Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Hundred Twenty Two To Nuthin’

Mixed Emotions About College Sports--Close But No Cigar

I pride myself in being able to say that I only missed a couple of Georgia Tech home football games between 1977 and 1997.

I also traveled to places like Clemson, South Carolina; Auburn and Birmingham, Alabama; Winston Salem and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Annapolis, Maryland to watch what many people would consider at best to be mediocre Tech Teams play the home teams in those cities.

The quality of the football play didn’t matter much to me because I was there to study engineering, but I did enjoy following my school’s team because of it’s great football history.

The cause of one of my few absences in 1985 was having to sit in the hospital recovering from a blood clot in my leg while at the same time having my personal Physician attended the Georgia/Georgia Tech game using MY TICKETS. Since he forgot to sign the Hospital discharge order, I wasn’t allowed to go home to watch the game from my own sofa.

Afterwards he belatedly turned me out of the medical facility, I went home, and I got over it in the end.

Other personal milestones include having witnessed Georgia Tech’s running back Eddie Lee Ivory’s effort covering 356 yards in a snowstorm at the Air Force Academy in November of 1978, and Tech finishing in a 3 to 3 tie with a number one ranked Notre Dame in 1980 without throwing a single forward pass. Notre Dame actually had to come from behind to earn the tie.

I was also in the stadium in Orlando in 1990 at the Citrus Bowl when Tech pounded Nebraska and tied for the NCAA Division I National championship.

Since that time, I have only visited “Grant Field at historic Bobby Dodd Stadium” on a few occasions, my personal fortunes and life priorities having changed greatly since I spent two or three thousand dollars a year watching football and basketball just north of Atlanta’s North Avenue.

This year I managed to get a little excited about GT football, but when it was all said and done things have ended pretty much as usual, with Tech snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory on a number of occasions.

Other than an embarrassing 31-7 loss at Clemson back in mid October , Tech managed to come up short by a total of 10 points (Notre Dame 14-10, Georgia 15-12, and Saturday’s 9-6 loss to Wake Forrest) in three other games.

Just Damn.

I have to ask the question out loud: “Where are the points when we need them?”

That’s OK I guess…I’m still “a Hell of an engineer” and life goes on…

Speaking of points, I have a piece of GT memorabilia that is very special to me, not to mention very RARE--a 1917 Georgia Tech Student Yearbook. My Dad was an old book fan, and one day we were wandering around the old Atlanta Flea Market on Piedmont Road (there’s a MARTA transit station there now) and he points out this old tome, and we bought it for $10.

Inside of that canvas hard-covered book, in addition to documentation of life at “The North Avenue Trade School” in the early 1900’s, was an amazing outline of John Heisman’s (of Heisman Trophy fame) 1916 campaign leading Georgia Tech to a college football national championship.

Not only did Georgia Tech score a record setting 222 to 0 victory against Cumberland College in the second game of the season, but they only allowed their opponents to score a TOTAL of 20 points in ten games while my beloved Yellow Jackets scored 467 points.

The schedule that season included Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn Universities, with Tulane, North Carolina, Washington & Lee, Davison, Cumberland, and Mercer thrown in for good measure.

So in closing, I have to say to all of you sports fans out there that perspective is where it is at--not the points spread.

In my opinion, GT had a pretty good year, in spite of Saturday’s conference title loss, and Monday morning I’m still the same useless beach bum or expert Theater Set designer none the less.

Let’s all just try to have a GREAT holiday season regardless of the numbers on the scoreboard…

Hey...can you pass me the gravy and dressing?

1 comment:

LoganFork said...

If anybody has ever expressed his soul, this blogger has. Atta
Boy, Virgil. No disrespect meant to a fine Southern Gentleman.