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One Final Lap Around The Track

A look at Coach Beamer's Victory Lap and the emotions felt by one and all during it.

The Final Lap of our Hero
The Final Lap of our Hero
Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

"It’s time to start saying goodbye." Whenever you decide to or are forced to leave a job, a relationship, or life in general, the opportunity to say goodbye is something that is greatly valued and appreciated, especially as you get a bit older. This doesn’t mean that the experience is fun, in fact normally it is a difficult time for almost everyone involved, but it is also both necessary and hopefully cathartic for many to have the chance to see what effect that they’ve had on others during their time.  Coach Beamer and all of the loyal Hokie and Beamer Ball faithful, I'm talking to you.

After you are finished, you are left with few things but the memories that you collected during your time. What very few people genuinely understand is that it is the things that you do not explore that can haunt you when you are close to the end, not the things that you did but where for whatever reasons things did not work out. You may regret not asking out the woman that you had a crush on, but her rejection when you asked her, isn’t something that you will most likely care about a few months later.  You may regret the job you didn't take because you were scared of the change, but sometimes the strongest and smartest thing that you can do is stay.

When it is time to move on, it is usually best if things are decisive. Lingering on for a long period of time tends not to help anyone. That isn’t to say that you just up and go, leaving a note or after having a five minute conversation. But once you know that it is time or approaching time, it is a good idea to let those around you in on what you are thinking. Sometimes they can help, but usually it’s just a courtesy so that they can do what they need to do and begin the process of moving on without you.

All of this is why I am so proud of what Coach Beamer has done.  He stayed, when the smart money and the people in his ear were probably telling him to go.  He turned around a program that was going no where and happy as hell about it.  He made himself into the beloved character that we all no and love.  And he told us he was moving on when it became obvious there was a division forming over what his future should be.

So this is where we are. It’s time to move on and see what else lies out there in the great unknown. Let it be a celebration of all that we have done together and lead to more fond memories of our time, with no lamenting that all things didn't go our way. Because all though most of us never want to, it can be the best thing for us all when we say "It’s time to start saying goodbye."

And seriously, there is no reason that College Gameday shouldn't be in Blacksburg on November 21 for Coach Beamer's final game.  They owe Frank Beamer and Hokie Nation that much for helping to put them on the map in the first place.