did something unusual during Saturday’s basketball game against Boston College:
I turned the TV off. When BC’s Jared Dudley hit a layup to put the Eagles up
28-14 with 8:18 to go in the first half, I figured I knew how this story ended,
and I hit the Power button and went to do something else. I didn’t turn it back
on until there were six minutes left to go and things had been decided a long
I never turn off VT football games. I’ve seen some real train wrecks,
including last year’s 22-3 embarrassment at Boston College, but I never turn it
off early or leave early. I sat through UNC’s 42-3 humiliation of the Hokies in
the 1997 Gator Bowl, and I didn’t leave before it was over, despite having the
most obnoxious Hokie “fan” I’ve ever seen in my life sitting behind
me. (I eventually asked him nicely to be quiet, and he apologized and turned
down the volume on his constant spewing of criticism.) I sat through the 27-7
Miami game in 2005. The last VT football game I left early was Virginia’s 1991
whitewashing of the Hokies, a 38-0 debacle that had me exiting my seat mid-third
quarter. Getting trashed in Charlottesville is hard to take.
But basketball’s different. I don’t know why. I think it’s because it can get
sooo ugly, so fast. Boston College turned a nice little 19-14 lead into a 39-16
hammer job with a 20-2 run. I bailed out halfway through that run, not knowing
how long it would go on, but knowing that it would, and I didn’t want to
So I spent some time patrolling the In-Game Chat Board, checking to see if
anyone was out of hand. No one was, for the most part, but it was through the
I-GC board that I got the news that the Hokies fell as far behind as 41-18,
which is the same as 39-16 but sounds worse.
So what now? Simple: pick up the pieces and move on. The Hokies can be
glorious, as they were in a 94-88 win over #1 UNC, or they can be hideous, as
they were in this game and in the previous loss to NC State.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it over and over: Basketball is a game
of runs, both within a game and within a season. Sometimes your
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