May 1 / jmusport

Guest Post: A Small JMU World

Dukes4 is a 1979 JMU grad, (with honorary JMU rooting wife) and their three gainfully employed, JMU alumni kids. He won the prediction contest for the VMI game and sent in this fun guest post reminding us that it’s a small world when it comes to JMU sports.

Thanks again to Andrea Clay for sharing her poignant guest post last week. During the podcast Rob and Todd noted they had the opportunity to meet Andrea and her husband and how it’s been cool to engage the JMU football nation over the years as the face of the JMU sports blog.

That comment got me thinking about the friends we have made and how we missed the 2020 fall tailgating season. Moreover, we looked back at some interesting people and characters who crossed our path while enjoying JMU football. We are at a point in our lives that allows for travel to away games and spending Saturday night in the burg. This offers more opportunity to chat-it -up all things JMU and especially football.  Here is a smattering of people we’ve met.

  • JMU at Duke, 2008:  This was the game where a game ball was parachuted into the stadium, only they were supposed to be dropping in at the North Carolina game.  Here I met Steve Buckhantz, JMU alum who provided play-by- for the Washington Wizards for 22 years and now adding commentary for JMU games. I took the opportunity to converse with him regarding the apparent lack of JMU sports coverage by the Washington DC media. I recall this because in my opinion, this has not changed. 
  • JMU at UNC , 2011:  When we took our seats the young boy next to me exclaimed, “my grandfather was the president of JMU”.  And so, I got to enjoy the time prior to the game talking with a few members of Dr. Ronald Carrier’s family about them living at Hillcrest.
  • Frisco, 2017/2018:  meeting Charles Haley each year was entertaining.  Additionally, during the on-field celebration in 2017, players were throwing their gloves in jubilation from the platform.  My wife caught one and found #44 inside a glove, the glove belonging to Jordon Brown. During the spring game we attempted to return the glove to him.  Jordon was gracious and told us to take a photo and enjoy the memento.  Given the provenance, we were pulling for this ball hawk to make it on an NFL roster. (notice his championship ring in the pic)
  • The Hotel Madison is cool post game hangout. There are always fun fans to chat with in the bar area and opposing sports teams may stay here so one can converse with them if they join you on an elevator ride. Plus, it’s an easy location to park extra cars and walk to the stadium. In 2019 we shared conversation with the parents of the opposing QB. They were not happy campers regarding their program and talked about a possible transfer for him.  Well, he did. Additionally, just last weekend we experienced an entertaining chat with an unnamed 1980s JMU player. When I shared a picture of Charles Haley signing his book, he told me an amusing story.  (could have been joking). “We were in the locker room and Charles was standing in his defensive man bare feet. I asked Charles how he ran the 40?”  Haley replied, “in my shoes”.   We enjoyed the laugh. 

These were a few memorable experiences with JMU fans. We are looking forward to getting back to normal in the fall and meeting more interesting folks in the JMU kingdom.

One last point regarding the Dukes game vs VMI.  Todd was not the only one in Bridgeforth to call that on sides kick. He noted it was an opportunity the Dukes gave VMI. A la the fake field goal vs NDSU in Frisco.

I turned to my group and said it was simply the right TIME for trickery.  Think of ESPN game day vs Richmond.  If I recall correctly, the ticks ran a two-point conversion and an on sides kick early in the game. Underdogs will go into their bag of tricks early when the Dukes least expect it.  This type of shenanigans is forth coming.  Hope the Dukes are ready.

Let’s get pumped for Frisco. If you make it there, be sure to visit the Fort Worth Stockyards.


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  1. Rob K / May 2 2021

    Great post!

  2. Andrea / May 4 2021

    Great post! Maybe we’ll meet one day.

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