Just like the Hokie football program, the weather in Blacksburg has changed drastically over the last few days. The area had been in need of water, but now it has too much and the flooding is serious. Amazingly, during the same time, the Hokie football team has seen its season turn gloomy and the idea that there might be some serious flooding and a need for evacuation is becoming more clear to many of the fans and alumni of the program.
This is a strange time to be a Hokie fan and a Blacksburgian (not sure if that is even a word, but I'm rolling with it anyway.) Personally, at 32 years of age, most of my life has been filled with Frank Beamer as the coach of my Hokies, filled with his always amazing Beamerisms. I am a somewhat nostalgic person by nature, but not so much that I believe this team is not in the deep trouble it most definitely has found itself.
The biggest concern right now, besides some of the more unfortunate comments that I have heard from Frank Beamer this past weekend, is crazily the defense. Gashing runs, silly penalties, and what looks to be almost a lack of focus, determination or understanding by the players and the coaching staff. What used to be a team who's game plan was impeccable and who's second half adjustments were legendary, is now a coaching staff with very few answers and many questions.
As crazy as it sounds, I'm not ready to throw dirt on the ground of the coaching staff just yet, but I have a shovel and it's because this week will show us so much as it pertains to what we should expect from the Hokies for the rest of the season.
There is going to be rain, maybe seriously flooding conditions made even worse by the record rainfall on Tuesday in Blacksburg, the game is a 12pm start which many times doesn't bode well for the Hokies, and it will be a half empty stadium. So, if this team comes out and shows they are ready to play and ready to win, beats Pitt soundly and plays better defense, then not all is fixed, but there is a path that opens up and the heavens allow a little sun to pass through.
On the other hand, if for some reason the Hokies come out flat on Saturday, not ready to play and apathetic about tackling and making silly penalties, then things will undoubtedly go down hill quickly. And then there will be a storm just like the hurricane that just might make landfall here in Virginia. A storm that will cause some serious damage and leave wreckage and a truly lost season in its wake.
I am choosing to be optimistic and believe this team wins big on Saturday. Not necessarily because of anything other than faith in my Hokies, faith in the players, and faith in the coaches, for what is faith if not a complete trust and confidence in something without any empirical evidence. For this week at least, you can call me a man of faith who is ready to go to church on Saturday and be shown why I choose to believe.