The Final Blow: Big Changes in Store for TSL
Humor, by Greg Zesinger, 6/11/03

Radford, VA - Already woozy from the possibility of a broken-up Big East, Virginia Tech fans received another glancing blow to the head when Will Stewart, general manager of popular Hokie fan site Techsideline.com (TSL) announced that he and his website would be joining the ACC, effective August 2005. Adding insult to injury, TSL will be renamed "Wahoo Central", merging with infamous University of Virginia page The Sabre.

According to Stewart, the decision to jump to the ACC was made over the past week, during a self-described "vacation" from the website. Indications are that Stewart spent much of the week with Mike Ingalls, Boardhost of The Sabre, finalizing details.

"This was strictly a business decision," said Stewart. "There are a lot of advantages to joining the ACC, and Wahoo Central will certainly be one of the strongest sites in the conference. Not to mention the fact that they will actually let me in the pressbox."

Ingalls noted the ACCís long-standing fascination with Stewartís handiwork. "The ACC has had its eye on Techsideline for quite some time," said Ingalls. "They have been very impressed by its daily website traffic over the past several years. By adding Techsideline to the ACC fold, we expect daily hits to the Sabre to double, and sales at the Sabre Shop to increase by at least 40%."

When asked to explain how the vastly pro-Virginia Tech site visitors to TSL would translate into increased market and revenue for the Sabre and the ACC, Ingalls responded "Hokies are creatures of habit. Once they get into a pattern, itís hard for them to get out of it. Take the poundings theyíve been giving to UVa in football. Itís been four years straight, and it doesnít look like the beatings are going to let up, no matter how much we cry, beg for mercy, and soil ourselves on the field. The same is true for their web-surfing habits. They visit Techsideline everyday, actually multiple times a day, especially if their league is in danger of extinction, their star QBís kid brother is announcing his school choice, or the coach or website general manager is talking with schools in the ACC about coming aboard. Sometimes theyíll sit there and click reload every 15 seconds just to see if a new post has come up. When the site switches over, we think theyíll find it hard to leave. And besides, some of them pretty much visit the Sabre everyday already. We donít expect it to happen overnight, but we have a transition plan. Actually, weíre hoping no one notices until itís too late."

The transition plan, according to Ingalls and Stewart, will work out in several phases. The initial phase will involve the gradual change of TSLís primary colors from burnt orange and Chicago maroon to the traditional colors of UVA, sissy orange and pantywaist blue. Images of Michael Vick will be replaced with Melissa Stark, and the TSL Lounge board will be renamed "The Grounds". TSL will then slowly shift from stalwart sponsors including Crutchfield, Advance Auto Parts, and Hilldrup Moving and Storage to Cavalier-appropriate businesses, such as apparel store Scramble Band Vest Surplus, favored gameday snack food I Canít Believe Itís Not Brie, and Corner Kicks, the storied downtown Charlottesville non-revenue sports bar. Finally, the name and website address will be changed over to Wahoo Central, at least until the Cleveland Indians sue for trademark infringement.

Stewart himself will play a large role in the transition. In the coming months, Stewart will be attending as many NFL training camps and preseason games as possible to make sure he has enough of the pro football experience required to be associated with the UVa program. The ACC will also provide Stewart with a crash-course in French, and teach him how to sway back and forth to public domain music. Possibly most painful of all to TSL loyalists, Stewart will no longer be posting on message boards as "Will Stewart". Rather, he will simply be known as "Hoo-tie and the Grohfish".

Due to anticipated ill will by current TSL regulars, the timeframe for TSL inclusion within the ACC fold could be moved up to 2004. Already, TSL contributors HokiefromWV and Jim Alderson, who are not being included in the move, have discussed a possible lawsuit against Stewart, the Sabre, and the ACC. Their case, according to unnamed sources, centers on the fact that Stewart may have been in secret talks with the Sabre as early as last January, when Stewart was spotted in the mall trying on khakis, ties, and backwards baseball caps.

"Itís been a long ride, and itís been fun," said Stewart. "I am going to miss covering the Hokies, but I will still be a Virginia Tech fan. Iíll still be at the games, except of course, when Iím covering Virginia games in their quest to secure fourth place in the ACC. Itís just business. Just business."

When asked to comment on the possible effects the loss of TSL to a rival conference, Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver would only respond, "The ACC is out of control!"

Indeed, Jim. Indeed.

          

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