Tuesday January 1, 2008
Fans got an early start Tuesday at area sports bars and hung around for the long haul.
"About 10 hours...11 hours probably," estimated college football fanatic Julius Schwartz. Schwartz said he pretty much lived at the sports bars this New Year's Day and he wouldn't have it any other way.
"There's a lot of teams that go to bowl games, [you] get to see some good matchups. You get to see teams maybe pull an upset here or there."
But not everyone shared his optimistic mood after watching the hometown 'Hoos blow a fourth-quarter lead against Texas Tech.
"[It] just started out real good and [I'm] just kind of real disappointed with the meltdown at the end," lamented UVa alum Jonathan Drolshagen.
"I'm crushed...totally crushed," added a distraught Chris Pierson.
Some of the area bars that accomodated those fans felt the crush, especially during the Gator Bowl.
"All the sections are full, bar included, and even sometimes the customers stand up in the aisles to watch the game," said Keith Hill, a cook and waiter at Buffalo Wild Wings.
After the big Cavalier letdown, many fans opted to drown their sorrows. But despite the disappointment of losing two straight to end the season, fans we talked to said a 9-4 record, in their minds, is good enough to keep head 'Hoo around for the forseeable future.
"I think Al Groh redeemed himself this year," Drolshagen said. "I think everybody was pretty pleased with the way the team played this year."
"I think Al Groh has a great future at UVa, but the question mark is what does the team do next year to fill the positions that are going to be vacant?" Schwartz added.
UVa football fans will bat those kinds of questions around until next fall.