Let's Go Mountaineers!!!!
If you didn't know, we are big Mountaineer fans in this family. WVU is where I met hubs almost 25 years ago, when we were both students there. You may also know that our daughter Mykal is currently a student and proud Mountaineer, as well; and last night during the game, my son Con sent me a text that he has made his decision to become a Mountaineer after he graduates next year.
We have quite a few Mountaineer alums in the family, besides hubs. My sister, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law all graduated from there. My brother-in-law, John, works for the University. He does most of their sports writing. He is responsible for much coordination of West Virginia University's official athletic web site , in addition to Mountaineer Athletic Club.com, WVU Game.com, WVU Varsity Club.com and Shop WVU.com for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.You can't make your way around the West Virginia Mountaineers Sports Web site without seeing his name on a variety of articles. He takes care of much of their social media and you can find him @johnantonik on twitter. He has written a couple of books that have done very well as well. He wrote the West Virginia University Football Vault: The History of West Virginia Football, and Roll Out the Carpet: 1o1 Seasons of West Virginia University Basketball. (Yes, I am proud!!)
So last night was our biggest rivalry game of the year. WVU vs Pitt. This game is officially called the backyard brawl because a mere 70 miles separate the schools. It is also the 14th oldest rivalry in the country. I can tell you that Mountaineer fans count the season a success if they win this game, even if they lose all others. I only just learned that the first game was played back in 1895, and since 1962 the games have alternated between schools. What made this even more thrilling to attend was the fact that due to Pitts move to the ACC and WVU's move to the Big 12, this may be the last Backyard Brawl ever.
This was also Nick and Ethan's first college football game, and I was so hoping they would have a good time. I was not disappointed. From the moment we arrived at the stadium I could tell they were excited. Mykal had a student ticket and was going to sit with her friends. She asked Con if he wanted to sit with them to get a feel for being a student there. So off they went to the other side of the stadium. The rest of us went to our seats and waited.
The WVU Marching Band, in my opinion is one of the best in the world. There is a reason they are called the pride of West Virginia. The boys loved the pre game show that they played before the start of the game. Hubs and I took turns explaining to them the traditions of forming the flying WV and forming the state. We told them that the unofficial school song was Country Roads and sure enough they played it. While the band was playing, there was a camera woman shooting the crowd for the Jumbo Tron. I was thrilled to see Nick and Ethan on the screen, they were off the chain excited. (I wish I could have gotten a picture!!)
Soon the teams came out for warm ups. Of course when Pitt came out, there were boos and chants of Eat Sh*T Pitt!! which I discouraged them from joining in on. Then introductions of Seniors, for Senior night. Finally, the Mountaineer shot his musket and led the team to the field.
I will refrain from giving you a blow-by-blow of the game, instead I will try to sum up. The first half was bad, and we were afraid that the outcome might not be in WVU's favor. By halftime, Pitt was leading 17 - 7. As bad as it looked, Mountaineer fans never gave up. We watched as WVU came back to make it 14 - 17, and then watched as they took the lead to make it 21 - 20. Our defense won that game for us. As it looked like Pitt might have a chance to go down and kick a field goal to win the game, our defense came up big with some major sacks. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, we were all jumping up and down cheering at our victory. No one left the stands as Pitt walked off the field. The players, and band were on the field, and all the fans were in the stands as they played, once again, Country Roads. The stadium was filled with the sounds of everyone singing as they threw their arms around the shoulders of their seat mates. It was absolutely awesome.
We were able to meet up with Myke and Con outside our section. They were so excited. Mykal had taken Con to the student section to sit with her friends. He had a blast. He couldn't stop talking about the traditions that went on there. He told me that he had made up his mind, if WVU accepted him that was where he was going. Mykal cracked me up when she said to him "Hey if WVU took me, then you are a shoe in" As we walked back to the car, people were chanting "Let's Go Mountaineers" It was definitely a great day to be a WVU fan, a Pitt fan not so much.
I have included some pictures from the night, I hope that you enjoy them.