Tag Archives: UVa football 2014

Country Music – Good for What Ails Virginia Football Fans

Did you ever connect country music lyrics with Virginia football? I hadn’t until today. When getting ready to write about this week’s debacle against UNC, I decided to stroll through one of my country music playlists. The applicability of the stories from the giants in the genre to Virginia football and the suffering of its fans is uncanny. So rather than write a column that tries to find a modicum of good news in an avalanche of tragedy, I thought I could do more for Virginia football fans by giving them a playlist that can ease their pain a little. At this point, that’s about all we have left.

I quickly discovered that the challenge with this idea is there is just too much material. Who knew that music giants Toby Keith, Jerry Jeff Walker, Travis Tritt, John Prine, etc., had Virginia football in mind when they penned their lyrics? I have over two pages of “quotable” material. I could write a thesis connecting lyrics about squandered love, too much drinking, and lost dogs to Virginia football. This is a marriage made in heaven…or “Something Like That” – Tim McGraw

Let’s get started and maybe we can forget about last week’s game…or the one coming up:

“Well I woke up this morning and I looked outside and all I had was gone. I started wondering what else could go wrong. Standing outside in the pouring rain, getting my poor house rearranged, but I’m all right, for the shape I’m in” – BR5-49

I don’t think there is any doubt who owns the poor house of the ACC Coastal Division. While Virginia fans have been on an emotional rollercoaster this year, any optimism for 2016 is gone. While we seem to be destined to spend this year rearranging our poor house, I continue to think Virginia will succeed over the long term. We are all right (for the shape we’re in).

“Hey Mr. Brown, turn the volume down. I believe this evening’s shot” – John Prine

Okay, so this could apply to a lot of Virginia games. It is especially applicable to the UNC game as by the 3rd quarter it was very clear that the evening was indeed shot. The unfortunate truth about this quote is that many Virginia games are shot before the evening arrives.

“I sobered up and I got to thinking, girl you ain’t much fun since I quit drinking” – Toby Keith 

I don’t want to scare anyone here, I haven’t quit drinking. However, as the tailgate libations wore thin during the game, I noticed the fun of the game started to wane and the fun (as in most Virginia games) shifted to socializing with friends in our section. Some things don’t change, but in a lot of ways, this is why I keep coming back.

“The whiskey ain’t working anymore” – Travis Tritt

See comments above. While repetitive, this one was just too perfect to leave on the cutting room floor.

Well it was all I could do to keep from crying. Sometimes it seems so useless to remain.” – David Allan Coe

This was clearly the sentiment of the surprisingly enthusiastic crowd. By the middle of the 3rd quarter, I-64 was full of Cavalier fans who would understandably be home before the final horn sounded.

“I don’t want to hear those sad stories, because we both already know how it goes” – Jerry Jeff Walker

It is my belief that this is Jerry Jeff’s way of saying “Same Old ‘Hoos.

“I toasted you and said we may be through, but you’ll never hear me complain” – Garth Brooks

Honestly, given the state of the program, getting 41,000 fans to Scott Stadium wasn’t a bad turn out. While there is still a core base of Virginia fans who will post without consideration of the team’s won/loss record, there are many who share the sentiments of Garth Brooks.

As we look forward to next week’s game, the best description I heard on my playlist was courtesy of Jerry Reed:

“Alligator bait in a Louisiana bayou”

Unless Amos Moses shows up in a Cavalier uniform, I think Vegas might be generous with its opening line of Louisville giving Virginia 26.

I don’t give stock advice and I don’t bet, but if I were a betting man or giving betting advice, I’d say take the Cardinals and the points. They hung 44 points on NC State in the first half. You can thank me later.

As promised, here’s a playlist that provided 2 pages of quotes that speak to Virginia Football, only a fractions of which I could use. I hope these help you forget the travails of Virginia Football, at least for a little while.

