After Saturday Night, I am Ashamed to be a Mountaineer

    Photo courtesy: Dale Sparks
    Photo courtesy: Dale Sparks

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    Written by @JeremyTKFarley

    I have been a West Virginia fan for roughly thirty years and during these three decades, I have seen more than my fair share of shellackings – in my very first bowl game, I watched the Mountaineers score a quick touchdown only to end the night with a 7-41 loss against the Florida Gators (1994 Sugar Bowl).

    I sat in the nose-bleed section of Lane Stadium in Blacksburg cheering for the boys from Morgantown the day Marc Bulger threw five interceptions.

    I felt great agony the frigid night in 2007 we fell to Pitt and missed our chance for that elusive National Championship.

    Yet, I have never once been ashamed to be a Mountaineer.  Win, lose or draw, I have worn my flying WV hat around the world with pride — a pride in the fact that the hat not only represented the land of my nativity, but also in an organization that accurately showcased the values of the single place I call home: an unmatched work ethic, grittiness, and above all else, honor.

    Sadly, all of this changed after Saturday night, November 19, 2016… and it had absolutely nothing to do with the score.

    In football, the unfortunate reality is that no matter how good you are, you can’t win them all.  And though I would have loved to have seen us with the conference title this year, 8-2 is a far better place to be than I expected at the onset of the season.

    This morning, my shame in being a Mountaineer is two-fold.  Thousands of individuals who attended Saturday night’s game have dishonored our state (not all, but several thousand) and many of our players dishonored the WV symbol affixed to their helmets (again, not all, but many).

    Our fan base should be ashamed over the fact that in only our second offensive drive of the game, they were already booing our quarterback for overthrowing his receivers twice in a row — nevermind the fact that this kid has given his everything to represent our home against his home state for the past few seasons.  Nevermind the fact that Skyler Howard was throwing the ball in blizzard conditions.  Nevermind the fact that his frozen fingers may have caused the ball to slip when it left his hands.

    Nope, none of that matters.  He messed up two plays in a row, so tens of thousands of “fans” felt justified in booing their own player — In my opinion, that’s disgusting and every single person who did this should do the rest of Mountaineer Nation a huge favor and never return to Mountaineer Field.

    I’ve never met Howard, but if I ever had the opportunity to meet him, I’d feel obligated to apologize for how he has been treated by our fan base during his tenure in Morgantown.

    For a kid who has done so much for us, West Virginia fans have done everything to suck the life out of this 22-year-old.

    In an interview with ESPN last year, Howard described what it was like to play in Morgantown by using the following words, “We both get booed at our home stadium.”

    That’s shameful.

    Unfortunately, I’m not only ashamed to wear my hat this morning because of our fans, but also because of many of our players.

    I get it, football is a tough and sometimes violent sport and there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to contact — but what I witnessed Saturday night was nothing short of a disgustingly dirty team getting their butt’s beat and instead of working to get back into the game, they were more concerned with taking cheap shots…  Were it not for the color of their uniforms, I would have been cheering to the top of my lungs everytime the other team scored simply because of the way our players were acting.

    This morning, the entire nation is talking about West Virginia University and what they’re saying should embarrass every child of the Mountain State:

    In case Tony Gibson and Dana Holgorsen haven’t figured it out, I’m going to let them in on a little secret — the State of West Virginia needs its football and for good reason.

    Mountaineer football brings us together as a state – the titles that divide us throughout the week, the Rs and Ds, “Right to work” and union supporter, have and have nots, the religious and non-religious, Mingo County and Martinsburg, all mean nothing on gameday and for a brief moment the entire state (outside of those folks in Huntington) come together to cheer for a common goal — and in 2016 America, that’s something special.

    WVU football offers a conversation piece for fathers and sons who may stand in need of reconciliation.

    Mountaineer football gives hope to one of the poorest and most afflicted states in the Union, but above all of this, West Virginia football offers us an opportunity to showcase our state to the entire world.

    A single primetime game can do more to reach perspective industry than an entire international trip made by the governor, touting “We’re open for business.”

    And Saturday night, we were given an opportunity to showcase the beauty of our state, the goodness of its citizens and the uniqueness of West Virginia… and we failed to seize the opportunity.

    Instead of having Oklahoma fans return to the Midwest as ambassadors of how pleasant of a place West Virginia is and why the people are worthy of international investment, we instead have an endless Twitter feed touting how dirty West Virginia’s fans and players are… and based upon Saturday night’s performance, they’re right.

