I hate to admit this, but I got this idea from ESPN/Heather Dinich, and think it’s actually pretty cool. I’m going to take a look at each of the teams I cover (or claim to) and determine who best fits the role of their current villain. I’m also going to do a specific post for Hokie Football AND Basketball, because I think you can argue that there are good ones for each sport. In order to get villain status, you have to have pissed off the fan base well beyond the norm. Things like UVA’s third-string corner spouting off at the mouth or Sean Glennon throwing predictable interceptions aren’t enough for pure villain status. Here we go.
Current Villain: Matt Ryan, Boston College QB
I know, I know, Ryan has gone onto the NFL and we still beat his Eagles for an ACC championship, but none of that matters when it comes to my loathing for #12. Ryan was not a major player on the national stage before his senior season in 2007, but Hokie fans knew him well. Ryan went 16/29 for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading BC to a 22-3 victory in the 2006 meeting between the Hokies and Eagles. That wasn’t enough for Matt. The following year, the Hokie defense solved the BC offensive line to the tune of three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble. Only one problem with that performance: with 11 seconds left, Chris Ellis failed to reach Ryan before he could air out a 24 yard touchdown pass to Andre Callender in the rain. That night, according to everyone at ESPN and the 16 BC football fans still in Chestnut Hill, Ryan was dubbed ‘Matty Ice’ (vomit) and was destined to lead the Eagles to the national championship game. He was the next coming of Doug Flutie, and the best thing since sliced bread…until he shit the bed the next week against Florida State. Ryan went on to lose the ACC Championship to that same Virginia Tech team, throwing for 305 yards, but no touchdowns and two interceptions. To make matters worse for Ryan, he was embarrased by the outstanding (but rare) play of Sean Glennon, who tossed three touchdowns in the game (on his way to MVP honors). Both of Ryan's INTs led to Hokie touchdowns and Blacksburg rejoiced. However, there was one problem after that game: Tech realized that had they won the previous meeting against BC, they would have finished 12-1 and earned a spot in the national championship game against Ohio State. However, Ryan got his final laugh and the Hokies finished the regular season at #3 in the BCS standings.
On top of all this, Ryan accomplished something that nobody that has ever watched a Boston College football game thought possible. He has officially put up a highlight to rival Doug Flutie’s fabled ‘Hail Mary’ play against Miami, and in-turn makes Tech fans want to puke at the sight of him. Last season’s regular season game (which coincided with Ryan’s NFL bye week) showed Ryan at least 20 times in the first half alone, and I almost smashed my TV with a baseball bat. Ask my wife…she can vouch. Along with Ryan, Jeff Jagodzinski has to be included as a villain, as he claimed "The fans will not be a factor" and "we just came from Notre Dame, the crowd will not effect us” prior to the 2007 regular season contest. Hokie fans started a facebook group called “Lane Stadium Will Make You DEAF Jagodzinski” and had over 7000 members in its first day of existence. That evening brought out a crazier environment in Lane Stadium than I had ever seen. I am still proud to have been a part of it as I sit here today. It still stings that we didn’t get the last laugh with a win that night though.
Also Receiving Votes: Jim Weaver, Bryan Stinespring, Les Miles, Calvin Johnson, Skip Holtz, Todd Reesing
Next: Redskins Villains