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If You've Ever Wondered How Seriously We Take Security

If you like a tale with a happy ending, allow me to entertain you.

Back in 2012, I encountered a personal tragedy. A close personal friend had taken his own life, and he and I were sports fans who used to broadcast local high school sports. In the course of it, I started this site in 2006, and with his passing, I didn’t feel much like continuing.

So I left the site up, but I didn’t write anything for over a year. During that year I did no maintenance or updates on the site, and as a result, somebody in Russia exploited a security flaw that would have been stopped by regular updates. This earned the site a place on blacklists and all sorts of other warning places, and I quickly addressed it. I rebuilt the site from scratch and uploaded it, contacted Google, Norton and a bunch of other places to ask for a review, and the site was taken off all those lists.

But in the last 9 years I’d occasionally get a message saying the site still wasn’t safe. My host provider would assure me it was fine, and just about everyone I knew when I’d ask would say there was no problem.

During basketball season, however, it happened again. A few posters on’s basketball board mentioned this, and I was getting tired of it. I went back to my host and we again scanned every file on the server. Everything was declared clean and safe, but I rebuilt the site again from scratch. There was no earthly way in my mind there could be an issue.

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton


Glad you were able to resolve the latest issue. Frustrating, I know.
Thursday, 09 September 2021 12:23
Dave Scarangella

It was.

Worse than being forced to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie... ... Read More
Thursday, 09 September 2021 13:40

Nobody's Saying Justin Hamilton Is Too Young Any More

There have been some great stories coming out of Virginia Tech after the Hokies claimed a season-opening win over a ranked team.

But the one that makes me smile the most regards defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton.

When he was named to the position, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. From everything I’ve heard from folks in Blacksburg, he’s very good. Great teacher, great communicator, patient, a Hokie through and through. He’s the kind of person you rebuild the foundation of a program with.

But he’s also young, and this was his first coordinator job with a major program. Youth can be both a strength and a weakness in such situations, because on one hand you have the potential for longevity that is a huge bonus in the long run.

But in the short run with an impatient fan base, you are not given a margin of error to make mistakes. Plus, as I learned in the business world, you may think you are ready to run the show, but for most, it takes a little time to get into the proper mindset of running things.

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Hokies No. 19 In AP Rankings, 21 In Latest Coach's Poll

For the first time since the week of October 18th last year, Virginia Tech’s football team is nationally ranked.

The Hokies – on the strength of a 17-10 win over then No. 10-ranked North Carolina – are ranked No. 19 in the AP poll, and 21 in this week’s coaches poll. In the writers poll, UNC fell to 24th, while Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M comprise the top 5. Clemson is the ACC’s top-ranked team, falling to No. 6.

In the coach’s poll,  North Carolina fell to No. 22, while Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M comprise the top 5, which is identical to the AP rankings. Just like the writer’s poll, Clemson is the ACC’s top-ranked team, falling to No. 6.

Last year the Hokies were ranked No. 20 in the pre-season poll, and were ranked as high as 19 until a week 5 23-16 loss to Wake Forest bounced them from the top 25 list. The Hokies would beat Louisville in week 6, but then lost 4 straight to make their disappearance from the polls in 2020 permanent.

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Hokie Offense Is Going To Need To Take More Deep Shots

It’s now the Tuesday after Labor Day. Everybody’s back at work. The first full weekend of college football is over. So it’s time to empty the notebook about things seen this weekend before moving on to week 2.

Which Version Of Braxton Are We Going To See Saturday?

Oh, I know his name will be Braxton Burmeister, but Friday night we really saw two different players. First-half Braxton was smooth and cool, completed 7 of 8 passes with the only incompletion a dropped pass by Tre Turner in the end zone, and his team ate up huge chunks of time in running to a 14-0 halftime lead.

Second-half Braxton wasn’t quite so cool. He only completed 5 of 11 passes for 43 yards, threw an interception, and missed some wide-open people on what should have been easy throws. Some of that was caused by the plays being called, as Justin Fuente and Brad Cornelsen went very conservative in protecting that 14-0 lead.

But while seeing a lot of good things Friday night, it was the consistent lack of the Hokie offense taking deep shots again UNC that bothered me. You don’t have to be the Oakland, er, Los Angeles, er, Las Vegas Raiders and go deep all the time. But if you look at most successful teams over the last two decades, it has been the threat of a deep ball that keeps defensive backs from creeping up close to the line, and thus opens up the running game.

Of course, if you pass all the time, the running backs and offensive line never get in a rhythm and the running game doesn’t realize its potential, so finding that optimum mix is something coaches experiment with all season long. I didn’t think the Hokies really tried to find such a mix Friday, and you’ll notice in the second half that as the passing game stumbled, so too did the running game.

