Happy Birthday, Thekeyplay.com!

Four years ago today, the website went live online. What began as a humble hobby has grown into a small business, but more importantly a thriving online community.

I've said it a billion times before, but you, the readers and posters, are second to none. Word of mouth, especially on social media, was crucial for our growth. Over the last four years you denizens of our virtual space have cultivated a special place for intelligent discussion of football and all things Virginia Tech, while understanding the former is not that serious a topic of discussion. That is a rare occurrence for a sports website. So thank you!

I'm very fortunate to have had some many people contribute to the website in one way or another over its lifespan. Eric (BeerControl) and Ryan (furrer4heisman) supported the venture from day one. HokiESQ has been a great sounding board, and provided legal advice (but always with a disclaimer). Magdalyn (magduffs) spent countless hours helping me hash out our original design. Mike (mstrawthr) went through countless revisions to create the key logo anchored to the top left of the site today. Early on, Kevin Burke (kburkeVT), Joe (HokieJoe3), and Adam (06Hokie) all decided this was a good enough platform to share their voice. Thanks to Andy Bitter for hanging out here, sharing his work, and answering any questions. And I still don't know where VTBox comes up with the inspiration and time for all of his creative GIFs.

I can't even begin to tell you how much work our current team put in last season. joelestra crunched many of his advanced statistical previews late at night while cramped in a plane seat. Whether Tech won or lost, BilldozerVT would wake up early the next morning, re-watch the game, and spend his day chopping up the video so French and Mason would have the film to analyze. French and Mason's articles would hit my inbox at times during the night when no person should be awake, because like everyone else who makes this place possible, they have some combination of full time job, family, or school to prioritize. I'd be remiss if I didn't note French has been writing here more than anyone else but me. And my role is more of editor than writer now. His film reviews have become go-to reading for HokieNation. Brian Marcolini has taught me a thing or two about self-deprecating humor. It's been fun to watch his writing evolve these last two years. TheFifthFuller gave us a dose of humor each week that would ease the pain of any debacle on the field.

At this point, I bet this reads like a going away letter, but it's not. We're going to keep doing what we do, and we're going to try to get better each day. The newest members of the team, Pierson and Mark Trible, are all already crushing it with their columns and recruiting coverage, respectively.

Finally, thank you to my wife and new son for being overly generous and letting me spend time with you all, instead of them.

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

Comments

I can't even begin to tell you how much work our current team put in last season

And I can't even begin to tell you how much work I alone have not done thanks to this site. Thanks for making each day at work better.

Isn't that the damn truth! I'm so glad TKP was born. Happy Birthday!!

@AMB4VT

Cheers to the greatest Hokie site on the internet! And a huge thank you to Joe, the leader of us all!

And it's a Friday no less. Time to party, TKP style!

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Happy Birthday TKP! It's a shame a website can't party hard.

Additionally, I would like to point out that TKP went live on Pi Day.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

The core TKP Team and its growing set of journalists have all done a fine job for us in the Hokie Nation to maintain our sanity in the world. Happy Birthday and Thank You.

And on Pi Day! Wow! how did that happen?!

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

No, thank You. It's great to be a part of a community of like-minded (and smart) people.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT THIS SITE WAS BORN ON PI DAY.

In all seriousness, even though everyone appreciates the time Joe puts into this, just his job editing my work (which is VERY stream of consciousness writing) would be enough to put most people in a psych ward. I thank him for his single-handed effort to promote quality content both on the site and more importantly in the comment area and message board.

Choosing to participate here was a product of serendipity (I forgot my password for another site) and ideology. 1) As much as it pains us, football (and other sports) are not the end of the world. At most, they are an opportunity for each of us to lose ourselves in the pageantry of the moment. This site gives us an opportunity to decompress from the trial of a bad outcome, and revel in the glory of triumph. 2) Joe gave me the forum to decompress the way I do it best, by sharing my observations on the nuance of the game. Much like Will McAvoy's "mission to civilize," my goal has been to help everyone understand the game better (selfishly because it makes my game day experience much more pleasant.) Each of you, with your thoughtful questions, feedback, and evidence/experience driven insight, makes me better as a writer.

Thanks!
French

Viva El Guapo

I believe that it is also zero coincidence that the b-day falls practically on St. Patty's Day, so...DRINK UP AND THROWBACK!

