Letter From the Editor: Those Surprising (?) Hokies
by Will Stewart
TSL Extra, Issue #23
Maybe it's time to stop being surprised.
That's the theme of this month's cover story, which talks about the 4-0 start that the "rebuilding" Hokies have put up, against their best non-conference opposition since their nine-year bowl run began.
Everyone is calling the start "surprising," and I'll have to admit that I underestimated the Hokies, along with everyone else. I didn't make any preseason predictions this year, but if I had, I would have picked Tech to lose at least one of their first four games, maybe two, particularly with the youth on defense this year. So lump me together with the legions who didn't think Tech could do it and go undefeated against the likes of LSU, Marshall, and Texas A&M.
They have done this before. They have exceeded our expectations, and it usually comes the year after a disappointing season. In 1993, the Hokies went bowling, just one year after a miserable 2-8-1 campaign. In 1995, they followed up a disappointing 1994 season (8-4) with a Sugar Bowl victory. In 1998, after bombing to a 7-5 record in 1997, they went 9-3 and were within a handful of plays of going undefeated.
And of course, there was the magical 1999 season, on the heels of that disappointing-in-its-own-way 1998 campaign.
So why does this year surprise us? Beats me. You would think I would have learned by now, and that's what this month's cover story, "The Future is Now," talks about.
We've also got two recruiting pieces by Chris Horne, one about wide receiver Fontel Mines, and an absolute gem about Tripp Carroll. After talking to Tripp about his commitment to Tech, Chris discovered that he could just transcribe Tripp's answers to his questions, and it creates a passionate, strongly-felt narrative in Tripp's own words that you're sure to enjoy.
Rick Abraham, who is writing for the first time for us, pens a piece about his long-delayed return to Blacksburg, and the impressions he came away with after viewing up close the behemoth that Virginia Tech football has become. You may not like everything Rick has to say, but it's a thoughtful, sincere piece of writing.
"Inside TSL" returns, and of course, we have the third installment in our "Inside the Numbers" recruiting rankings. This time, it's the 1992 recruiting class.
Thanks to each and every one of you for subscribing and enjoying the TSL Extra, and be sure to pass on the good word about the TSL Extra to friends, family, and Hokie fans. If they remain obstinate, then force it upon them by giving it to them as a gift!
Enjoy issue #23.