Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hokies Football & Team Hoyt

Saturday & Sunday were jam packed with fun!!!

That wasn't even sarcastic. It was fun.

First off was the season opener of Virginia Tech football against Alabama in Atlanta on Saturday night. The Hokies started the season at the #7 position, and Alabama was #5. So, a pretty even match maybe? Although we lost one of our best running backs to injury, Tyrod Taylor was there as quarterback. VT did pretty well, but part of our success was due to errors on Alabama's part.

So, guess where I was?

Since we can't take Brandon to Blacksburg this year (damn that Swine Flu!), we are making a concerted effort to watch the games with him at the Home so he doesn't miss them.

I said "we", didn't I?

I have a feeling it's going to be more of "I" than "we". No one else could join us for our big-screen par-tay.

I hauled the big screen TV into the board room so my neck didn't suffer the cricks & strains of last year - looking up at the little bitty tv dangling from the ceiling in the break room:

Brandon had his usual game day noshes of a couple sips of strawberry milkshake & a couple licks of barbeque sauce.
This is haute cuisine for him. Trust me. But I got the rest of the milkshake. There's a method to my madness.

He particularly liked the commercial about drunk driving where the cars were full of beer. Cracked him up each time. We had fun.

But, alas, the Hokies couldn't pull out a win.

The game, however, was an action-packed thriller. VT pulled off a 94 yard run for a touchdown that was a thing of beauty.
Alabama got a lot of flags & penalties. Brandon was so excited, I had to hold him down, lllliterally.

His right arm is his wild arm, usually going off in directions he doesn't intend.
This disrupts his control over the rest of his body, so he likes to have us hold his arm to help keep him steady.
And I just liked the picture of our clasped hands. Makes my eyes get moist.

Here's the thing. The game started at 8. It wasn't over until almost midnight.
He closed his eyes for all of 7.5 seconds during the 3rd quarter. By the 4th quarter, we were both yawning every minute,
but he still wouldn't hear of going to bed.

Darn. Normally, it wouldn't be a darn, but I had to get up at the disturbingly early hour of 4 am
for the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon, and I didn't end up getting to bed until 1 am.
You do the math.

This was what greeted me when I arose at 4.

Team Hoyt VB (Virginia Beach) were able to take 18 young people with disabilities to the race this year.

I've written about them before. Part of their goal is to raise funds for St. Mary's,
and some of us from The Home help them in this noble endeavor.
We get the kids positioned in the jogging strollers and place ourselves around the route
to assist with flat tires & kids that need repositioning.

Here is the water stop just past our station in the wee hours of the morning.

My spot this year, with 2 of my colleagues, was along the median of General Booth Blvd to catch them coming southbound at the 3 mile mark, then again northbound at the 9 1/2 mile mark.
Our gear consisted of the Team Hoyt Flags and a bag of positioning aids - foam, wedges, and the like.
I took a picture both with and without the flash. I love the difference, especially in the reflective part of the barrel.

Looking north, the road is empty.
But soon, the runners would come south on the left hand side of the picture at 3 miles mark,
wind their way through some neighborhoods,
and come back north on the right hand side of the picture as they passed us at 9 1/2 miles.

The first people out of the gate were the wheelchair racers. These guys can fly.

Then, even though Team Hoyt were allowed to start next, the elite racers overtook them pretty quickly.
But hey, they didn't have to push 100 pounds worth of jogging stroller & person.

Then came the initial waves (mobs) of runners.

The Rock n' Roll is a pretty laid back race, and there were the occasional costumes, including Elvis.

And, let me tell you, I caught Elvis on the homestretch. In that hot suit. And the dude was still running.
And hardly sweating. Way to go Elvis!

I used the action mode on my camera for most all of these pictures. Spent - no, make that wasted - a lot of time being fascinated by things like these 3 ladies all in midair at the same point in their stride.

Somewhere around 27,000 people passed us.
The sight of the endless - ENDLESS - stream of runners (and walkers) is staggering.
It took almost 3 hours for everyone to pass us in the southbound lanes.
I have no idea if those last racers (they were actually walkers) even finished.
We left as soon as Team Hoyt passed us at 9.5 and they reopened the road.

This little guy wanted to high-five everyone that passed. He got in a lot of slaps before his mom took him away.

And across the street from us was a group of girls who cheered everyone on.
With chants and dancing and everything. For the whole 3 hours, without stopping.
They were troopers.

The fascinating part was having the runners at the beginning of the run on the right, and the runners on the homestretch on the left. After awhile, the left-hand side stragglers were walking at the 3 mile point, but the right-hand side people were still running after 9.5 miles.

Then, finally, the last walkers pass by. A nap is within my grasp at last. My couch is calling me.

Going back to the car and looking out at the course, the sunlight was filtering through the trees,
so I wanted a picture of that too. I like trees. And clouds.

Next, Labor Day pig butt.


Sista G said...

Wow - how cool that you were with the Kid until the wee hours (heartbreaking 4th quarter), and then after a brief doze, got up for the race!! Was the Kid too big to be in it?

I love those girls with their "go, run, go!!" and then "go, walkers, go" - what energy and dedication!

Team Hoyt is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Go Team Hoyt! But you couldn't find a good team for Brandon to watch? Virginia Tech? Who would go there? ;-)

Kathy said...

G - Brandon isn't too big, but they are still confined to in-house activities because of our 3 cases of Swine Flu. I can't even take him to the movies, and our annual trip to Blacksburg has been canceled. :-(

RAD - them's fightin' words.