News With Commentary by HC Staff

Monday, August 21, 2000
by Will Stewart,

Hokie Pride Day This Friday

Friday August 25th is Hokie Pride Day, and it promises to transform the Roanoke Valley for a day.

In celebration of the Hokie Spirit, The Roanoke Valley Hokie Club and the Roanoke Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association is organizing and sponsoring "Hokie Pride Day" in the Roanoke Valley on Friday, August 25th, 2000.

The goal of this event is simply to promote pride and enthusiasm for Virginia Tech and the nationally ranked Hokie football team in the Roanoke Valley. The primary objective of "Hokie Pride Day" will be to encourage Roanokers to "wear their maroon" on that day as a show of support for Virginia Tech.

Each of the local municipalities (Roanoke City, Roanoke County, City of Salem, and the Town of Vinton) have issued proclamations declaring "Hokie Pride Day" in their jurisdictions.

Local businesses have also been encouraged to participate and support this effort by:

  • Having a "Hokie Pride Casual Day" or a even a casual day where employees may wear their Hokie Maroon.
  • Displaying messages of support on roadside signs/ billboards/ marquee signs on this day… i.e. "Go Hokies"… or be creative!!! Our goal is to have every major artery of Roanoke lined with marquees in support of the Hokies. Flags and other decorations will not be discouraged.
  • Provide incentives for Hokies to visit their business (wearing their Hokie Maroon, of course) such as discount coupons, promotional pricing, etc… a restaurant featuring a "Hokie Special" qualifies.

over 100 merchants have agreed to participate, representing 99% of those asked. Are the Hokies "Hot" or what???

If you would like more information, on "Hokie Pride Day", contact Randy Woodson at (540) 342-2265 or [email protected] or Rick Harman at (540) 345-9780 or [email protected].

For more information on Hokie Pride day, see this link.

"N2" Departs, Moves On

As you may have noticed, James Arthur, known on the message board as "N2VTFTBL," has not been as active on the message board lately as he usually is. That's because the time has come for him to depart and move on to pursue other opportunities.

As you may or may not know, James and I go all the way back to 1984, when he was a freshman and I was a sophomore at Tech, and we lived in the same dorm (Newman Hall -- 1984 was the year it went coed, and James and I had the good fortune to be among the first male residents of Newman. All kidding aside, I made a ton of friends that year, most of whom I still keep in touch with today, including James).

Even before I went full-time with HC in August of 1999 and hired James to help, James was very helpful in keeping the web site going. In the old message board days, the passwords had to be handed out manually, and towards the end, when it got busy, James took care of that for me, handing out nearly 500 passwords in the weeks that he did it. It kept me from going off the deep end until I was able to go full-time with HC.

And of course, in the last year, since James joined HC full-time, his assistance has been invaluable. As you know, James is HC's "recruiting guru," and he built and maintained HC's recruiting pages into a valuable resource for all of HC's many fans and visitors.

But HC employment has not turned out to be a career path for James, who has a Marketing degree and an MBA from Tech. He told me a year ago that he would come on board and help transition from the hobby it used to be into a full-time business venture, and now that he has done that, it's time for him to move on and pursue other opportunities.

James is a rare individual who gives of himself freely and always thinks of others first, unusual traits that most of us do not have in common with him. His help was greatly appreciated, and please join me in wishing him luck with his future endeavors.

Moving forward, we don't have immediate plans on hiring a replacement for James. He will continue to visit the board in his guise as N2VTFTBL (which will one day adorn his license plates, if the state of Virginia ever goes to 8 characters on personalized plates). And flamers take note: he still has access to the message board admin functions … and the clearance to use them.

As for recruiting coverage, we're working on some very exciting recruiting update methods here at to make sure that you're able to keep up with recruiting information. The new functions should be put in place within the next month, and I promise, you'll be "wowed" at the future direction of recruiting coverage.

Meanwhile, I'll do the best I can in continuing to maintain all of the new additions to HC that James created and was responsible for. Once again, good luck James, and thanks for everything!

HC's Fall Update Schedule

In the past, I have treated as a morning newspaper, making sure that any updates were available when you logged on in the morning (for those of you who check it from work, or before you leave for work). Moving on from here, though, I'm going to be a little more versatile concerning when updates appear.

That means that you'll now see updates (and their corresponding home page links) throughout the day, as opposed to strictly late night/early morning updates.  This News and Notes update is the first example of a new mid-day update.

This strategy only makes sense, because a web site is not a newspaper, with the corresponding production and delivery schedules.

Updates that are announced on the home page will now have not only a date associated with them, but a time of posting, as well, so you can quickly take a look at the home page at any time of day and look for the latest updates. Any time a new update occurs, previous updates that are older than 24 hours will cycle down to the "Recent Updates" area of the home page, which appears below the home page poll.

As always, the best way to enter is through the home page, as opposed to coming in through the message board, Links Page, or VT Hokie News.

For those of you who do see HC as a "morning newspaper" and like to get your morning dose of Hokie news before going to work, HC will still serve that function very well. Just log on, check the home page for any updates you may have missed from the previous day, and then head to VT Hokie News for the latest articles (HokiefromWV usually updates VT Hokie News by 8 a.m., and as far as I know, has no plans to change that routine). Then, keep checking throughout the day for new updates and articles.

Any updates that are made throughout the day will be announced on the message board and the home page, as well. I have been a little lax about announcing updates on the message board in the past, but I won't be any longer. So if you hang out on the board all day, as many of you do, you'll be notified of mid-day updates there.

