I remember being at a game at Mountaineer Field when, unfortunately, we were getting our asses handed to us by Pitt. It was back in the 80's. It was a very rainy day. I know that's not a very good way to start, but bear with me. It has a good ending.
Every time the chicken-shit panthers would score on us, that damned panther would dance his way over in front of our cheerleaders and wave his tail like a sissy. He apparantly did this one time too many. I distinctly remember a guy carrying a muzzleloader with a coonskin cap dropping that gun, chasing after that panther, and raking his face through a large puddle that had formed behind goal post. Although the score didn't our way that day, it was still a great day to be a Mountaineer. We were soaked, we got our asses kicked, but we didn't really care. We raised hell and had a great time.
I remember being at another game, just me and my dad. It was freezing cold and snowing that day. We played Cincinatti before their administration actually realized they had a football team. We absolutely throttled the bearcats that day, like 63-7 or something like that. But we stayed there and yelled the entire game. I specifically remember hearing on the radio on the way home, "This was not much of a game today, but as I looked through the stands, I could see who the real Mountaineer fans are. And if you were still in your seat at the end of the game, its you I'm talking about." I remember telling my dad that day how proud I was to be a Mountaineer fan.
The list goes on. I think you all get my point by now. Here's where my problem comes in.
First, we change the turf on the field. It's really is awesome. The field looks great, and makes it better for the players. But it cost a lot of money, which is fine. Our program deserves things like that, especially since I specifically remember going on the old field after the games were over and getting terrible turf burns all over my knees.
Then comes our jumbo-tron. This this is nice, especially to show instant replays and such. But for the most part, it just pisses me off. All I hear is a bunch of movie quotes and other jibberish and loud, overpowering voices that seem to take away from the crowd atmosphere. Although it is nice (in some aspects), it again costs a lot of money. But that's fine a program of our caliber deserves something like that.
But then after these upgrades ticket prices started their upward trend. And then our "skyboxes came in. This is probably the thing about Mountaineer field that pisses me off the most. We're going to eliminate 15,000 or so seats so we can allow for 5,000 seats? Inside? Wow, that adds a ton to the atmosphere, and the noise. Whoa, too much for to handle (sarcasm meter at 11). What a bunch of bullshit. If you want to sit inside with your rich friends and be quiet, stay in your living room. And this again, costs a lot of money. So you can take a guess how we compensated. And yes, I know there were quite a few donors that helped these "upgrades" come to be, but I would bet dollars to donuts they didn't cover the full cost.
And during all of this, our administration, specifically Dickrod, tried to change how the fans are (does anyone else remember the pep rallies before the season where he was teaching us how to "cheer" for the Mountaineers, or his ugly mug on the big screen telling us to "celebrate responsibly?" What is he, a fucking whiskey commercial?) . I was at the Miami game in the early nineties where we beat them, and the students rushed the field only to be met by at least a dozen German shepards accompanied by state troopers surrounding each goalpost. I thought that was bad until I saw the riot squad on the field following the pitt game in 2005 I believe (somewhere in there, don't quote me on the year).
A lot of people are sick and tired of hearing about dickrod. I am too. But we are still putting up with what he has done to Mountaineer football. Some say he put our program on the map. Really, we were already there. I believe it was Dandy Don that took us to a national championship game, not dickrod. All I can see that the cocksucker did for us was insist on a bunch of unnecessary "upgrades" to our stadium that essentially took away the loud, rowdy homefield advantage we used to have. That's right, I said used to have. And until someone in a position of authority realizes that just because dickrod said it was good idea when he was here doesn't mean that it was.
I'm making a lot of assumptions that these ideas were dickrod's ideas, and I'm probably wrong about quite a few of them. But I find that to be the easiest way to compensate for the sick feeling of embarassment in the pit of my stomach I feel every time anyone on national television references him as be a native of West Virginia. And they always seem to be quick on the draw to pull that card.
Either way, the problems with the lack of passion and enthusiasm at Mountaineer Field has been almost a decade in the making. Now I don't know if there is actually a way to get back what we have lost. I'm just glad I have some great memories of what Mountaineer Field used to be. Maybe some day things will change and I can take my son to a game to have the some of the same kinds of memories I had. But at this point, it's not looking good.