Get your tickets to the Belk Bowl: Even though, I’m not going

Belk BowlDo as I say here, and plan your trip to the Belk Bowl to root on UVA against South Carolina, and don’t do as I do here, since I’m not going.

Ahem. Hear me out here.

See, this Belk Bowl is a big game for UVA football not just on the field, but also in terms of the economics.

None of us have UVA getting into a College Football Playoff anytime soon, see, so, future bowl dates are going to be dependent on how many fans get to the bowl games that Carla Williams is able to talk her way into.

And this Belk Bowl, it’s a good one, considering.

I mean, for example, Pitt, which beat UVA, and played Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, got sent out to Siberia, by way of El Paso, for the Sun Bowl, instead of getting the Belk.

And Georgia Tech, also beat UVA, also headed to Siberia, aka Detroit, for whatever that bowl is, instead of the Belk.

UVA gets Charlotte, relatively close to home, against South Carolina, an SEC opponent, on ABC, on a Saturday, at noon.

Everything about that is about as perfect as you can make it.

Problem here is, UVA football fans don’t even like going to games in Charlottesville, so asking them to drive all the way to Charlotte might be a stretch.

Now, UVA basketball fans, they’d take an Uber rocket if the ‘Hoos were playing in a tournament on the moon, but we’re not talking UVA basketball here.

It takes a lot to get UVA football fans, who, yes, it’s the same people, but whatever, the football side of the personality isn’t up for much.

Which isn’t good for our bowl prospects for 2019 and beyond, if we don’t do our part here in 2018.

All this having been said, I’m not going.

Bowls are meaningless exhibition games. I’ll watch on TV, so that I can write about it, because I have to, but I don’t want to, and I don’t care either way what happens.

Seriously, win or lose, the season’s over.

It’d be nice to get a W, but I won’t take it like when the basketball team loses at the end of the season.

I have bad dreams for weeks when that happens.

Football loses, whatever. It was fun while it lasted.

Scott German, now, he’s all hopped up about going, as he is every time UVA gets a bowl game.

(We’re only talking this being the fourth time in the 11 years he’s been part of the AFP family: Gator Bowl in ’08, Chick-fil-A Bowl in ’11, Military Bowl last year, now Belk.)

Scott will willingly carry the flag for AFP to the ends of the earth to watch bad exhibition football involving UVA, and we’re trying to get him in the press box for the Belk later this month.

This, you can say, is part of my effort to that end.

Trying to help the Belk, and UVA, sell tickets (link!), encouraging you to go, to carry the flag with Scott, to represent the orange and blue.

While I’m at home, warm, toasty, watching on TV, able to change the channel if anything resembling the nonsense that we saw in Blacksburg a couple of weeks back starts to happen again.

Thinking, the whole time, what a waste, you guys out there, paying good money to watch bad football, and stay in hotels, and park a mile from the stadium and having to walk there and back, and then drive home afterward, probably mad at the play-calling.

Buy the tickets, though. We want to go to a good bowl game again next year.

Column by Chris Graham

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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