Fans show up with bells on for victorious game day

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There were thrills all through the mountain hills for game-day weekend in Morgantown.

Dave and I arrived to Touchdown City early Friday afternoon for the MAC Donor Appreciation Day luncheon at Kegler’s. We had a few friends joining us from Ohio later that afternoon. But before we met up with them at Mario’s Fishbowl, we stopped by B-Dubs in Suncrest Towne Centre to see my niece, Whitney, who works there.

IMG_5089webSince it was the eve of the game, the Fishbowl was filled with hopeful fans like us who had traveled for the game as well as regulars, like my dear friend, Linda.

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It had been 28 days since our last home game, and everyone buzzed with pent-up energy, ready to erase our winless October with a victory over Texas Tech the next day. After a hootenanny of binging on frosty fishbowls, we called it a night for our early day Saturday.

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Tailgate takes

You couldn’t have asked for a better November game day. Although the sun hid behind a cloak of gray skies most of the day, the temperatures hovered in the mid to high 50s.

The frigid morning mountain air felt crisp and fresh, energizing us for the day ahead. And since it was a noon game, the gold lot sprang to life quickly.(That’s the only good thing about a noon game – it gets the fans out early.)

IMG_5117webLeslee brought a wicker basket filled with blue-and-gold Jell-O shots. She had made a tasty combination of 60 mango, pina colada and berry Jell-O shots. Throughout the day, she passed them out like the Easter Bunny with colored eggs and candy.

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I dubbed her our Jell-O shot ambassador. With Jell-O shots extended, she welcomed Texas Tech fans who walked by in the way you invite someone to a campfire – or in this case, a WVU tailgate.

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IMG_5138webOne of the early morning highlights was meeting 10-day old Nicholas. His parents, Scott and Shalee, tied the knot in the gold lot last fall and they had stopped by to introduce us to the sweet, little guy. He looked so adorable covered in WVU blue-and-gold.

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While Leslee had been to a couple games in the past, Chad, Julie and David were WVU tailgating virgins. They quickly discovered it’s very easy to feel at home in West Virginia. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming it’s not hard to feel like you’re part of the Mountaineer family.

IMG_5146webAs anyone who’s experienced it knows, game day in Morgantown can rocket you back to the emotions of adolescence – the sort that leave you airborne and your senses on high alert. That’s why after my Ohio friends experience it they always come back.

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Mountain of enthusiasm

It was clear from the game that the Mountaineers had geared up for the grit, grind and gridiron glory. They had a fire in their belly, beating Texas Tech, 31-26.

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After the game, we headed back to the gold lot to wait for the traffic to die down a bit. On our way, we met this guy.

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Three of the Texas Tech fans we met earlier came back to the lot as well. They were disappointed we were out of Jell-O shots, but one of our friendly tailgating neighbors offered them some moonshine instead.

Let’s just say, Texas Tech fans took a shine to Morgantown.

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Shortly after, our friends followed Dave and me to Mario’s Fishbowl to celebrate our glorious victory.

We invited our new Texas Tech fans as well, but I didn’t expect them to make it since they seemed without wheels. Well, they surprised us.

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As they quickly discovered, Mountaineer fans’ spirit and enthusiasm are totally contagious. One of the Texas Tech guys, Stan, said he’d never had so much fun after a loss.

And, then they got kicked out because Justin, the youngest of the trio, got a little too enthused and walked on a table, breaking a fishbowl in the process. To that, Stan quipped, “He’s just like his father.”

You see, Stan and Bob were college roommates of Justin’s father. After his father passed away a few years ago, Justin stepped up to keep the tradition of traveling to a game with his pals every year.

I suspect we’ll be seeing these 3 guys in a couple years. Let’s go.