As soon as folks spot the neat and dapper leader in his signature WV-themed bow tie, spectacles and blue-and-gold wingtip shoes, they begin jockeying for a photo op and a chance to chat with the kind-hearted, salt-of-the-earth president. (Is it too late for him to throw his hat in the ring for the White House?)
President Gee knows more about grassroots relationship-building than Kellogg’s knows about cornflakes. Wherever he goes, he’s greeted by a lively chain of well-wishers.
That’s because he truly fancies mingling with not only the fans and students, but all the people of West Virginia. And, obviously, the feeling is mutual. See for yourself in these pics.
And this also happened…
A couple from Boston found their way to Morgantown and our tailgate via this blog. Being native Bostonians, Aimee and Steve Brady don’t have any ties to the state or WVU, but since Steve is working in Charlottesville, Va., they decided to experience the wild and wonderful, gold-lot tailgate after checking out my blog.
The experience more than met their expectations.
“Andy, we loved everything,” Steve said. “Your website was a godsend. We knew that we wanted to get to the gold lot because of the site. Tailgating was amazing with an incredible mix of adults, young adults and students. There was no BS, just peddle-to-the-meddle tailgating. We met a bunch of good folks. It was better than any other place we have tailgated.”
Among the good folks they met – yeah, you guessed it – President Gee. After I told him about the Boston couple making their first trip to a WVU game, he made a point of introducing himself and chatting with them a bit.
It’s just that type of esprit de corps that causes my heart to spill over with Mountaineer pride. Walk through any lot on game day and you’ll feel the love of Mountaineer Nation like the sun on your face.
Even the Youngstown State fans across from us joined in the fun.
And, what did Steve and Aimee think about the game atmosphere?
“The game was out of control,” Steve said. “The crowd never stopped cheering. The fans were passionate and knowledgeable, which you don’t see everyplace. Singing at the end was the icing on the cake. The experience is everything people hear of and more. We will be back!!”