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


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