    My message to Gibson and Holgorsen is simple — we love to win, but truly, winning isn’t everything.  The kids you bring out of Florida and Ohio and Carolina take on a great responsibility when they strap on that helmet that says West Virginia.  They instantly become ambassadors of our state, representing everyone’s coal mining grandfather, praying grandmother and little hometown which stood at the bottom of some random mountain alongside a muddy creek.  They represent home.

    And far more important than winning titles or beating Oklahoma, the people of this state want to be represented fairly, and last night, your boys failed miserably in doing this.  They should be ashamed of themselves and I’m ashamed of them.

    My message to our fans is also simple — unless you’ve played football in the FBS, you should probably just do everyone a favor and put your hand over your mouth the next time you feel like booing a kid doing his best to represent you.

    I am a Mountaineer.  I will remain a Mountaineer. But this morning, I am ashamed of this fact.

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    1. Welcome to the “new” college sports program where the players aren’t held accountable for their actions on or off the field, because of recruiting competition and wet-noodle coaches. It all hinges on a colleges bottom line profit margin now. Sportsmanship is optional, paying the tuition is not………

      • What’s new about it? It’s been going on for years. Even with Rich Rods guys. Take a look at some of the players he brought in and look what they did while in high school and here at WVU

        • Does anyone else miss the Bill Stewart era, regardless of how short it was??? He would’ve pulled every last player that was acting like a baffoon even if that meant fielding the third string team! It probably would’ve also been the last game they ever played with a “flying WV” on the side of their helmet.

    2. West Virginians voted in great numbers for the man with the most disgusting behavior I have ever seen in a presidential candidate. Our “president elect” is the role model for these fans and players and it may be that they are buying his behavior hook, line, and sinker.

      • There’s always one that wants to turn anything and everything into the POTUS election. Get over it, he won so just hope the best for him and our country. Geeeeez man let it go –

      • Really? Still trolling for Killary, the filthiest, felonious, lowlife, lying, thieving, murdering politician in US history?
        Despite unprecedented media bias, lying poll manipulation and many different types of massive voter fraud… She got BEAT DOWN! Go cry somewhere else while I do a Trump endzone dance and spike the ball in your face!
        Whoo Hoo!

      • West Virginians voted for the person who did NOT say they were going to “destroy the coal industry” you idiot! Take your clinton loving ass to California and suck on your loser thumb there. This article is about football NOT friggin politics! Your candidate LOST – get over it.

      • I am not a fan of either team, just a fan of college football so I read the article and scrolled through a few comments? Why do you even feel the need to bring politics into this? So, our country would benefit if it was being lead by someone with hillary’s high moral standards and ethics?

      • Shut up. Your liberal ideologies and brainless antics are not needed on a college football story. Hillary has said far worse “deplorable” things. Go back to your safe space put your safety pin on and calm down before the booing word hurts your feelings.

      • Hey Ms Connie Bleeding heart,,, WV fans were acting this way long before the presidential election. Go hug a tree in your little safe zone.

      • Connie,

        Unfortunately, this article was not regarded, in any way, toward politics, with the exception that the author stated that Mountaineer Football brought all of us (Republicans & Democrats) together in this state.

        I do love how you have decided to throw politics in the conversation though. I am quite certain that in the matter of one football game that the “president elect” had an impact on these players, but if that makes you feel better to blame their behavior on the “president elect” then feel free to do so. Quite comical to be honest.

        Are you a follower of Mountaineer Football? Or football in general? Really, do you follow any sports? If so, you would understand that these young men acted unsportsmanlike due to (in my opinion) losing and high testosterone levels. In other words, they were getting their butts kicked and decided to play “dirty” instead of putting their heads into the game. Their behavior was unacceptable and they deserved to lose the game, no question.

        But again, if it makes you feel better to blame the “president elect,” feel free to do so.

      • Blame it on President Elect Trump. OMG. Sounds like an uneducated and uninformed Hillary fan. Blaming their behavior on Trump? Read your text again. Do u in any way see how stupid it sounds. Obama is destroying our country and hates everyone. Trump hasn’t even taken the oath and he just wants to make our country better and people like you are already condemning him. Dear God no wonder folks think our state is so backward.

      • These college kids role models are BLM and Liberals who are by far and large pathetic moral cretins. Most probably felt they needed a safe space by halftime if I’m reading this article correctly. Our President Elect will have to try and fix the moral MESS Obama and the Democrats have left on our youth (and fans).


      • Wow what an ignorant comment. Oklahoma voted for Trump as well. 29 of the 50 states voted for Trump. Damn. I’m embarrassed for you.

      • Back off, Connie! Nobody brought up the election so you shouldn’t either! Geez! The nation picked Trump, not just WV! This post is about football….stick to the topic or go away.

