August 14, 1996
Football Team Conducts Annual Media Day
The football team had their annual media day, with a record number of photographers and journalists attending (everybody loves a winner). The media day is where the team picture and individual pictures are taken, and the team generally gets to hang out and provide sound bites for the journalists in attendance. It's the players' last day of relaxation, because practice starts tomorrow.
The Scoop on the New Uniforms
It has been common knowledge for months now that Nike and Starter were battling for the rights to make the Hokies' uniforms this year, which is a sure sign that you've hit the big time. Those two will stick their name and logo on anything that's going to be on TV. The winner is....(envelope please)....Starter!
In the past, Starter has placed their logo on the sleeve of the jersey, but this year, the Hokie jerseys will feature the Starter logo on the chest, just below the collar. The "Star-S" logo is still the same size, about two inches square. So when the TV cameras home in on Druck calling the signals, you'll see the Starter logo prominently featured.
Actually, my preference was for Nike. I've grown to like the swoosh-stripe featured on other teams' shoulders. Although Starter has cornered the market on cool jackets (I've got one), I still consider them to be an upstart in the athletic apparel field. Nike, on the other hand, is well-established big time. Oh, well, whatever. At least we've left Russell, or whoever used to make our uniforms, in the past.
The uniforms weren't talked about explicitly on the news report, so the details are sketchy, but I was able to pick up some other details. The team wore their maroon jerseys, and I can tell you that this year's dark jerseys no longer have those obnoxious orange numbers on the shoulders. Unfortunately, they're still there, though: they've just migrated down to the sleeves, and now they're outlined in white. Me, I'm waiting for the team to cart out black jerseys some time (but only for a night game. Those things would be hell during the day).
Defending the Crown
How you interpret the comments of the players is up to you, but I'll go on record as saying that there's a fine line between confidence and over-confidence. Druck talked about going undefeated, saying that anything less than 12-0 would be a disappointment. For his part, Waverly Jackson said something like, "The Big East crown is ours. The other teams are going to have to take it from us." Strong words from a guy who only started about two games last year, but since he won the Iron Man competition, I'll cut him some slack.
Cornell Brown, despite his well-chronicled dislike of the media, actually spoke to them, grinning that perpetual grin of his. Cornell's comments were a little more down to earth. He spoke like an "old Hokie," talking about how the projected third-place finish for Tech in the Big East is just another indicator of the lack of respect the Hokies get. "That's nothing new," Cornell said. "We'll just have to go out and earn it (respect) again." I hope Cornell hangs in there, because this year could get tough for him, since he'll probably be double- and triple-teamed most of the time. The Tech coaching staff has been talking about ways to free him up from that, by moving him around and maybe even playing him a little at linebacker.
Parker Probably Won't Be There When the Opening Whistle Blows
As you may have heard, Marcus Parker was suspended indefinitely from the team, due to pleading "no contest" on a shoplifting charge back in July. Marcus went to court and entered the plea July 25th, but did not notify the coaching staff of the event. After all the off-season trouble, the coaches had apparently said that the next player to get in trouble was going to get the hammer dropped on him, so Marcus was terrified of what would happen to him if he told the coaches about the incident. The coaches found out when a Roanoke Times reporter unearthed the fact and called them up to ask what Parker's punishment was going to be. Go to my Links page and go to The Roanoke Times to get the full story.