Struggling to process the end of The Streak

uva footballI’m married to a Virginia Tech alum. We dated for a year before we got married, and we’ve been married now 19 years.

In that span, until today, my alma mater had won the football game once, and that was way back in 2003.

Augusta Free Press was a year into its existence in 2003.

We were still two years away from being credentialed to cover UVA Athletics.

A few more years away from making a living doing this.

November would come, and it would be same song, different verse.

Al Groh came and went, Mike London.

Bronco Mendenhall started to give us hope.

Hell, I decided to forego a trip to the Bahamas to cover the UVA basketball team over Thanksgiving because I was convinced last year was the year The Streak was going to end.

It didn’t; my wife, the Hokie alum, who knew better than I did what was going to happen, is still mad at me that we didn’t go to the Bahamas instead.

Which brings us to today.

It still hasn’t sunk in, that The Streak is over.

I’m starting to feel like Red Sox fans, who had defined their lives by how much they dreaded what it was going to be this year that would keep them from winning the Series.

And Cubs fans, the same.

You chase something that seems unattainable, and then it happens, and now, what?

We’re no longer going to be defined as UVA football fans by how our guys haven’t beaten Tech since whenever.

We’re the ones playing Clemson next week, going to the Orange Bowl at the end of December.

This after the national championship in hoops that I’m also not sure has completely sunk in yet.

Before 2019, we’d always defined ourselves as a fan base by our moral victories.

Oh, yeah, well, OK, Duke, Carolina, sure, you guys win the national titles in hoops, but, but, but, we don’t use one-and-dones, or whatever.

And, good for you, Tech, that you guys win at football, but, you know, how many national titles do you have, and we have, like, a million, no, not in football or hoops, but, still.

Y’all, we’re blue bloods now.

People hate our basketball team because we won the natty in April, we lost four starters from that team, and we’re going to be #3 in the coaches poll on Monday.

The one thing holding us back from being absolutely unbearable arrogant arseholes was football.

Folks, we’re going to the ACC Championship Game next week.

We had to endure a lot of crap over the years to get here. The 15 straight losses to Tech, the Dave Leitao era.

These are the salad days. Life is pretty damn good.

I hesitate to think it won’t get any better than 2019, but, I’m telling you, it’s only going to get better.

I’m not sure how to process that.

Column by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
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 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.