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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Summer Vacation

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

I was back in West Virginia for my week of summer vacation last week.

This time there is no great adventure to talk about. Last year I wrote about my trip down the New River in a raft.

This year my son Ryne couldn’t make the trip. He had commitments from golf to girls to football, so he stayed in town.

Meanwhile, I hit the road and hit the golf course again. There’s nothing like mountain golf. It’s hard enough to hit that little white ball on a relatively flat course. The mountains just make everything that more complicated.

I’m hitting the driver pretty well, but I could kill someone with my iron shots. Former East Carolina basketball coach Mike Steele gets on me because I don’t have a clue with the “scoring irons.” He has a good time watching my ball go sideways with my iron shots.

Actually, I hit the ball pretty well up in the mountains, breaking 85 on a couple of occasions. It’s a different sport, though. One time a 150-yard shot needs a 9-iron because it’s down hill. The next time that 150-yard shot needs a five wood because it’s uphill. It’s way too complicated.

I mention my trip because once again I was visiting Bluefield, VA. Bluefield is 60 miles from Blacksburg, so there are plenty of Virginia Tech fans. There is also a Bluefield, WV, so there are also many West Virginia fans.

Those Mountaineer fans are still all over Rich Rodriguez. I really think it’s a true hatred for the man for many.

Those same fans that I ran into had high praise for Skip Holtz and ECU. They say perception is reality. To a man, the guys I met all had the same perception of Holtz and his band of Pirates.

“They always play us tough,” they would say.

“That Holtz is a heckuva coach,” they’d add.

No one seemed to remember that West Virginia took it to ECU last year to the tune of a 48-7 score. I know Holtz remembers it, and would like nothing more then to turn the tables on the Mountaineers this year.

Maybe many of them remembered the opener against Virginia Tech a little better. That day, Holtz and company had the Hokies on the ropes on that emotional Saturday in Blacksburg.

I didn’t run into as many Tech fans, despite the proximity of Blacksburg to Bluefield. The couple of folks that I did meet said they expect a tough one in Charlotte to open the season.

I know this. It’s never too early to talk a little football, especially while you’re on vacation.

With every passing week we move closer to another football season.

Summers tend to drag by. Here’s hoping that’s a perception that doesn’t turn out to be a reality this summer.


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06/17/2008 02:08:48 AM


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