There's just something about the first cool, crisp football Saturday Thursday of the year.
There's just something about the first night game of the year.
There's just something about Mountaineer Football.
There's just something about Mountaineer Football, played under the lights on Mountaineer Field at Mylan Puskar Stadium.
If you don't believe me, read the following article (a framed copy hangs on our wall), written by Eric Herter of The Dominion Post after his first experience here (written 9/2/07):
What a great setting for some Football
I have to admit, I still jump every time I hear the Mountaineer shoot off his musket.
It's probably a dead give away that I'm not from around here, but it's also one of the best things about going to any sporting event at West Virginia University.
On Saturday, I got my first-ever glimpse at Mountaineer Field in all its glory. With 60,563 people in attendance this was a little different than the spring game I attended in frigid weather.
I should have known from that brief visit that WVU fans were intense when it came to their football - tailgating in near freezing weather - but it took the real thing to clue me in.
People around the newsroom talked about how great Mountaineer Field is, but as a journalist you always have to be a skeptic, it's in our DNA.
After my first visit, I have to say I'm no longer a skeptic. What a view, what a place, what an atmosphere.
The view from teh press box is beautiful with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop and the city of Morgantown cascading around the stadium.
Then there is the tailgating that happens before every game.
I've been to places that say they have the best tailgating in the nation, but I have to say I'm not sure any of them beat what people do in Morgantown.
They come prepared with coolers, meats, grills and cool refreshments. And they start early. I left the office three full hours before kickoff and it took 45 minutes to get from Sabraton to the stadium.
It really is a clinic on how to tailgate when you visit Morgantown and the Mountaineers' fans do it right. They are professionals.
Of course there is a great product on the field but that was almost secondary on Saturday as I watched the students and community mingle together as one.
It was great to watch The Pride of West Virginia marching band.
As one writer said in the press box, "any band that can form the state of West Virginia has to be good."
And that's the truth.
West Virginia isn't basically square or rectangle shaped like Nevada, Nebraska or Kansas.
It's got nooks and crannies that are tough to draw let alone replicate with human beings on a football field.
There's the first down clap - which I probably don't ahve the athletic ability to do - and then there is the post game, it's a bit of a tear jerker.
I'll admit that I don't know all of the words to "Country Roads" like former WVU basketball player Frank Young I can get to the "mountain mama" part and that's about it.
But to watch the players and coaches stay out on the field for a few extra minutes and enjoy a win is pretty special.
What a moment between fans and their team to share together.
The fans stay too.
Saturday's game was over by the time Noel Devine and Jock Sanders saw the field but there were still at least 45,000 people in attendance when the two young backs got in the game to a roaring cheer.
I have to admit, all of it is pretty darn neat.
Now, if someone would just let me know when that Mountaineer is going to shoot of his musket.For me, fall and October go hand in hand with Mountaineer Football. What are some of your favorites of fall (football-related or not)?