Outstanding column by Harry Minium for ODU Sports, going inside the football team on back to back weeks. He dives deep, exploring both the highs and lows of Old Dominion Football.
By Harry Minium
This story has a Hollywood ending, but like War and Peace, it will take a while to get there.
The protagonists wind up losing badly during my 36-hour odyssey with the Old Dominion football team. But the storyline here won’t be complete until three weeks later, when the Monarchs shocked the college football world by upsetting Virginia Tech.
As ODU prepared for what would be a disastrous road opener at Liberty, Coach Bobby Wilder granted me unfettered access to the team as it traveled to Lynchburg. I was allowed to ride the bus, attend every team meeting, watch the game from the sidelines and go into the locker room.
This story will take you behind the scenes of what a road game is like, from beginning to end, for ODU football.
It was a fascinating trip, and a dream come true for a sports journalist. There’s a 12-year-old still lurking inside my 65-year-old body who thinks hanging out with football players and coaches is cool.
Sometimes, though, your dreams turn to mush. Liberty shocked ODU, 52-10, in a game that was likely the worst defeat in ODU history.
ODU lost, but it wasn’t for lack of preparation or work. I was amazed at how much coaches do to prepare their team, how much work is done by the equipment staff, trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and graduate assistants and how hard it is on players.
Even after 39 years as a Virginian-Pilot reporter, I didn’t have an appreciation for all that a college football team goes through just to play one game. Sit back and enjoy as I take you behind the scenes.
Read the entire article at ODUSports.com.