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Exactly Seven Years Ago Today, In Norfolk and Columbus...

When you get to be an old geezer like me, you look back, and at times remember really special occasions you did not expect to end up being so special.

Like what I experienced exactly 7 years ago.

That’s because September 6, 2014 was the date of my 40th high school reunion in Norfolk. That alone should have made the night special enough, because unlike earlier reunions where people try to impress their classmates with their success, 40th reunions don’t have such drama. The number one thing people are impressed with is that we all survived and are still standing. Nothing else really much matters.

But while I was reeling in the years hearing story after story from my friends, something else was going on. Virginia Tech was in the Horseshoe in Columbus playing Ohio State, and as anyone who knows me understands, my blood types are Type Orange and Type Maroon. I didn’t have great expectations for the Hokies, so it was being DVR’d back at my house in Ashburn, and I was going to get up early the next morning, drive home, and then watch what I thought would be athletic carnage.

But as I was donating my drink tickets to old friend Wendy Rieger (of NBC 4 fame here in the DC market), my phone started buzzing. Texts from multiple people – who happened to be in Columbus – filled my phone. Whatever I was doing, they all said, I needed to extract myself from what was going on and find a television.

The Hokies were beating the eventual National Champion Buckeyes.

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It's Time To Take A Look At The Numbers From UNC-VT

By now, you've probably read Dave's thoughts on the season opener, as well as Ricky's offerings about what he thought were the biggest takeaways of the game. With the high-level analysis out of the way, it's time to take a deeper look at specific elements that guided the Hokies to a victory Friday night.

In other words, let's look at the numbers and see what the statistics have to say.

The Game Was Statistically Strange

Not many offensive categories in the stat sheet will lead you to believe it was a good game for Virginia Tech. Braxton Burmeister threw as many interceptions as touchdowns, although he also scored once on the ground. The top three running backs each averaged fewer than three yards per carry. Tre Turner, Tayvion Robinson and James Mitchell only hauled in eight of the team’s mere 12 receptions.

In fact, 40 percent of the total passing yards (66 of Burmeister's 169 yards) came on three catches by running back Raheem Blackshear, with the biggest play of the night a 34-yard wheel route to Blackshear on what looked like a busted coverage by UNC on the Hokies' third play from scrimmage in the game. The lack of a downfield threat may have been related to the 3-yards per carry by Virginia Tech running backs, as UNC's secondary crept closer to the line due to a belief Burmeister was not going to be taking any long shots to stretch the defense.

Conversely, North Carolina’s top skill position players fared pretty well. Ty Chandler and D.J. Jones picked up 111 yards on 16 carries, and Josh Downs caught eight balls for 123 yards and a touchdown.

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Recent comment in this post
Doug Johnson

Clock Mis-Management in the 4t...

I am sure that you heard me screaming from Sec. 8 for Fuente to "Run the Ball!" and "Run the Clock" when Tech got down into FG ran... Read More
Wednesday, 08 September 2021 23:07

UNC-VT Game Recap: The Justins Get Their Revenge...

After enjoying the emotional roller coaster that was Virginia Tech’s 17-10 victory over No. 10 North Carolina, I intentionally waited a while before I sat down and collected my thoughts. I wanted this to be as emotion-free of an assessment as one can make after such a dramatic win.

Now that I’ve taken some time, I think there are three logical conclusions to draw from the Hokies’ upset win on Friday night.

The Justins Get Their Revenge

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente and defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton took it on the chin for the majority of the 2020 season. Fuente has been used to it, but Hamilton’s first season as coordinator unleashed a whopping amount of criticism that was mostly valid.

Friday night, those two men exacted some revenge.

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Rumors Of VT's Demise May Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

In the hierarchy of Hokie football games, there are those you want to win. There are others that you can only hope to win.

But tonight’s 17-10 victory over North Carolina was one Virginia Tech needed to win.

These last few years have seen a crisis of confidence in Hokie Nation. The glory days have drifted away to the point that it wasn’t a year or two since the football program was really good; it was a decade or two. Questions about whether Justin Fuente could coach, recruit, or even just smile in an interview were constantly asked.

Visiting teams no longer feared Lane Stadium and its fans. Even the signature moments of the team coming on the field to Enter Sandman grew great notoriety, but then you remembered when the game actually started, the team lost.

Add in the doldrums created by the pandemic that may never end, and folks during the summer talked in tones of a strange and unusual indifference when it came to the season. They needed to be awakened from this low-energy slumber by things like a huge crowd screaming its guts out so people even inches away from each other couldn’t hear what was being said. They needed a win over a top 10 team like North Carolina to give them hope this could be done more than once in a lifetime.

