Virginia Tech wants to say "thank you" to all its die-hard fans. Fan appreciation day is set for August 9 at 11:30 a.m. at Lane Stadium.
Many fans say they have felt under appreciated for a long time, except for maybe one kid.
WDBJ7's Orlando Salinas met Joshua Shrader inside Campus Emporium on North Main in Blacksburg. The seven-year-old was eyeing all kinds of Hokie clothing and gear inside the store. When asked about his young devotion to the team, Shrader said ''I love [Virginia Tech] as much as I love everything."
After two seasons of football that weren't as successful as fans are used to, Virginia Tech said it needs to say ''thank you'' to those die-hard Hokies.
"Well I would like [Virginia Tech] to say 'thank you for supporting us,' fans you know."
Many businesses in the New River Valley ride that financial roller coaster with Virginia Tech's sports teams.
A first-ever fan appreciation day may be just what business needs. Ken Phillips works at Campus Emporium. Phillips said when the Hokies are having successful seasons, that success translates into bigger sales. A fan appreciation day, where the Hokie team is accessible, is a great start.
"The players, the coaches, the administration even giving back to the fans that support the team all these years," Phillips said. "You can get up close and personal and find out what's really going on with hokie football."
Fan appreciation day is slated to be one big pigskin party. Desiree Reed-Francois with Virginia Tech's Athletic Department said thanking fans is a no brainer.
"We'll also have the Hokie village coming," said Reed-Francois. "What we're going to do is create a fan zone for each home football game that starts three hours before each home game."
That would be another first for the Hokie nation.
And what does Joshua think about a break-even season?
"Wel,l I would love to win half the games and I would be OK with the losing half the games.'' After a little prodding, Joshua admitted, ''I would be a little down for the half they lose."
Fan appreciation day barely beats out one other thing on Joshua's list: his favorite food.
''Oh, oh that would be corn dogs [at Lane Stadium]. I love it.''