The Legend of Michael Holmes
By Joey Accordino
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A legendary tale of Virginia Tech redshirt freshman RB Michael Holmes.
Virginia Tech has a remarkable running back tradition. Backs like Lee Suggs, Kevin Jones, Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, and David Wilson have all starred for the Hokies since the turn of the century, with every one of them becoming NFL Draft choices. This season, the starring role goes to redshirt freshman Michael Holmes.
Many Hokie fans may be asking, “Who is Michael Holmes?” Despite being the Virginia Group AA Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior at Harrisonburg High, Holmes arrived in Blacksburg anonymously, with little fanfare.
In fact, Holmes is such an unknown that I became suspicious, and decided to do some research into his past. I just could not believe that a player so mysterious could possibly become the starting running back at Virginia Tech. But, as I found, Michael Holmes is no ordinary player. Michael Holmes is a legend.
My discovery occurred as I was conducting Michael Holmes research at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. I had devoted the previous several months to researching Holmes, but there still seemed to be something missing.
I was nursing the day’s fifth cup of coffee in the Ancient History section when something caught my eye. It was an old, tattered hardback with a bent spine, sticking out from a shelf of Egyptian History texts. I looked around to see if anyone else was watching, and slowly pulled the book from its resting place.
I opened the cover, but found the book completely hollow. Inside the hollow space were several pieces of paper that looked like treasure maps, worn down and browned at the edges. There was writing on them, but most of it was unreadable and in some cases, the pages were worn to shreds.
Still, I could sense there was something magical about this text, and I searched to discover if anything could be salvaged. Using my personal magnifying glass, I found a section that was better preserved than the others. At the top of the page were five words: “The Legend of Michael Holmes.”
I felt vindicated: I had been sure that there was something peculiar about this man, that the story of a simple childhood in Harrisonburg, Virginia was merely a clever deception. Finally, here was proof. With great difficulty, I began reading the text.
“It shall be recorded that on this day, on the sixth full moon of the Gilgamesh Dynasty in Mesopotamia, a son was born to King Gilgamesh. The boy seems uncommonly strong and healthy. He has been named Mikael.”
The text became unreadable, but I was already elated. The opening lines suggested that Michael was born thousands upon thousands of years ago, and, as I suspected, is immortal. Soon, the text became readable again.
“…had sought the strongest and smartest men from all corners of the Earth to build his pyramid, yet the Egyptian Pharaoh had found no man capable of this impossible feat. As the great Pharaoh was about to declare his grand vision a failure, a man named Mikalane Holmbe presented himself, promising to build the pyramid. The Pharaoh accepted and watched in awe as Mikalane constructed the Pyramid by himself, taking three days and three nights to build the 500-foot structure. Mikalane asked only that the Egyptian people build what he called ‘a sphinx’ in his honor…”
This was truly fantastic. Michael Holmes had been responsible for the Great Pyramid of Giza, and as I read later in the text, had single-handedly built Stonehenge in a summer afternoon. I continued to examine the splintered manuscript, filled with amazement at the historical exploits of Michael Holmes.
I learned that he had been responsible for founding Rome, and later, in a fit of boredom, led the overthrow of the Roman Empire. He served as a mentor to thinkers like Confucius and Plato, and was the 301st and only surviving member of the “300” Spartans that took a stand against Xerxes and the Persians. He helped King Arthur pull the sword from the stone, and served as a stand-in when Michelangelo needed a model for the David statue. In 1492, he purposely guided the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria to the Americas, though he let his cabin boy Christopher Columbus take credit for the discovery.
Unfortunately, that’s where the manuscript cut off, though I am sure that Michael’s accomplishments continued through the present day. Truly, Michael Holmes was no ordinary redshirt freshman from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Aided by his own immortality, Michael has been a part of nearly every single major event in world history, changing his name along the way to preserve his anonymity.
Clearly, the Hokies have a special player-and person-in their backfield. Just think: if Michael Holmes can topple empires and construct architectural wonders, achieving gridiron greatness in 2012 will be a walk in the park.