      • What ridiculous garbage you spew. Don’t even try to turn this political, and blame actions on Trump. Look at how who is acting babies at this point anyway. It’s not the people who elected our next president. It’s the self entitled leftist who act just like some of the Mountaineers did last night. Open you eyes you blinded sheep.

      • just saying the election has nothing to do with football. trump is president, get. over. it. we voted trump because he is bringing our jobs back, which is coal, the only real economy in our state.

      • This comment is absolutely ridiculous. This is about college football not politics. Sounds like your taking Hillary’s loss about as well as the Mountaineers handled getting embarrassed last night. Smh

      • That’s just dumb. In fact, the politics of the last 8 years has led to this lawlessness, lack of respect for authority, and shameful behavior of many our youth. Moral relativism. Blaming the President – Elect for bad behavior in Morgantown last night is really dumb….D U M B

      • Let me tell you something right now, I am from WV, I DID NOT vote for Trump or Clinton because they both are awful people. Secondly, this is how the fans & players for WVPU have acted for the past 20 plus years. The university does NOT reflect what the state really is, Marshall has showed the respect & dignity of the state, which is a big part of why Marshall was pick as the top university in WV by cbs sports. Don’t make comments about things you know nothing about.

        • Get your facts straight. CBS Sports didn’t name Marshall “top university in WV”. They were named in a “best college football team in each state entering 2016” article. Big difference. Don’t give much credence to the article – WVU is 8-2 playing in the Big 12 and lost to top 10 Oklahoma yesterday while Marshall is 3-8 playing in Conference USA (I think. The only people in the state who give a crap about Marshall football are in Huntington) and lost to 4-7 Florida International University (is that a real school?). So practice what you preach, Wayne N, and don’t make comments on things you know nothing about.

          • Florida International University
            Florida International University
            Miami, FL
            Tuition: $6,496
            Students: 40,974 (44% male / 56% female)
            Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
            Founded: 1972
            Category: public, coed college

            West Virginia University
            West Virginia University
            Morgantown, WV
            Tuition: $6,960
            Students: 22,563 (54% male / 46% female)
            Student-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
            Founded: 1867
            Category: public, coed college

            Does that answer your question? FIU has just been around since 1972 and almost doubles WVU in Students! Don’t accuse someone of not knowing the facts if you don’t have the facts your self!

      • Sweet lady..Trump as been visible for maybe the last 15 months. The behavior people have been showing wasn’t developed or learned recently..their attitudes and behavior were being “taught and nurtured” at the knee of a loving role model.

      • Connie DoughBOY, you are as ignorant as the rest of the KILLary zombies! I’d put money on who it was behaving in that manner…let’s just turn on the news and see just exactly WHO BEHAVES in that manner, you STUPID CUNT!!!!!

      • Connie D!

        Maybe their influences are coming from the nice protestors in the cities across this vast nation. I would say we need to go in and get the Republican protestors… oh wait! Can it be that the protestors are liberals???

        Foolish comments are everywhere rift now from Libs everywhere across this nation because they can’t lose any better than WVU did on Saturday night. When you realize your comments were completely asinine, you might be coming out of your Liberally induced fog you live in.

      • Connie, congrats for dragging your political feelings into a sports conversation. Aside from who you voted for and your feelings for the potus-elect, the lack of values and class of those fans and players being called out didn’t happen because of the election. Perhaps you would have preferred they march in the streets of Morgantown and refuse to accept the Oklahoma victory.

      • Connie probably believes we should not declare a winner based on the results of the actual score, but rather by the fans voting on which team they would like to have won? Or don’t keep score and give each team a trophy so that everyone feels good about their experience.

    3. I could be wrong as I was not there but I didn’t take the boo’s as directed towards Howard but rather as to those who obviously did not have the team prepared to play. In the end the team reacted just as they had saw their leader react in previous games. One can not expect a team to not act petulant when that is exactly how Holgorson acted.

      • I’m pretty sure that when the fans are chanting “Sit Skyler down…” and then booing, the boos are directed (at least in part) toward Howard.

        • So what do you want, a safe zone at WVU also? If you can’t wear your big boy pants and play the game, time for a teddy bear and counseling. I know Skylar tries his best and plays with everything he has, but he doesn’t belong in that position. While I don’t boo players, if fans want to, it’s their right as patrons who pay a lot of money.

    4. Being a life long Sooner fan we Sooner fan take pride in good sportmanship , but wasn’t always this way . We learn this from one of our biggest rivals which unfortunately no longer in the B12 which is Nebraska . They are models of sportsmanship , respect and knowledge of college football ! Texas bad attitude ran them off . Everyone I’ve ever met from WV were salt of the Earth type people , please learn to apply it to college football and your mountaineers!

