An Impromptu Trip to Blacksburg

I finished watching College Football Live at 9:58 this morning. Afterwards it became evident that I needed more of a football fix than listening to the ESPN talking heads. Solution, the Hokies' first public scrimmage was this afternoon at 4:45. I was in the car at noon, arrived in the 'Burg at 4:15 and was in Lane Stadium with 15 minutes to spare.

Fast forward to 8:00 pm. Sitting to the left of my laptop on this wobbly hotel desk are 3 notebook pages full of shorthand. It looks like English encrypted by an Enigma Machine. It's inexperience at its finest. I'll take better notes the next time, but for now here's my best decryption.

Paint the Capital Maroon

For those of you upset about this logo being a little too blue...

Don't worry because the Hokie Bird stopped on by this morning to help us liven things up a bit...

All the credit goes to magduffs. Please thank her appropriately.

There's only 24 more days until Virginia Tech football.

Quick Notes on Commit James Farrow

Farrow played cornerback, wide receiver and served as his team's kick and punt returner last season as a junior. On special teams, he averaged 46 yards per kick return and returned three kicks for scores. He averaged 15 yards per punt return as well.

Prior to Thursday's visit, Farrow told that Virginia Tech was indeed pursuing him as a cornerback. Tech now has two 2011 commitments at the position, with Farrow joining H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) standout Adeboye Aromire.

"I'm almost positive they want me as a corner," the Minnesota prep star said. "They really like my frame for the position."

Lane Stadium 1965

I'm sure at one time or another on an autumn Saturday in the shadows of Lane Stadium you've shot the shit with an old-time Hokie. If not, you have no excuse not to. Old people are full of knowledge, real genuine back in the day football knowledge, and they like to share booze. Interact with them. Ahem, anyways, the phrase, "it's not like it used to be here", or something similar gets tossed around a bunch by those in Blacksburg old enough to remember the US getting involved in Vietnam. Up until now I didn't have the faintest idea of what that meant.


Play the man, not the ball.



  1. Name the Hokie pictured above. (I have no idea who it is so be prepared to prove your case.)
  2. On what day did the Hokies play their first first Big East conference game?
  3. He won 26 games as a starting quarterback for the Hokies, the most under Coach Beamer.

Oh, and say it with me now, "Bonus Video!"

Jake Goins Picks the Hokies

Offensive tackle Jake Goins from Manchester High School (Midlothian, Virginia) committed to Virginia Tech today. He selected the Hokies over Clemson, Maryland and UVa. Goins perfectly fits the mold of a Curt Newsome offensive lineman recruit. He's 6'5" around 280 lbs. The big man can move his feet and will be effective in Newsome's zone blocking schemes. He'll need some polish before seeing any significant playing time, but can turnout to be a great pickup.

The 20 Years of Memories: Part 1

This idea just sort of hit me last night as I was deciding what to write about. What are my best memories over the years I have been going to Hokie games. I narrowed it down even more, picking one memory per year for each of the last 20 years. I was onto something and coincidentally it’s a nice round number, so, let's go...

A little background information before I begin. I went to my first Hokie football game as a skinny, goofy 17 year old high school senior. This was before the bowl streak, back when 6-5 was the norm for a season. I was there for the 1992 season when Tech finished 2-8-1 and many wanted Beamer fired (oops!) Hell, back then you couldn't find a hot Virginia Tech Starter jacket or hat in the stores and Nike didn't even make Hokie apparel. VT clothing for the most part was butt ugly. Anyway, the best experiences involving VT football and basketball my freshman and sophomore years usually came from camping outside of Cassell Coliseum for a few nights with friends to get student tickets to the big games. Looking back, I made some great memories. They were good times.

For most years, there is one dominant memory stuck in my head. It made picking pretty easy, but obviously a lot of notable moments were left out. Some memories will be a single play, or an entire game, while others will be an entire day, and unfortunately some will be memories I wish to forget. Just remember, this is my list and what I chose were not always the best moment for the team that year. I decided to break this column into two parts, so here is 1990-1999, I hope you enjoy and please share some of your own. With a nod to Seinfeld, each of the twenty gets it's own title.

The Easy Choice - November 24, 1990 (Live)

VT 38
UVA 13

My first true Virginia Tech experience, came when I was a high school senior. I had been to Blacksburg a couple times growing up, since I have family from the area (story for another time), but not as a prospective student. At the time I had applications (later acceptances) at Virginia Tech, William & Mary and UVA. A family friend took his son, his best friend and myself to the game. I was genuinely excited and thought I was ready. Holy crap, I was not. Blacksburg was in pandemonium. This was the big time. The entire campus wanted nothing more than to make UVA more miserable after the #1 Hoos were upset by GT at the beginning of the month. This was big time football in a small town that wasn't on the national football radar yet. It was a life changing day, that I will never forget. I had found home.