I also have a rough outline of the Fall schedule for updates, so here's the schedule I'll try to maintain, whenever possible:

  • Football game recaps: posted every game day, as soon as possible after the game.
  • Football game analysis: posted every Monday by the end of the day.
  • Last Week on the Board (new Voice of the Fan feature, debuts this Tuesday): every Monday by the end of the day.
  • Post of the Week (message board): every Tuesday by noon, sometimes posted on Monday.
  • Hokie Hotline Notes: every Tuesday by noon.
  • Beerman's Picks (Voice of the Fan): every Thursday by noon.
  • VT Hokie News: almost daily, usually by 8:00 a.m.
  • News and Notes, HC Columnists, Voice of the Fan: no set schedule.

One last note on updates: I am in the process of putting together a 2000 Football Season preview, which will include articles from Mark Pinkus and Jeff Holland, plus a Big East preview written by me. Hopefully, I'll get it posted by Wednesday at the latest, so look for it soon.

South End Zone Expansion Delayed Until 2002 Season

Virginia Tech's goal of getting the 11,000 seat expansion in the South end zone finished in time for the 2001 season will not be met, as detailed in an article in Monday's Roanoke Times:

Addition to Tech's Stadium Delayed - The Roanoke Times, 8/21/2000

To say that the addition is delayed is probably not entirely fair. Tech's original plan was to have the South end zone expansion done in time for the 2002 season. In pre-Internet days, when athletic administrations could keep a tight rein on information, Tech's desire to have the stadium expansion done by 2001, and the fact that they were pushing the architects and builders to attempt it, may never have seen the light of day.

But back in April, having heard from very good sources that that was exactly what Tech athletic officials wanted, broke the news. Tech later publicly admitted to The Roanoke Times and other traditional media outlets their desire to move the stadium expansion up to 2001. That's how the 2001 date became public knowledge.

Many people remained skeptical that finishing the expansion on such a tight schedule was possible (mostly due to building materials availability, in particular concrete) and months later, Tech has discovered that it's not, and has issued a public statement saying so.

So, while it is a disappointment, it is not a surprise to hear this. But hey, 2002 will be here before you know it. The only problem is, Michael Vick may not be around to see it. The 2002 season will be Vick's redshirt senior season, and although there are many different opinions and reports on how long he'll stay at Tech, one thing is a certainty: if he gets his degree before his redshirt senior season, he's gone.

Part of the Price of Success

As the Hokies headed towards their date with destiny and Florida State in last year's championship game, I remember reading a message board post by one FSU visitor who had a warning for Hokie fans: success comes with a price. Specifically, with increased coverage comes the opportunity for members of the media, who previously may have ignored your team, to suddenly start taking cheap shots and making ignorant statements about your team.

On balance, the increased coverage has been nothing but a positive for the Hokies, although I'm a bit concerned about Vick being able to get his homework done, what with all the hoopla surrounding him. Heck, I'm concerned about him being able to buy groceries in Blacksburg without being mobbed.

But I couldn't let a couple of articles that appeared on-line Monday go without comment. One is a cheap shot, and one is just downright ignorant.

First, the ignorant. In his article, You want to see a sure thing in college football? Good luck, Charlotte Observer columnist C. Jemal Horton writes:

Who'll win the Heisman Trophy? Some folks say it's clearly Michael Vick. I say it's going to be hard to win the Heisman when your team is struggling around .500.

Um, okay, C. Jemal Horton. You can eat your crow in December, when the Hokies have once again posted a record far above .500. See you then.

Or how about this nugget:

OVERRATED COACH: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech. OK, he's a pretty good coach. He built the Hokies into contenders in a decent conference. But let's see how good he is at rebuilding.

Clue for you, C. Jemal: the 1999 actually was a rebuilt team. The Hokies had pretty darn good teams in 1995 and 1996, and the 1999 team was the result of rebuilding after those players departed.

Second, the cheap shot. In an article about thuggery in college football that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, columnist Mike Bianchi wrote:

Let's not be naive. There's a reason the big three Florida programs are ranked in the top 10 again. All of them are loaded with great athletes, some of whom aren't necessarily great people. If you want to win in today's college football, you have to thug-up. You think it's just coincidence that Virginia Tech exploded onto the national scene last season after suffering 21 player arrests in 13 months?

Actually, that cheap shot is a contender in the "ignorant" category, since Mr. Bianchi conveniently forgets to include the fact that those 21 arrest occurred 3-4 years earlier, in 1995, and 1996, and involved almost no players from the 1999 team (Michael Hawkes was charged in the infamous Blacksburg Brawl of 1996, but he is the only notable 1999 player that comes quickly to mind as being arrested way back when).

The point is, there are more where that came from, and although often unfair and just plain wrong, you should get used to the little cheap shots here and there, because they're going to happen. Hey, many is the time when I fired off my mouth without really knowing what I was talking about, so what the heck. Don’t let it get to you, Hokie fans.

TV Notes, Including a GameDay Update's Football Page has been updated with some new television information. Links to the ESPN+ (ESPN GamePlan) listings, plus a comprehensive listing of TV games for all networks (as posted on the CNN/SI web site) have been incorporated into the "TV Info" links in the left-hand border of that page.

Note that although CNN/SI is listing the Boston College and Pittsburgh games as 3:30 games on CBS, the CBS site does not show that yet, so I'm not updating HC's information with those times.

Also note that the game at Central Florida has been scheduled for 6 p.m., and the Temple game time is now set for 1 p.m. (not a good harbinger for TV, in my opinion). This information comes from  The web site, not the newspaper.

Lastly, see this ESPN link for information on their college football preseason shows. The link says that ESPN GameDay, scheduled to be in Blacksburg on Sunday, will be broadcast from Lane Stadium from 7-8 p.m. on ESPN2, right before Tech's clash with Georgia Tech, also on ESPN2 and beginning at 8:00.

Right before the game? Kiss that GameDay attendance record that Hokie fans set last year goodbye!


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