8.23.2010

Mountaineer Monday

The students are all moved back in.  There is more traffic than you would think this small town could handle.  The grocery shelves are bare.  And classes start tomorrow.

In less than two weeks, a new freshman class will get their first glimpse of Mountaineer Football.  And there's nothing quite like it.  I loved growing up here, but I have a twinge of jealousy of those out-of-town freshman attending their first game.  Waking up earlier to tailgate than you ever would for a class; that first sound of the Mountaineer shooting his musket; hearing the band play Simple Gifts - all for the first time.  I have no memory of my first Mountaineer game, I was too young.  It is just something that has always been.   But what it must be like to experience it all as an adult for the first time.

I attended the University of Southern California for graduate school.  In fact, I was there the year that Troy Palamalu's roommate, Carson Palmer, won the Heisman Trophy.  I went to one game and was so disappointed in the atmosphere.  I had such high hopes.  USC has such a storied program; the Trojans play in the Olympic Coliseum; it had to be good, right?  There was just something missing.  Maybe it was me, because while I'm a proud USC Alumni, I will always be a Mountaineer first and foremost.  It just didn't have the energy of a Mountaineer game.

I'm ready to feel that energy again.  The butterflies that fill my stomach the week leading up to a game; the goosebumps I get when the band takes the field for the pre-game show; the tears that roll down my cheeks when the Alma Mater plays; the pride the fills my heart when the Team takes the field.  Yes, I am a bit jealous that the incoming Freshman get to have the memory of a first Mountaineer game.  But I wouldn't trade the feeling that Mountaineer football is a part of me for anything and I expect that feeling only comes with growing up with it.

6 comments:

  1. I remember my first game pretty clearly.. even though I grew up a Mountaineer as well (came home from the hospital in a shirt that said "I'm a little Mountaineer"!), I didn't go to my first game until I was a sophomore in high school. IT WAS AWESOME! Looking at the field for the first time, seeing the band for the first time... WOW! I remember Bulger and Zereoue completing pass after pass after pass together... I also remember hitting one of my Dad's fraternity brothers in the face with a flag because I was waving it too enthusiastically at the tailgate. *sigh* MEMORIES!

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  2. Okay, I can't share your Mountaineer joy, but I can say I feel the same way about my Huskers!! College football is the best!!!!!!!

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  3. I know what you mean about atmosphere; I think even on tv you can tell a difference. When one of my brothers was in grad school at NCSU, I asked him if it was as exciting as being at a UT game, because the tv just wasn't capturing it if it was!
    I love living near Knoxville on game day...even though we don't live in K-town, there's an excitement in the air when there's a home game.

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  4. Sounds like how I am with my Dukes. I know it's a whole other level of football, since we're a lower division, but there's just something about the energy and atmosphere. We love going to the games!

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  5. Rebecca, I just love how much you adore your team! :D I must admit, I'm not a huge college football fan (none of my family is... Remind me to tell you the story sometime of how a few years ago -when we were newlyweds- Ohio State lost their first game of the season and I dared to tell my husband the blasphemous words, "It's just a game"... Not pretty, my friend.)

    Anyways, (holy cow, that was some tangent), your loyalty and enthusiasm is enviable, and enough to stir me to just maybe pull up a chair for the next college gameday. You go, girl :)

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