UPDATE: I was just emailed by the author's sister. The man who wrote this is Todd Condron. Thank you Todd for allowing us to share this!
Saturday is the day we leave it all behind.
We've all lived and died a thousand deaths with these West Virginia Mountaineers. Bitter grinders with Syracuse , Virginia Tech and Boston College used to rule our fall weekends, while hatred seethed for everything that had to do with Pitt and Penn State . The "Beast of the East" used to mean something, and in 1984, a man famously dressed up as "The Beast" at the Penn State game at Mountaineer Field to signify that a change was about to occur. WVU had arrived…and we beat the Kings of the Mountain that day. Eastern football was something to behold. It was worth our blood, sweat and many, many tears.
As the years passed, things changed. Eastern football declined. Virginia Tech turned their backs first, and others were soon to follow. When each of these peers of WVU had a chance to put in a word to bring WVU along, they all turned their backs. WVU was not worthy of their company. We've heard all of the reasons why. We all know the real reason. They hear us coming.
Oliver Luck has vision and saw the changing landscape. He knew that we had to leave Eastern football behind. So we turn the page. The irony is that WVU is now taking a grander stage than any of its former peers, while former hated foes Penn State , Virginia Tech and Pitt are fading into the ethos. We turn our eyes squarely to the West. They don't see us….but they hear us coming.
Although some may say WVU's entrance to Big 12 and this Grand Stage began last week…it is truly Saturday when dawn breaks on a new day. But, make no mistake about it…WVU was NOT invited to the Big 12 to storm the gates, pillage the castle, and come away with the crown. NO. WVU was invited to live outside the castle walls, be at the call of the Master as an indentured servant, to do what we are told. The Lone Star Nation is distracted this week….what is that dust-storm off in the distance? They hear us coming.
While we are all cozy in our new conference relationship now… we will all learn to hate Texas . They do not believe that WVU has a past worthy of merit. They do not care. They all believe that WVU was a small fish in a small pond, now dropped into an ocean full of sharks. But, why is this small, rural land-grant school from Appalachia so loud, outspoken, and….everywhere? They hear us COMING.
We are proud. Mountaineer Proud. We have fought the battles and won many wars. Doug Flutie never saw Freddy Smalls coming. Major Harris danced through a gaggle of Eastern Football's best for a historic touchdown vs. Penn State . With a hamstring nearly torn in half, Whiskey Jake Kelchner limped for a first down late in the game in the epic battle vs. undefeated Miami . But now….We turn our eyes to the West, we load up our wagons…and we go. And we bring Helter Skelter with us…there's nothing conventional here! Nothing at all. Our coach proudly says on national radio… "Well, if we can't run the ball…we'll throw it all over the field". They hear US COMING.
On Saturday morning, Mountaineer Field will sit quiet. Not a sound can be heard…but the ghosts that adorn that field shift to face the West. This is a new day. A Texas wind wafts the plains of Austin and if you listen closely, you may hear the voice of Jack Fleming whisper: "…we go where angels fear to tread…" We always have. We are Mountaineers.
A New Era begins Saturday in Austin , Texas vs. a favored Texas Longhorn team. Bob Huggins gathered his legendary Final Four team in a sweltering lockerroom in Storrs , Connecticut after a loss and said… "You have very few opportunities in your lives when you have the chance to be something special. Now is your time…" An opportunity awaits Saturday to become something greater than we have ever known…so we go West. With a swashbuckling coach, with live bullets in our musket, with a misty taste of Moonshine, with coal dust kicking behind us…we go. And we do not go quietly. They HEAR US COMING.
The page will officially turn at 7pm on Saturday night. As we take the field, far on the horizon a flash of sunlight meets a crystal football…for a second there is a flash and it is gone. There is work to do. There is a second of pure silence and stillness as our kicker puts his hand in the air.
It's West Virginia vs. Texas . It's ON. Ready…steady…