Should Virginia Tech’s Thursday Night Tradition Continue?

by JustinC on February 26, 2013 · 11 comments

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Yesterday, the Hokies released their 2013 football schedule and honestly, it was a little underwhelming. That said, most Tech fans were enraged at the fact that the Hokies do not play a Thursday night game at home this season. The Hokies will play on Thursday night down at Georgia Tech but the Hokies decided not to schedule a Thursday night game the following week.

So, I approach the HokieNation today and simply ask should Virginia Tech’s Thursday night tradition continue? Feel free to leave a response in the comments below.

My thoughts on the subject are mixed. On one hand, Thursday night games are a staple of this program. There a fun game to attend that normally tests my ability to withstand freezing temperatures. On the other hand, the NFL has taken over Thursday nights now and the audience isn’t as large as it once was.

In the past, the Hokies were normally one of the only sporting events on with a national viewing audience. That helped lead to the growth of our program, especially since Tech was extremely successful on this night from the mid-90’s to the mid-2000’s. Some of Virginia Tech’s best games came on Thursday night.

However, this is 2013 and times are changing. Great teams don’t play on Thursday nights anymore. The NFL now has a primetime game that limits TV audiences not to mention that technology has caught up to the times giving fans more options. Plus, with the ESPN TV package, the Hokies have more opportunities to play on Saturday nights if they play well. Time slots for television coverage are largely determined by matchup strength and the quality of the ACC team. A better team equals later afternoon or primetime kickoffs.

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The general consensus I’ve come to personally is that I would like to see the Thursday night tradition continue as long as the Hokies can find a way to secure a top 25 opponent to play against. This season, Tech’s best home option was UNC the week after our game against Georgia Tech. It’s unclear if the Hokies tried to schedule the Tar Heels and perhaps a deal couldn’t be reached within the ACC.

Weaver has admitted that he asked the ACC to not schedule Virginia Tech for a home Thursday night game this season. The fanbase can certainly take that a few different ways.

My guess is the extra Saturday home game will give the Hokies an extra chance to host recruits (that was a major problem last year) plus it will ease travel on alumni. To me, this was a move echoed by complaints from those who donate to the program. The casual fan wants as many night games as possible where as the older alumni seem to want more Saturday afternoon games. Not having a Thursday night game this season seems to ease the travel on that part of the fanbase since many Tech fans will also travel to Atlanta in August. Like most 30-54 year olds, you only get so much time off work.

That said, let me know your thoughts on the subject below.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

69HOKIE February 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I like the Thursday night game. They are magical. And it’s great exposure, even with the competition from the NFL.

But as usual Weaver makes the decision ALL BY HIMSELF. NO INPUT. Sound familiar??

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JustinC February 27, 2013 at 9:54 am

I can tell you for a fact that’s not true. There are no decisions in our Athletic Department that are made by just one person. As a guy who works in education (although not “higher eduction”) I can tell you that for a fact. I think this was a mutual agreement between several different parties.

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Chris February 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

I can tell you for a fact that it IS true. The Roanoke Times printed the article that said that Weaver didn’t solicit input from the athletic department or survey fans to come to this decision. read it if you dont believe me: http://blogs.roanoke.com/andybittervirginiatechfootball/2013/02/26/weaver-requests-no-thursday-night-game-in-13-to-thank-fans-twitter-reaction-largely-negative/

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JustinC February 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Actually you’re right. I apologize for that. That is really peculiar.

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Chachi February 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

“NO INPUT” ?? No way Weaver did not consult with the King of Blacksburg (HCFB) before making the decision. I’m no insider, but I gotta believe the 2 of them discuss the business side of VTFB pretty frequently. Outside of the VT athletic department, I doubt anyone was consulted though. That said, I want Weaver to make decisions, assess their impact, learn from the mistakes, and keep the train rolling. Indecision is a killer, and crappy leaders are like many of our current crop of politicians, always reading the polls and trying to change themselves to suit public opinion. I respect a leader who makes a decision and goes with it based on studied analysis of the changing environment of their industry. Thursday night games simply are not what they used to be.

If Weaver and Beamer believe that playing 2 Thursday night games every year is not in the best interest for VTFB, I am willing to see if they are right. That said, I have loved all of the Thursday night games at VT over the years, even though I cannot attend them, and hope we find a way to get some more night games on the schedule in the years to come. It is great exposure, and being a small town school that has frankly (pun intended) overachieved since the early 90′s, VTFB can use all of the good publicity it can get. Like pulling in the top recruit in the country this year, and moving to the SEC when the ACC implodes. (It’s coming, you can smell the blood in the water)

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LJ February 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm

First of all Weaver is clueless. Don’t get me started…He is one of the worse BCS conference AD’s in the nation without doubt. I do agree that FB was and is aware of Weavers discussions with the ACC and the non-conference AD’s during scheduling negotiations. But let’s be honest, besides the Alabama game no one outside Hokie Nation is currently interested in this program. We have dropped off of the National radar. And..Thursday nights do bring out the ESPN “A” team, the game is preceded by a short 5–10 minute segment with Lou Holtz and Mark May and what they say about us matters to the non-hokie fan tuning in and Lou & Mark also appear on the halftime report and usually have something “good to say” about VT. The current commentators are Rece Davis on play-by-play, Jesse Palmer as analyst, David Pollack as analyst and Samantha Steele as field reporter. Palmer & Pollack have their own College football show on the “U”. The NFL game is on the NFL network and has a limited viewership around the country. All in all it will be missed next year but Weaver is dragging down VT athletics in a number of ways and this is just another example of his incompetence.

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VTnyc February 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thursday night games are awesome for the student fan base. I loved the atmosphere when I was in school but now as an alumni they are not my favorite. Hangovers on Friday mornings are a bitch.

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VThokie18 February 27, 2013 at 9:13 am

I love the Thursday night atmosphere. That being said the only reason the program should consistantly schedule a Thursday night game would be for the fan base and that is only if as Justin said they could get a potential top 25 opponent in that spot each year. As he said NFL is taking over Thursday nights they have ALOT more money to throw around than Blacksburg does and TV networks will throw more money and airtime toward them in return. We need as many Saturday home games as possible to get recruits on campus to let them get a feel for the gametime atmosphere. I don’t like but about an hour from Blacksburg so there is no problem for me to get off of work and then make it there in plenty of time for a Thursday night kickoff, however there are alot of fans that travel from alot further away that I do that have to stay in hotels and miss work on Fridays to squeeze in that Thursday night game.

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Don McDavid February 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I like the Thursday night games at home because that gives the whole nation a chance to see
the hokie nation fans at their best and the best chance to win the game.

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GBD February 28, 2013 at 1:56 am

I agree with LJ about Weaver, the guy is old and has bad health the board of directors need to find a way to push him out. He’s a great AD when it comes to facilities but when it comes to hiring coaches especially Basketball “WATCH OUT” he has no clue!!!

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Vhokie February 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

There is nothing better than being at work on a Thursday and knowing you have a Hokies game on ESPN that night. It makes the work day bearable…

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