Nel mezzo del camin…
In the middle of the journey…of the year, of life, of everything- just the middle. Now is neither the start nor the end of anything. Do not be fooled by the start of a new football schedule, this week is merely a continuation of what has been and what will be. It is a continuation of a journey, and an effort, and a thought. Even this blog, though this post is only the third ever, lies firmly in the middle of a progression and a journey.
di nostra vita…
of our life…as Spider fans. We, as a collective, come together through a shared bond and connection to UR to share one experience and life. Spider fans together are one entity and the protagonist of one narrative and one perspective as we watch and root for the Spiders together.
I found myself…writing this blog. Don’t get carried away with this “us” stuff, I’m still the author here. Not you. Me. (But please comment below.)
per una selva oscura…
in a dark forest…preparing to face Phoenix, and Blue Hens, and Wildcats, and whatever a Chanticleer is, and more demons of the dark. Or:
in a dark forest…among the wilds of western Virginia, say near Charlottesville. It is a dangerous and untamed area fraught with evils and trials lurking in the shadows.
che la diritta via era smaritta.
with the straight path hidden.
So opens Canto 1 of Dante’s Divine Comedy. As the narrator, Dante himself, is lost and alone and scared and facing all dangers, he encounters Virgil. Virgil is Dante’s guiding light: the person who will lead him out of trouble and back to the path to Paradise (tangent: Paradise has been relocated this year from Chattanooga, TN to Frisco, TX). The acclaimed classical poet arrived and did nothing short of save Dante. Richmond needs saving this fall: UR needs to find direction and the straight path again. The Spiders lost one of our own and the head coach, Mike London. minutes after the 2009 season ended; the Spiders also lost 16 starters, returning only 7 for the 2010 campaign.
Virgil, however, introduced us to the name to know as the Spiders march into UVA this week: Aeneas. The poet’s famous epic the Aeneid describes the story and journey of Aeneas, a prince running from the fall of Troy who goes on to found Rome and a great civilization.
This winter, as the Land of the Troy started to burn thousands of miles to the west, the acclaimed Aaron Corp escaped the impending wreckage and subsequent fall-out and landed on the shores of Westhampton Lake to lead the Spiders back to the straight path and Paradise.
This week Corp, emerging from the special Hell that is spring workouts and summer training camp, leads the Spiders into the coldness of Charlottesville and the very last and darkest ring of Hell- the ring Dante reserved for traitors to their home and benefactors- to face the Hoos and their new coach, Mike London.
Take heart Spider fans: as Virgil brought Dante safely through the evils of Hell and out the other side, and as Aeneas’ journey succeeded in the founding of Rome, so too will Corp steer UR through the worst to establish a new home and a find the true path back to Paradise.
And what a home paradise awaits the brave Spider team in two weeks off Boatwright Drive.