Although I had score alerts coming to my phone during the game, I made a decided effort not to pay too close attention to the JMU/VT game yesterday. Sure, they always lose to Tech, but why would I want to watch it happen… Again?
But something strange happened on my phone. I don’t know if it was a network error or some sort of hallucination, but I got a notification that we had scored a touchdown. But, it was a 77-yard breakaway. That kind of fluke play happens all the time, right? And surely Tech had their second- and third-string guys in, right?
These strange notifications just kept popping up… VT gets a field goal, then another, then another… How in the world can we be holding them to field goals? Are they just auditioning kickers? What the heck is going on in Blacksburg?!
Erin and I got home from running errands and I got another bizarre notification. JMU scored another touchdown. What!? It was 16-14 Tech. I allowed myself to begin to think that JMU was going to make a game of it. No way they would win, but at least show Tech, and the media, that JMU, past I-AA National Champions, could play with the big boys. I was proud of the effort. The Dukes could go home knowing that even though they lost the game, they played damn well.
It was not too long after that that I got the strangest message of all. Surely someone at ESPN was screwing with me. It said that JMU had scored, again! 21-16! This just can’t be right. And this was in the 4th quarter! The idea started as a small seed in the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, JMU could win this thing.
By the time I was able to start pulling up the ESPN site on my phone, and hit refresh 1000 times, there was only 1:15 left in the quarter. And still 21-16. And we had the ball! Refresh. Refresh, Damn You!!
Then there was 0:35… Then there was 0:04!! Then the notification came in…
I thought for a second that something must be wrong. This can’t be true! JMU does not win over Virginia Tech. And certainly not in Blacksburg. But it is true. It happened.
On September 11, 2010, the James Madison University Dukes beat Virginia Tech. Next week Virginia Tech will go on to the next game. They’ll fix whatever problems they have and play great football. They will most likely beat the snot out of us next time we play them. But for Dukes fans, for that one day, we beat ‘em. We went down there and showed them what the little school from Harrisonburg could do. Tech players and fans will forget this as just another game. But, ‘The Day JMU Beat Tech’ will always be important to JMU.