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   Welcome to TSLMail #170 - Friday, April 8, 2005    
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   Featured Items!

Featured Item from
Bryan Randall Limited Edition
Signed Print, $59.99

Designed for, featuring the photography of Ivan Morozov, this 14x20 print is suitable for framing and comes with a certificate of authenticity. EACH of the 250 prints are signed by Bryan Randall and numbered. The certificate includes a photo of BR signing a print and has a matching number.

This is a exclusive. When the 250 signed numbered prints are gone...they are gone for good.

These prints make great gifts for the Hokie fans in your life!

Click here to order

Get your Bryan Randall print framed at TSL sponsor Original Frameworks in the Gables Shopping Center in Blacksburg. Prices for framing this print start at $49. Call 1-800-654-1861 or visit their web site at for more details.


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   Tech Sports News

Play Kroger's Two-Minute Drill Football Game on TSL!

You've seen people talking about how many points they've scored in the "Kroger football game," and you've wondered, "What the heck are they talking about?"

They're talking about Kroger's "two-minute drill" football game. Just look for it skyscraper ads (the tall, skinny ads) throughout the site. If you don't see it, click Refresh until it appears, and then have at it. Choose from a variety of passing plays and hit your man downfield for the score.

TSL is proud to have Kroger® as a sponsor. Kroger® has been sponsoring Hokie athletics for years and has become a permanent fixture in VT athletics (whenever someone says, "You know what Coach Beamer says" on the message boards, someone else ALWAYS responds with, "Get your tailgate supplies at Kroger!")

Kroger®'s latest TSL ads, the ones that start out with the notation "Local Specials" are very cool -- when you click them, it takes you to a store locator, and once you locate a Kroger® store from the list, it loads your latest weekly specials. You can browse them all, sort them by category, etc.

Very cool -- click below to give it a test run.

Kroger Store Locator

A Look Back at One Guy's Idea of Stadium Expansion
by Will Stewart,

Yesterday, I got a kick out of rereading an old article I wrote back in July of 1998 called Stadium Expansion: Hot Ticket for the New Millennium (7/27/98), in which I discussed possible future expansion plans for VT's Lane Stadium.

At that point in time, no one was talking about expanding Lane Stadium, though perhaps VT Athletic Director Jim Weaver, 10 months into his tenure at Tech, was thinking about the topic. There certainly wasn't a need for it. The 1997 football media guide listed Lane's capacity at 50,000, and the 1997 season saw just two capacity crowds, against Syracuse (50,137) and Miami (53,177 -- temporary bleachers were probably added for that game, though web searches didn't turn up definitive information on that).

Tech's other four home games were below capacity, ranging from a crowd of 42,178 against Arkansas State to 47,681 against Boston College. So from a seating standpoint, there was no reason at that time (Michael Vick was still in high school) to expand Lane Stadium.

But some time in 1997, the University of Virginia had announced plans for a $50 million renovation of Scott Stadium (which later grew to $86 million) that included bowling in one of their end zones and adding luxury boxes and a video scoreboard. So while VT didn't need the seats, there was a growing opinion that the Hokies had to do something to keep up with UVa, or if nothing else, VT might lose the all-important recruiting battle.

At the time, there was a decided inferiority complex in place in many Hokies' minds with regards to Virginia. After the 1997 season, the Cavaliers had beaten the Hokies 7 out of the last 11 times, and for most of that 11 years, Virginia had been the preeminent program in the state. The Hokies had rebounded nicely in the early/mid 1990's, beating Virginia in 1990, 1993, 1995, and 1996, and the mid/late 90's saw a George Welsh Virginia program at its peak dueling it out in a fierce war with a rising Frank Beamer VT program.

The Hokies had closed the gap and arguably pulled ahead of Virginia, but UVa's aggressive stadium expansion plans put a scare into many Hokie fans (including this one). I still remember when message board poster khhokie placed a post at the top of the message board some time in 1997 or 1998 that said simply, "Fear This" and had a link to an artist's rendering of the new Scott Stadium (see right -- click for a larger version). Scott's expansion wouldn't even begin construction till 1998 and wouldn't be completed until 2000, but khhokie's post led to a firestorm of responses from message board posters, mostly born out of fear and envy. khhokie certainly lit up the board that day.

In this environment, I took a stab at forecasting how Lane Stadium expansion was going to go, once it started happening, and now that it's nearly done, it's humorous to look back at what I thought it was going to be like. I correctly called for visitors' locker rooms and media rooms in the South end zone, a video scoreboard system (Jumbotron), luxury boxes, and additional seats. I didn't call for stadium club seats, and as a matter of fact, didn't even know what they were.

None of that is rocket science, but not foreseeing a need for more seats, I called for things in an unusual order. Here's a table showing what I suggested for expansion, and what eventually happened.

