Countdown: 10, TELL-a-thon


Coaches Stinespring and Wiles are happy there are only 10 more days until football season. [Mark Umansky]

There are only 10 more days until Hokies football. Single digits are a day away. The offseason is about to disappear. Before it does, this is the State of TKP.

The Key Play is not the same website as it was when I launched it back in March of 2010. It's grown from a one-man show to include a great team of reporters and contributors. As of a few weeks ago, The Key Play is a legitimate credentialed media entity. I would be lying if I said it wasn't an original goal of the website, but given Tech's uneasiness with "new media" way back when, at the time I never thought it would become a reality. There's more direction with what gets published. I no longer rack my brain at night for a post idea and start cranking at 2:00 AM when a moment of inspiration hits. In fact, I barely write anything in-depth anymore and articles are scheduled days in advance. I've slipped behind the curtain while a talented cast has taken center stage. Most importantly, there's a vibrant community. When TKP went online, I'd constantly check for new comments. Now it's almost impossible to keep up new threads. However, I do, because everyone's memes still make me laugh (krak_t I damn near fell out of my chair when I saw this), and the discussion is still funny and insightful.

Over the lifetime of the website only 11 people have had their account banned for not playing by the rules, that's not bad considering over 3,500 people are registered. TKP has maintained its culture and avoided the dilution that happens to a lot of large online communities. Again, you gals and guys are the ones to thank. The TKP community moderates itself very well.

According to Quantcast the website is on pace to break well over 1,000,000 pageviews in a month for the first time ever. By comparison, in August 2010 TKP served up 25,000 pageviews. The website reaches over 60,000 unique people in the US a month, that's near Lane Stadium capacity. In five years this place has going from a newborn to a teenager eating everything in the fridge.

"TELL-a-thon" is in the title, because I'm asking everyone to help us spread the word before the season. Organic growth has been a key to TKP's success. A good deal of Hokie Nation knows about the website, but many folks do not. I need your help to reach those people who don't have Twitter or Facebook, who have never seen one of French's film reviews, or who are stepping foot on campus for the first time. Would you tell a friend or friends about the website?

If you'd like to do more than word of mouth marketing, money is very useful. I have no plans to turn TKP into a subscription based website, but it does take money to keep the lights on. I've said all along any cash brought in will be re-invested into the website itself, hopefully that's evident to anyone who has previously donated or bought a shirt. It was a goal to ramp up and publish more traditionally premium content, like recruiting updates, interviews, as well as X's and O's analysis, and traditional media coverage. I think our content is second-to-none, pay or otherwise, and would like to keep improving the offering.

Thank you for reading, commenting, posting, sharing, and giving. I believe 2014 is going to be the best year of coverage yet, and 2015 will be even better. That's the goal at least.

Contact the editor about this post anytime by phone: (703) 646-1931 or mail: 3057 Nutley St Suite 633, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.


Absolute best Virginia Tech site I know of! Joe you have done a wonderful job! Keep it up

I used to only go on the message board on HokieHaven, but once I found TKP, there was no turning back. HH pales in comparison, and I thank all of you who have contributed to it's ongoing success!

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Man, I remember going on like... (no longer in service I believe) firebyranstinespring and gobblercountry back in the day, looking for ANY new news concerning Virginia Tech athletics. When I found this site, it was like Christmas everyday - I couldn't believe it.

I love TKP! I was getting tired of the other site I visited most. Not because the content was bad but because the comments were getting old. Seemed like they were getting a lot more negativity on there. This place is a breath of fresh air. The content you guys write is awesome, even though french loses me a lot in the details, but that's just me and looking at x's and o's. The community her is great as well. I always get a laugh from the comments. Once I figured out how to do the whole gif thing I started commenting more and enjoying it even more. Can't wait for the season to begin. Keep up the great work. GO HOKIES!!

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

Our little baby is all growns up!



This is a judgement free zone. Whatever you do in your personal life is all good :).

Also Swingers will always get a leg. "You've got these teeth and these claws...."

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

And to think, I put up with HD over at espn before I discovered TKP. Those were dark times indeed...
You're the greatest Joe!

Key Bucket Challenge: Tell three people about TKP and dare them to sign up for an account or Donate to TKP.

Actually this has nothing to do with a bucket at all, but that's neither here nor there.

Thanks for the site, Joe.

You read my mind. In addition to ALS Bucket Challenge, any Hokies should include both. Raise awareness for ALS and (obviously on a much lighter and less serious note) TKP for Hokie football fanatics.

Party Positive.

Just paint "THEKEYPLAY.COM" on the bucket you use and all will be well

As a relative newcomer to this site, I have been so encouraged by the content and the friendliness of all the other posters. Not every site is like this and I have been thrilled with everything. Thanks, TKP!

Just over 4 years ago, I got a message from "TheKeyPlay" through the ESPN blog accounts saying, "Hey, come check out my new blog." At the time, it was young and didn't have as much appeal for me to join in. Right around the time of TKP's 2nd birthday, I made my account and haven't looked back since. To say that I thought it would grow to where it is now back then would be a lie, but it is incredible to remember where it was and see where it is now. When Joe says that things will always get better on this site, he has understated the quality of work he does. TKP has set the bar for Hokie sites.


