband doesn’t usually sing, so the ditty left enough of an impression for me to go get dressed in orange and maroon and get in car.  And of course, we see all our friends there and of course, we see friends we haven’t seen in years.  Back when Sean and I first started dating, one guy told Sean he should date someone who was “you know, not thirteen.”  Of course, that guy was at the tailgate and here I was ten years later… with the complexion of a thirteen year old.  I managed to stand steadfast through the entire tailgate. 

It was hours later in the stands, I decided I would take a quick peek.  I used my phone to take a picture of Larry Bowman (a distraction) and then I took a picture of myself.  The results were… let’s just say, horrendous.  And there was absolutely nothing, nothing I could do about it.  I was concealerless and I was well lit under stadium lights.  Luckily, there seemed to be some truth to Sean’s song — all eyes did appear to be directed at the game.

Still, dear readers, I do feel a sense of responsibility to warn you.  Exercise caution with the Lazy Man’s Mirror.  Objects are as ugly as they appear. 

Actually probably uglier as cell phones have such small resolutions.  🙂

June 29, 2007 at 1:59 pm 8 comments

Super Bowl Side

I was already intending on routing for the Indianapolis Colts in this year’s Super Bowl, but this sign from yesterday’s Chicago Bears/New Orleans Saints game solidifies my loyalty:

Go Colts!

January 22, 2007 at 11:19 am 1 comment

Wake Forest and Satellite Navigation

Yesterday, Andy B, Sean, Mike E, Larry Bowman and I traveled to Winston-Salem to watch the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest game. We met a number of people down there, including Bret, Phifer, Jason, Steph, Ben Harden and Keith Phelps. Through the years, we have been quite accustomed to the facilities at Larry’s house. It was eye opening to see how others, who don’t have access to the same stationary resources we do, have architected their tailgates.

From a letter written to my cousin Adam (who’s in Iraq) dated today (11/19/2006):

… We arrived around noon and set up our modest card table and our collapsible cloth chairs. Our food was different than normal. At home games, we do elaborate smoked meats. Just the week before, Sean sent three hours the night before the game, preparing stuffed jalapeño peppers. This game we showed up with a sandwich tray and an assortment of chips.

The other people in our lot had more impressive arrays. Some brought full-sized grills. I even watched a man stir a big vat of batter (for frying) with– I kid you not– an oar. A rowing oar. That is how much batter he was preparing!

We had a humble little TV with [a $10 antennae] to get the Michigan-Ohio State game. We saw a number of people who brought giant flat screens with them (and [sometimes] a generator to [power] them). A lot of people had a satellite dish with them.

The party across from us actually had custom fittings installed in their van to hold up a high-def plasma TV in the back. An [adjacent] truck had fancy welded hardware attached to it to hold up the satellite dish.

(FYI– there were advantages to our TV getting antennae feed– we got to see touchdowns and interceptions five seconds ahead of all the others).

All those satellites did prove to be helpful to us though.

After dark, we approached the stadium and noted the tickets were for the West stands.

“Which way is west?” someone asked.

During his day, my grandfather [a navigator during WWII and Korea on B-29s] used a number of navigation techniques. He’d make use of the radio signals for his LORAN system. Sometimes he used the same celestial navigation the early sailors would have used or sometimes he would use dead reckoning and plot the direction and distance traveled from a known point.

Our party of slightly inebriated fans did not have access to LORAN, had no idea the bearing we were traveling and certainly had no idea what to do with the few stars we could see past the bright stadium lights. But we did have access to something that proved just as helpful as a compass.

“Well,” [Andy B] said, “All the satellite dishes were pointing that way and the dishes point southwest, so west is there.”

His observation proved correct. Who needs the moon or the North Star, when we have DirecTV dishes?

Having been involved in geocaching, I found it amusing there is a form of satellite navigation that does not require a GPS unit! 🙂

November 19, 2006 at 10:34 pm Leave a comment

Boston Recap – Arrival, Freedom Trail, VT vs. BC

Some highlights of our Boston trip with some journal excerpts and pictures thrown in. 

Flickr User: Some of this may be redundant.

P.R. Squared – Plane Ride and Project Runway
Usually on flights, I sleep a significant portion.  This trip we flew JetBlue which features DirecTV.  I was enamored with the fact that I had live Bravo on a Wednesday and that had its consequences.

