Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hokies Fans: Back Again So Soon?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hokies Fans: Back Again So Soon?

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID JOHNSON

The Gator Bowl wasn't the first choice for most Virginia Tech fans.

Ray and Carol Martin had other travel plans in mind.

"We were supposed to be in the Orange Bowl," Ray said.

"No, you mean the Rose Bowl," Carol corrected with a smile.

The Martins, like many Hokies fans, didn't expect a second trip to Jacksonville a month after Virginia Tech's Atlantic Coast Conference title-game loss to Florida State.

But they returned in droves anyway Monday.

Before James Cassady made the 500-mile trip from Martinsville, Va., he remembered his wife, Betty, saying, "I hope we know how to get there."

Cassady, who has made the drive for all five Hokies Gator Bowl appearances, said, "I think I know the exit."

After watching Virginia Tech lose the conference championship in Jacksonville, Cassady said he didn't believe he and his wife would make the return trip. He changed his mind after the disappointment of the loss wore off.

Cassady, a Virginia Tech season-ticket holder for more than 10 years, said he and his wife usually attend the Hokies' bowl games unless they're on the West Coast. He said Alltel Stadium was the "best-organized stadium I've ever been to."

Then he added, "If they weren't so friendly, we'd still come here for the Hokies."

LOUISVILLE'S DOUBLE DIP

Many Louisville fans made a cross-state trip during the week.

Before Monday's Gator Bowl, the Cardinals men's basketball beat Miami 58-43 in the Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday.

"We planned to go to the basketball game, then we prayed they'd get in the Gator Bowl, so we could go to both," said Kris Phillips, who traveled to both games with her husband, Jim. The couple is originally from Louisville but now lives in Ponce Inlet, south of Daytona.

Jim said Louisville had more fans than any other team at the Orange Bowl Classic. Florida State beat Nebraska 74-60 in the other game.

CARDINALS FANS IRKED

Louisville fans were happy to find their Cardinals in a traditional New Year's Day bowl game. …

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