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|Welcome to TSLMail #105 - Friday, November 14, 2003||
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|Tech Sports News|
What Was the First Virginia Tech Football Game Televised on ESPN?
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
Think you know the answer to that one? Check out the choices:
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Each week in TSLMail, we'll ask a question geared to improving TechSideline.com, and this week's question is an unusual one:
What would you suggest to improve TSL's layout? Are there sections of the site you have trouble getting to or finding?
Send your answers with the subject "Suggestion Box" to [email protected].
Thanks, and we look forward to your suggestions!
There was a time when TechSideline.com covered Tech basketball closely, particularly men's basketball. From the fall of 1996 until the last couple of years, we provided game recaps (sometimes in amazing detail), columns, and commentary.
The thing you have to remember is that when the site started in March of 1996, the Hokies had just lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual champion Kentucky. The Hokies were coming off of two seasons in which they had won a total of 48 games, an NIT championship (1995), and an NCAA Tournament first round game (over Wisconsin-Green Bay, 61-48, in 1996).
Interest in men's basketball was still at a high level. Bill Foster, architect of the Hokies' resurrection from its early-90's doldrums, was still coaching the team (he would retire after the 1996-97 season), and fan favorite Ace Custis, whose jersey would be retired after the 1996-97 season, was still roaming the Cassell.
The Hokies were coming off a three-year stretch in which they had gone 66-26.
Perhaps the launch of TechSideline.com, called Hokie Central at the time, was responsible for the demise of Tech basketball, because the Hokies, since TSL was launched on March 12, 1996, have gone 84-117 in seven seasons. In that time, VT has won just 10 games twice (1997-98 and 2001-02) and a mere eight games once (2000-01). The Hokies even flirted with 20 losses, losing 19 games in 2000-2001.
In 1995-96, the program averaged 8,357 fans, but even then, Tech coach Bill Foster wasn't satisfied. The Hokies were ranked as high as #8 in the nation that season, and after a weeknight game with a mild crowd of about 8,000 fans, Foster told reporters, "I'm still waiting to see Cassell Coliseum full." Then he looked straight into the TV camera and said, "I mean, really full."
Oh, what the Hokies wouldn't give for that kind of attendance these days. Attendance has slowly dropped over the years, bottoming out at 3,500 in 2001-02, and rising back up slightly to 4,211 last season.
This season is a different animal. Big East membership never gave VT the hoped-for attendance boost, but it appears that ACC membership will. In anticipation of VT's entry into the ACC in 2004-05, season ticket sales rose from about 2,200 to about 5,000 this season. An October 15, 2003 press release detailed the sales increase and said that about 1,800 tickets remain.
Whether or not that many people show up to see the games this year remains to be seen. If new coach Seth Greenberg, who has been a hit on the banquet circuit and recruiting trail, can coach a lick, attendance should go up. The fans will show up to see the team play hard and play well, whether they win or lose.
But I digress. With the renewed interest in VT men's hoops, what are TSL's plans for covering it this year? In recent years, as the popularity of VT football exploded and that of men's basketball waned, it made sense not to dedicate much energy to covering hoops. By last season, TSL was merely posting box scores and linking to hokiesports.com for game stories.
This season, we plan on posting box scores, but we'll also write up most games (in one fashion or another), and we'll devote more column space to commentary on the team and on covering basketball recruiting.
Those of you who follow the program on the TSL's basketball message board are familiar with the "Rev. Zeke Vodka," an insider to the VT basketball program. Zeke has agreed to provide weekly recruiting updates and other commentary for TSL readers. His recruiting material will appear on the TSL Pass side of the web site, and his other commentary and updates will be split between the TSL Pass side and the free side. Welcome aboard, Zeke! Hokie basketball fans will think they've died and gone to heaven (I know I feel that way).
To accommodate Zeke, we are getting ready to launch a new basketball recruiting database. The Hokies just ended the Fall signing period with two new signees, Marquie Cooke and Justin Holt, both four-star recruits that have launched the Hokies' 2004 recruiting class into the top 40 of many basketball recruiting listings.
Tech can add up to one more player in this class, and that could happen as soon as, say, today, or as late as the Spring signing period. Whatever the case, from this point on, as soon as we get the database launched, you'll be able to follow Hokie hoops recruiting with TSL and Rev. Zeke.
The Hokie men open play on Saturday, November 22nd, at 8 pm against New Hampshire in Cassell Coliseum. For the complete schedule, see our Men's Hoops Page, or access it directly by clicking this 2003-2004 Men's Hoops Schedule link.
Here are updates in recruiting from the last week. To access these links, and for updates and information on all these players and more, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.
Visits Set for D'Imperio
Adams Back in Play?
Considering Four Schools
Comments on Visit
Sets First Official?
Leads Ely Into Playoffs
Mayo Sets Final Visit
to Narrow List Soon
As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at Techlocker.com, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website, TechSideline.com.
|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
VT Recruiting War Room #6: Defense
Game Preview: #12 Virginia Tech at Temple
Wide Right: Topics
Hokie Hotline Notes for November 10, 2003
2003 Pittsburgh Game Analysis
Wide Right: Scribbles
Small Pleasures: Pittsburgh
Jones' 241 Yards Not Enough: Pitt 31, VT 28
Will's Going to Camp ... The Story
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