This week's Guest Blogger is Brendan from the UVA blog "From Old Virginia". Though the Cavaliers are perceived as mediocre, Brendan continues to put up quality work on his blog. He was also one of the first blogs to recognize us when we were still starting out so many months ago. Here are our responses to his questions. And finally, we encourage to you to post your comments and insult the UVA Cavaliers in the comments section below.
1. We haven't won in Charlottesville since 1990. Does this fact come up much within conversation?
Not a lot, actually. There are probably quite a few UVA fans who don't even know such a streak exists with Georgia Tech, and most of those that do would be as sorry to lose as any other game, but wouldn't lament the loss of the streak. The main reason is that we have a better one with North Carolina, who hasn't won in Charlottesville since 1981.
2. Zima isn't produced in the US anymore which is too bad because of how much you guys drink that stuff. What is your poison now?
Zima was our drink in much the same way Yankee Doodle was the song of the patriots in the Revolution: adopted by our rivals to mock us and re-adopted by us because fuck our rivals. In Virginia you can hardly go wrong with bourbon, but myself I've always been more of a rum drinker.
3. Name us a player that we haven't heard of but should be aware of for Saturday?
Safety Rodney McLeod is going to be the guy stopping your running game. The coaches were content to let our excellent cornerbacks single-cover Torrey Smith last week, even in the slop, and it worked out very well. You'll probably see much of the same against Demaryius Thomas, leaving McLeod to step up and rove sideline to sideline in run support. McLeod has a terrific football IQ and will probably be tasked with finding the ball in the triple option and getting to it, quickly.
4. What is the deal with lazer-eyes Thomas Jefferson? Is that still the intro video??? What grass/mushrooms/alcohol was consumed when this idea was thought up?
Thomas Jefferson actually had laser eyes. You think the Declaration of Independence was written in pen? Scorched parchment is much more permanent.
No, the laser-eyed statue isn't really the focus of the intro videos, it's supposed to be Cavman riding down from Monticello saving the day from whatever intruding mascot is rampaging through Charlottesville. It's just, sometimes Cavman gets a little lazy, and if the mascot happens to be near the Jefferson statue, Cavman has TJ do his dirty work. Laser-eyed Jefferson didn't really show up until a couple years into them doing the Cavman videos. Cavman is the star.
5. What is the general mood around Hooville? Is there gonna be a good turnout for the noon kickoff? What if it rains?
If it rains all bets are off. But as far as the turnout, it should be alright. IU was some kind of record low (since the 2000 expansion) at about 45,000, and that actually didn't look too bad and most of the empty seats were in the visitors' sections anyway. Now that we're 3-3 instead of 1-3, I still don't think we'll sell out but I don't expect zombie-town.
There's really only one topic of conversation half the time anymore, and it's Al Groh. After a loss, the Groh-bashers are out in force. After a win, they still sometimes poke their head up but usually get shouted down, because most of us like to enjoy wins and take a break from listening to people rail on the head coach. You'll probably hear a fair amount of Groh-discontent in the stands, though, if things start looking sour.
6. Who will start at QB? Who do you want to start at QB?
The pecking order is 1) Jameel Sewell, 2) Marc Verica, and 3) Vic Hall. And that's just the way I like it. We desperately need Hall at receiver, not quarterback. I think Sewell will be listed as no worse than questionable on the injury report after last week's scare, and I think he'll play.
7. I'm staying in Charlottesville this weekend. Are there any landmarks I need to see? Which restaurants do I need to check out?
UVA is a landmark. Obviously, if you go and don't walk up and down the Lawn at least once, you're doing it wrong, but you shouldn't need me to tell you that. The Downtown Mall is pleasant enough, but maybe a little out of the way depending on your mobility. As far as restaurants, I generally tell people just to mosey up and down the Corner til they see something they like. It's really, really hard to do that and not see something you like. For the "UVA experience" go to the White Spot and get a Gusburger (burger + egg.)
8. Concerning mascots, is your cavalier still riding out after his epic fail the other day? http://www.youtube.com/watch?
There's no quit in Cavman, man. You fall off the horse, you get right back on. Besides, the aforementioned hype video in which a yellowjacket will be mercilessly destroyed always ends with Cavman riding through the tunnel, and then the real-life one comes out of the tunnel onto the field, so it's all part of the experience.
9. Who would you root for if UVA were to manage a bowl game against Michigan this season? Secondly, who needs a winning season and/or bowl win more Al Groh or Rich Rod?
My plan, should UVA and Michigan ever again meet on the field, is to root for whichever team needs the win more. I'm not sure this plan would survive first contact with the game, though. I'm the sort of person who goes into a game thinking I don't care who wins and usually ends up pulling for one side or the other by the end. So we'll have to see. I will say this: since it's a bowl game you're talking about, chances are decent I'd be watching with my dad, and he's a Michigan grad so he'd probably be giving me crap about his school beating my school and therefore I'd gravitate instantaneously toward UVA so I can talk back with more authority.
Second question: Al Groh by a million miles. The Michigan fanbase would only start grumbling if Michigan ended the season poorly, which gives UVA fans at least a three-year head start. 8-4 would cause Michigan fans to say "well, that's about what we expected" for Rich Rod's second year of rebuilding; I don't even know if 8-4 would save Groh's job.