ACC Football: Love From an Early Age

Gordon BengtsonContributor IAugust 15, 2009

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 06:  Tech fans celebrate after the Virginia Tech Hokies score in the third quarter against the Boston College Eagles in the 2008 ACC Football Championship game at the Raymond James Stadium on December 6, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. Virginia Tech defeated Boston College 30-12.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

If you happened to stumble on my profile, you may have noticed that I was bred to be a sports fanatic.

From before I can remember I was watching sporting events with my family.  Some of my earliest memories are of watching college football.

From the Charlie Ward days to the more recent expansion of the Atlantic Coast Conference has been the nearest and dearest college football conference to my heart.

I was at the perfect age when Charlie Ward ignited my interest in college football and drove me to become a bandwagon Florida State fan. This drove my father nuts as they consistently beat up on his Alma Mater: Wake Forest.

FSU was the premier college football program of the early 90’s and was a consistent contender for the national championship.  I continued to follow the ACC throughout the years watching the ‘Noles own the conference and most of their opponents.

When I was going through my own recruiting process for soccer in 2004, I swore my allegiance to the one of the two newest additions to the ACC: Virginia Tech.

Following a career-ending injury, I found a job at the local ESPN radio affiliate and joined the group as a producer and co-host. My primary focus was covering ACC and Hokie football.

I attended media days, practices and games. I covered all of Marcus Vick’s press conferences and court cases. I served as our ACC college football expert for two years helping host and produce shows that included our tailgate and post game specials.

I was privileged enough to have worked some of the best in the business for televised home games. Personalities including Erin Andrews, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Mike Greenberg, Mike Tirico and many others of the ESPN and ABC crews were present for the game day spectacle in Blacksburg at least once a year.

From examining the conference teams and schedules, to doing a game by game analysis of X’s and O’s the ACC has long been my conference of choice before I really knew I had one.

I don’t contend that the ACC is the best football conference in the nation, but I do think it is the countries’ best sports conference top to bottom. This college football season, I hope to add to the B/R community by offering unique perspectives on the Atlantic Coast Conference as a featured columnist.