      • And please try to get through YOUR players’ heads that you do not disparage the opponent’s team and field logo prior to the game….that was the start of the LOWS.

      • I’m from WV and live in Morgantown. I’ve literally been all over the state and have noticed so many changes. The majority of the people in the bigger areas (Huntington, Charleston, Morgantown) have developed this arrogant fast paced big city kind of attitude. The smaller “give you the shirt off their back” type areas have been overtaken by drugs (heroin, meth). The state has lost its balance.

      • So your offensive lineman was exhibiting good sportsmanship when he wouldn’t release our D lineman until our guy had to push away so hard it took your guy”s helmet off? Or when they went to the WV logo first drug pregame to incite our players to an I’ll advised response. Hardly. Spare us the holier than thou attitude.

        As said above, this is what college sports has come to. There may be exceptions, but if last night is an example, OU is not one of them. Neither is Holgerson”s team. Last night reminded me of the WVU vs Miami games of the 90s. Yeah we lost a lot of those too.

      • Thank you Bruce. With all due respect, the Sooner players were doing a well-calculated mind job on our players and it worked to perfection. They were taking the first shot after each play and provoking our players, knowing full well that it’s always the 2nd guy to throw a punch that gets caught…..and our players displayed a complete lack of composure by reacting to it every time.

      • Your Sooners are the dirtiest players in college football. You think running to the center of the field and stomping on an opposing team’s logo shows good sportsmanship? Your players are always mouthy and never show any respect. I was shocked at the behavior shown by the WVU team. It was very out of character for them. They normally play a very clean game, which is what we enjoy.

    5. I am ashamed of the people of this state every Saturday when I go out for my morning run and see hundreds of these Mountaineer fans travel in and are so drunk they act like idiots. I’m ashamed that these Mountaineer fans are in the stands flipping off the Oklahoma players and talking trash to them. I’m ashamed that these Mountaineer fans smuggle marijuana into the stadium and smoke it up while some of us have to try and guess where exactly it is coming from. I’m ashamed that these Mountaineer fans curse at the police and throw things at them while they are forced to work overtime to try their best to enforce law and order. I’m ashamed that I live 5m from the football stadium and choose to not go to 98% of the games when I use to go to every single one of them. The majority of the Mountaineer fan base have turned into entitled “what have you done for me lately” brats and if you ever disagree with their opinions on WVU athletics, you immediately get berated and verbally attacked for sharing your opinion. It didn’t take me till Nov. 19, 2016 to be ashamed, I turned a long time ago.

      • Let me also add that these fans I speak of are young and old alike. Based on my observations, they can range from 18-80. Completely and utterly unbelievable what the people of this state turn into during a college football game.

      • I’m ashamed of your stupidity. Every team has fans that talk trash to the opposing team, drink, yell at the police, etc…

    6. I’m my belief, the booing of Howard was in part do to the fact that he could have ran the ball for positive yardage and didn’t but threw the ball outta bounds. Seems to me and several other I know ,that skylar is trying to make big plays instead of positive plays. Also a big lack of discipline on the part of our players.

    7. From where I was sitting,it looked like OU was doing all the mouthing,and we were caught doing the retaliating.

    8. I am always amazed at how “fans” can be so awful to our team. We or any team for that matter can not be perfect and expecting that is rediculous. Yes, the team was a mess last night, yes Dana does need to make better play calls and for damn sure the fans need to get their crap together and stop being A-holes to the very team you root for and back as long as they are winning. Stop being fair weather fans. A true fan stands and respects their team come what may. I am so sad and disappointed for the guys that were on that field last night. I will NEVER boo or disrespect my Mountaineers.
      I am a fan win, loose or draw. They are MY Mountaineers and I uphold them always.

    9. I have been privy to more than my fair share of ridiculous losses with this school and in my playing days. Some where the team had no right to be on the field with us, yet we lose, whereas others we came out of the tunnel and looked as though we had never played the game before a day in our lives. I have not played football at the FBS level, nor do I in all honesty have the talent and skill. However when I played in high school, regardless of the sport, I can say I NEVER GAVE UP the way our team did last night. You win some, you lose some, but you fight to the end nevertheless. We didn’t last night. I guess if I was being booed by my own fans I would’ve gotten mad as well and thrown it in their faces.