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Joe, you are the Frank Beamer of the online Hokie community. Many, many thanks to you and your staff.

Doesn't matter how, just Stick It In.

Does that make French our Bud Foster?

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

Hear hear! As such, I hereby move that French should include the phrase "that kid played his nuts off right there" when highlighting any excellent play in a film review. Is there a second?

2nd

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

THREE POINT ONE FOUR ONE FIVE NINE and so on

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Thank you for all you do and Happy Birthday. I am relatively new to the site; but I wish I had found it earlier. Great way to keep up with Tech Sports from Pennsylvania.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Hershey, PA here!

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

Beaver, PA (note: not Beaver Falls, the hometown of Joe Namath)

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

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

Happy Birthday to all and to all a good night! Now I lay me down to sleep...

You do know you don't have to lay down to sleep, right?

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Well you know what they say: you can lead a horse to hay, but you can't make him lay.

You cannot get off that Treadmill. Sorry...

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

Thanks for all the hard work, guys. A couple years ago, I would occasionally drop by, maybe once a week. The content is so great these days that I find myself checking in multiple times a day, even now during the offseason. After games, forget it. I'm refreshing 15 times a day waiting for film review. Keep it up! We appreciate it!

Thank you for everything! No day is complete without checking TKP at least once a day.

Love this site!! I was so glad i stumbled upon it 2 years ago. The Hokie fans here are amazing!
Happy Dance

That gif is hilarious. Having fun on TKP!!

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

THIS.SITE.IS.AWESOME.

Thanks to everyone on staff!

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Time for some B-Day Pie. EVERYBODY GET DRUNK...YES!

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

TGIF!! With some March Madness thrown in to boot.

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

I'm glad that 4 years ago, no one would deny your pussy touchdown's, Joe.

It's a celebration! While my productivity at work would strongly disagree, this place is the tits!

“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

Simply speaking, this is a great site and my one stop shop for hokie info. Great job Joe and the columnists!

its come such a long way. i feel like an old timer and i've only been around for two years. we had the mascot mock, hokie tracks columns, one pic to sum up a game, and jmichons and in enemy territory sat at the top of the big board. now the community is so big I can hardly keep up with all the discussions. the serious and not so serious coverage are both top notch, not just among vt, or even acc blogs, but nationally.

i love this place. i'm serious, i'm not on facebook or twitter. i still do all my real life socializing through actual human contact, so you guys are my only online friends. here's to many more years! tkp and loluva forever!

"I'm just rocking the Fuller"-Kendall Fuller
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Wrong thread.

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

Thanks for all of your hardworkd guys!

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

I think its pretty cool I can say I helped kburkeVT figure out he wanted to write for TKP. It feels like it was just yesterday...

Carry Me Back

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

Happy birthday TKP! Now go put some candles in a pie, pour some high-quality bourbon, and celebrate! This is definitely my favorite site in the entire Internet, and I spend (probably) too much time here, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

As evidenced by your >12k legs! Some serious time, fellow Hokie!

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

Happy Birthday, TKP...and thanks to all of you for making this my must-see site several times per day!

Happy Birthday TKP! Thanks for all the excellent articles from the staff!

Happy birthday, TKP! Thanks to Joe, French, and the rest of the crew for the great site!

Live for 32. Ut Prosim. Let's Go, Hokies.

....and the website wanted to bake you a pie but it can't... its a website...one of the finest on the internet but it still doesn't have any hands so buy your own pie

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Happy birthday guys! Over the last few years this has become the only place I go to read about VT sports. I will be traveling tonight so somebody celebrate pi day and eat pie for me!

Bud Foster is my hero!

What do we look for when we come to TKP?

How do we feel when we leave?

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

Thanks to everyone for all the support over the years! The countless hours are always worth it thanks to the strong reception from the community.

I am always drunk when I make my videos.

TKP has set the standard for what a sports blog site should be. It's a place to come for insight and education. It is also a place for establishing realistic expectations based on thoughtful analysis. Best of all, it is a community of welcoming and respectful friends. We can disagree, but never with bitter personal slings being bandied about. I am grateful to Joe for keeping us in line and for all the excellent contributors. I can't add to the technical breakdowns, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating those of you who do.

