The Al Groh Drinking Game

After your recently-concluded ballgame, turn on the postgame radio show, and get your favorite beverage ready for coach Groh’s press conference.  Also can be modified for the coach’s weekly teleconference with ACC reporters, the Cavalier Call-In radio show, and the “Cavalier Sports Weekly” television program.


The rules for this version of the AG/DG are quite simple (other variations will be addressed at a later time in this space):


  1. Take two drinks any time Coach Al drop’s his favorite word – ‘circumstance’
  2. Finish said drink if the word is used multiple times in a single response
  3. Take a single drink if you hear either his second-favorite (‘resolve’) or third-favorite (‘resilient’) word
  4. Finish two drinks if ‘circumstance’ is used in the same sentence with either ‘resolve’ or ‘resilient’
  5. Finish three drinks if the ‘circumstance-resolve-resilient verbal trifecta is hit


Note that variations of each word do count, so keep an ear out for ‘circumstantial,’ ‘resiliency,’ and ‘resolvitdue.’  Any doubts about ‘circumstance’ being the top seed in Groh’s lexicon have been completely put to rest of late.  Just last week alone, Groh:


  • Described his hands-on approach to coaching linebackers, specifically Clint Sintim: “In his particular case because of the position he plays and the amount of years that I have spent involved with the position, I’ve had the opportunity to really have more day-to-day and nuts-and-bolts work with him on his play at the position, maybe than say (if) he was playing wide receiver or offensive tackle or something like that. We’ve spent a lot of time together during the course of his career, probably more so than is the case in many circumstances for the head coach to be able to do.”
  • Talked of preparing for a game during a win streak: “Anytime that your team is able to prepare from a foundation of confidence is a more advantageous circumstance and confidence only comes from demonstrated performance.”
  • Explained some of the reasons behind his team’s turnaround: “The players had a strong resolve… They had faith in each other. They understood the circumstances that were affecting our team early, that those circumstances wouldn’t be constant, and they just had the resolve. They kept believing that it’s going to be better than this.”
  • Gave un update on accused felon but still-participating FB Rashawn Jackson: “We’re comfortable just in terms of his performance, his state of mind, and his circumstances.  I guess I would say we believe in America and everything that goes on in America, and one of those things is everybody’s innocent until proven guilty.  We also believe in accountability and justice, and we’re sure that in the long run all those things will out. He seems to be very comfortable and confident with his circumstances.”


Following Saturday’s home loss to Miami, AG:


  • Commented on the 12-yard sack Marc Verica took on 3rd-and-2 from the Miami 27 to knock his offense out of FG range: “You’d like to say, ‘Look, if there’s any circumstance in the game, you can’t take the sack in that circumstance,’” Groh said. “But we’re sure that under the circumstances in which it happened, it will leave an indelible mark on Marc.”
  • Talked about bouncing back: “If you want to think of yourself as resilient, then obviously that has to be under all circumstances. It can’t just be when it’s easy.  Resilience is established over a period of time, and there’s a lot of guys on this team that have proved their resilience over the course of their career, and so we’re confident it’ll continue to be that way.”
  • Was channeled by NT Nate Collins, who “never want[s] to lose a game like that under those circumstances. You want to feel like you got beat fair and square, but we let that game go ourselves.”


A few other recent Groh nuggets that would have had AG/GC players reaching for their drinks:


  • Prior to the Maryland game, on going from one level of football to the next: “They just have to be able to grow into that, but they’re doing it the right way for the way they’re playing. Now they are going to just have to learn how to do it the right way. I’m sure it’s the same thing for Branden Albert, and Chris Long, and Tom Santi …that now they’re having to respect the game and do the right things on an 8- or 9-hour a day basis, instead of four hours a day. They have got to grow into that circumstance, also.
  • Prior to the ECU game, on the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (which has produced NT Nick Jenkins, LB Cam Johnson, and DB Rodney McLeod): “We’ve always been very, very aware of the overall circumstance of those schools. The quality of play, excellent academics, the sense of discipline. We’re very tuned into them for quite some time. The overall circumstances worked out well of late.”
  • Prior to the UNC game, on Carolina’s offense: “The plays usually end up repeating pretty much from week to week, but the pre-snap looks change so one of the critical things to do in that circumstance is, from our playing standpoint, [is to] try to keep it uncomplicated for the players.”
  • This week – prior to the Wake game – on his redshirting philosophy: “Unless a guy is going to play 25 or 30 plays [each game] and be a standout, we would prefer to [redshirt him]. Usually the fifth year’s going to be more productive than the first. But sometimes there are just some circumstances where the team needs the player that year, even though it’s not going to be in the biggest possible role.”


And don’t for a minute think this is a new phenomenon or the result of recent media-relations or public-speaking schooling undergone by the head man.  Examples can be cited throughout the years:


  • August 2002: “I think it’s always better to have the position as definitive as possible. In years back, it was easier [to platoon quarterbacks]. Now that type of circumstance becomes such a media subject and the spotlight of the team that, even if the players are comfortable with it, it gets brought up so much that it becomes [a distraction.].”
  • August 2003: “This was a good indication that this team has the same type of resiliency and resolve that last year’s team did.”
  • November 2003: “They showed the same kind of resolve to fight back as they have in all sorts of circumstances. Once again, we just made it too hard on ourselves.”
  • September 2006: “That was a terrific job by the defense. Those guys were resilient, resourceful and hung in there under every circumstance.”
  • October 2006: “Today we had to go out there every series knowing the game was on the line. I was impressed with their competitive resolve under those circumstances.”
  • September 2007: “We’ve had some struggles here of late and we haven’t found ourselves in a circumstance like that in a long time. We were certainly in new territory, but this team has demonstrated a strong resolve and focus throughout.”
  • February 2008: “Each year brings its own set of circumstances in terms of talent available at the positions we’re looking for, or the academic circumstances.”



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3 Responses to “The Al Groh Drinking Game”

  1. james Says:

    the circumstances regarding the rules of this particular drinking game are conducive to getting hammered.

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