      The booing came, because our QB threw the ball so far away from our receivers, they would’ve had to have a rocket up their 4th point of contact to have a prayer to catch it. I get it, bad weather, had atmosphere, etc. You never quit, but after the first series and OU punted the ball and we fumbled it, I looked over at my friend and wife, and said , “Game is over!” I know how WVU is, one bad play and historically the team’s have given up. If your first string QB is not getting the job done, sit them and move down the line. When I grew up playing sports, the BEST player played and, when you didn’t do your job, you say on the bench. Everyone has bad games, just seems that when certain teams play us, we ALWAYS have a bad game. The booing came because we fumbled how many times in the red zone? I never got to use gloves back in the day, the gloves they have are like super glue. Have I made mistakes, yes, but I kept fighting. Have I had bad games, yes, but I kept fighting.

      Holgerson should’ve ejected his own player for reacting that way towards the refs. Never put your hands on a ref, no matter the circumstances. You let the coaches take care of that. But then again, that is Holgies way of doing things. We say how poor or crappy our fans are, what about last year when your head coach high fives an opposing player on your sideline in front of the players? “What else am I supposed to do? Yell at my players?” That is his mentality, but then again I am no expert I guess. I am just a fan. Are we really mad as fans at the players, a little maybe. But I think we are more upset at our coaches for not executing game plans and not holding everyone accountable.

      Am I ashamed of how I acted last night, yes. Am I still a fan, yes. Have I lost faith in certain individuals, yes! There is a reason Holgie is still here, we waited too long at the end of the season last year when all the coaches were being hired. There is a reason why he has been on the hot seat pretty much his entire tenure. I thought it was dumb when we went to the Big12 to begin with. We should’ve stayed away and just stayed Independent of anything else. We get a chance every 30 years or so to play a huge game, it has just not been our time yet.

      Once again, we had a chance to showcase the beauty of our state. The beauty spoken of by players in the past that said this was their home, not Florida or Carolina etc. Our previous coaches were like father figures to our players; Nehlan, Rich Rod, Stewart, Bowden. Can these players say the same thing about the current coach?

      • @ EersFan06,

        You just lost ALL credibility when you said we should have remained Independent. We would be somewhere below Marshall. Get a freaking clue.

    10. With ticket prices the way they are, along with needing a small loan to afford hot dogs and drinks, fans deserve to enjoy the game however they wish. Of course I’m not including violence and bad language. But if they want to gouge you to park, eat and gain entrance, then I’ll boo whoever I wish, whenever I wish. Maybe some people will say I’m not a “true fan.” If you’re over 18 and let the outcome bother you, that’s crazy, unless you have money riding on it. The kids aren’t even from here for the most part. It’s just big business exploiting young men. That was a nice article, especially about the talking between a father and son due to football. But to be ashamed because a D1 kid got booed? Oh well…..he knew it was cutthroat when he accepted scholarship. I respect him a lot for holding his head up and still playing after that treatment. He seems like a great kid. If four members of my family attend a game, we could easily spend well over $500 in basics. So if we want to boo, we will. And we will not do you a favor by staying home. There’s no instructions on the tickets, and you don’t get to make the rules for “your team.”

    11. WV played badly but Oklahoma deliberately tried to intimidate and kept playing after the whistle, spit and stomped on the logo at midfield before the game. WV was not blameless but OU initiated many of the problems. And OU has always been my second favorite team after WVU. Both sides were at fault.

    12. I spoke with Skyler’s mom and dad last night when the booing took place. It breaks my heart. He’s just a kid playing a game. I can never understand when fans behave this way. The outcome may have been different had the fans supported the team and cheered them up. Nobody can perform well under those circumstances.

    13. First off I was there last night for the entire game, I did boo at one point but it was in total dissatisfaction of the way everything was going last night. The coaching, the turnovers, the guys who acted like punks and yes the poor play of Skylar. He’s created this situation with his comments and having a chip on his shoulder I praise him when he does well so therefore when he’s bad I’ll say my two cents as well. If he can’t handle it then I’m sorry, he’s a grown man. That’s the probably with our society today people can’t handle the truth.

    14. In which the author fails to prove his thesis, first by splitting it in half and then by relying on the tired logical fallacy of ‘if you didn’t play, you aren’t entitled to express an opinion.’

      Let’s start with basic math: if the only people who were allowed to express a (negative) opinion were ex-players then the stadium would be a) nearly empty and b) nearly silent, especially on a night when the program’s myriad shortcomings were broadcast in high definition to the entire nation.

      Fan interest is a double-edged sword; always has been, always will be. Marketing hacks and Pollyanna fans believe the ‘gameday experience’ should be like preschool ie one of constant positive reinforcement where everyone gets a trophy. There are even intelligence-insulting ‘cheer now’ cues from the overloud video board, as if WVU fans were unfamiliar with football’s nuances.

