I am first and foremost a college football fan. More specifically, a Virginia Tech college football fan. I truly bleed orange and maroon. Chicago maroon, if you are asking. I don't really follow the N.F.L., outside of my fantasy team. Baseball is best suited for guys who have 6 hours to watch a game 162 times. The N.B.A. is like an arcade game brought to life, with Lebron being the only guy I know. College basketball is a complete mystery. The players stay one year (one semester more like it), and I never tune in until March madness. NASCAR is NASCAR, and I will leave it just like that for you to insert your own punchline. Hockey doesn't translate well on T.V.. Boxing is a dinosaur. M.M.A. is just too violent for me. Tennis. Well, I guess if I lived in France I would watch it. Soccer is the ugly girl your parents keep trying to set you up with. It's not happening. Then there is the Masters. I will take a vacation week just to watch this golf tournament.
I guess it's the history, and the pomp and circumstance. I absolutely love this tournament. It is the spectacular setting. It's the quirks of Augusta National. It's the Par-3 contest. Without question however, the biggest reason why I love and study this tournament is simple:
"I can't get tickets."
The adage is, "You always want what you can't have." I have had the good fortune to attend some pretty spectacular sporting events in my lifetime. Sugar Bowls, Orange Bowls, Gator Bowls, A.C.C. Championships, and the like are for the amateur like me. I have connections, but Master's tickets involve Gatsby-like "gonnections". Unlike me, three former Hokies have walked the hallowed grounds in Georgia. Johnson Wagner in 2008 posted the best ever finish for a Hokie. With a win at the Shell Houston Open, he qualified and finished T-36. He made a second showing in 2013, but missed the cut. Wagner also won the 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii. He went to a three man playoff in the 2015 Houston Open, and outlasted a guy you may have heard of this week: Jordan Spieth. He couldn't outlast J.B. Holmes however, and finished runner up. Brendon de Jonge also played in the Masters, and represented Virginia Tech well. He finished T-37 last year. I will call upon the spirits of my forefathers by sharing the full story of his appearance.
The third Hokie playing at Augusta was an amateur. As you may or may not know, the Masters always showcases amateur play. The low score amateur gets invited to Butler Cabin, for a trophy presentation alongside the winner. They stay at the course in an area above the clubhouse affectionately known as the "Crow's Nest". Drew Weaver got the invite in 2007 by winning the British Amateur Championship. Other winners of this event include Sergio Garcia, and Jose Maria Olazabal. Pretty good company for a guy from Blacksburg. There is something magical and enchanting about this tournament. I will always watch, scrutinize, and analyze what goes on in the normally sleepy town of Augusta, Georgia. I am hoping against hope that one day a Hokie will impact the leaderboard. If not, I am hoping a "gonnected" Hokie will see my plea and deliver the holiest of the holies: