Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's a great day to be a Wahoo

I woke up today still smiling about UVA's win over VT last night.

I've been a Wahoo fan for years. While heralded in the academic realm, UVA's never been known as a football school, like Florida State (in their '90s heyday of course) or a USC. Despite sharing a state border with Duke and UNC, I'm not sure anyone's called UVA a basketball school either.

In my lifetime the big UVA sports accomplishments have been in lacrosse, a sport I first learned about when I saw American Pie, soccer and of late, tennis.

The overwhelming majority of positive things I've heard said about UVA basketball have been about Ralph Sampson, the undisputed king of Wahoo basketball, who played from 1979-1983. All I can tell you about him is he was the best player in the country at the time, was a 7'4" (yeah, you read that right) center and led UVA to its only Final Four in 1983. Oh yeah, then there was the biggest upset in college basketball history, when the #1 Sampson-led Cavaliers lost to a then-unknown school in Hawaii called Chaminade. UVA is all about Ralph Sampson facts and is always mentioning on viewbooks and other "come to our school" literature that he and Katie Couric (two of the most famous alums) lived on The Lawn. Fancy.

UVA's won the ACC in basketball once -- in 1976. They've been the the Final Four once -- the time with Sampson in '83.

And geez, up until last night we had even lost to Virginia Tech in our last three outings. All were decided by three or less points or an overtime.

This is the plight of the UVA fan. You watch in fear. How bad are they going to beat us this time?, you think when you enter our football stadium against a ranked opponent. Or How long until they blow it?, when they somehow build an comfortable, seemingly insurmountable lead.

But at last, we broke down that barrier at least. My Hoos beat the Hokies 75-61 at the JPJ last night. (And even crazier, beat #12 Clemson at home over the weekend. But this is our rival. This is Virginia Tech!)

Finally, I can say (and this will surely come back and bite me at some point)...


At least they did last night. And even more today than most days, I'm proud, proud, proud to be an alum.

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