      Skylar Howard is hardly a sympathetic figure, given his nomadic, even cynical college existence. He didn’t choose WVU so much as choose a program where he though he could slot in.

      But worrying about fans expressing their displeasure from afar seems quaint when the players are getting what can only be described as a torrent of up-close verbal abuse from their red-faced, sputtering, visor-twisting, headset-tossing coach. Holgorsen says most of the right things in his press conferences and plays the gee-whiz-we-tried card but his appalling near-constant displays of unhinged sideline behavior tell a different story. He’s not intense, focused, competitive, hard-nosed or any other euphemism – he’s merely a bad actor.

      It’s one thing to be Nick Saban, who can’t walk to the bathroom without tripping over a large trophy or two, and get away with giving the hair-dryer treatment to an assistant or a player who has clearly deviated from Alabama’s consistent high standard. It’s quite another to be advertised as an ‘offensive genius’ who runs the same dreary, even cowardly zone-read rubbish that is designed not to lose more than it’s designed to win. The ‘air raid’ has, somewhat inevitably, turned into a confused shuffle behind the line of scrimmage.

      The martyr act gets very old very quick among fans, especially among those who believe they are entitled to pass moral judgment on large groups of strangers regardless of their native state or alma mater. Strip away the hype, the media guides, and the thin skin of flashy graphics on an old stadium (an appropriate metaphor) it’s not a very good team, it’s not a very good coach and it’s not a program that shows any long-term prospect for sustained improvement.

      In sum, all of the so-called fixes – the coach-in-waiting fiasco, the Big 12 move, the tailgating/halftime policy, the ‘premium’ ticket extortion ruse for both football and basketball – that were offered up by one Oliver Luck and his large band of sycophants were merely stopgaps or, in many cases, counterproductive. Given the systemic problems previous and present athletic directors have lumbered the school and the fans with, a few boos from the crowd is the least of anyone’s concerns.

    15. Get a life dude. Teams that perform poorly get booed by in their own stadium all the time. People pay a lot of money for tickets and if three don’t feel they are getting a return on their investment they have every right to boo. If the kid doesn’t like it it maybe he should play better or not play at all. You’re just as bad as for crying about it in this article.

    16. I’m a mountaineer fan, always have been, and I live in west virginia…You can’t base the whole fan base and the acts of players on one big game…it was a mess all the way around, and yes, it was embarrassing. But, no one can honestly say that wvu isnt respectable and shows sportsmanship!

    17. This Mountaineer recently spent a week in the great state of Texas. Dallas, Waco, San Antonio and Austin… After our game concluded against the Longhorns I couldn’t help but recognize the hospitality of the fans and people. The only negative words spoken were “beat Oklahoma”. I commented to my family that you would never see this type of greeting for a visiting team in Mo- town. I hope we can bounce back from this horrible display of play and sportsmanship but I fear that “sport” is afflicted with the same bad attitudes that we see daily in our society.

    18. I live in SC but was raised in the beautiful state of WV. I watch our Mountianeers every year with great anticipation. I want nothing more for WVU WIN and contend for a title. Mostly because it’s the only thing that gives us hope. But everyone is right. The sportsmanship we show when losing is a disgrace! And it always happens when the eyes of the world are on us. We won a lot of games and even big games! It’s all good until we lose. I like the little fiery Holgerson…but him and his staff fall short in the character category. Waaaaaaay short!
      Do some research on Howard if you want to know what A CHAMPION is made from! Don’t BOO him because he missed a pass. You sing his praises while winning. We were thoroughly out coached. Not prepared at all. You could see in the very first series on offense and defense. BOO the staff…not the players. #95 was still playing after he showed the world that since he got a trophy for participation he can’t stand to lose and when he does lose he acts like a 4 year old. Not on my team! If show disrespect towards an official like that your ass is on the bench. But no! That action is ok according to the WVU staff. No punishment. Put him back in and let him away with it. You never saw a Lou Houltz, Bear Bryant, Bob Stoops or Saban (WV boy) stand for anything like that. The state of WV along with WVU was embarrassed last night. They were beat by a better prepared team. But worst of all that were also out classed.