Our plane threw a hitch into my usual flying routine.  We had DirecTV on each seat and instead of sleeping I found myself watching two reruns of Project Runway.  I kept text messaging Ann [ another Project Runway fan] before take-off.

“I’m watching Project Runway on a plane!!!” I declared.

In retrospect, I wish I slept instead.  I arrived in Boston with that typical blah feeling when you’ve glazed over your intelligence with too much TV and advertisements.

Airport Inaccuracy
Bill C generously picked us up at the airport and he drove us the dinner the first night as well as escorted me around Lowell on Saturday.  Alas, there were some moments were Bill was… slightly inaccurate.  The one I find most humourous was the first one.

When we arrived at the airport and got to the baggage claim, Sean messaged Bill to see where he was.  Sean’s phone quickly beeped with a reply.  It turns out Bill was just leaving his house.  Sean read the message outloud to me, Bret and Phifer.

“Leaving now.  Will be there in 45 minutes.  It will take you that long to get your luggage.”

As Sean was reading that message, we were watching our luggage come towards us on the carousel!  🙂

Freedom Trail – Granary Cemetary
The Granary Cemetary (where Paul Revere, John Hancock and Ben Franklin’s parents are all buried) spurred a lot of thoughts.  First off, I found the carvings on the tombstone very interesting:

Often there was no holds barred in regards to what the stone was marking– they’d carve a skull and sometimes crossbones right smack on top of the tombstone!  [It left no question what lied beneath.]

There was a sign that explained that the different carvers of the day had different […] techniques [that could be noticed in the carving].  I thought that was neat.  The tombstones not only tell you about the person who lies underneath– but they tell you a bit about the artist as well.

Next, it had me think a bit about my burial plans.

I tell people my primary contender for my post mortum plans is to have my ashes spread on Pearis Mountain.  I’m not certain of that route […]

But– after looking at this cemetary, Pearis Mountain looks more promising.  This cemetary is only 2 centuries old.  A lot of the stones are illegible.  Erosion is sneaking up on them– as more and more soil envelops the bottom halves of the stones.  One stone was partially encompassed in a tree which had grown around it.

It seems to me Pearis Mountain will outlast any cemetary.  It may not bear my name and the date of my birth and death– but will will embody my spirit.

I’m more certain of the Pearis Mountain route after my visit to Lowell.  A number of my ancestors are buried in a cemetary in Lowell, but I did not visit it.  Instead, I visited the buildings they built and inhabited, looked at the river they would have seen every day and,  most importantly, I walked the streets they would have walked .  I felt close to my family then and perhaps in a few generations, my progeny will capture a similiar feeling as well– walking the trail on my favorite mountain.

U.S.S. Constitution
The U.S.S. Constitution had a lot of neat aspects.

Sean commented that it took a lot of rope to sustain a sailboat.  Boy was he right!  Lots and lots of ropes of all sizes donned the ship.

The U.S.S. Constitution also connected to a story Bill told us the day before.  He told us about Tom McHale who saved the Massachussetts Bay Transportation Authority an estimated $126,000 a year simply by putting hair caps on the air intake pipes for the T trains.  (It lets air in, but keeps the engine-damaging snow out).

The U.S.S. Constitution had the inverse with its cannons.  Where Tom McHale used netting to cover the opening of the intake pipe, the U.S.S. Constitution had the netting covering the area around the cannon opening. 

I’m not sure of the purpose– maybe it is just purely cosmetic.  Or maybe, the netting is serving a similiar function as its cousins on the T.  Perhaps it was intended to keep large outside debris out?

A few years ago, one of my co-workers went onsite at a mine and came back with the cutest calendar.  The miners’ children had drawn different pictures with safety messages like, “Break the Rock, Daddy, Not Your Head!”

[The Naval Yard had a faded billboard] touting similiar safety measures– in specific wearing steel-toed boots.  It depicted a sailor grabbing his foot and saying,

“Ouch!  Not even a dog deserves this!!!”

Note: Bill isn’t the only one with inaccuracies this trip— my journal recollection was wrong.  The sign actually reads, “OUCH! It shouldn’t happen to a dog!”

