Sunday, April 6th, 1997

The Big Move is On

All right, folks, you're going to have to make do without any updates to Hokie Central for a while. I know the timing is bad, with Spring Practice going on and all, but it's time to quit talking about moving the site to and DO IT.

I had hoped that when I made the move, the message board would be a way that Hokie Central readers could keep up with what's going on in Spring Football. Unfortunately, as those of you who frequent the board know, I had to shut it down. So Hokie Central will literally be completely dead for a week or two while I move the site. I apologize for this, but we'll wind up with a better site (and a better message board) when all is done.

There three things that will make the move slower than I'd like it to be:

  1. There appears to be some sort of problem with getting the domain name mapped to the web hosting service I selected. I've submitted the application, but it hasn't been processed for some reason unknown to me.
  2. I'm going to have to do some heavy-duty work on the message board to make it password accessible. I have the info and I know what I need to do, but it's just going to take time.
  3. I'm going to have to change the look of the site, not just move it. For details on that, see the next news item.

Sorry for the inconvenience (I wish I could have waited until after the Spring Game to do this), but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. My goal is to have the new site up just in time for a Spring Game report.

Hokie Central Has to Change Its Look

I was contacted via email by Mr. Larry Hincker, head of Virginia Tech's University Relations department (if you've been following the off-the-field problems, and I know you have, Larry has had the unpleasant job of facing the press frequently on that subject, so you've no doubt read many quotes by him over the last year). Mr. Hincker informed me that Virginia Tech has a new (two-week-old) policy prohibiting the use of Virginia Tech's trademarked logos and symbols on "unofficial," or non-university-sponsored, web sites. That means ME.

So all those neat graphics on the front page of Hokie Central have to disappear. The VT's? As Dan Patrick on ESPN would say, "Gone." The Hokie Birds? Gone. The little football helmet, and the basketball with the logo on it? Gone.

Strangely enough, the only thing I'm allowed to keep is the Collegiate WebWear banner ad. Although it depicts trademarked VT logos, since it is a picture of officially-licensed merchandise, it can stay. That's an important distinction, one that I can use to my advantage when I redesign the site.

For example, even though the VT helmet shown on the front page is a violation of the new policy, if I get a picture of a real helmet, or even just a picture of an officially-licensed replica helmet, I can use it.

(so consider this an official call for anybody who has scanned pictures of licensed VT products to send them in to me. I'll see if I can use 'em)

They are also going to be more stringent on allowing me to call the site "Hokie Central," but I am told that I may be able to work around that by calling it by its new name - ""

Is all of this a bummer? Sure, but they're the bosses, and at least they're not shutting me down. University Relations and the Licensing Department are rightfully concerned with maintaining the sanctity of their trademarks, which can actually be lost if they allow unauthorized use of them. In other words, they're just doing their jobs.

They aren't evil people who are intent on preventing me from having any fun. It's their responsibility to make sure that Virginia Tech properly maintains their trademarks, and preventing unauthorized use of them is part of that responsibility. But I'll be honest - between having to shut down the message board and being given this news by University Relations, this past Friday was not one of Hokie Central's better days.

No problem, though. I think I can follow their guidelines and still manage to produce a decent-looking site that definitely has a VT look and feel to it. So help me out if you can by sending images of officially licensed merchandise, and I'll see what I can do when I move the site and redesign it.

Hokie Central Spring Game Tailgate

For those of you who are interested, I'll be having a tailgate prior to the Spring Game. Don't get too excited, because I'm not actually going to fund a big bash - it's going to be BYOE, which is short for Bring Your Own Everything. I just thought it might be fun, based on emails I've been receiving, to announce a gathering spot prior to the game for anybody who wanted to stop by.

So here it is: starting at 11:00 a.m., I'll be parked and tailgating with the "Hokie Central Mobile" near the football stadium. Those of you who read Hokie Central throughout the football season are now familiar with the description of the HC Mobile. It's a 1981 Impala station wagon, ugly as all get-out, two-tone gold and brown paint, with license plates that say HKI CNTL. I'll park it on the rec fields, located across Southgate Drive from Lane Stadium. From there, we'll have great views of the new softball field, track complex, and off in the distance, we'll be able to see the new English Field press box.

If I'm not able to park there for some reason, look for me in the Cassell Coliseum parking lot, and lastly, if that fails, in the Litton-Reaves (Animal Science) parking lot.

So bring your own cooler with your favorite beverages and pre-game snacks, and we'll have a real-live tailgate party, one that'll rival the real ones we have during the football season. Then, for whoever wants to tag along, we can attend the game together, where you can explain to me what the heck is going on, so I can write a decent Spring Game report.

Sound like fun? I'd like to put some faces with the names I read all the time (in emails and on the message board), so maybe I'll be able to remember who's-who next time I get email.

Clark Plays Well in Second Scrimmage

After having a mediocre first scrimmage, Al Clark put together a nice game in Tech's second scrimmage Saturday. Here's the report from The Roanoke Times:


Al Clark emerged as the clear frontrunner for Virginia Tech's starting quarterback job in the Hokies' second spring football scrimmage Saturday.

Clark, a rising junior, completed 7 of 14 passes for 128 yards, including a 58-yarder to fullback Marcus Parker, and a 10-yeard scoring toss to receiver Michael Stuewe. Tailback Ken Oxendine rushed for 24 yards and a touchdown to lead Tech's ground attack.

Tackle Carl Bradley, linebacker Jamel Smith, and end John Engelberger stood out on defense. Bradley hd five tackles, a sack, and blocked a field goal attempt. Smith registered six tackles, including three sacks, and Engelberger also had three sacks and five tackles.

- from staff reports

What I like about that game report is that I see nothing but the names of people who are going to have to step it up this year for Tech to be successful: Clark, Parker, Stuewe, Oxendine, Bradley, Smith, and Engelberger. There were no one-scrimmage flashes in the pan (anybody remember Jason Buckland piling up six sacks in a scrimmage last year? I do). Every one of those guys I just listed will have to contribute this year for Tech to win.

Note to the Hokie Central faithful: the RTWN misspelled Engelberger's name. I corrected it in typing up the game report. It takes a Hokie to write about the Hokies.


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