They needed a reason to believe.

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton


Thoroughly enjoyed watching your Hokies defeat North Carolina. Instead of feasting on Gobblers, the pundits ate crow.
Saturday, 04 September 2021 00:17
Dave Scarangella

I kind of enjoyed it myself :)

Could be an interesting year in the Coastal...
Saturday, 04 September 2021 00:40
Guest — Joan Jackson

Turtle Like Head

"Reared its turtle like head". lol
Saturday, 04 September 2021 10:49

For Levi Wentz, Bumpy Roads Have Led To Beautiful Places

When Levi Wentz signed with ODU on Signing Day in 2020, it was the completion of one journey, but the beginning of an even greater one.

Wentz, a three-star defensive back out of Pine-Richland High School in Pennsylvania, only played one year of high school football, but his journey to signing with the Monarchs was one that was, to put it in a word, unfathomable to most.

(Photo Courtesy Of Old Dominion Sports)
For Levi Wentz (11), It Has Been A Long Journey To ODU

As a kid, Levi, along with his brother and sister, bounced in and out of foster homes until being adopted by the Wentz family in 2012.

“I grew up in foster care and had to basically raise my brother and sister. Kids like me aren’t supposed to make it out and I was blessed with the right people surrounding me to be able to be where I am today,” Levi told me back when he signed with the Monarchs in February of 2020.

“It has been a long journey and I'm blessed to be here,” Wentz said. “I'm ready to put in the work, play my role, compete and do what I have to do.”

Wentz chose the Monarchs over Army, Navy, and a host of Ivy League and FCS schools before signing and enrolling in August of 2020.

Now, with Wentz’s first college football game approaching as the Monarchs travel to Wake Forest to open their season tonight, Wentz prepares for a new challenge, that being his transition from defensive back to linebacker for Ricky Rahne’s Monarchs.

“I think with Levi, his natural athletic ability is very high, it’s just about developing all those other things in football that some guys get when they are 14, 15, 16 years old and he was just playing basketball,” Rahne remarked earlier in fall camp. “The football IQ stuff and just how to do a few things, for example. Football is not a real natural game so you have to be trained. I think he has made some huge strides and that athletic ability is going to really help us out in the end.”

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Tyran Hunt Hoping To Cook Up Something Special For ODU

In a year of change for Old Dominion, many transfers have come into the program, but the most unique might be Maryland transfer offensive lineman Tyran Hunt.

Over his three years at Maryland, Hunt appeared in two games after redshirting as a freshman. But while Hunt can be a beast on the field, he is equally as good as a chef in the kitchen.

“My favorite dish is baked mac 'n cheese,” Hunt says. “I can make it with my eyes closed.”

Not all his off-field kitchen adventures have been good, however, as Hunt nearly burnt down his apartment while trying to perfect a certain culinary masterpiece.

“I had a great friend who I had cooked chicken cordon bleu with,” Hunt says. “ I was trying to be spontaneous and cook it on my own. I put it in the oven, baked it at the perfect temperature and everything. I went to check on it and it wasn't done in the middle, so I turned up the oven a little bit, and the next thing I knew I smelled smoke. I literally almost burnt down my apartment. I haven't made chicken cordon bleu since, but hopefully, I'll get back to it.”

Hunt still hasn’t attempted the chicken cordon bleu again, but has expanded his interests in the kitchen since arriving at ODU, including getting fancy with a famous Northern Italian dish, putting his own spin on it to help fuel him on the field.

“I would say my best dish is alfredo,” Hunt remarked. “I put all the protein in it. I put bacon, shrimp, chicken, and make the alfredo sauce from scratch. I take pride in that.”

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What Does Success Look Like In 2021 For Hokie Football?

A wise man once told me — actually, he tells me this all the time — that the only way you can accomplish your goals in an efficient manner is to have a plan.

In making that plan, you’ve got to outline what success looks like. What outcome could be considered a success?

That’s the spot I’m in right now with Virginia Tech football. What does success look like for this program this season?

Is it a specific win number? Is it passing the eye test? Is it competing for the Coastal title? What does competing for the Coastal even look like?

For starters, success probably includes eight-plus wins. For a program that has been flirting with .500 for three straight seasons — and falling short of that number twice — reaching the eight-win plateau seems like a reasonable goal for a team with as many questions as the Hokies.

Tech will have plenty of chances to win games. Even their toughest matchups — Friday vs. North Carolina, Oct. 9 vs. Notre Dame and Nov. 20 vs. Miami are winnable, even if unlikely.

But as we all know, all eight-win seasons are not created equal. This is where the eye test comes in. How does Virginia Tech play in their losses? Who are those losses against? Getting run off the field is way worse than losing a one-score game.

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Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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