Waymore’s Blues – Waylon Jennings

I’m All Right (for the Shape I’m in) – BR5-49

Something Like That – Tim McGraw

I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight – Toby Keith

You Ain’t Much Fun – Toby Keith

The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’ – Travis Tritt

Here’s a Quarter – Travis Tritt

I’ll Be Your San Antone Rose – Jerry Jeff Walker

Pot Can’t Call the Kettle Black – Jerry Jeff Walker

Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

Amos Moses – Jerry Reed

Come Back to us Barbara Lewis – John Prine

Flashback Blues – John Prine

You Never Even Called Me By My Name – David Allan Coe

She Held That Bottle – The Hogwaller Ramblers

Sunday Morning Coming Down – Johnny Cash

 

E-mail David at david [dot] rayner [at] campuspressbox [dot] com and follow him on Twitter @dmrayner.
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Virginia Football and George Bailey

GeorgeBailyWhat happens to recruiting when a head coach has losing records in 4 out of 5 seasons? What happens when a disappointing 4-8 season is followed by an even more disappointing season of 2-10? What usually happens is the coach is reported to be “on the hot seat” and recruiting grinds to a halt as big name national and emerging regional recruits look for field success and coaching security in their playing careers. As Virginia fans know, for better or worse, there is rarely anything “usual” about UVa football.
Do you recall George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life”? Remember the scene when he was in Martini’s bar and at the end of his rope? He prayed a brief prayer that changed his life and the fate of Bedford Falls forever… “Dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man but if You’re up there and can hear me…” As a result of his prayer, his guardian angel Clarence appears and the story has a tearfully happy ending. The Virginia fan base is a lot like George Bailey headed into this season. We are at the end of our rope. We know that another losing season very likely means the end of Mike London followed by a coaching search to fill a job no one will want and at least 3 more years of rebuilding.
I had written an outline for an article that that focused on the importance of this year’s offensive line to the success of the program for the next several years. Then, Mike London did it again. He secured a verbal commitment from highly touted defensive end recruit Rassol Clemons who chose Virginia over offers from LSU, Tennessee, Clemson, & Kentucky. A few hours later London got a commitment from quickly emerging OL/DL recruit Eli Hanback from Patrick Henry high school just outside of Richmond.
The things that Mike London does on the recruiting trail just don’t happen. He is on the hottest of hot seats. Everyone knows he is a losing season away from being fired, yet for the last two years highly touted recruits with opportunities to play for successful programs with secure coaches continue to line up to join the Virginia program. In the current recruiting season Coach London has room for about 25 players. He has 20 commitments two weeks before Labor Day. He has verbals from three 4-star recruits which by historical standards is a solid number for Virginia coming off good season. CJ Stalker, Jahvoni Simmons, and Rasool Clemons had offers from national programs that are highly ranked in 2014 pre-season polls, yet they all chose to join the “hot seat” program. At least 3 more national recruits with offers from across the SEC, ACC, and Big 10 are hedging their bets just little, waiting to see some signs of success from Virginia in 2014 before jumping on board. Teams coming off successive losing seasons with a total of 6 wins against 18 losses don’t deliver these recruiting results. Mike London however, is a special leader. He is a role model to many of these kids. They respect and admire Mike London as their coach. They adore him as their mentor. Conversely, it is clear from speaking with Mike London that he genuinely cares for his players. I am sure every coach tells recruits how much they care about their success both on and off the football field. Somehow, Mike London connects with kids and their families. They trust him. They want their sons to learn from Mike London and to emulate the way he lives his life…both on and off the field.
Rayner: Average Gets it Done for UVa Football
These are special characteristics for a head football coach. I’d go as far as to suggest that they are unique to FBS college football. Coach Mike London brings assets to the program that no other coach can match. He is a part of the 1% in leadership skills. It is why the current Virginia recruiting class is ranked in the top 30 nationally nestled among and between teams that have had far more success than Virginia in the past 5 years. Mike London justifiably has his critics among the Virginia faithful. However, given his ability to recruit talent to Virginia in the face of hot seat recruiting headwinds, the potential for the program under his leadership is staggering. If Mike London can recruit this well coming off 4-8 and 2-10 seasons, imagine what he can do when he has successive 8-4 and 10-2 seasons. Imagine the recruiting juggernaut of a Mike London, secure in his job, producing winning results on the field. The upside is almost unimaginable.
Therefore here we all sit, the Virginia faithful at Martini’s bar…”Dear Father in heaven we may or may not be praying folks, but if You’re up there and can hear us…”