Thursday Night Games- A Different Perspective for 2013

Editor's Note: Any argument/discussion worth having requires examination of both sides. Like many of you, I am aggravated there's no Thursday game in Lane, but Hokie Stone wrote a good post that maybe it's not such a bad thing. I thought that it was worth bumping to the front. --Joe

When the schedule came out yesterday I, like most Hokie fans, took note of the glaring omission of a home Thursday night game in Lane. The annual Thursday night game has become a tradition and something VT fans have helped create the standard for. Thursdays in Lane have traditionally been rocking environments and the Hokies have (until somewhat recently) done quite well on Thursday nights at home. So when this year's schedule didn't include one, I was sad/mad/confused. Then, after thinking about it a bit, I kind of shrugged my shoulders and thought that maybe this was a good thing. Am I crazy? Have I lost my O&M mind? Maybe. But hear me out on a few reasons why a break from Thursday night might be a good thing:

  1. The mystique is gone: Both for VT and Thursday night games in general. First, VT has lost its mojo on Thursday nights. Call it the curse of Matt Ryan, but ever since that awful night back in 2007, VT has not fared entirely well at home on Thurs. We lost to BC in 2007, won against MD in 2008, lost to UNC in 2009, barely won vs GT in 2010, barely won vs UNC in 2011, and lost to FSU in 2012 (although we played a lot better than expected, the result was still an L.) As for Thursday night games in general, they aren't quite as special as they once were. When VT was on the rise it was a great way to gain exposure. But now ESPN is shoving as much college football down your throat as you can handle and the over-saturation is here to stay. I envision a world soon where there are 1-2 games every weeknight, even going so far as to showcase FCS matchups, whether the games are worth watching or not will be debatable. But the point is, playing on a Thursday night just isn't that special in and of itself.
  2. Lack of Saturdays in the Burg: One of the absolute best parts about VT football is spending a weekend in Blacksburg in the late summer–early fall. When the weather cooperates, Saturdays in the Burg are special, and not just for the game. And if it's a 3:00 kickoff or later, tailgates are at their best. But lately, I feel like we've gotten screwed out of Saturdays/weekends in the Burg. Labor Day games, neutral site games, Sunday games, whatever. It just feels like we do whatever ESPN wants and that means sacrificing full weekends in Blacksburg. The further away I get from my college days, the more I appreciate those weekends. I think it always worked out great having mostly Sat games and the annual Thursday night game, but with all the manufactured neutral sites/weekday games it has just gotten to be too much. So the silver lining for me is that I get another Saturday/weekend in B'burg
  3. Crappy weather and time off work: For whatever reason, a lot of recent Thursday night games have just sucked weather wise. Mainly because they get scheduled so late in the year for whatever reason. It just takes the fun out of it. Also, for a lot of us its 1, 1.5, or 2 days off work. That's fine but when you add in the Labor Day games or other "manufactured for ESPN" games, it becomes a bit much.It all depends on the year, so this point is dependent on outside factors, but still.
  4. The fans just aren't as into it: I've been going to Thurday night games since I was an undergrad. Maybe this is just a corollary to point 1, but over the years it seems like fans have gotten less into the whole Thursday game day experience. The stadium atmosphere is usually rocking, unless the weather sucks, but it's still intense compared to most other ACC venues. However, the tailgate scene and build-up isn't as hyped as it once was. Maybe part of that is just me getting old, getting married, having kids, getting more serious about work, etc. And maybe there are others partying as hard as I used to. But I remember for Clemson 2006 there were lots that were filling up by 10 am. Now, its 3 pm and lots are half-filled as people battle their way in off I-81.
  5. Frank's game prep: Purely speculation here, but maybe Beamer didn't want a Thursday night game this year. They do require you to alter your game week plans and strategize a bit different. And the players are students too and do have other mid-week things to distract them. With a new coaching staff and Beamer's focus on the "little things that make a big difference" perhaps he wanted a high degree of regularity to the weekly game prep.

So maybe a break from Thursday night is a good thing. I will certainly miss my annual Thursday tailgate/game this year. But maybe, if everyone else misses it too, it will return in full glory on some future schedule and we'll all jump and scream so loud during Enter Sandman that we'll cause another Richter Scale event. That would certainly make the wait worth it.

Comments

Good thoughts...

I think #1 is already happening. We've been seeing games every night from Tuesday through Friday now for a few years now, at least later in the season. That is just going to continue. And besides, I think Wake is hosting Presbyterian or someone on a Thursday night this year, which is ridiculous.

