It’s hard to put into words just how magical this past game weekend was. They’re always special, but some raise the bar to star-reaching heights.
I think the energy emanating from our lively band of tailgaters should be tapped as a natural resource.
If we could figure out a way to bottle this Mountaineer Magic, we could wipe out depression, political divisiveness and any number of unpleasant things.
Those who’ve experienced game day weekend in Morgantown know what I mean. It has an irresistible pull on not only those of us who came of age at WVU but also those who didn’t.
I introduced my husband, Dave, to it about 15 years ago and we’ve had season tickets since. We look forward to the nearly 3-hour drive from Hudson, Ohio, to Morgantown, WV, every game weekend.
We’ve converted some of our Buckeye friends as well. This past weekend, Leslee and Chad joined us for their annual trip.
Matt and Rob came from Long Island for their second game day in Morgantown. I met them a couple years ago when they made their first trip to experience a Mountaineers game.
They have a couple friends who are Ph.D. students at WVU.
Our friend Bill drives in from Freehold, NJ, just to tailgate. He used to have season tickets, but now he only comes to tailgate – and go to Mario’s Fishbowl.
This past weekend a few of my friends from college also came. Jill and Steve flew in from Phoenix for their annual game weekend.
Dee drove in from Winchester, Va. Her daughter is a sophomore at WVU. Ray and Debbie, whose daughter is a freshman at WVU, drove up from North Carolina.
Game day ready.
The noon game lured fans out early Saturday morning. As I was walking to our tailgate, I received a text from Steve at 7:15 a.m. He sent a picture of an omelet Dave had made to entice us all to get our butts there.
Steve gets the gold star for being game ready so early since he was still on Arizona time.
The gold lot was nearly packed when I got there, including a spirit-packed group of NC State fans at the end of our aisle.
They had a giant-sized Mr. Wuf on display, which made for good photo ops.
Those NC State fans are awesome. They tailgated alongside us after the game, too.
Before folks headed into the game, we formed a circle to sing “Take me home, country roads.”
Taste of the tailgate.
Throughout game day, we enjoyed a heavenly smorgasbord of protein. Dave served his chili with Bison and sausage.
Bill made a Chipotle-flavored London broil and prime T-bone steaks. As usual, he cut the meat up into small bites and served them up with toothpicks. He joked that each toothpick employed a dozen foresters. (Bill is a forester.)
Chad made his lip-smacking beef bourguignon. It was so delicious you’d think he was Julia’s child.
Rob’s uncle has an award-winning BBQ catering business on Long Island called Willie B’s, and he brought homemade bacon and smoked pulled pork. Rob also grilled up some venison.
Even though I grew up in West Virginia, I typically don’t like deer meat, but this venison was really good. In fact, everything was heavenly.
I wonder if Willie B’s would cater a tailgate in Morgantown.
Our protein feast continued after the game too.
Dave grilled up ham and various types of sausage, while Josh grilled up hot pepper-and-cheese infused burgers. (If med school doesn’t work out for Josh, he can always fall back on a catering business.) These were served in a cast iron pan.
Everyone began dishing up bites out of the pan with a fork before Dave had time to set up a table.
One of the NC State fans came over with a mason jar of strawberry-infused white lightning. He said the winner always ate a strawberry out of the mason jar.
Whew boy! I took one bite into that strawberry and had to spit it out. I think he has it backwards. The losing team’s fans should have to eat one of those moonshine-soaked strawberries.
All in all, it was a wild and wonderful game day and weekend.
Our Mountaineers went in as underdogs to the Wolfpack, but left as champs after conquering NC State 44-27.
Let’s go Mountaineers!