A Survivor's Guide to Morgantown, West Virginia

RG YohoCorrespondent INovember 3, 2008

Frankly, I get sick and tired of every would-be sportswriting hack who comes on here and writes these columns about how the Mountaineer faithful are belligerent to visiting fans in Morgantown.

I honestly think these shallow-minded hacks choose to wallow in this cesspool of unfounded allegations for no other reason than to get a lot of cheap visits for their columns.

If you look at the numbers, it obviously works.

Of course, these kooks of the keyboard will also share with us the obligatory Deliverance references. These tired, antiquated clichés are usually written by people who are less than two generations away from picking a banjo themselves. No doubt they also harbor some secret fantasies for Ned Beatty as well.

I have traveled to enough football stadiums to know that college football fans are pretty much the same everywhere. Alcohol is usually a staple. The only significant differences often involve the fervor they put into tailgating or the cuisine that they serve.

Now let me give you an earth-shattering newsflash: Hometown crowds routinely love their team and do not share that same affection for the opposition. A realization of this fact can certainly make your stay in Morgantown much more pleasant and enjoyable.

Another observation I have made is that drunken, rowdy students generally have an IQ that is directly proportionate to their blood-alcohol level. It is wise to try to avoid them. This rule applies equally to all college sports venues.

I used to tell my children that you do not have to respond every time a donkey brays. Don’t you remember your own college years? Face it, a lot of college students are donkeys! Just because they insult you doesn’t require a response. Silently walk on.

Even should you prevail and fail to be arrested, it is unlikely that the BMOC made bulletproof by Budweiser will gain any meaningful insight from the beating.

If your team happens to beat the Mountaineers in Morgantown—unlikely as it may be—cheering is certainly appropriate. Wildly dancing around, pointing your middle finger at the West Virginia fans, and calling them a “sorry bunch of losers” is generally considered to be in bad taste. It may also tend to draw unwanted attention your way.

It is not wise to enter the stadium and begin talking trash to the fans seated in front of and behind you. The reason for this should be obvious. It is not a good policy to create a hostile environment when you are surrounded.

Even Tonto was wise enough to recall his bloodline when he and Kemo Sabe were surrounded by hostile Indians.

Perhaps it is also not a good idea to choose to move your belongings on game days. Leaving an unattended couch on your vehicle might be too much of a temptation to the victorious Mountaineer fan with a lighter. I have heard that spontaneous combustion can often be a problem for sofas in Morgantown.

Should you notice flames coming from your couch, I would suggest you quickly find another place to sit.

Largely due to the fact there are no major professional sports in the state, proud Mountaineer fans are extraordinarily devoted to their team. It is this quality that makes the non-college, ticket-buying public in Morgantown greatly appreciate the hardcore fans of other teams.

Mountaineer fans are some of the finest people in America! They root hard. They are spirited and fun loving. Their tailgating is legendary. On game days, they love nothing more than their friends and family, their state, and their beloved Mountaineers.

However, I don’t know a single one of them who wouldn’t immediately come to a visiting fan’s aid if he were actually accosted for nothing other than being in town for a football game!

Only the couches have anything to fear in Morgantown!

When Auburn came to town recently, I witnessed great numbers of Mountaineers and Tigers living in perfect harmony. Many of them were sharing beverages, swapping stories, and joining their voices together in the school songs of each state.

That is generally the rule—not the exception!

If you truly love college football, then there is no better atmosphere in America than Morgantown, West Virginia on game day! Come on in. Enjoy yourself. Ignore the drunken students, share a drink with the regulars, and enjoy a leisurely ride through the beautiful, picturesque mountains on the way home from your team’s spanking.

It is certain that you will never forget the experience.