WVU fans have a lot to learn.
The game aside, I saw some things on Saturday. Some things that make me question the way we are as WVU fans.
First of all, the Auburn fans know how to treat visitors. We were inundated with comments like, “great to see you and all of your fans here. you really travel well.” “Good luck tonight, we really hope to see a good game.” and “Boy, we really love Pat White down here. His family is fantastic and his dad is a real nice guy. He’s a fire marshall, ya know!”
However, we were also told stories of how badly the Auburn fans were treated when they went to Morgantown last year. About how a 7-year old kid told a grown man to go eff himself. About how they were spit on and screamed at and treated worse than inmates. After hearing this from no less than 10 people, I started to feel a little sad.
I’m sad because I grew up in West Virginia. Someday, I hope to die in West Virginia. I hope that people are just as proud as me to be from West Virginia.
However, I learned that as a collective, our fan-base is garbage when it comes to the treatment of opposing fans. Sure, yell at the other team. Give them an earful. But when families of people made a long trip to Morgantown to see their team play, bringing along young kids and maybe even grandparents, chill out a little. They are there to enjoy themselves and watch football.
Our fans are very passionate, but it’s time to not let that passion carry over into screaming curse words, hurling insults, or threatening with violence. We aren’t soccer hooligans. We’re football fans. We’re there to watch football.
And, those opposing fans, who aren’t local, don’t have a choice but to book a hotel room (usually for two nights). They contribute to the local economy. They’re actually helping Morgantown become greater and greater.
After the game, when we were walking out, 3 or 4 people said, “man, your quarterback is a BEAST. we got lucky a few times. If we hadn’t, it would have been ugly the other way.”
Nobody said a sour word to any of us. It sure would be nice to have our fans reciprocate those gestures.
If I read one more post about the fans
things WVU could learn from Auburn and the SEC
2. Stadium was amazing. Not only was it big, but it was like a shrine to them. It was encircled by nice shrubs, flowers and rod iron gates. The outside of the stadium was decorated with giant banners of famous football players. Of course Bo Jackson was up there but they also had Carlos Rogers and other throwbacks.
Where are our banners of Marc Bulger? Sam Huff? Major Harris? Gary Stills? John Thornton? Steve Slaton?
Auburn’s marketing/athletic department obviously takes this seriously. Our dept must be too busy worrying about how to get the maple syrup stains off their tie.
3. Stadium signs – Its not the newest stadium around but they did care enough to hang painted and decorated seating section signs above the concessions stands so you can see them from the opposite end. WVU has a blue tin sign stuck to the stadium wall that you cant read until you are in front of the section.
4. RV lots – I know real estate is an issue but I have to believe there is some room near the mile ground. Auburn had huge fields for RVs that were completely FREE to park and tailgate in. First come, first serve. We parked the RV on Wednesday. Thats right, 4 days before the game and camped out and had a great time all week. Try doing that in Ruby Memorial parking lot.
Most of these ideas, especially the banners and decoration of mountaineer field would be inexpensive upgrades that would make a big difference IMO. With the ticket price and parking lot hikes, I think we can afford to act like we are a big time program.
I will post pics of the stadium as soon as I can.