It’s amusing because there are some people who treat their dogs better than their neighbors.  And there is evidence of that all around the area.  We’ve past quite a number of dog specialty stores, gourmet treats, etc

Old Businesses
A couple of journal comments on old businesses:

Bell in Hand Tavern
We briefly passed by the oldest tavern in the U.S.  I believe it was established in the 1700s.  In Blacksburgs, some bars barely last a year! […]

There are a lot of businesses that are pretty old.  Near Quincy Square we passed by a restaurant whose sign read, “Established Before You Were Born.”

Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
We met Bill and his cousin, Matty, for a quick tailgate and then headed off to the game.

Tech lost the Boston College game miserably.  In fact the local paper used the verb “trounce” in describing the outcome.

Nonetheless I found something to cheer about.  BC’s kicker, affectionately called “Sid Vicious” (because his last name is long and hard to pronounce), is a walk-on to the team.  He was kicking field goals for fun when a coach saw him and invited him to join the team.  Their regular kicker got in a bar fight so now it was time for Sid Vicious to show his stuff.

The Virginia Tech game was his first game ever and this boy shined!  He kicked two field goals and two extra points– 8 points total.  Not bad for his first game!!!

“Boston is Not a College Football Town”
Early in the week, Bill told us that Boston is not a college football town.  In the two days after the game, we saw Bill’s statement was quite accurate.

The friendly inhabinants we met certainly proved that [statement].  Thursday night we lost the game.  All day Friday and Saturday, friendly passers-by would note our shirts and say stuff like, “Have fun at the game!”, “Hope you win!” or “When’s the game?”

They had no idea it already occurred or that the results were so decisive! 🙂

October 20, 2006 at 11:47 pm 1 comment

A Different Kind of Tailgate– Hawk Observatory Tower

Yesterday, we gathered as usual at Larry’s tailgate for Virginia Tech vs. Duke.  Even though the game started at noon, this was an all day event.  My husband woke up at 5:15 AM to start cooking the food.  Others arrived as early as 8 AM to begin the festivities and then after the game we ate and visited until well after dark.  We are far from the only ones celebrating. As we walk back and forth to the game, we always pass the fleet of RVs, trucks and cars with their own array of food, chairs, flags, signs and even satelitte TVs.

I woke up this morning and remembered that it was the peak season for the hawk migration at the Hanging Rock Observatory Tower on Peters Mountain in West Virginia (near Waiteville). 

(Look closely– Henry is on the rocks)

That reminded me of a different kind of tailgate!  Instead of bringing plenty of food and supplies and for an entire day of partying for football, these participants are there for the hawks.  And although they are much smaller in number, the participants are every bit as dedicated as the Hokie fans. 

Almost exactly two years ago (September 18, 2004), Alex Moskwa and I happened to visit the tower on a very good day and we met three of the die-hard fans.  My journal excerpt from September 20, 2004:

On Saturday we drove to WVA to the hawk observatory tower.  On the way there I said to Alex, “I hope we see a hawk.”

My goodness, did I feel silly once we got there.  Hawks were plentiful!  It turned out to be one of the best weekends to watch the migration!

There were so many hawks, in fact, that Jimmie took an interest in watching out the window:

There were three men already in the tower when Alex and I arrived.  Boy were they serious bird watchers!!!  They had extra binoculars with them, [food, drink, chairs] and they had been there since 9 AM!  One guy even had a click-counter like the one Grandma had at the Mill House Musuem [in Occoquan].

At 6 PM, one man had to drag himself home for dinner.  He said if he’s good tonight and went home for dinner then, “[He] could come back tomorrow.”

Here’s something cute.  The clock in the observatory tower was an hour behind.

“That’s hawk time,” an old man named George told me.

The hawks are from South America and they don’t change their clocks as they pass through time zones, so the observatory keeps their clocks in time with the hawks.

All three men were very friendly and informative.  I throughly enjoyed meeting them.

After we parted ways I got to redeem myself.  Alex and I found a geocache I failed miserably to find over a year ago. 

The three hawk watchers had been up there so much, they were familiar with “the treasure.”  It was cute they referred to it that way.

If you are in the Southwest Virginia/West Virginia area and have free time in the next week or so, I highly recommend a visit up to the Hawk Observatory Tower.  Now’s the time to go– yesterday alone, they counted 681 hawks!

September 17, 2006 at 3:56 pm 3 comments

Worlds Collide at Larry’s Tailgate!

