January 2, 2006
For many households, New Years Day means football and fanfare. With many games moved due to NFL games people are only now catching up on their usual New Years Day fix. For many Charlottesville fans, however, their big game came last Friday at the Music City Bowl.
UVA's game was exciting with the Hoos fighting back, winning against the Minnesota Golden Gophers 34-31. For the thousands of fans who made the trek to Nashville, the trip was well worth the effort.
"I thought it was fantastic, because we won!" exclaimed Frank Reeves.
Many UVA Football fans felt the same way as Reeves following Friday's comeback win against Minnesota. The thousand of fans who traveled to Nashville were greeted with not only a great game, but also a little southern hospitality.
"The town is very pleasing and welcomable and everybody is very helpful," said John Rapacz.
"Nashville's a great town. I have been liking it so far," said John DeNamo.
Not everyone came down for just the game.
"We're here for the marching band. The game is on the side," said Doug Lawrence.
Thursday night, UVA and Minnesota squared off in the annual Battle of the Bands. After a quick start by the Gophers, UVA poured on the music, taking home the victory much to the delight of their supporters. But the Hoos had bigger fish to fry on the field, and fans were hopeful.
"35-21 Virginia," predicted one fan.
"UVA is going to win. Go Hoos. 35-28 UVA," said Aaron Mutter.
"27, nothing baby," stated another fan.
The morning of the game began with food and fanfare. The 11 a.m. start allowed just enough time to fit in some tailgating before kickoff. The game started slow for the Hoos as Minnesota jumped out to a 14 point lead. UVA's relentless cheering section brought them back and propelled them to a late victory, making the trip all worthwhile.
"It was great. It was worth the ten hour drive. We had a great time. It was a great game," said Steve Simons.
"Oh man it was wild. I came up from Atlanta. I got to meet a lot of my alumni friends and it was just a blast," said Brian Musselman. "What a great great great game."
This was UVA's first Music City Bowl. With the final attendance reaching just under 40,000 people, many of whom supported the Cavs, don't be surprised if the invitation is offered again in the future. That win improved UVA's all-time bowl record to 7 wins, 9 losses.