Another Cavalieeeer … FIRST DOWN!

January17/ 2000

If you had been with me and The Mizzus in Scott Stadium on Saturday, that Hoo PA Announcer’s stimulus – response is still ringing in your ears.  I got back to Swagger World HQ and found over a dozen reader queries … “BobLee was it as bad in person as it looked on TV?” … No, it was worse!  BobLee’s game notes on Hoos over Heels … and Week Two across the nation.

   OK … a little dose of reality up front.  Three months ago 99% of Tar Heelia picked the Tar Heels to be 1-1 on September 12, 2004.  That’s what they are.  I’ve told you youngans from Day One that September 18 versus GaTech is the measuring stick … and it will be.  We are not talking “Doomsday Scenarios” until AFTER that game.

UVa and UNC are two snooty peas in a pod in virtually every category … academically, athletically, socially, historically, campus, community … you name it.  Across the board these two institutions have always viewed each other as worthy almost equals … going back to tri-cornered hat days when Old East was “that new dorm by the well” and “The Lawn” was “those fancy rooms by The Rotunda”.  Redundant Dick and I decided Saturday morning that “Charlottesville is simply Chapel Hill With Hills” … But alas … 

In 2004 there is a significant difference between the two schools. 

Virgina has MEN playing football. Carolina has boys out there.  

   Mizzus Swagger knows diddly about Football and cares less.  When she remarks “Carolina looks like a high school team out there” you knows its bad folks.  Don’t even try to play any “feel good games” with that 56-24 final score.  One more tick on the clock and UVa adds 7 more.  UNC’s first TD drive was aided by a no-call on a UNC fumble.  Only Al Groh’s Christian benevolence kept the Hoos from a possible 70+.  Al Groh could have scored more on Carolina that Pete Gillen could … hell, he almost did anyway.

If they’d had “the 10 run rule” in effect, we’d a been home before dark

   I hate to get picky but the rout started in pre-game.  UVa players look like NFLers.  They are poured into their uniforms.  They bulge where you want football players to bulge.  They look SHARP.  Our Tar Heels looked like Chapel Hill High.  I’ve advocated “white shoes” for years … THEY MAKE YOU LOOK FASTER.  Again, Mizzus remarked “why is our team wearing their practice uniforms” … out of the mouths of Mizzuses come deep wisdom.

   UVa’s running backs are much faster that UNC’s defenders.  UVa’s tacklers hit HARD and actually drive runners BACKWARD with authority.  UNC’s tacklers wave their arms and hope those fast runners trip over them.  Actually one Hoo runner did trip over the 15 yard line on a sure TD scamper.  When yard line paint makes more tackles than your front four … you get your butt whupped.  It did and we did.

Sitting Bull treated Custer better than Mr Jefferson treated us.    

   After Game Two … Dave Huxtable/Jim Fleming’s two interception in 2003 is still two more than Gutekunst/Sanders have in 2004 … for anyone who counts such things. I think there are people who do.  When your opponent “goes for it” on 4th and short from their own 30 in the 2nd quarter that is NOT a sign of respect for your defense.  Yes, they “made it” with several yards to spare.

   In the second half we finally found Virginia’s achille’s heel … actually their “achille’s foot” … they have a mediocre punter.  Since he never trotted onto the field until midway the 4th quarter and then only twice in the game, we were unable to take much advantage of this chink in their armor.

   The highlight of the game for me came with 11:36 to go in the 4th quarter.  The UNC Band actually played Aye Zigga Zoomba !!! … I figure its now their official “whenever Matt Baker throws a long pass to Chad Scott” theme.  So far every time the latter has ever happened the former was heard. 

   Scott Stadium is a terrific college football atmosphere.  Tres cool stadium.  Guess what … their fans actually dress in the school’s color … 50,000 folks in orange … and 4,000 of us in the usual 16 different PMS shades of light blue.  Our traveling contingent was pretty loyal … they didn’t begin their exodus until halftime.  The UVa video board entry is very neat and that “FIRST DOWN” chant is excellent … yes, its corny but all the fans join in.  We can’t even get a dozen of our fans to wear the same shade of blue.

   Great story … the Tar Heel fan with the seat next to moi turned out to be a former message board adversary.  Yes, I have gathered a few in my day.  Before he bailed at the half, he had hammered John Bunting’s coffin shut, wrapped it in chains, and sunk it in the Mariannas Trench, then threw Dickie and Moeser overboard wearing sharkbait suits.  The 99 yard TD drive and the kick-off returns pretty much did the fellow in.  He did throw a few new names into the “our next coach damn well be better either/or …” pot along with the standard 3-4 that everyone is already talking about.


   OK, Tar Heel fans are frustrated and mad as hell … But, think how Florida State fans feel this weekend.  At least we have the cushion of very modest expectations (DUH!).  Some of our “faithful” would take a W over Duke right now, a 2-9 record, and say “when does Ol’ Roy have Midnight Madness?”  For those sad success-bloated Seminoles 9-2 is an off-year.  The only game that really matters to them is history.  Matt Baker had a better game this week than Chris Rix did.  Bet you coulda won a few bets with that possibility.

   Howsabout that Ty Willingham and those Irish? Ty and John Bunting have the same 1-1 records so far this year but which shoes would you want to be in?

   Wuffies got to be goofier than usual with the Buckeyes having all they could handle with Marshall.  Just what Tar Heels need … State with a very good chance to beat Ohio State next Saturday.  ARGH!

   Duke lost a close one to UConn … so what else is new.  Didn’t we see that back in March?

   Wake Forest rolled over East Carolina.  So much for the much anticipated “Terry Holland inspirational bounce”.  


   Reverend Mack Brown saved his burnt orange butt by the grace of Gawd.  That Arkansas QB and Chris Rix ought to compare “how to blow the big game” notes.

   VPI crushed Western Michigan.  Uuummmm, Frank Beamer and Gary Darnell … where did I see those two names linked together a few years ago?


   I sat through my Alma Mater suffering a humiliating defeat to a respected rival and I STILL enjoyed the weekend with The Mizzus.  Oh, for you Wuffies, we walked all over Hoo-ville in our C-Blue and never heard ONE F-bomb or saw a single one-finger salute.  I just thought I’d mention that.


Swagger’s Stumper

The name of Red Skelton’s hobo character?


Only THREE of you got “The Pizza Bowl” as the hang-out for Laverne & Shirley’s gang.  Maybe the toughest one yet?


Good Luck to The Panthers on Monday Night.  What a fine organization they have turned out to be.

The Lawn at UVa really is quite impressive … next trip up that way The Mizzus wants to see Monticello.

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