One thing I enjoy about weddings (besides dancing and the cake, of course) is the “worlds collide” effect. A number of people who all know the bride and groom in different contexts convene together for a common celebration. I like to see extended family and friends mingling together, sharing their memories and antedotes.

This weekend even though Virginia Tech’s bout with Northeastern did not promise to be a nailbiter, it still managed to draw a collision of worlds at Larry’s house. Many different aspects of my life were represented by the people in attendence:

  • My Blacksburg/Tailgate Life – All the normal tailgating people were in attendence. Larry, Ann, Penn, Gwyn, Andy, Bill, Sean, Keith, Jonathan Couch and even new father Brian Vandervort made a surprise appearence!
  • My Hiking Life – My reigning Hiking Buddy, Mike E, was present and he got to converse with my original hiking partner– Tony Airaghi.
  • My Married Life – Both of Sean’s brothers and their significant others came down for the event. That meant 66.66% of my brothers-in-law were in attendence (Carolyn‘s husband, Clint, was the only one missing from this brother-in-law reunion).
  • My QualTrax Life – ZJ Palasz, one of our QualTrax programmers, came in from Virginia Beach with his girlfriend to join our festivities.
  • My NOVA/Camping/Skiing Life – Kipp and Stacy came down for the event. On Friday night I found out that Shannon, Christian, Beth, Wayne and Shehab were going to be in town as well. I extended an invitation and all seven of these individuals from Northern Virginia came to Larry’s tailgate …and all seven of them got to witness a rare “Tipsy Vicky”.

I think these two pictures are a solid representation of the worlds colliding. The first one depicts some of the usual crowd– Me, Larry and Lindsay. The second one is the same shot— only this time, Kipp has made his way into the scene!

And here comes NOVA bursting in! 🙂

More pictures from the Virginia Tech vs. Northeastern Tailgate are available on my website.

September 4, 2006 at 11:36 am 1 comment

Football Fraud Fraud?

I’ve had season tickets to Virginia Tech football for, gosh, I guess about 9-10 years now.  About once a year I also attend an away game.  I’ve traveled to three different bowl games.  I’ve paid $250 for a ticket to the National Championship game in 1999.  And during the 2001 season, I attended every game (home, away and post-season).  Yet still, deep down, I don’t feel like I’m a true college football fan.

I’m not devastated when we lose.  I don’t cut my hand punching kegerators and I certainly don’t break my ankle trying to tackle away my frustration from a loss.  I don’t spend my mealtimes for days afterwards rehashing individual plays, criticizing calls or analyzing our offensive line.  I can translate very few numbers to player names.  And I never seem to notice holding until someone starts shouting and pointing.  So sometimes I feel like my days are numbered.

“One day they will figure out I’m a fraud!” I often joke, “A Football Fraud!”

I was almost caught red handed in 2001.  We were leaving the stadium in Charlottesville when some folks stuck in the typical post-game traffic inquired about the game.

“Who won?” they asked.

“Tech,” I said.

“What was the score?”

“Uh…” I absolutely had no idea, not even the slightest clue, what the final score was!

Luckily, one of my companions answered quick enough that my ignorance went unnoticed!

This week marks the beginning of Virginia Tech’s 2006 Football Season and I’m starting to suspect that maybe my affection for football is stronger than I realize.  In the past few weeks, I’ll catch a brief moment where the temperature and the wind hits me just right to remind me fall is on its way.  Involuntarily, like Pavlov’s dogs, I get excited thinking about the upcoming games and tailgates and all the excitement and energy that accompany them.  I don’t quite salivate, but I have a large amount of anticipation.  I’m anxious for football season to begin!

Then more telling– this weekend I wrote a letter to my cousin Adam.  I start off the letter innocently mentioning that football season was starting soon and then before I realized it I had written multiple pages on the things I enjoy about college football.  I even reminisced fondly about the Texas A&M game we played during the rains of Hurricane Isabel. 

The William Morva news only got a couple of paragraphs.  Great Uncle Chuck only got a couple of paragraphs.  News on Carolyn and Jay got a paragraph each (Sorry Carolyn and Jay).  But Virginia Tech football— that warranted the bulk of the communication?

Somehow, somewhere along the line, it seems my claim to be a “football fraud” has turned out to be…fraudulent.

August 29, 2006 at 10:32 pm 8 comments

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