Err, community. But if we were in a bar, this would also be true.

Congrats to Joe and the crew for the success of TKP. Long live the best Hokie site ever!

We need to make that happen. It would be EPIC.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I am still thinking about bringing a dry erase board to discuss how Bud's defense works.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Why is this still only a thought?

Screw a dry erase board, bring a whole damn projector with pull down screen and hook it up to the laptop.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech


Drinking game: pick a position (whip, rover, mike, etc) , drink every time French says that position. It's like a very boozy bingo

RIP Stick It In

Pretty sure "line" would be the equivalent of the free space.

TKP is second to none.

I go no where else for new, notes, updates, and fun related to Virginia Tech. Here's to the continued growth of the best media outlet for Virginia Tech!

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"


Secondly, there's no doubt why this site has taken off... its the community you've allowed to grow over the last 4 years. You've cultivated the single best place to come for insightful information and discussion about VT sports, where all opinions are welcome and encouraged. You aren't banning people for simply giving a critical opinion of someone associated with VT, and there isn't a lynch mob culture allowed where any opinions differing from the norm are run off. The newest members are welcomed as family, and are treated with the same respect as some of the most established guys. And it really doesn't hurt that you put out some fantastic in-depth discussion while keeping your site free.

Yes, I will donate, and I encourage everyone else to do so as well. Having been a member at other sites, it truly is refreshing to see a place like this that is self-policed as level-headed as it is. This place could very easily devolve, but with the work Joe & Co. have put in, that just isn't going to happen.

I am awaited in Budhalla. Whitness me!

My favorite website on the internet!! I bet our IT people wonder what
this site is considering I am on it all day at work and never close it out.
Donation coming to you soon, Joe!! Many thanks to everyone for everything
you guys contribute. You guys do a helluva job! Go Hokies! :)


Thanks, Joe! I talk about TKP all the time to fellow friends, Hokies and non-Hokies alike. I hope that they have come and checked it out, and stayed, because I definitely talk about it with enthusiasm. It's one of about 5 places I stop by every day. (Multiple times throughout the day, really)

Its been said in all the comments above. I love this place! Legs for everyone! I'll be donating and getting a T-shirt once I move to Christiansburg (next month or so).

This made me laugh:

...this place has going from a newborn to a teenager eating everything in the fridge

To the TKP staff: You all do a fantastic job, the future is bright!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Before I joined TKP I was a Hokie Haven and Techsideline reader. I discovered TKP and there was no turning back. I still read Techsideline, but the quality and amount of info available to read is no comparison to TKP. Thank you, Joe and the rest of TKP staff/contributors for your hard work, dedication to Hokie Nation, and for making the offseason bearable. You guys are the bomb! Lets Go Hokies!

Oh joe the second I start getting regular paychecks I will gladly donate to this site. This site gets more of my time than any other site on the web and the analysis is incredible. You guys deserve money and have worked hard to earn it to keep this project going. Someone insert the shutup and take my money meme

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Congrats! TKPs internet domination is no more apparent then when you try to Google for a gif and realized its sourced from TKP. Love this place and you all.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Been a member of this blog for nearly two years now. You guys do an outstanding job and I am sure to mention it to all the Hokies that I know out there. Keep on keepin' on, guys!

Me walking into work this morning- lol

After reading this post at my desk- lol

Then I walked into the aisle and went oh so crazy- lol

Add a couple thrusts- lol

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I love TKP!!! You guys are doing great work!!! Donation sent.

To spread the word of TKP to everyone, we should use some pickup lines to get the conversation started. Maybe these will help:

-Did it hurt, when you fell off the shoulder's of Bucky? 'Cause, you're an Angel. READ TKP
-I really like #ALLMAROONEVERYTHING on you, but I'd like #ALLMAROONEVERYTHING more on my floor. READ TKP
-You're the cat's MEOW, don't deny my pussy touchdowns. READ TKP

"I want you to tackle me like AJ Hughes. Read TKP"

And of course, the best pickup line of all:

"Sam Rogers"

-I'd like to maintain gap fit on your inside zone. READ TKP

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

Wow - what a nice Tight End! READ TKP.

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

"YOU!.....should read TKP"

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

"I'd like to convert your TE... Read TKP"

I am awaited in Budhalla. Whitness me!

I'd like to tap you with my turkey leg. READ TKP.

Started posting my videos to this site in the threads back in 2011. Always got a good response from the fans and Joe, alike. Then, luckily, Joe and BillDozah teamed up, which consequently led to Bill and I teaming up and now August 1st is my favorite day until the season starts.

This place really is the bees that have knees.

Joe & Co. you've made this a first-class Hokie fan site that has the best posts and best fans, bar none. It's made these past two mediocre seasons less painful, and even fun at times. We also have ourselves to thank though, because no other fan bases compare to the Hokie fan base. I know I speak for others here, but not being on campus every day or back at every home game in the fall, this site is just another daily reminder as to why I love being a Hokie. Thank you TKP. Also, 10 daysssssss (insert obligatory video links below):

Party Positive.

