Never Reaching The Bar-WVU Fans Unreasonable Expectations and Inferiority Complex
This things going to be long-like Simmons column long, seriously print it out while you take a shit or get something to eat…..
As of this writing West Virginia University has won 678 football games since 1891. A lot of big wins. A lot of bowl wins. But the number that haunts Mountaineer fans and to some extent this entire state is zero. Zero National Championships. Zero years when we were, without a doubt THE best team. Now, after the greatest 4 year run in our programs history….we have to come to terms with the fact that we are being passed by teams in our own conference. By Cincinnati- a team that only got into the Big East because of their basketball team. By USF- a program with everything on their side but tradition. By Pittsburgh- our biggest rival. Our fanbase-especially those that were lured in over the past few years, don’t remember being second fiddle to the U. Don’t remember the Nehlen bowl losses. All they know is coming this close, and now that feeling is gone. We are not close to anything but being a 7-5 program. Can we turn it around? No, we can’t. We don’t control anything. Yeah its a public university. And yes you may give money to the athletic department. But you dont control shit. We bitch and moan about Bill Stewart- but every single one of us wanted him after RichRod left. HE’S A WEST VIRGINIA MAN-HE CAN LEAD US! Well we were right and so terribly wrong at the same time.
How we got here.
At the end of the 2000 season Don Nehlens very good but rarely great tenure as WVU head coach came to an end. He set the standard for future coaches. If you look at the Nehlen standard you only have to do 3 things to stay WVU head coach-
1) Don’t embarrass the program. Be the anti-Miami.
2) When you have a high level of talent-win 10 games.
3) Make a bowl game 3/4 of the time.
Thats it. Those were the expectations for Rich Rodriguez. He had been a small time college head coach at Glenville State and a very good offensive coordinator at Tulane and Clemson. We thought it was just a good ole’ West Virginia boy, a hard working guy with a quirky offense that was getting his dream job. In reality what we got was part-sleezy salesman, part-offensive genius. The next few years have been hashed and re-hashed over and over. We start to in bring some questionable players. Pac-Man Jones. Chris Henry. Brandon Barrett. Jason Gwaltney. Some of these guys make an impact. Some don’t play a fucking down. We luck into Pat White and Steve Slaton, perfect players for an offense about 2 seasons ahead of everyone else in football. We go into the Georgia Dome and kick the shit out of the Bulldogs. We win 11 games the next season and beat Georgia Tech. Rodriguez turns down Alabama. We ready the fucking statue. This is it. This guy is a mutant version of Bill Walsh and Bill Cowher, he will take us to places we never thought possible, and hes never going to leave. Then it all came crashing down on us.
The Inferiority Complex
December 1st, 2007. All we had to do was beat a bad Pittsburgh team to get our shot at a slow Ohio State that in all honesty, we would’ve destroyed. We lose, our coach leaves for Michigan. Our fan base reacts with all the maturity of a 15-year-old girl. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN THERES A BETTER JOB! We make a rash and possibly drunk decision that it was the state-not Rodriguez, that made us great. Bill Stewart is not at fault. He would’ve been the perfect guy to follow Nehlen, to continue the tradition of solid teams. But he can’t take us where our alumni now believes WVU belongs in the college football landscape. In reality-were the middle. We do not have a great in-state base for recruiting. We’re not a high level academic school. All we have is the ”# 1 party school” moniker that our administration stupidly tries to fight, and our history in football. Thats it. Lets be honest with ourselves, Morgantown, WV is not where a kid from Florida who can go to Miami, USC, or LSU wants to be. I mean I love this town…..but then again my other options were Shepherd University or Fairmont State. We are a school that is forced to rely just on our football program to attract recruits….which works if your Ohio St. Our misplaced sense of importance as a football program should’ve ended that day in Pittsburgh, but it never did, and now were stuck with a lot of dumbass, unrealistic alumni. Bill Stewart suffers because of this, Jarrett Brown suffers, and the guys that eventually take their place will suffer if it doesn’t change.
I heard a great one recently, and this is a perfect example of some WVU fans misguided self importance- Lets fire Bill Stewart and hire Jon Gruden. Jon Fucking Gruden is a Super Bowl winning coach. He currently has a great job as the color analyst on Monday Night Football. After this season he can return to MNF or have his choice of NFL and major college football jobs. If he wants the Notre Dame job-its his. If wants to coach the Cleveland Browns-his favorite team growing up, he can. He will not be the next head coach here. Who will? Well personally im not in the fire Bill Stewart camp. But I know that if not after this season, then after next hes done. He cannot live up to our unrealistic alums expectations. When we hire a new head coach we can’t do it based on pissed off emotion. We can’t hire someone just based on the fact that they happen to be born and educated in West Virginia. The worlds not that small anymore. I want to see the team succeed. I want the bowl victories. I want a national title. But I also want being a WVU fan to be something important. It isn’t about being jealous of the SEC and Big 10. It isn’t about screaming at the Head Coach because hes not Rich Rodriguez. It’s about being the fan base that, win or lose, supports their team. It’s about being the fan base that doesn’t bail and stop going to the games at the first sign of trouble. Its time for the adults in this situation, our alumni, to stop acting like a bunch of know it all pieces of shit. You don’t know the first fucking thing about football so shut the fuck up. If you don’t like it put a green douche in and cheer for Marshall, you fucking prick. Somewhere along the way we stopped being the fan base that was dedicated to their team and became the #1 example of the dick head on the message board posting in ALL CAPS. For the betterment of the team, lets stop crying at every turn and get back to being the most dedicated, passionate, and loud fans in football. Lets stop the bitching and get back to being West Fucking Virginia. Go Mountaineers!