Maybe WVU football fans don't want to read this, but they should:
It's time to let (P)it(t) go.
It's one thing to be heartbroken after a tough loss to an archrival that scuttled your national championship dreams—even for a couple of days.
But it's another thing altogether to post threatening messages on WVU kicker Pat McAfee's Facebook page, and vandalize his car, and stand outside his home chanting slurs.
Folks, as bad as you feel, I guarantee you McAfee feels worse.
Don't project your own incipient feelings of failure in your life on a guy who's trying as hard as he can, has been outstanding at his task, and is by all accounts a fun-loving, decent young man.
Do you think this sort of behavior encourages recruits to come to West Virginia?
Yes, I would've loved to have seen WVU go to the big game. But I've adopted an attitude toward my beloved Mountaineers that I recommend for everyone else:
I don't feel equal parts happy or sad depending on how the Mountaineers fare.
That is to say, if WVU wins, the feeling lasts for days or even longer—I still enjoy thinking about the 2006 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, and watching the abbreviated version on my iPod.
If the Mountaineers lose, on the other hand, I only let it bother me for a few hours or days—at the most.
It's destructive to let the bitterness linger longer than that. Just as the good vibes after a win can bleed over into the rest of your life, the bile after a loss can poison everything it touches.
So stop it.
And think of it this way:
If the WVU football program is to the point where a berth in a BCS bowl against a top-quality opponent is a consolation prize, I'll take it.
Try to remember why you like Mountaineer football in the first place: It's fun to watch these guys play.
Sure, they may lose to Oklahoma—but they may win. And forget about the apocalyptic sports analysts who talk about WVU "needing" the Fiesta Bowl win to regain momentum after the "crushing" defeat at the hands of the Panthers.
Dude: It's a game. The media loves to sound the alarm. I should know—I'm in the biz.
But life is long.
And here's some more to chew on: Pat White is coming back next year. Steve Slaton may well come back too.
Maybe Slaton's lost a step, or whatever. Maybe he drops 15 pounds in the offseason, or whatever.
But you want him back more than you want him gone.
Noel Devine is coming back too. Heck, aside from maybe Darius Reynaud, the entire offense is coming back.
Sure, the offensive line got manhandled by Pitt—but it was still the statistical equal of last year's group. And the big fellas will come back one year smarter.
On defense, yes, everyone's leaving but Scooter Berry and Mortty Ivy. But there are top-quality players coming back to replace the departed.
And if you're lucky—very, very lucky—Pat McAfee will come back, too.