If you live in Charleston, as I do when I can find an open park bench, you’ve probably noticed a slight stench in the air. Contrary to popular belief, that smell is not coming from my person. I have showered in the last week or two, so it isn’t me this time.
In actuality, this stench is an annual occurrence in Charleston. The smell is emanating from the west as many Marshall fans make the long trek outside of Huntington, a city whose residents make it look like the scene from Ghostbusters where the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is walking around. Yep, it is almost time for the Capital Classic.
The annual battle between West Virginia University and Marshall College on the hardwood is often a close and exciting game. It also often leads to a heart breaking result for the Marshall fan-base. Which is the exact reason I love this game.
If you’re in attendance, you see Marshall fans go through the gamut of emotions during the game. Join me, for a recreation of what will happen tomorrow night...
At the start you will see them slinking around, still reeling from the beating WVU put on them in football. However, as game time approaches you can see the wheels slowly turning in their heads.[Ed. Note: When I say slowly turning, I mean SLOWLY turning] They are beginning to convince themselves that they have a chance to beat WVU.
This is when they begin to sit up in their seats and push out their chests. Then, once the tip occurs you see Marshall fans around the Civic Center begin to feel like their lives will mean something for a change. Yes, they will finally beat WVU and have some bragging rights in the state. This will make their entire year. You hear them talking trash to WVU fans and copying Penn State’s "We are" cheer. You see them struggle to get their fat asses out of their seats to stand and cheer.
By halftime they are walking with a spring in their step. Oh wait, they are actually just waddling because they are unable to bend their knees. Anyway, they now believe in themselves and that is dangerous for set of fans that are constant disappointments. Then the second half drags on with a barrage of fouls. As the game enters the final moments Marshall is in the lead or within striking distance, they can taste victory. Then it happens, just as the sunrises every morning, WVU toughens up and plays its brand of basketball to pull out the victory.
Grown men weep, little kids cry and the women ask the concession stand workers for any leftover food so they can eat their feelings. It must be tough being a Marshall fan, I guess that is why they don’t exist outside of their protected habitat in Cabell County.
The Smoking Musket, always looking to help out those in need will make it easier for WVU fans to make Marshall fans feel even worse about themselves. Here are some cheers that are sure to make Marshall fans irritated:
1. When the game tips off chant: "It’s all over (clap clap clap clap clap)"
2. The classic: "Marshall High School"
3. "Safety School" - although they may not understand this cheer
4. Not really a cheer, but as you are leaving let them know this: "You are not Tech, You are not Pitt, You are not our rival, You are Marshall"
With that you are prepared for the sights you will see at tomorrow's Capital Classic. Can you think of any additional cheers to hurt Marshall's feelings?