You've got to love rivalries.
A few weeks back, first-year Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild went on a local radio show and said the following: “UVa should not lose to Virginia Tech. I’ve been on both campuses, and I’m new to the area and I’m just giving you kind of an unbiased feel here.”
A coach says his current school should not lose to its rival. Nothing shocking about that. That quote would have blown away with the wind, as most do, were it not for Virginia Tech associate head coach/running backs coach Shane Beamer.
As Hokies beat writer Andy Bitter notes, the younger Beamer takes pride in being the Cavaliers' nemesis.“It bothered me, greatly,” Beamer said. “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t
“I thought it was odd for an assistant coach to say that statement. If you feel that way that you shouldn’t lose to Virginia Tech, more power to you if you feel that way about your team. That’s your decision. But I had a problem with the ‘you’ve been on both campuses part’ of his interview. ‘I’ve been on both campuses and there’s no reason for us to ever lose to Virginia Tech.’ I have a problem with that statement.”
This is far from the first time Beamer has fired shots toward Charlottesville. A few of the highlights:
- On Sept. 7, he tweeted that Virginia Tech drew the largest crowd in the state for a home date with Western Carolina. He didn't happen to mention that Virginia also hosted Oregon on Sept. 7, though he didn't have to.
“I’m sorry, but recruits follow me on Twitter, and if I can’t point out we had more fans in the stands than they did, I don’t think that’s taking a shot at UVa,” Beamer said.
- The time he tweeted good luck to the Mississippi State baseball team before it faced Virginia in the NCAA Super Regional. As Beamer said, he was only thinking about the Bulldogs' baseball staff he got to know from his time in Starkville.
- Beamer tweeted good luck to the Mississippi State baseball team last summer right before it took on Virginia in the super regional, although he said that was simply wishing well the Bulldogs staff he got to know during his time as a coach at MSU.
- The time he called Virginia's crowd of 8,000 for its spring game a "nice little crowd".
There are two issues at play here. First, there's likely no one on Earth with more Hokie pride than Shane Beamer. He attended Blacksburg High School. He played at Virginia Tech from 1995-99. He's worked there since 2011. And, of course, his father is the greatest coach in the history of the school.
Second, he spent four seasons working for the Ultimate Troll Master in college football history. "I spent too many years around Steve Spurrier," Beamer says, "that's my problem."
Virginia Tech heads to Charlottesville on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU). The Hokies have won nine straight in the series and 13 of the last 14.
UPDATE: Fairchild has called for a cease fire.