Don't worry, Virginia Tech fans. The Hokies absolutely, positively will be seen on WNVC-TV-56 today. Station Manager Ken Gardner guarantees it.
That was not the case Wednesday night when fans tuned into the low-power independent station hoping to see what would be the Hokies' upset victory over Louisville.
The problem was that two of the station's three transformers connected with the transmitter in Merrifield, Va., malfunctioned earlier in the day, paralyzing the signal for 30 hours.
The "Big 56" had blown up. Something had finally quieted pledge master Mike Baker.
The phone lines heated up, Gardner said, with calls from outraged fans who didn't know about the power failure.
"I hope it never, ever happens again," Gardner said. "It was a nightmare. I've been in this business for 25 years and this was bad. I hope the Virginia Tech people aren't too upset."
The station, which broadcasts more than 100 college basketball games each winter, needed $60,000 and the help of Richard Hartle, a high-voltage expert, to restore the signal.
That means Wichita State-Southwest Missouri, Louisiana State-Vanderbilt and, yes, West Virginia-Virginia Tech will be televised as scheduled today.