Wednesday, July 30th, 1997

Yes, Virginia Tech, There is a Radio Station in Northern Virginia

A hot topic on the message board lately has been the lack of radio coverage in Northern Virginia for Virginia Tech football and basketball. Many NOVA Hokies use this lack of coverage as the impetus to cry for ISP's head on a plate.

ISP stands for "International Sports Properties," and they are Virginia Tech's sports broadcast marketing arm. Among other things, ISP Sports is responsible for selling Tech radio and TV broadcasting packages (and by TV, I mean the weekly "Virginia Tech Sports Today" coaches' show, not game broadcasts). So when you hear Tech broadcasts on a new radio station, or you see the TV show on television, it's because ISP sold the package to that radio or TV station. Some of ISP's other duties include stadium signage and event sponsorship at Virginia Tech.

I emailed a Tech official and asked him about the ISP/NOVA situation, because I'm pretty ignorant of the goings-on, and I wanted to get the scoop and relay it to the faithful. Naturally, that "Tech official" was Bill Roth, the most accessible man in Virginia Tech sports, who may be getting a little tired of me using him as the Hokie equivalent of the Shell Answer Man (you young Hokies won't get that last line).

Anyway, Bill is always a good sport when it comes to clearing up cloudy issues concerning Tech sports, and his reply is good news for NOVA Hokies:

"For the first time ever, Virginia Tech has an FM station which will carry Virginia Tech football and basketball games, as well as the Hokie Hotline shows, in the Metro DC area. This station, WMJS 92.7 FM out of Prince Frederick, MD, was acquired thanks to the efforts of Dave Martin, our network's director of affiliate recruitment. Dave made monthly visits to the DC area, meeting with the Hokie Club Presidents, the Hokie Reps, and the alumni association people to quiz them about various stations and various signals. Dave contacted about 40 stations in the market, from the weakest to the strongest, and found various interest in the Hokies. He did a great job in canvassing the market and found WMJS-FM.

The university, the athletic department, and ISP have all worked to get this station on the air this season. I know its signal is solid. It reaches all the way past Ft. A.P. Hill, which is in Bowling Green, VA, because I listened to it last week on my return from sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Northern Virginia alumni Association, the Hokie Club, and ISP have worked hand-in-hand to get this radio station, along with the University. While WMJS may have some holes in certain areas of Fairfax County, everyone I have talked with up there can get this station without any problem. It received the ringing endorsement of the NOVA Hokie Club and Alumni Assn. I am really happy that we found this station and I know we can keep them in the future. Please inform your readers of our new Metro-DC radio affiliate."

Will here again - I hope this news brings the sounds of "Touchdown, Tech!" to the ears of every Hokie sports fan in Northern Virginia this Fall. Bill's detailing of Dave Martin's efforts demonstrate that, contrary to the fears of some Hokies, ISP is indeed doing everything they can to bring Tech to the airwaves throughout the state of Virginia. Last year they bagged an FM station in Richmond, and this year, they've nailed down an FM station in the alumni-rich area of Northern Virginia/DC. The situation for Tech is still far from perfect - many games get pre-empted for Podunk High Skeet-Shooting broadcasts and the like, but things are getting better, folks.

I'm interested in hearing what NOVA Hokies have to say about WMJS, specifically whether they will provide sufficient coverage and solve at least most of our radio problems. So trek on over to the message board and tell me what you think.

But be sure to also tell WMJS what you think! I encourage NOVA Hokies who are glad to hear this news to tell the people at WMJS. Give them a call or drop them a line. I looked them up on the Web, and they are listed as an easy-listening/oldies station, 92.7 FM on the dial out of Prince Frederick, MD. Their phone number is (301)-373-3410. Use it to welcome them to the Hokie broadcasting family!

Shoddy Money Management by the Niners is Closing Druck Out of Training Camp

The San Francisco 49ers are not impressing any Hokies with their ability to maneuver under the NFL's salary cap - mainly because they can't.

The Niners appear to have mortgaged their financial future in the past few seasons, and the payments are, unfortunately for Jim Druckenmiller, coming due this year. Druck, the Niners' top draft pick and the first quarterback taken in the 1997 NFL draft, still hasn't come to terms with San Francisco, and the fault appears to be San Fran's, not Druck's or his agent's.

Consider that the Niners only had 3 draft picks, and consider that after signing the first two, they are a mere $107,000 below the $41.5 million salary cap limit. To draft just three guys, and to be faced with signing your top draft pick with only $107,000 of room under the cap, is just flat pathetic money management. I'll bet some of Druck's money is still lining the pockets of that idiot Deion Sanders from the deal he struck with San Francisco a few years back. I don't have to tell you how steamed that makes me. Bonus question: between Sanders and Druck, who would you rather have receiving paychecks from the 49ers?

So Druck and his agent are stuck twiddling their thumbs while the Niners go hunting for money. Meanwhile, training camp meanders on day by day, and due to a lack of snaps, Druck is still clueless about how to operate the Niners offense and is now solidly entrenched as the #3 QB behind Steve Young and Jeff Brohm out of ... Louisville. Grrrrrr.....!

San Fran is trying to come up with the bucks by restructuring Steve Young's contract. They are reportedly close to a deal with Young (it may be announced today), and that will supposedly free up $1 million in additional funds for Druck. The caveat is that the Niners are probably giving away even more money to Steve Young in the coming years, so this scenario of not being able to sign their draft picks could repeat itself for San Francisco next year, as well.

It appears that Druck is about to sign with a team that will turn right around next year and dump a bunch of high-priced free agents. Look for the quality of player that SF is able to put on the field to decline soon, as old rich guys are replaced with young guys who can't play nearly as well. It's a good thing that Druck is so huge that he doesn't really need an offensive line, because who knows what's going to be around him in the coming years?


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