As far as #2 goes, I agree on some points, but it really goes both ways. On the one hand, it kind of sucks to have to take off work. I did that the year I lived in Chicago, the Thursday was one of only two games I made it to. On the other hand, I was able to turn it into an extended weekend trip, and spent the entire weekend in Blacksburg, including all day Friday, which was nice.

And the weather, it's kind of a crapshoot. There have been a couple Thursday games with terrible weather, but there have been so many more on Saturdays. It doesn't really matter when they're played, because it's Blacksburg. The weather is likely to suck.

my own opionion

I'd rather keep the neutral site and other "made for espn" games special (less often) and have a Thursday night game every year.

RIP Stick It In

Agree with #1

There are so many games during the week that the Thursday night game is not unique. Even the NFL is on Thursdays.

In the early days of Thursday night there was only one weekday game. It was the only national game. It was big exposure. Not so much any more.

For the fans it is a mixed bag. For those traveling it is a long weekend.

We used to own Thursday nights but haven't of late. It was a nice tradition but it is not so special if you lose.

Time to write a new chapter.

well done

i agree with a lot of this.

when weaver brings it back next year or the year after, it will feel a bit more special?

Thanks. Yeah, I think it will

Thanks.

Yeah, I think it will be a bit more special after a brief hiatus. I hate admitting that though cause it seems like I am giving Weaver credit.... damn it Jim!!! You win this one ;)

No credit to Weaver, I think that our increased appreciation in the future is simply a side effect.

Great post overall, I definitely agree with a lot of it.

Maybe weaver knows its whats best for us, and made the decision despite knowing everyone will hate him for it. Maybe because he's the hero blacksburg deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

Agree with most of what you said

I love watching the Thursday night games on TV, especially since the ACC hasn't rated high enough to get many Saturday night games as of late. But they have definitely lost their luster. It used to be an amazing thing - weeknight CFB and exclusive national attention - but now it's just one of many other games during the week, possibly one of two or three football games that night.

And when you put the very best ACC games on Thursday, it's a tacit admission that we can't stack up on Saturdays. If the ACC can stop sucking, our best games should be competing for national placement Saturday night with the huge audience that comes with that timeslot. VT/FSU should be a marquee game, not a Thursday night game. VT against the ACC middle-tier, fine, but I want our biggest games on a Saturday.

And the loss of a weekend game is likely the reason I think Weaver asked for it, and why (older, big donor) alumni complained about it. As much as I love them, Thursday night games are impossible for me to attend in person with the time off needed and the vagaries of work. When you have the Thursday night game as the best home game on the schedule, and few good home games on the schedule to start, that really sucks.

I'll miss watching Enter Sandman at night this season, but it's worth rethinking how we view our Thursday night games and whether they continue to benefit the program the way they used to.

If the lost Thursday night game is replaced with a Saturday night game, then fine. But looking at this schedule, doubtful. I see a lot of nooners.

Reality has a mighty pimp hand.

this. That said, at least now I suppose I have a better chance of attending these nooners

I find it funny that we've taken to calling the noon games "nooners"... It works on more than one level.

("Nooner" is a term sometimes used for taking a break from work to have sex... So, in this instance it could be used to mean [1] we have a lot of Noon games and [2] Pardon my French, but -- could mean "we're getting fucked")

I believe in the Brew Crew.

Yup, we're getting fucked.

But not in the way that's enjoyable.

Your level-headedness and proper logic on this issue frustrates me! Just be angry and think emotionally.

#38-0

YEAH! RATIONALITY HAS NO

YEAH! RATIONALITY HAS NO PLACE IN THE REALM OF SPORTS!

I support Coach Frank Beamer.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

as much as i am for Thursday night games i guess if we werent going to have one this would be the year to take it out since our schedule is laughable other then #BeatBama

I still feel bad for the students though. Thursday Night games are more for the student IMO.

@VTimHokie85

Rebuttals

#1. So what if the mystique is gone? It is still a Thursday night game in Blacksburg in front of a loud, rocking Lane Stadium completed with fireworks, what's not to like about it? FSU last year left Blacksburg with a W and new respect for playing in front of a electrificied Lane.

#2. Saturday games are not always guaranteed to be a great match up. JMU (oops). Austin Peay (ZZZZZZZ). There were some memorable ones like destroying the Hurricanes on a rain soaked Saturday, Logan Thomas' Final Drive against Miami, and the miracle comeback against Nebraska. The spanking from Clemson was on a Saturday night (which I, unfortunately, correctly picked Clemson to win). To me, that is a very weak argument about not enough Saturdays in the Burg. Family time are always great. The schedule planners can only give Tech so many home games on Saturdays without pissing off somebody else.