Congratulations TKP! Long may you tote the Lunch Pail of fan blog sites!

Exactly! I can't wait for the film breakdowns.
Factual analysis by people that what the hell they are talking about, I know because my son plays for VT.

French, Joe & all the other guys breakdown of film always mirrors what the coaches are telling the players.
No bias at all, if a player plays like crap they detail it in the film breakdown & explain what should have done.
I can tell you for a fact that a lot of the players are starting to check this site for comments about their performance knowing that it will be constructive critique, not random bashing as with most other sites.
These guys really like that, they want to be better. I always recommend the Keyplay to every parent & player I talk to.

Great JOB guys!!

I can tell you for a fact that a lot of the players are starting to check this site for comments about their performance knowing that it will be constructive critique, not random bashing as with most other sites.

And, probably more importantly, to get an update on the CAKE vs. pie debate.

“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

My life before TKP:
I'm Bored

My life after TKP:
Screw homework

Seriously, thank you guys for making this site the most awesome place on the interwebs!

Just another gut-wrenching, can't breathe, I lost my voice, not now, did that just happen, just gimme this one, Virginia Tech Saturday

My life was pretty sad before I found TKP. I used to rely on Heather D. for my Hokie news. The big story was always about how tall Logan was. Wonder what she will think of Hodges?

Bucky Hodges is open

Thank god we dont have to go to dinich anymore. Ive been able to completely detox myself of anything she writes thanks to this site. TKP is pretty much my facebook at this point

Carry Me Back

I'm very grateful to have found TKP a couple years ago I absolutely love this place and before I discovered our community I would get all my info from the ESPN webpage and their sports "writers" it makes me cringe thinking about it now. I usually check TKP within the hour after I wake up everyday and the one of the last things I check before going to bed. Happy Birthday TKP! And a big thanks to Joe, Billdozer, French, and the rest of TKP staff for all the time you put in to make this the best place on the internet!

H_O_K_I_E_S-HOKIES!

Proud Member Of The Key Play Community Since January 2012.

Happy belated birthday thekeyplay!!!!!!!!! This place is so awesome and is second to none on football info and hokiesports/Virginia tech news in general thank you all so much for everything you do and contribute!!!!

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

Cheers and happy b-day TKP. Great job over the years and getting better everyday!!:)

Best college sports community. Bar none.

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

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

THIS!!!^^^^

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

I have been pretty piss poor with GIF creation as of late. Thanks for all you guys do!

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

Happy Belated TKP. Seriously this site is the cats ass, all that and a bag of chips, etc etc. It's my one stop shop for Hokie everything. I don't live in VA anymore, or even regionally where I could catch some snippet of news. So, before this beautiful bitch came along I was going to 4 or 5 different online newspaper sites, and subscribed to Beamerball (Not anymore, although I do miss the videos). So thank you for this guys, all of you.

"Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism." Kenny Powers

uh, cat's ass?

I'm not sure about that one.

I will say that TKP is the tits though.

Congrats Joe. And thanks to all for making this a fun place to have real talk about our favorite hobby.

Row Z forever.
@AdamAbramson

I just have to say, that reading a lot of posts on a "Happy Birthday" blog that aren't just filled with "This website is the best" but having legitimate reasons WHY it's the best, how it's affected lives of Hokie fans, and just seeing constructive comments in just about every response to posts is what amazes me about this place most of all.

I'm almost a decade removed from my tenure at VT, and this place reminds me of why I love it so much. It's like a home for Hokies.

/sappiness off

something different

I first discovered this site on November 21, 2010 with an amazing article entitled "These Are My Favorite Hokies". I soon discovered an internet site stocked with great VT centric articles. It's been an amazing ride since then with many more years to go. Go Hokies!

Go Hokies!

In fact, where's that gif of CFB dancing overtop the VT wahoo field???

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

The one of CFB on the Lane Stadium-North Field slays me....I love it!

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

You have no idea how long I had to run before Beams got that little two step right.

So many takes...

I go away for two weeks to a different office where I can't goof off on the internet as much, and you go and have a birthday on me. I'll be back at my home base on Monday though, and it's only 5 months til football season!

Here's to the next 4(0) years!

beer

twitter.com/weavez22