      • Well…….I think you are holding holtz and stoops to a different standard. These coaches will do anything to win, saban too. Stoops lets people with serious charges against them play after slap on wrist. winning is all that matters in this age of huge money being generated

    19. you expect people in West Virginia to have any class or sportsmanship? I recently moved back to north Central WV to care for my aging father. I’ve noticed people get offended when I say things like, Excuse me, please or thank you or am openly conversive with the locals. They take being friendly and kind as hostility .. – never seen anything like it- Bunch a rubes- Trump Voters, Drunks and Meth heads… Or people 60 years old Plus who have never ventured out of the state but once or twice in their lives. Completely uncultured and

      • I went to DC recently, a lot of people I talked to could barely speak English, the traffic was bad, lots of road rage, a lot rich snobby people who think they’re better than the world driving fancy cars, crackheads on the sidewalks begging for money, protesters every where about men and women using the same bathrooms…. place blows

    20. Oklahoma should not have been allowed to come out and jump
      On our logo as if it was dirt. Our team reacted and so would have done the same at there house. Agreed Dana and Tony should have sit them down. Coach Stoops should have stopped the trash talking and tell them just play ball. Blame the coaches not the players, they let it happen. I pray that Kennedy McVoy is alright he is great running back and the team will miss him. Crawford did a fantastic job running the ball just lost it a couple times. I will always be proud to be a Mountaineer.

    21. Most West Virginians like WVU football just because it holds the same name as our state which is why so many fans come and go,
      You like them when they win and hate them when they lose, you see nothing wrong when they win like the fact that Howard is great if they win
      and you don’t see that he is better at short passes than long even though deep passes are caught he doesn’t pass it deep he slings it deep
      and the receivers are awesome at getting to the ball, you don’t see that Howard is the Manual of WVU football, last night the pressure was to great for Howard and the coverage was to good, a lot of credit goes to the rest of the team for the wins they have and the hard work they put in that allows you
      The fan to swing all over Howard you fans ignore the mistakes when they win and you boo the man when he struggles, last night he
      needed the fans he had all season but you let him down instead of supporting him, when you boo a player the whole team feels the pain
      and when they looked toward the stands you fans were leaving, more hurt for the team, boo the coach or boo a player the team feels the hurt,
      getting beat by Oklahoma is nothing compared to being defeated by your own fans, you played a big part in last nights game by stomping
      all over WVU, can you imagine how great Oklahoma must have felt? You the fan want WVU football to represent you as a state but WVU wants
      you just to be a fan win or lose, the players wake up today knowing that the fans they thought they had are really just fans of winning,
      WVU did play a great game, it was a very exciting game, why don’t you true fans let them know, they need it now more than ever, the season
      isn’t over yet, I think I smell a great bowl game coming, LETS GO, MOUNTAINEER’S!

    22. This article gives me much distress. Booing (even your own team or players) is freedom of speech and with the outrageous amounts of money people pay to go to mountaineer home games, I think their tolerance for bad play is short. Skyler Howard may be a wonderful person and an exceptional student but his play (throwing into double and triple coverage and other bad decisions) is disturbing to watch over and over. Fans grow tired of wanting what they used to have in quarterbacks like Geno Smith, Pat White, Marc Bulger and so on. To add to the frustration Howard shows the fans glimpses of greatness but they are few and far in between. So they boo. Howard has chosen to play the most focused upon position and with that he needs to have bigger shoulders to withstand the criticisms and play better, or take a seat on the bench. As for the dirty play, the coaches should have put the fear of God into those kids early on because no one wins when the game degrades to that level.

      • He said it was wrong to boo them, not illegal. He’s not attempting to take away their right to free speech. By your logic you are infringing on the authors freedom of speech. Why is this concept so hard for people to grasp.

    23. Hey OU fans, at least our players didn’t purposely stomp on your emblem on the field like your team did. That is distasteful and very unsportsmanlike. You wanna know what started the dirty playing? That right there starred it. Your players were just as guilty for playing dirty.

    24. I love the Mountaineers. I love WVU football. And I love West Virginia. I would like to apologize to Skyler Howard for the booing of some of our fans. It makes no sense. I’m proud of a young man who has been told all his life he is not good enough and still keeps at it Keep at it young man. To the players who were playing dirty – what are you thinking? Is that how you are going through life? I sincerely hope you will apologize to the Oklahoma players, coaches and fans as I surely do. Please forgive us for this lapse in manners and judgement.

    25. Oh if John Denver could see us now. What happened to the pride of being a West Virginian? Someone or quiet a few flushed the handle on the toilet and the dirty players and low life fans gave the country a true vision of ALMOST HEAVEN. Shame is the word ! ?

    26. So, the author condescends to us “Terrible fans” for booing the team, then turns around and calls our players “Disgustingly dirty”. Gee, hypocrite much?
      Just like every other self-righteous holier-than-thou type, he does the exact same thing he scolds others for doing.