#3. Nothing we as fans can do about the weather. Except to come prepared. Time off from work is up to fans.

#4. You completely lost me here. From looking on TV, it always look like fans are into it. Perhaps this is too broad of a statement. From what I've gathered, it appears more likely the students aren't into it, and maybe older Hokies' fans who are more focused on listening to the drone of Roth and his sidekick. I like the East stands the best because fans on that side are more into it than on the West stands where it appears to be more subdued.

#5. I don't buy that at all. Take a look at the schedule this year. Hosting Marshall on Saturday and then hit the road to head to Atlanta. If history holds, Beamer will spilt preparation against Marshall and Georgia Tech like they did against Duke and then Georgia Tech. If Beamer doesn't like the scheduling, he should have told Weaver so. I recall Beamer saying last year he did not want to deal with 5 days of rest after hosting Georgia Tech and Austin Peay in the same week. This Hokies' fan is not buying that at all.

I support Logan Thomas and make no apologies for it.

Amen Brother!!!!!!!!!!!

Agree with you 100%!

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

Yeah, I agree whole-heartily.

Its a good thing that we get a year away from it. If we can get to a one-Thursday nigh game a year, then we should have one at home every other year. That will reinvigorate the VT Thursday Night franchise.

And if the UNC game ends up at 9:00 on ESPN2, then we can all say it was worth it (I wouldn't dare say we play on actual ESPN on a Saturday night, the SEC seems to have wrapped that up in perpetuity.)

I would also add that since....

...i dropped my season tix 8 years ago, I've gone to probably 6 of the Thursday night games....and never paid for a ticket. It's always been a ticket people would give away because they can't take off Thursday afternoon or all day on Friday or both.

I think that's reflective of the non-student fanbase's attitude towards the games. Tix are easily accessible.

I would give up a Thursday Night game for ALL kickoffs after 3pm

Of course this cannot be guaranteed, thus, I'm not that into it. I also don't understand why we're playing GT and Miami on the road for a second season in a row. All in all, not happy with scheduling this year.

Twitter me

GT was at home last year. First overtime game in LANE.

STOP CRYING ABOUT DOWNVOTES

Kendall Fuller - future Thorpe winner

You mean BC.

I'm pretty sure it has to do with the ACC wanting to switch to a schedule where all "annual crossover" games are played at the site of the Atlantic Division team one year, and then the Coastal Division team the next. And we just happened to get shafted with some of the other changes that happened.

There will be 6 ACC games in 2013 that are at the same site as the 2012 version, and we play 3. In addition to @Miami and @BC, we get to host Duke again. Oh joy.

The 2006 Clemson game was my only trip to Lane so far. I skipped a couple classes at Liberty on Thursday night and Friday morning to make it. I had actually been to my only Thursday night game at Liberty earlier that year.

Lack of Thursday games

I think Weaver saw the declining ticket sales and alumni donations from last year and would rather believe it had to do with scheduling problems than what it really was; Angry fans tired of a coaching staff wasting talent.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

Thursday Night in The Lane

I am going to disagree with Mr. Weaver and the rest of the Hokie Nation that is all for us NOT having a Thursday night game in Blacksburg. I am actually outraged at Mr. Weaver for pulling this bs without consulting the Hokie Nation first! Some of my favorite memories have come on a Thursday night in the Burg. Even with some of the losses, sitting in the rain watching us give away a game to num 2 BC and so on... I think people have forgotten that Thursday night kickoffs in the Lane, or just night games period in the Lane are a STAPLE of what Virginia Tech Footbal is all about. Its Thursday night, it's cold outside, you can see your breathe everytime you cheer, you are drinking Wild Turkey to help keep you warm.. its pitch black outside except the bright lights of Worsham Field that you can see as you driving down 64 to exit to the stadium.... Then the first notes of Enter Sandman play and 65K+ start jumping and screaming all in unison... tension, excitment builds, anticipation grows with each jump and each blaring note of enter sandman... then the All maroon Hokies come out and the fireworks burst over the scoreboard..... HOW CAN YOU TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US MR WEAVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

Exit light, enter Weaver...

"Exit light, enter noon, maybe 12:15..."

The bleacher report had an article on why ALL college football fans will miss a Thursday night game in Blacksburg this year, and even mentioned TKP in the article:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1549190-no-thursday-night-night-home-...

See also:
http://hokiesports.com/weaver-makes-worst-call-since-wr-pass/tries-to-de...

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc