Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Night to Remember

Two weeks ago, I wrote that a Georgia Tech win over Florida State would make last night's battle with Virginia Tech the biggest game at historic Bobby Dodd Stadium since the Jackets took down Clemson at the Flats on our way to the 1990 National Championship. Well, over 13 hours have elapsed since Josh Nesbitt took that final knee to cement our first victory over a Top 5 opponent on our home soil since 1962, and having taken those 12 hours to allow the emotion of last night and the danger of knee jerk hyperboble to wash away, I can now confidently say that last night was everything I hoped it would be. Take a second and think about how special that is. How often in life do we build up our expectations for an event or a moment only to be disappointed when it falls short of what we hope for? The answer, of course, is too often. Last night, however, was thankfully not one of those instances.

It would be very easy to look at last night and say that it was special simply because Tech took down a top 5 team and vaulted into serious contention for an ACC Title and a BCS bowl bid. That, however, would be too simplistic a view. After all, just a few years ago, Tech actually played in the ACC Championship Game and came within a field goal of a BCS bowl game, but no game or no moment in that season, even the dramatic Coastal Division clinching win over Miami, came close to evoking the emotions exuded in that grand old building last night. I've been attending games at Tech since my Mother and my Aunt began taking me as a kid, and I have NEVER seen a crowd like last night's. Not only was it the loudest I've ever heard at BDS, but I've never seen grown men and women singing and dancing in the stands before. That's right, there was quite a bit of dancing. It was, in a word, nuts. And, that was just in the stands.

On the field, you simply cannot say enough about the performances of the team itself, especially Josh Nesbitt and Derrick Morgan. A look at the stats doesn't even begin to tell the story of what these two guys accomplished last night. Simply put, they both put in performances that will forever be remembered by every Tech fan. And finally, what can you say about Coach Paul Johnson? The man has no fear and he accepts nothing less than supreme effort. What a credit he is to the Institute! At the end of the day, Virginia Tech ran into a perfect storm of fans, players, and coaches that decided their time had finally arrived and they weren't going to walk out of that stadium without making a little history.

For me, it was the first three hours in a long time that I didn't worry about anything other than what was in front of me. I was able to forget about all the outside stresses and anxieties of life and just loose myself in the moment. And yes, I was one of those dancing! Consequently, last night was the best night I've had in quite some time. And, at its core, isn't that what sports is supposed to escape from reality? At the end of the day, that's what I think made last night so special. 50,000+ people came together and set the rest of the world aside and lost themselves in the moment. Reason #7,789 why I love sports.

And, since a picture is worth 1,000 words, here are a few I snapped last night that I may take a look at from time to time this week if I need a brief reprieve from reality: