ESPN: The Hokies Should Always Host a Thursday Night Football Game


Oct 23, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies tight end Bucky Hodges (7) carries the american flag on to the field before the game at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

When Jim Weaver made a request to ESPN that the Hokies would not host a Thursday Night game in 2015, ESPN obliged and did exactly that. Hokie Nation was outraged about not hosting a Thursday Night game, and one of the first things Whit Babcock did was make the request to ESPN that the Hokies host a Thursday Night football game every year.

Yesterday, a report from Mike Barber of the Richmond Times surfaced with some news that hopefully is not true.

There is nothing in college football like 66,000 fans packing Lane Stadium on a Thursday Night. There is nothing like seeing those 66,000 fans lose their minds when Enter Sandman starts playing and the whole stadium starts jumping. There is no entrance like that in college football, and it is always at a whole new level when the Hokies are playing under the lights at Lane Stadium, especially on a Thursday Night.

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Some will say that this might be due to the Hokies being blown out by Miami at home this past season, but that would be a wrong excuse. Every team in the nation has a bad home game, and that happened to be just a really bad game for the Hokies. That would be an absolutely terrible and wrong reason for the Hokies to not get a Thursday Night football game.

The Hokies have hosted more Thursday Night football games than anyone else, and that might be their reason for this. However, that reason is invalid not only because it has become a Virginia Tech tradition, but also on a national level with this comment from NBC Sports’ Zach Barnett being right on the money.

"Lane Stadium and Thursday Night Football are as American as the extra large Happy Meal."

I think that comment is all you need to know, but there is no doubt that Thursday Night College Football on ESPN would not be as big if it wasn’t for Hokie Nation and Lane Stadium over the past two decades. Virginia Tech was critical in building Thursday Night College Football into a big night for college football.

You also can’t argue that the Hokies do not have a good game to put on a Thursday Night. Duke at Virginia Tech will be a big game in the ACC Coastal next season and would be the perfect game to put on Thursday Night. Last season, Clemson-Wake Forest was a Thursday Night game for ESPN so the lack of a quality ACC home game can’t be used as a reason because one is there.

I’m not sure why ESPN would not want to have a Virginia Tech home game on Thursday Night. Lane Stadium is one of the toughest environments in college football with what is the best entrance in the country, and is magnified even more on Thursday nights.

Virginia Tech also has a great game for a Thursday Night against Duke in what would be a very intriguing matchup. Lane Stadium and Thursday Night football have become a tradition not only for Hokie Nation, but also for the nation as a whole. ESPN even put David Pollack and Jesse Palmer on the field for “Enter Sandman”.

John Skipper and ESPN, I don’t know if the report is true about Virginia Tech not hosting a Thursday Night game, but there is no reason why Virginia Tech shouldn’t be hosting a Thursday Night game. ESPN, make Virginia Tech a constant for Thursday Night College Football.

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