Hokies Enter Offseason With Little Hype, Low Expectations

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The hype around VT football was conspicuously absent this spring. Things were
slower on the TSL web site, fans weren’t talking to me about Hokie football as
much, and the general attitude among the fan base is very much wait-and-see.
When combined with a ho-hum 2006 schedule, the buzz and anticipation for next
year isn’t as strong as it has been in the past. As we head into three months of
football yawns, where the only news tends to be bad off-field news, the 2006
Hokies are still looking for an identity.

From March 1st to today, April 24th, something unusual happened: traffic on
TSL was down. Significantly down, by 26% in terms of page views. Throughout the
spring, the free Football board and the TSL Pass Subscribers-Only board were
both pretty quiet. There were times where you could almost see tumbleweeds
rolling by.

Naturally, as the site GM, this concerns me. In TSL’s past, traffic declines
year-over-year are unheard of. Sure, TSL has some formidable competition in the
Internet world, and perhaps that’s responsible for some of the drop. But it’s
also true that when it comes to hype, the 2006 Hokies don’t hold a candle to the
Marcus Vick-led 2005 Hokies, and that has contributed to the drop in traffic.

Say one thing about Marcus: whatever he did, good or bad, it created a stir.
The off-field story he represented in Spring 2005 – exiled bad boy returns and
tries to make good – is one the media love. Comeback stories make everyone
feel all warm and fuzzy. On the field, Marcus had a spark, and everyone was
hoping that lightning was going to strike twice with the second Vick brother.
There was no shortage of material when it came to Marcus Vick.

The 2005 Tech offense looked loaded, with senior running backs, a talented
receiving corps, some good offensive linemen, and a solid tight end surrounding
Vick. The defense had lost some talent but was returning All-American