Hats off to the Morgantown police

WVU tailgateMonongalia County Sheriff ‘s Deputy J.D. Morgan has a strong, confident presence. He watches over the gold lot every game day to ensure no one gets too unruly. He’s been doing this for as long as Dave and I have been tailgating in our current spot.

J.D. is cool. He knows how to balance the energetic tailgating atmosphere with order and safety. When he sees large groups of students set up in the lot, he casually strolls over to give a friendly warning: “Now, don’t draw attention to yourselves. ‘Cause if you draw attention to yourselves, I’m going to have to card you.”

This piece of advice is usually enough to keep the students in line. But on rare occasions, J.D. has to deal with problem tailgaters.

WVU tailateLast Saturday, we had an unfortunate incident happen during our tailgate that has never happened before. I couldn’t find my small sling backpack that I had put in one of the chairs. At about the same time, my friend, Doug, noticed his jacket was missing.

As we went searching around our tailgate, Doug spotted his jacket draped over the shoulder of a very inebriated student. Doug said, “Dude, you have my jacket.”

After he took it back, I noticed the kid was wearing my sling backpack. I didn’t really have anything of value in my backpack except my driver’s license – just some lipstick, a notebook and an extra shirt to take to the game.

But I couldn’t believe this scalawag had taken our stuff. Well, J.D. came over and took care of him. We told J.D. we didn’t want to press charges. We just wanted him out of there.

The guy was so drunk he had the brain functionality of road salt, so I do believe he thought the jacket and bag were his.

J.D. cited him for underage drinking and had the university police haul him off to the “drunk tank,” a building where they hold tailgaters who imbibe too much alcohol and become belligerent or disorderly.

Aside from that unfortunate blip, our pregame festivities were as fun as always.

WVU tailateWe had so much food we could’ve fed the WVU football team. For breakfast, we had egg, ham and cheese English muffins. And for lunch, Dave cooked smoked sausage jambalaya, pulled pork sliders and our friend, Wally, brought Italian roast beef from DeLallo’s Italian Marketplace in Jeannette, Pa.

WVU tailateI had also brought some healthy options, like an edamame, cranberry and feta salad and broccoli and roasted red pepper hummus. Of course, I was the only one who ate these.

Our gold lot friends Tim and Charlotte Schultz had an even bigger spread. They fixed BBQ ribs, cheesy potatoes, hobo beans, chicken fajitas and meatball hoagies.

Tim and Charlotte SchultzThey’re always one of the first tailgaters in the lot, too, so I enjoy stopping by in the early morning before we get too busy. They have a nice set up facing University Avenue.

WVU tailateAs the day progressed, the fun and games ensued as the lot filled up with spirited and impassioned Mountaineer fans.

WVU tailgate

WVU tailgate

WVU tailate

WVU tailate

WVU tailgate

WVU tailate

WVU tailgate

Cheers to another noteworthy tailgate!

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