A Saturday To Remember

Little did I know what was in store for me when I arose on the Saturday of the Virginia game. The enthusiasm builds during the week before a home game and this one, being Virginia, provided a little something extra. In years gone by. I always enjoyed playing Virginia in football because we almost always won, but in recent times, the tables have been turned. I don't even want to get statistical about it. It's too painful.

The first thing to go wrong was that my newly acquired friend who is an avid Tar Heel fan failed to show up at our agreed upon meeting place. We were supposed to meet at 6:00 and I waited until 6;30 and he never showed. I still haven't heard from him so I don't know what his explanation will be. I waited until 6:30 and then I left.

A young couple accompanied me on the trip to Chapel Hill, but before we got there, a rock hit my windshield and left a good sized chip. It didn't spread and I will have it repaired tomorrow, but the sound of it hitting was enough for me to think that a sniper had reappeared. We folks in Richmond are still jumpy about the snipers because they made a phone call from a pay station which is only about 1 mile from where I live.

I had told the young lady who was with us about Rameses and we had planned to have her photograph taken with him. Guess what. Rameses was a no show also even though the people in The GAA tent said they expected him and the sign was out announcing that he would be there in person. He may have arrived later but he was not there when Tar Heel Town opened and I didn't see him at the game.

Moving right along. My friends had bought two of the reduced price tickets down near the field. I had two tickets on the upper deck where I have been for years. My friend asked what I was going to do with the second ticket now that my buddy in Richmond did not show. I told him I would probably "eat it" since I don't enjoy dealing with the ticket brokers. He asked if I objected to him using them to get three seats together and I agreed on the grounds that he would do all the negotiating and he said he would. He returned from his session with a broker and had three tickets together. I never asked about the details since we now had three tickets together and no additional expense was involved.

I wasn't prepared, however, for where the seats were located and I can truthfully say if you have never watched a game in Kenan from the second row in the lower deck, you should do so. You will never complain about your seats again assuming they will be elsewhere.

I don't know how to describe what I endured. The Virginia players who were were not involved in the game stood for the entire game because the players who were playing occupied all of the space on the benches when they were not in the game. I could barely see the tops of the player's helmets in the game sometimes, but thank goodness for the Jumbotron. Without it and Woody on the radio, I would have had absolutely no idea what was going on in the game other than to listen to the crowd and assume we did something good when they made an unusual amount of noise. I won't bother you with the fact that a nerd type young couple came and sat down next to me. Wouldn't you know they were Wahoos. He confused me at first because I noticed he had an orange dress shirt on with a tie but he clapped when Carolina took the field. I then noticed that his tie had "V's" all over it and then it became clear that he and his friend were Wahoos. Oh, I forgot to mention that his almost goatee was also close to being Virginia orange. I kept my headset on so I wouldn't get into it with him but, my friend told me later that he was really spouting off about how they were going to whip up on Virginia Tech this year. Yeah, right.

After thinking about it, I decided that he probably was probably a Phi Beta Kappa at UVA. There has to be some explanation for his social deficiencies. Oh, and he had on moccasins with no socks to complete his ensemble.

After the game, I went out onto the field to ask the groundskeeper why they always have the white cloth like material where the team benches are. I had been given a couple of explanations as to why it was there and I wanted to settle the question once and for all. He explained that the material is there solely to protect the grass. The material cannot be penetrated by the players' cleats and is now used for only one game. It is then rolled up and given to a high school for their use.

When I turned to leave, I realized they had padlocked the gate to the fence that surrounds the playing area. I have been locked out of locations on many occasions, but this was a case of being locked in. Fortunately, I walked to the end of the playing field and was able to get out. On the way, I was almost run over by a couple of UVA coeds who were wheeling equipment from the team bench area. I guess females now participate in every facet of football but it still seemed strange.

I won't mention that my Italian ice stand was not in Tar Heel Town after I had developed almost an addiction to their wares. They would have done well because the weather was perfect for a scoop of mango, strawberry and watermelon. I hope they come back or I am going to have to adopt a new pre-game ritual.

The last thing that happened was I attempted to engage in a little good humored banter with a member of the UNC Band. She was standing to the side and not with the other band members. She was adjusting her clothes when I jokingly said "Won't they let you play with them?' She smiled and said something to the effect that she might join them later. I didn't see an instrument and I should have been able to figure it out but I didn't. There are so many uniforms, flag wavers, majorettes, band members and maybe others. To make a short story of it, she turned out to be the student leader of the band. The red on my face was not caused by the sun when she stood on the wall and led the band in Carolina favorites including Aye Zigga Zoomba.

I did get some good hot dogs and a chocolate milkshake in Roxboro on the way home and today I'll have to pay the price by walking double distance to make up for this little transgression. I figured I was entitled to a little pleasure after all I had endured during and I haven't even mentioned the game itself.

In spite of the above, I'll probably be back for the next game. I want to write more later about Tar Heel Town and all the positive things associated with it. In the meantime, I will be attending the ECU game as a guest of a friend, smack dab in the middle of the East Carolina section. Pray for me.