Note: The Smoking Musket's fan manifesto will be an ongoing series...
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make Mountaineer Field and the Coliseum the toughest places to play in the nation. There are not many steps, but it will take a lifetime of devotion to accomplish. If you succeed, your gravestone shall read, "Here lies a true Mountaineer fan."
The teams prepare year round to defend their home turf. This is what we, as fans, must do to help them defend our home. Again, the purpose of this "manifesto" is not to make all of you feel like failures because you are not the perfect fan. Quite the contrary. Rather, it is a set of goals that we should all strive to achieve.
Some specifics within each step will only apply to one sport or the other, but the main point rings true whether it is football, basketball, or rifle. Nobody’s perfect -- not even us -- as hard as that is to believe. But if you want to strive to be the perfect Mountaineer fan, here is your guide.
Part I -- Show up early, stay late
Show up early
For football games, all fans should arrive at their favorite tailgating location at least 4 ½ hours prior to kick-off. Yes, even noon games. (If you have to, go from straight bourbon to bourbon and coke, just for the caffeine.) You should enter Mountaineer Field at least 30-45 minutes prior to kick-off to soak in the atmosphere.
No matter what, NEVER miss "The Pride." I missed them once and was not in the right frame of mind the entire game. They will get you prepared to accomplish Part II.
To properly prepare themselves for the game, our players run, stretch, and complete drills before kick-off. As fans, we should all do the same, lest we pull a muscle. This is serious business for both players and fans, and we must prepare in the same ways.
A few examples: Always purchase a various assortment of food and
beverages alcohol. After this is done, we can stretch out our guts by eating and drinking copious amount greasy-fattening food and beer. We should also partake in drills such has beer pong, flip-cup, cornhole and the always popular Shotgun-Throwdown. This will make us both mentally and physically prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
- Stay late
As the saying goes, "win or lose, we still booze." We propose an addendum, "win or lose, we still booze...and sing 'Country Roads'."
Yes, that means staying in the stands until the very last note plays over the loud speaker. Our teams are still playing and giving up their bodies for us. The least we could do is stay in the stands and cheer them on. Plus, you devoted your time and a good amount of money to see the Mountaineers play. Why in the hell would you leave the game early?
Think you need to beat traffic? Don't come. You are going to hit traffic no matter what. Plus, you shouldn't drive drunk. More important things to do? Nothing is more important on game day than the Mountaineers. Are you going to Home Depot, maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond if you leave early enough? You need to drink more? That is the best reason of all, but a true Mountaineer fan always has enough alcohol on his person that he should not have to leave to find something to drink.
This year's game against Cincinnati and the 2005 Louisville game should be all the proof you need to realize that you should never leave early.
It's very easy: get in your seat early, cheer like hell from the word go, and stay late and celebrate a win.
Like we said, stay tuned for more to come later this week...