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Three is the Tragic Number

Three of My Most Painful Losses as a Hokie

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe it's the cold weather as of late.  Perhaps it is cabin fever.  Maybe I'm facing 6 months without watching the Hokies take the field.  Whatever the reason, I was thinking back to the most painful losses in my lifetime.  It's human nature to remember the bad times.  I've had too many great days in my professional life to count.  I've had about 13 real clunkers.   Like some sadistic weekend golfer, I can walk you through every bad shot on the front  nine that I played at my muni ten years ago.  I can tell you what caused the 13 bad days in my career in infinite detail.  The games I'm going to share aren't the "big" upsets.  James Madison, Temple, and Miami of Ohio won't be mentioned here.  Those were catastrophes of epic proportions, but I'm focusing in on the soul crushers. I'm focusing in on the games that were decided late, and destroyed my spirit.  I'm going to revisit games that were in hand, or should have been in hand.  These games had national championship, or at the very least Big East title ramifications.

Donovan McNabb Finally Beats The Hokies

Really? Two defenders watch a jump ball and come up empty? Watching those Orangemen beat us hurt so bad. The stats are a nightmare. Syracuse outgained us 420-152 in yardage. They ran 50 more offensive plays than us. We still had a chance after all of that. All we had to do was stop Donovan McNabb on a 3rd and goal from the 14 to seal the deal. No time left. No other options. That one stung.

Matt Ryan leads #2 Boston College over #8 Virginia Tech in Lane Stadium

That one crushed me because I was so sick of the "Matty Ice" talk. We had 'em. If you notice the score, it was 10-7 Hokies when he threw that ball. He did everything a quarterback tells you not to do. He rolled left and threw completely across his body to a curiously open wide receiver in the end zone. Just watching this on You Tube still pisses me off. B.C. fans hadn't made a peep in Lane that night. Unfortunately for us, their cheers are my biggest takeaway.

Ernest Wilford Drops the Two Point Conversion

We had the number one team on the ropes. We were down at one point 21-3, and came all the way back. Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis, and the rest of those 'Canes came to Blackburg and got all they wanted. Oh yeah, Miami also had Ed Reed and Phillip Buchanon patrolling the secondary. Ernest Wilford should have caught that pass. Grant Noel struggled mightily against the 'Canes throwing 4 picks and only could muster 81 yards passing. We were still in it though, after all of that. The Hurricanes clinched a perfect regular season. That hurt. What hurt worse was the sight of those Hurricane "fans" throwing roses on our turf. With that win, Miami clinched a Rose Bowl birth, and we left Lane that day bitter as hell.

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