  1. Name the Hokie pictured above.
  2. This Hokie is nicknamed after a delicious Mexican entrée and started 27 games.
  3. This Hokie holds NCAA record for most consecutive games scoring a touchdown.

*The first person to leave a comment with the correct answer(s) gets a point. Each correct answer is worth a point. At the end of the season the most points wins a free tee from GameDay Passion.

Memorabilia Contest Voting: Most Commemorative

First off I'd like to say thank you to everyone who posted pictures of their memorabilia. This crazy idea for a contest would have fallen on its face if it wasn't for y'all, so kudos. Every piece submitted was marvelous and it shows just how much we treasure not only Hokie football, but Virginia Tech.

Originally I said I'd break up the submissions into the following categories: oldest, rarest, funniest, maroon-est, and most obnoxious (those making fun of UVa or other rivals). Well I'm throwing those out the window. Based on the entries received I've made the new categories: most commemorative, most unique and flashiest gear. I'm also doing away with best in show voiting. Instead, the top two vote getters in the most commemorative and unique categories will each win a shirt. I'll quickly summarize the effects of the changes. Before we had 4 category winners plus a best in show for five total winners. Now we have 3 categories and five total winners. See, not much has changed.

Today I'll open up the polls for most commemorative. You'll have a week to vote. The voting for most unique and flashiest gear will follow over the next two-three weeks leading up to kickoff.

Media Day Roundup and Opinions

Since I'm not a member of the "media" I wasn't in Blacksburg for the Hokies' 2010 Media Day, but thanks to the magic of the Interwebs and excellent coverage from talented writers and reporters I felt like I was. As always, I do have opinions...

Bless me, Hokie Bird

The calendar tells me New Year's Day is in January, and the top of the schedule reads September. But for we the college football-crazed, the real beginning of the year comes in August, when official practices start, tickets arrive and a randomly cool Sunday morning fills the air with the scent of FOOTBALL.

And as most major world religions would tell you, when making a new beginning, it's important to own up to your failings. Hokie fandom is no different. So, meet The Key Play's contributors as we offer our confessions and humbly request the Hokie Bird's forgiveness, then share your own in the comments. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, you know.

32... The 1932 Hokies.


Under first year head coach, and former VT fullback H.B. "Puss" Redd, the 1932 Hokies went 8-1. May I ask at what point in history fantastic nicknames like Puss finally ceased to exist? Their lone loss came at Alabama (angry fist shake) 6-9, the two teams first meeting ever.

A Hokie State of Mind

So sometimes when I have writers block I like to drink a couple of beers and see where it takes me. What happened next tonight is I arrived at the metaphorical red light. Well that never happens to Hank Moody. So I ran it. I drank a couple more beers, mixed in some bourbon, some conversation with Mrs. TKP, good tunes and a little chit chat with y'all on the Twitter. Now normally by that time I'm speeding. I'm able to find a voice, some perspective or an interesting point of view. Tonight I've got nothing interesting to say. Only this, I want Hokie football now.




  1. Name the Hokie pictured above.

If anyone has pictures of general Hokie awesomeness that they'd like featured on the countdown email them to me (thekeyplay [at] gmail [dot] com). I'd appreciate it.

*The first person to leave a comment with the correct answer(s) gets a point. Each correct answer is worth a point. At the end of the season the most points wins a free tee from GameDay Passion.

34... Ryan Williams.

Oh look, Ryan Williams just dragged another corpse into the end zone.

  1. In ____ Don Strock threw 53 passes completing 34 of them against _________.
  2. Who did the Hokies beat 34-6 to win their 100th game in Lane Stadium?

*The first person to leave a comment with the correct answer(s) gets a point. Each correct answer is worth a point. At the end of the season the most points wins a free tee from GameDay Passion.

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Hello, I'm Eric (@BeerControl) and as Joe noted in a previous post, I'm the newest writer for the TKP. This is my 4th try to write this post. I've had more stops and starts than UVa football has had intentions to become relevant. Anyways, how best to introduce me to you... Oh I know, a question and answer session with myself.

Michael Cole is a Hokie

Michael Cole the soon to be senior at Cave Spring High in Roanoke committed to Virginia Tech this evening. Coles stock shot up after impressive performances at camps and he ultimately selected VT over Penn State. He's 6'3" tall and weighs 198 pounds. Depending on how he matures he'll most likely play whip, backer or rover. Like most of the 2010 commitments he's an under the radar kid with high potential.