Tuesday Thoughts: Put on Your Boogie Shoes

Mansoor Delane and Virginia Tech had plenty to celebrate during the Military Bowl. (Ivan Morozov)

Just three short months ago, this program looked dead in the water, but as the calendar flips from 2023 to 2024, Hokie fans settle in for an optimistic offseason. It’s been a long time coming.

I’ll get the disclaimer out of the way early: I know that you can’t say for years that bowl games are meaningless, as I (and Chris Coleman) have done, and then celebrate this win as if it’s some transformational moment in Brent Pry’s program.

But you can argue that it’s a transformational moment in how the fans feel about the program. There’s merit in that. Fan enthusiasm for a program has always been important, and in the age of NIL, how fans feel and how they support that aspect of the program can have a profound impact. What the players and coaches do on and off the field, and how the fans support all of that, can be a powerful hand-in-glove experience when everything’s going in the same direction. It currently is.

Three months ago, it was not. The Military Bowl was played on December 27, but exactly three months prior, the week following the Marshall loss, things were grim. I don’t use the term “grim” lightly. Sure, it’s just football, not life or death, but for those of us on the front lines, who live it all day long, day after day, it was a bad week.