This is me after watching the Enter Sandman video

I am awaited in Budhalla. Whitness me!

Glad you like the meme, Joe, and thank you so much for giving Hokies a place and a forum where fun like that can be had that doesn't devolve into the lowest common denominator. You've got lightning in a bottle here.

Your staff is second to none. Between the incredible analysis with great videos, the journalistic integrity, the informative recruiting news, the comic bits, and a shadowy bagman who works for fruit roll-ups and empty bourbon bottles, it's everything a football fan could want.

The turkey leg system is ingenious, and contributes greatly to the fantastic entertainment value of reading and participating in the comments.

Makes me want to donate again. (So I just did, and as I clicked confirm, realized once again I didn't put my TKP username in, so you all will just have to take my word for it.)

I just want to say that I have been coming to this site for almost 2 years now. I have been working in Russia and got very tired of espn's coverage. This site is how I keep up with all things VT. I would not be able to stay in this country without it. I want to say thank you to everyone at TKP for writing such great articles, and to everyone who comments for reminding me how great the hokie nation is. I can't do much yet to spread the word of this site here but I am working very hard to turn this city into a hokie city. Last year I converted around 10 people from fake football fans to VT fans and this year more people are interested in joining us. There is nothing greater than to get a phone call at 4am from Russian people asking me if they can come over and watch the game.

In Mother Russia, you don't find Hokies, Hokies find YOU!

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Would be cool to see a heat map of where members are, based on their Location in their profile.

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

I set up a map if people want to place a marker. Hope this is what you meant by heat map.

To place a marker hover over 'Additions' and select 'Add Marker- Simple'. From there add your name/TKP tag, city/state, hit 'ok' and your marker should appear. You can see other peoples markers by clicking on them. If you want to put your email or something to allow other Hokies in your area to contact you that's up to you.

Very cool!

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

my only hope is that you're browsing through a VPN (or Tor)... good luck over there sir -whatever you're doing must be a great experience, get home safe.

"...sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm gonna kick you repeatedly in the balls Gardoki!"

Can't thank Joe enough for making/running TKP. It definitely is the greatest VT sports site out there, and ever since I joined I check it every day. You could say it's become... an obsession



I started coming her almost 3 years ago and I was amazed by the quality of the writing and some of the best breakdown of film I have ever seen. But, I must admit the comments are some funniest I ever seen. Too many times there is a burst of laughter coming from my office. Keep it real and keep it fresh. Congrtats to everyone, columnist and commentators.

Turkey legs for all in honor of TKPs awesomeness!

#YOYOLOO (You Only YOLO Once)

FIRS…aww man, forgot to refresh…

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

LOL (just kidding)

I'd constantly check for new comments. Now it's almost impossible to keep up new threads. However, I do, because everyone's memes still make me laugh....

I did this and do it now. Joe, thanks for making work far less productive but far more fun. And nights. And weekends.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

I'm a newbie here - but TKP is quickly becoming my go to site. Insight laced with humor... what's not to love? I'm still working on my 20 turkey legs for suffrage.

I am awaited in Budhalla. Whitness me!

Don't look so scared. We don't bite. We JUMP!!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Been a lurker here for over a year. You've inspired me to finally register so I can comment and such. Love the site!


If any more lurkers are out there and are undecided about officially registering, do it! TKP is made on the community, first and foremost. The content is great but the community is incredible.

Join us...



I'll give a leg for a Toy Story reference any day

"Virginia Tech: Our trees have more school spirit than your students."

Gooble goble gooble goble...

Joe's post after the Sugar Bowl, while affirming everything my friends and I love about Hokie football, is also the one that sticks in my mind and reminds me how incredible TKP is. Thanks, Joe, and thanks to all you Hokies that have made this the best VT blog around.

That Team Made Me Proud

"Virginia Tech: Our trees have more school spirit than your students."

I can give you guys a little story about how my life was changed 180 degrees. I'll keep this short so keep reading and I'll tell you how I became a member of TKP.

I was born and raised a little west from downtown Philadelphia. I spent a lot of my time growing up at playgrounds and parks. One day I was playing basketball with my friends and having a good time until some UVa alumns got into a fight with us. My mother got upset and scared after this little incident so she said she wanted me to move to my relatives in Blacksburg.

When I got to the Roanoke airport, I called for a cab and one pulled up to the curb. The license plate said "HOKIE" and it had a turkey bird hanging from it's mirror. I thought this was an odd cab a first but decided to hop into it anyways. I told the cab driver to drive me to Blacksburg.

I got into Blacksburg after sunset (I think it was around 7 or 8) and I told the cab driver he had a smelly car. I looked around campus and I was happy I was there, to become the next member of TKP.

Rest in peace uncle Phil

This needs to break the leg record

RIP Stick It In

Leg for you

Had me laughing like

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.