It's that time of year once again, when we pause to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. Here's a partial list of what we here at the Musket are thankful for:
The Riot Bowl and One More Weekend of Mountaineer Football
Look, nobody (except for Pitt fans and a few demented others) is happy with the way this season has played out, least of all our coaches and players. But, we do have one more weekend of Mountaineer football left to partake in. Our boy Grumpnet hit the nail on the head with his article over the weekend. We will soon be pining for some kind of WVU football. Any kind. Hopefully better, but still, you catch the drift.
Plus we get to end with a home game...and it's the RIOT BOWL. Ever since we joined this Big 12 thing, more than any other fanbase, we've been welcomed with open arms by the folks in Ames, more specifically, the boys over at Wide Right & Natty Lite. I regret missing that trip last year even more so than not making the Austin trip. It should be a fun couple of days entertaining those guys.
Oliver Luck is Staying
I'm fully aware that there is a faction of Mountaineer fans out there that think Oliver Luck has been an abject failure as an Athletic Director at WVU. Those people are more than welcome to disagree with me, but those fans are wrong. He was a finalist for the Texas job, perhaps the best AD job in the US. Only a last second change of heart by another UT alum kept him from getting that job. He wasn't out looking to leave, like I've seen many claim...he was on a short list and was asked to interview. If you were being recruited by the industry leader in your field, would you decline to interview? Some might, most wouldn't.
Oliver has done so many good things in a relatively short period of time. Smitty did a better job of breaking it down than I'm going to attempt here. Time will tell if the Holgorsen hire was the right one, but there's no doubt in my mind that Luck has the WVU Athletic Department heading in the right direction as a whole. Him staying keeps us moving in the right direction. Which brings me to...
WVU Baseball is Relevant
I honestly never thought I would see the day when the WVU Baseball team was relevant on the league scale, much less the national scale. The fact that we were relevant in a conference with rich baseball history right off the bat (so to speak) speaks even more to what Coach Mazey did in a very short window.
Now, we have a real baseball stadium under construction and who knows where this will lead. I do know it will lead to me making trips to Morgantown just to see a baseball game or two. That's something I would have never thought I would even consider before.
A Mountaineer Basketball Team That Can Shoot
It's amazing how much better the opinion of the head basketball coach can swing with the shooting ability of his team. Yes, the competition has been less than stellar, but yet, shots are falling and this basketball team has hope. There was definite addition by subtraction in the attitude department, but there's also been addition to the roster skill-wise. If this team can learn to defend and adapt to the new foul rules, it should be a fun team to watch all year. A few breaks here or there and this could be a tournament team. But, let's not get too ahead of ourselves.
I'm not talking about WVU fans in general. I'm talking about you, the reader of this article: the fans of The Smoking Musket. I'm not just talking about the fans who agree with us. I'm also referring to the ones who disagree and let us know they disagree. That is always welcome, as long as it's done in a civilized manner. If everyone agreed here, it would get too boring. We thrive on healthy debate.
If you have suggestions for us to improve (things you've seen other blogs do that we don't, regular feature ideas, whatever), By-God, tell us. We're not above suggestions and criticism.
Our audience has grown over the last few years, which means we must be doing something right. At the time of this posting we have 5855 Twitter followers and 2689 Facebook likes. I'd love to thank each one of you personally, but this will have to do.
So, there's my short list (WVU related, at least). If you have any that I've forgotten or you'd like to disagree with, please share it with us. Good luck to the hunters and have a great & safe Thanksgiving Week everyone!
And, as always...