Lane Stadium Expansion Dreams and Reality
(in chronological order from top to bottom)
Will Stewart's Plan from 1998 Article
(click here for article)
What Eventually Happened
(click here for expansion info)
South end zone facility with visitors' locker rooms and media rooms (no seats) North end zone bleachers (5,500 seats) with video scoreboard closed circuit replay system
Video scoreboard closed circuit replay system (Jumbotron) South end zone expansion with more seats (11,000 seats), luxury boxes, stadium clubs, visitors' locker rooms, and media rooms
Luxury boxes Expanded press box (West side) with luxury boxes and stadium clubs
South end zone seating expansion (12,000-15,000 new seats)  
Time Frame: 2008-2013 Time Frame: 2005

I was pretty naive back when I wrote my article in 1998. The biggest thing I failed to realize is that if you're going to expand, the items that you add will have to generate revenue. Both of my first two items (South end zone facility -- no new seats -- and a video scoreboard) added cost, but no revenue. VT, of course, started out with 5,500 revenue-generating seats in the North end zone, a collection of metal bleachers that was quickly planned and carried out when the Michael Vick-led undefeated season of 1999 happened.

Ah, Michael Vick. He's something I didn't anticipate and never could have seen coming in the summer of 1998, when I wrote my article. I didn't think VT would need additional seating until some time between 2008-2013, but Vick changed all that, moving the "new seats" timeframe from 10-15 years in the future to right this minute

I was also ignorant of how things could be funded. I predicted full stadium expansion would cost $37-$71 million, depending upon how it was done, and I thought that it would need to be funded mostly through donations. Hence, the long time frame, which was driven not just by seating projections but by funding concerns. (Back then, the Hokie Club had raised just $6.4 million in their previous fiscal year, versus the $18 million they raised last year and the $22 million they're projected to raise this year.)

I wasn't aware that the stadium club concept existed, and I didn't know that stadium club seating when combined with luxury box revenue could total millions of dollars a year, helping pay off debt accumulated from construction. Whereas I thought contributions would have to fund expansion, it turns out that a combination of contributions plus debt (serviced by luxury box, stadium seat, and ticket income) could be used to fund construction.

I remember the late 1990's as a time of uncertainty and concern on the issue of stadium expansion. There was fear that other schools were pulling ahead, and that Virginia Tech, with its smaller fan base and low athletic fund contribution levels, was going to fall behind.

Two people changed that. Michael Vick supercharged the scene, vaulting Hokie football a decade into the future with just two magical seasons, and Jim Weaver arrived to envision stadium expansion, plan it, and carry it out.

Credit also has to be given to Hokie fans, of course, who have reached deeper into their pockets than anyone thought was possible just seven years ago, to make things happen quickly. Enjoy the beautifully expanded Lane Stadium this fall, because there was a time when I wasn't sure it could be done.

Click Here for TSL's Lane Stadium Expansion Page

The 2005 (Fourth Annual) Spring Game Tailgate Party
Sponsored by, Original Frameworks and Chick-fil-A of Christiansburg.

TSL is once again pleased to be putting on our spring game tailgate party, which last year drew approximately 200 attendees. Your hosts this year will be message board posters F4EHokie, CFA Hokie, knucklejunction, hokiebred, Techstudent, and ACCFootballChamps2004.

Date: Saturday, April 16th
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Here's what will be provided:

  • BBQ Pork…yes another pig pickin'!
  • Chick-fil-A platters
  • Plates, napkins, cups, and utensils
  • Buns and condiments
  • Ice
  • Grills

Here's what you need to bring:

  • Your favorite beverage, adult or otherwise
  • Hamburger, sausages, hot dogs, or anything else you want to grill
  • Chips, salsa, veggie trays, chicken, side dishes, etc., basically
  • Whatever else you want to eat (But plan on sharing!)
  • Anything else you think fellow Hokies might enjoy.

We have ordered a 125# pig and it will be first come, first served.

Tailgating begins at 10:00 AM. Look for an orange and maroon Hokie tent in the east end of lot 2, behind the South end zone. (Approximately the same place as last year).

New This Year! A Raffle

The sponsors are partially underwriting the cost of the tailgate party, so we will be raffling off several items to raise the additional funds needed to cover the cost of the tailgate. Raffle prizes are:

Raffle tickets will be $2 each or three for $5. The drawing will be at 1:30 PM, and you do not have to be present to win.

Any money raised over and above our costs will be donated to the VTCC’s Memorial Scholarship Funds for U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jeffrey Kaylor, of Clifton, Va., and Army 1st Lt. Timothy Price, of Midlothian, Va., both of whom were killed in action in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

We're looking forward to it, and hope you are as well!

Questions? Email F4EHokie at [email protected]. (No, he's not a relative of Frank Beamer's.)

Win an Actual VT Game Football, Signed by the Coaches and Players!

Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc. in Northern Virginia are offering Hokie fans a chance to win a truly unique prize: a "game-winning" football signed by the Virginia Tech football coaching staff and players.

