VT stunned Nebraska, and I was there.

I’m not sure why I didn’t post this earlier in the week, but I wanted to get it up here before the next game. That’d be tomorrow, against Miami. Anyway, I couldn’t have picked a better finish. The Hokies, after an opening TD drive, did precisely squat offensively the rest of the game. The D and special teams (as well as a few favorable calls and mistakes on Nebraska’s part) kept them in the game for these last minute heroics. I LOVE the frenzied joy that comes with a last minute victory. And experiencing it in person was fabulous. You go from the doldrums to ecstasy with 65,000 of your best friends in about 5 seconds. It’s pretty cool.

Quick Update: I forgot to include this little conversation I had with my brother’s roommate right before this series. An “Overheard in the Stands,” if you will.

Steve (Murray’s Roomate): You know, all it takes is one big play.
Me: Steve, what have you seen in this game that makes you think we’re capable of even a single big play?
Steve: *shrugs*

So yeah, this shows what I know:

Greetings from Sunny FL

VT LogoKate, being the gracious and loving wife that she is, let me fly down to Ft. Lauderdale for the Orange Bowl and a couple of days of fun with the old roommate. VT plays Kansas, and it should be a fun game. I come down here for sun and warmth and it ends up being freaking 50 degrees. I guess good company and a good smack-down on Thursday will have to suffice. And no, that is NOT a guarantee.

I have lots of pictures from Christmas in NY to post, but just haven’t gotten to it. The new site is almost ready as well, I just need to migrate all the old posts. But alas, time has been short and life has been busy (two common threads, I’m finding).

Everybody watch the Orange Bowl on Thursday. Go Hokies!

ACC Champs!

VT LogoI briefly interrupt the current series about the redesign to bring you this late-breaking news. The Hokies are the ACC Champs! Huzzah!

The last minute loss to BC back in October is that much more galling now. If the Hokies pull out that win, they might very well be playing for the National Championship. However, there is a possibility that I’m headed to FL for the Orange Bowl, so that will be fun times with the old roommate and a couple of other friends, if we land the tickets. Go Hokies! Beat Kansas!

Honoring the Collegiate Times

In the aftermath of the shootings at Virginia Tech, there was A LOT of media coverage. When I initially wrote about my feelings on the event, I mentioned how it was too soon to talk about certain aspects, namely the media’s coverage and how the university handled the situation. I’m going to use this post to briefly address both of these items, and hopefully end on a positive note.

There was a ton of media coverage of the event. In fact, when my family was down to move Murray out, nearly a full month later, they were interviewed by a reporter for a west coast newspaper (I can’t remember which one). By all accounts, the days on campus following the shootings were chaotic, to say the least. There were good and bad aspects of the media’s coverage. As an alumni, the worst by far was the bloodthirsty attack on the university administration and university police. These two groups were pounced upon by local and national media alike, and the vilifying and scapegoating began.

Many (though certainly not all) students and alumni like me were horrified. Was this really the time for finger-pointing and accusations? Couldn’t we have a few weeks, or even days to grieve the loss of our brothers and sisters? Couldn’t we have some time to remember those who were lost, and the countless gifts they may have given to Virginia Tech and the world? The Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff spoke for many alumni who couldn’t speak when they gave President Steger a long, loud, and unspeakably touching ovation when he took the podium at the convocation. They said so much with that ovation. We support you. We appreciate you. Hang in there – it’s tough, we know.

It hurt me so much when someone I was speaking to on April 17 spoke disparagingly of the University, going so far to refer to the administration and police as the “keystone cops”. Certainly when an event of this magnitude happens, questions will be asked, and rightfully so. There will apparently be a full examination of how events on the 16th were handled, and they are absolutely correct to do so. But to begin a witch hunt when there were so many other facts that needed to be reported was irresponsible, and the members of the press who took part in it should be ashamed.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are journalists out there – young and upcoming journalists – who reported with professionalism. The Collegiate Times, the Virginia Tech student newspaper, contained some of the best and most informative writing regarding the tragedy. And it hasn’t just been Internet opinion-hacks like me who have noticed. The Burlington Free Press wrote this article regarding the Collegiate Time’s journalism, and this article from Editor & Publisher went so far as to mention them in the same breath with the Pulitzer prize. I’m sure that other people also noticed.

So my hat is off to the journalism provided by the student newspaper at Virginia Tech. They were a beacon of light during a dark couple of days and weeks. A bit dramatic? Yeah, definitely. But it doesn’t make it any less true.

We are Virginia Tech

VT LogoThe past several days have been a whirlwind. We were spared the grief and sorrow that comes with losing a loved one: Murray is safe and sound. He was able to find a computer and send me an instant message saying he was fine. It was because of his message at around 10:30 AM that we were also spared the white-knuckled hours so many parents around the country endured as they hoped that their son or daughter was not one of the victims.

The bombardment of images, video, and commentary that followed the shooting were overwhelming. I was particularly struck by the juxtaposition of familiar Hokie Stone behind disturbing scenes of police officers, victims, and EMS personnel. Every Virginia Tech alumnus mourns for our brothers and sisters. Virginia Tech was our home for at least four years, and now that home has been violated.

In the midst of all the shock, anger, disbelief, and sadness, I can’t help but feel one positive emotion in the aftermath of the shootings at my alma mater. Pride. These students, clearly shocked and frightened, have handled themselves admirably. They have expressed a quiet strength and dignity that should make their parents, their fellow students, the university faculty and staff, and all Tech alumni proud. Jay Cooper had this to say in an opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee.

These “kids” refused to rise to the bait being dangled by anchors insistently asking “aren’t you angry?” and instead defended the decisions made by their university administrators, offered context and perspective on the nature of life on their campus and kept their remarks focused on what truly mattered, the sudden and tragic loss of their colleagues, professors and friends.

The topic of the university’s handling of the situation and the media’s response are items that I would like to address eventually, but not right now. It’s all just too fresh. But the response by the students has been tremendous, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a Hokie.

VT Candlelight Vigil
Photo not mine! Credit will be posted when I can figure out who actually took it!

Murray is Fine

I just wanted to let everybody who may be following the Virginia Tech tragedy know that Murray (my brother who is a student at Virginia Tech) and Matthew (Tim’s brother, also at VT) are both fine. Thank you to everybody who has contacted me expressing their concern.

Please keep all the victims, their families, and friends in your prayers.