Saturday, January 7, 2012

Easing the pain with a Hokie trade post

The Hokie football season has come to an end and, overall, it was an excellent year.  We went 11-3 with a sophomore in his first season at quarterback.  His progression through the year was fun to watch.  For VT to take the step to elite/contender, though, we really need some changes in offensive playcalling.  I think the Michigan game was promising from a defensive standpoint given the youth and injuries we had this year.  However, our offensive plan failed to convert red zone trips into touchdowns, a problem that has plagued us for several years.  The Frank Beamer football plan is successful because it focuses on controlling the game with a lead.  While unexciting at times, Beamer has earned his due as an excellent coach.  The problem now, though, is that we are facing tougher competition, so the need to get the lead early is becoming increasingly important.  Still, I make sure to keep myself aware of how lucky I am to have a team that wins so many games each year.  The frustrations come and go, but overall, VT is a very successful program. 

One thing that sets us aside is what we get out of our players.  We don't have the national recruiting profile of the elite schools.  No matter what we do, and how bad FSU and Miami do, they will always out-recruit us.  As a result, we're forced to make up for that by coaching athletes into positions and being versatile with the players we have.  It would be amazing to see what our coaching staff could do with a Top 10 recruiting class. 

For years, VT has shown that it is a legit Top-25 and often Top-15 or Top-10 capable team.  If we can increase our talent level just a little (especially on the offensive line, which is especially difficult for us to recruit elite talent) and make some offensive changes, I think we could put ourselves in a position to consistently compete in BCS games, and open up the possibility of an undefeated season. 

Ok, back to cards.

A while back, I posted my winnings from Thorzul's NCAA Sweet Spot group break.  Among the cards I received for my ACC bid were Miami Hurricanes autos of Allen Bailey (Base Auto) and Leonard Hankerson (Sweet Spot Helmet Variation Auto).  I attempted to sell the Hankerson, but only received one offer, which I refused.  Hankerson had just come off a 100+ yard performance, so I was hoping to get a little more out of it.  Unfortunately, he then suffered a season-ending injury, which hurt card prices.  Lucky for me, I happened to be following The Card Hobbyist's Box Break of 2011 Panini Threads.  In the last post, he showed off an awesome dual patch card featuring Mark Ingram and VT's Ryan Williams.  Knowing that Patrick is a fan of Miami (almost as bad as a UVA fan, only without the tie) I immediately contacted him to arrange a trade.  I think we both made out well with some nice cards.  Here is the dual patch #43/50:

Both patches are very nice. Hopefully Ryan can come back from his knee injury and pick up where he left off.  I know I'm biased, but this kid is a special player.  He's got that rare combination of power, speed, and balance.  I can't tell you how many runs he kept alive after the first and second hits. 

Patrick also threw in a healthy stack of cards, especially Hokies:

As usual, this is the part where I tell Dawgbones to look away. 

Those 1950 Bowman minis are a great insert set.

Thanks, again, Patrick.  I hope you enjoy your cards!


Greg Zakwin said...

That's a sick patch, nice get!

Jeff Laws said...

Just wanted to tell you I was very impressed with VT. I didn't know anything about you guys going in so I wasn't sure what to expect. I read how you were supposed to be overmatched. I didn't see that all. VT definitely deserved to be there. Hell, you deserved to win that game. You outplayed us most of the game. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the outcome was the way it was, but your team got my respect.