The football up for grabs is the football being carried by Cedric Humes in the picture above, during Cedric's game-clinching 37-yard TD run against Virginia this past season. The ball was taken from the field -- "It still has dirt on it," yours truly was recently told -- and later signed by Virginia Tech coaches and players.

The ball is now being raffled off. Only 600 raffle tickets are being sold, and each ticket costs $100. To make things even better, the cost of your raffle ticket is tax-deductible as a charitable donation to Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc.

These two organizations are the only two case management programs serving kids with brain injuries in the state of Virginia. The services needed by brain injury survivors are scarce, and these two programs make a difference in people's lives. Proceeds from the raffle will be used to fund desperately-needed case managers at these two organizations.

Interested? Here are the details:

  • Prize: One Signed Game-Winning Virginia Tech football from the 2004 Virginia Tech/UVa football game.

  • Raffle Ticket Cost: $100

  • Drawing Date: April 16th 2005 (you do not need to be present to win)

  • Tax-Deductible Amount of Raffle Ticket Purchase: $100 (unless you win, of course!)

  • How to Purchase: Call or email Brain Injury Services Inc. of Northern Virginia (703-451-8881, email [email protected]) or The Jason Foundation in Radford, Virginia (540-633-2225, email [email protected]) for details on how to purchase a ticket. When you purchase a ticket, you'll receive a ticket stub and a receipt for tax purposes.

The Virginia Tech football program and head coach Frank Beamer (click the link to see a letter written by Beamer) are behind this effort to raise much-needed funds. Buy your ticket and get your chance at winning the football pictured above! Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

TechSideline Pass - Only $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year!

  • Feature Articles
  • Interviews with recruits
  • Editorials
  • Flash recruiting updates from Chris Horne, our in-house specialist
  • Recruiting prospect and class evaluations
  • A subscribers-only Recruiting message board (only accessible to subscribers)
  • A subscribers-only message board for general discussion

As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at, 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,

For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here.

-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Depth Chart Takes Shape
by Stefan Adams,, 4/8/05, 11:45 am
As the spring football practice schedule progresses closer towards the annual spring game on April 16, the depth chart is taking shape and coaches are beginning to determine who will get the most reps and see the field most during the spring game. The latest release of the depth chart, from Wednesday, shows how many positions are starting to take shape.
in News and Notes

The Tech Effect
by Jim Alderson, 4/7/05, 10:50 pm
This marks the third straight year that the conference to which Virginia Tech belongs has won the basketball national championship. Tech’s last two years in the Big East saw titles won by Syracuse and Connecticut. Tech moves to the ACC and look what happens. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
in TSL Pass

Spring Football: Wednesday Scrimmage Notes
by Will Stewart,, 4/7/05, 11:30 am
The Hokies held another scrimmage in Lane Stadium Wednesday, and our insiders returned the news on which players looked the best, highlighting some of the plays that were made by names you would expect, and names you wouldn't expect. Here's the lowdown on a scrimmage that we were told was a good one, in which the guys "really got after it."
in TSL Pass

Lane Stadium Expansion Construction Photos
by, 4/6/05, 11:40 am
These pictures, taken April 5th, show the continuing progress of the West Side structure. The size of the expansion is starting to manifest itself, and even as steel is still being added at the top level, finishing work (Hokie stone) is being done at the bottom levels. Photo credits: Don Vaughn
in Lane Stadium Expansion

Spring Notes: Vick on Track
by Will Stewart,, 4/5/05, 1:05 pm
In December of 2003, in an article titled "The State of the Program: The Offense," I made the recommendation that Marcus Vick be installed as the starter at quarterback for VT, over rising senior Bryan Randall. Events transpired that showed that to be the wrong recommendation at the time. Vick missed the 2004 season, and Randall developed into a complete leader, both on the field and off. Sixteen months later after writing that article, we've come full circle, and Marcus Vick appears to be on the fast track to the starting QB job in the fall of 2005.
in TSL Pass

2005 Commonwealth Classic Report
by Chris Horne, 4/4/05, 10:53 pm
The 2005 Commonwealth Classic all-star basketball game was played this past Friday night, and it featured many ACC recruits, including Virginia Tech's Terrance Vinson. We have a report on the game, followed by an interview with Terrance, who answers questions about what his strengths are as a player, how he's going to fit into the team, and what he thought about VT's basketball success this past season.
in Basketball Recruiting

Spring Football Report
by, 4/3/05, 12:45 am
The Hokies held a scrimmage Saturday in Lane Stadium, and as detailed in a report, Cory Holt provided the only score of the scrimmage when he bolted 70 yards for a touchdown. We canvassed our insiders and practice observers and once again received mostly positive reports of the goings-on at VT spring football practice. Check out their thoughts on how Xavier Adibi looks, who lined up at fullback, which defensive back played well (it's a surprise), and how the center spot is shaping up.
in TSL Pass

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