And I’m talking about myself.
I’m going to Morgantown.
Yes, Pitt is 4-7 and WVU is 10-1, and the game has opened with Pitt as a 28 to 28.5 underdog.
Yes in WVU’s last game they whupped up on UConn 66-21. A UConn team that humiliated Pitt 34-14.
Yes history isn’t helpful either. Pitt hasn’t beaten West Virginia under Coach Wannstedt, lost by a combined 90-40 in those two contests, last won in Morgantown in 2001 and is 2-5 in Morgantown in the last 7 games.
I have no sane reason to go. I have little hope of actually expecting a win in this game. Most likely it will be cold and potentially wet.
Nonetheless, I’m going.
I’m going because there is a chance to see history.
-100th Backyard Brawl (Pitt still holds a 59-37-3 advantage despite an 8-15-2 record over the past 25 games).
-WVU is either going to play for the national championship or have their dreams destroyed by a huge underdog that happens to be their most hated rival. I have the opportunity, so why not be there.
-Morgantown potentially burning in an orgy of couch fires and a series of meth lab explosions around and outside of the city with either result.
-A game that will have a huge impact on the pressure/confidence in Coach Wannstedt from the fans going into 2008.
Finally, and most importantly I’m going because 10 years ago I went down to Morgantown with a group of friends on something of a whim, and had my interest and love of Pitt restored.
The previous 5 years had me completely out of touch with Pitt athletics. I had left the area and the team sucked so there was very little news about the team making it outside of the Pittsburgh area. Especially in those pre-internet days.
I had been paying a little closer attention that season after moving to Youngstown. I watched and enjoyed the Pitt upset of Miami that Thursday night in some generic sports bar in Boardman after begging a bartender to give me one TV for that rather than the Pirates game.
I went down with friends, mainly to get drunk and have some fun.Â We accomplished the drunk part — and then some.
[Brief aside. The original plan for the group was to grab a couple hotel rooms in town and go out in Morgantown -- just for the hell of it. Somewhere in the course of the game we just decided that it would be best to go back to the 'Burgh and not waste money in Morgantown. Then, as we had to wait for traffic to thin and for one of our group to reach the point where he was no longer going to be puke risk in the car, it became just go out for a couple beers near the apartment we were all crashing. By the time we got back and the emotional and physical drain in full effect it just became have a beer in the apartment, watch the highlights on TV a few times and crash. That was 10 years ago. It's only gotten worse with time.]
What also happened was seeing the greatest game I ever attended. A triple-OT 41-38 win. Certainly the most enjoyable.
It completely brought the joy and hope back in that one game. I committed that night to season tickets with one friend who’s loyalty and attendance never waivered in all his years. Been holding since.
I guess, I’m hoping that there might be a chance to have a little faith restored.