Notes from Atlanta: Hokie Fans Out in Force

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Just a few notes from a fan’s perspective on the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where one thing is old news: Hokie fans have once again shown up in force for a bowl game. Shocking, isn’t it? Also to be expected, Georgia fans were in short supply in Atlanta Friday night, because for most of them, it’s just a day trip.

For the second time in a row, I had one of those fortuitous mornings at Enterprise Car Rental in Radford. I had reserved a “premium level” car for the 400-mile drive to Atlanta, and when I arrived to pick it up, they told me that all their premium cars — a Dodge Charger, a Dodge Magnum, and a Nissan Maxima — hadn’t been returned the previous day.

I know what you’re thinking — I wound up with a Ford Focus. No, Enterprise takes good care of me, and they upgraded me to a white Toyota 4Runner. That Toyota looked sweet decked out in 12 different VT magnets, including a pair of old-school car magnets. (Take a bow if you own one of those — I saw a Suburban sporting one in Winston-Salem this fall.)

As expected, I-77 and I-85 were packed with Tech fans driving to Atlanta. At one point, I was in a line of four Tech cars, and at another point, I counted six VT cars in sight. The ride to Atlanta was uneventful, except for a big traffic jam about 60 miles outside of the ATL. I pulled off the Interstate and spent about 30 miles driving back roads through a place called Winder and a place called — I kid you not — Dacula. That gave me a chuckle, reminding me of the sitcom Scrubs, and J.D.’s medical horror movie project, “Dr. Acula.” But I digress.

We’re staying at the Sheraton in downtown Atlanta, and I discovered upon arrival that the Sheraton is the home base of the Marching Virginians, as well. Trapped in a hotel with several hundred college students? Not a good setup, normally, but the MV’s turned in promptly at midnight (breaking up a pretty good party, I might add) and left quietly early this morning.

Unsure of the scope of downtown Atlanta, and whether or not the few blocks on my map represented a long walk, we took a cab from the Sheraton to a little bar called Sidebar. Cool thing about the cab ride? It was a “video cab”, and the driver popped in a DVD of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” music video and cranked it up. Bad thing about the cab ride? It was $10. So much for cabs. I now walk.