At this point, I don't know that there are words to describe it. We, as Hokie fans have been here before. We've seen the team bounce back and have successful season after successful season. All of the heart-wrenching defeats seem to be pushed aside for bigger and better things eventually. A loss like the one endured on Monday night brings us all back to square one. It brings back the pain, and in doing so, effectively washes away most of the optimism.
I won't rip the Hokies apart for what went wrong Monday night. I won't praise them for what went right either. I don't feel that they are deserving of one or the other. They spotted a highly ranked opponent 17 points like boneheads. They came back and took the lead like warriors. What they truly are is somewhere in between the two right now. What they become will be determined down the line, as one game does not define a season or a team. All we know about the 2010-11 edition of the Hokies is what we saw on Monday. The positives don't necessarily outweigh the negatives or vice-versa. Therefore, there's no need for me to dwell on one or the other.
What hurts the most is that I could see it coming. I had strong feelings before the game started of what would happen. Tech would start slow, battle back, and come up short. We've seen it too many times before. Obviously, the Alabama game last season brings us back to the same storyline. The same script. The same movie. The story goes beyond that game, but it's the most glaring example to remind us all of how the story goes. It's a sad story. It's a story that almost every fan of any team in any sport has followed one time or another. Yet, it feels completely connected to Virginia Tech. It feels so unique. It feels like our story. And ours alone.
The ecstasy of taking the lead Monday night was completely invisible when faced with idea of the agony of defeat. There was a part of me that wanted to fully embrace the lead, and with it, the seemingly inevitable victory. The Tech Triumph! But the nagging existence of my conscience wouldn't let me do so. It kept pulling me towards the conspiracy theories. It took hold of me and forced me to wait for the worst to happen. It ruined the game. It scared me into believing that Boise would come back. It terrorized me into remembering the pain. It was right.
What I fear, is the conscience that exists and has little to no chance for memory loss will always win out. The cynicism of play-calling, lack of discipline and preparation will always be on my mind. The agony of defeat will always weigh down the scale with the thrill of victory on the opposite side. What scares me most is that there will be little enjoyment as the risks and rewards will never even out. I will be left tired, bruised and beaten. I will be reduced to what I am right now. Broken.
Next week is a new week, a new game. The week after that will provide another chance to push the memory of Monday a little bit further back in this thick skull of mine. Soon, ACC play will begin and our attention will be turned towards the possibility of another ACC Championship. Who knows? The team could win out and have aspirations of making the BCS title game. I'm not betting on it, but it could happen. There is a way to move on from Monday night's loss. It's just extremely difficult. And that's putting it lightly.
Despite everyone's best efforts at moving on, don't count on forgetting this loss. Put it with the Pittsburgh game when Larry Fitzgerald owned Lane Stadium. Put it with Matt Ryan in the rain. Put it with Ronyell Whitaker's inability to cover Peter Warrick. Put it with Morgantown on a Thursday night. Put it with our players dancing while being pounded in Chesnut Hill. Put it with all of them. Put it with the countless others, each one seemingly more agonizing than the last. You won't forget this one.
Somewhere, between the ability to move on and the inablity to forget is where I am. I don't know where I go from here, folks. I just don't. I'm actually stunned that I was able to come up with words to type after that game. I'm stunned that I didn't write a hate filled post about how remarkable it is that Virginia Tech seems to always be ill-prepared for early season tests. I'm stunned that I didn't use any profanity thus far. I'm stunned that my computer isn't in the trash can, or scattered around my room, splintered into a million pieces. Stunned.
You may be stunned to see how depressing this post is.
However, the story's depressing.
We all know that by now.