    27. We’re all just being sore losers over this game. Lets take a few steps back and go forward. Lets stop pretending this is a championship caliber team. It’s not. Why? We should of lost to BYU, Kansas State, we escaped Texas after turning the ball over 3 times in the second half, and we were tied at halftime to a Division I-AA team at home. The fact that we made it this far with the record we have now, along with this beat up roster is nothing short of a miracle. In hindsight, this result was inevitable. We got what was coming to us. This one stings, but I’m a Mountaineer for life and one loss to a great team isn’t going to bring shame. Shameful programs are Penn States and Baylors who believe football is first before real life issues. Until then, I wear blue and gold with pride.

    28. Embarrassed about the loss, and the behavior of both teams few players that have a lack of discipline. I still love my mountaineers wanting them to win really bad I was upset in the loss to Oklahoma st I really want tyhe team I love and will love once my ashes are spread over mountaineer field after my death which is directed in my living will. Is it wrong tone upset over players playing badly,no is is it wrong tyo be mad at the coaches for making bad play calling decisions,no. I want to see my eers win every night in all sports thius great university plays in our girls soccer team is a within winning a gfew more games to be national champions, our rifle team is multiple times national champions we have hgreast pride in our sports programs. Have I booed and ranted over coached and felt like a coach needed to put a starting player on the bench for bad performance, yes I have like I said I love my errs I wanna win lord I want to see my eers football and basketball team win a national championship in my life time I’ll put that in my greatest moments in my life to be written in my obituary. Our football program as well as our other athletic programs are on the rise if u can’t see it your blind I was sad and upset last night yes and embarrassed to a degree but all I am going to say going forward today,tomorrow, and everyday is let’s go mountaineers and that will never change.

    29. Not that many notice, but Friday night, the #1 ranked women’s soccer team won over Ohio State in double overtime to send them to the Sweet 16. They have 2 Canadian Olympic Bronze Medal winners and another player on Mexico’s national team. Total class organization headed by 5 time Big 12 Coach of the Year, Nikki Izzo Brown.

      There’s still a lot to be proud of in Morgantown. Including the AAA champion girls soccer team at University High School.

    30. LOL at the posters whose best retaliation is “but OU stomped on our logo midfield”. Okay, that totally justifies shoving and poking the refs. Glad WVU lost if that is the way they want to play the game. Learn what sportsmanship is. Felt so embarrassed for a friend of mine who got his undergrad at WVU.

    31. Nobody else wanted Skylar he gets booed because he has no business being a quarterback . Who care what Oklahoma fans think other than Virginia tech they have the worst fans I’ve ever seen and that’s their reputation throughout the big 12. Oklahoma players are disrespectful I watch half the bench stand there with a middle finger to the crowd the entire game for no reason. The problem is the coach he does not discipline the players let’s them do anything they want majority of them do some hardcore drugs and the policy is don’t get caught. The coach needs to be teaching these people to become men it’s not all about football and Wvu needs to recruit players with good character not these fools holgs has been bringing in.

    32. I was at the game so I’m sure the televised images put all the blame on West Virginia because let’s be honest when has ANYONE EVER been on our side? Oklahoma players started with the disrespect to our logo on the field & trash talk 25 minutes before kickoff, from that point on Ok would take cheap shots, pushing, shoving & so on, if WV players responded we got flagged if our guys didn’t respond the referees would get in between the two & push the OK player back & guess what…NO FLAG. I don’t know how many times I pointed it out because it was very noticeable even in the nose bleed section that their players were shoving & pushing ours. Should our guys have handled it better? YES, should the refs not been so ONE SIDED? YES, but it’s like everything else we are shit on, & made out to be the scum, dumb, inbred state & people of this nation. It’s nothing new to us & normally they get little to no reaction out of us, but let me ask you this…how many times are you gonna let someone push & shove you around before you finally have a reaction to thier actions?

    33. Sorry but this article Is WAY OVERBLOWN. I Sat through Every Second of that cold game last night. TENS OF THOUSANDS of Fams were not Booing. It was a Very Small percentage of fans. As for the Dirty Play. Theres a saying in Football and you hear it At Every Level. The SECOND GUY ALWAYS GETS CAUGHT. OK was /is a master of intimidation (Holgersons words) there was a LOT of Chrap shot . Talking and Back and Forth that went on through that game.
      As for being embarrassed ?? NEVER !! There was a point in the game When The Stadium was over Half Empty and a Team that could have Given up was somehow within One Stop of Bringing back the Ghosts of a Louisville Comeback. We sit beside the Visior section and for the First time in the game They were TRULY CONCERNED. SO While This game hurts, No worse than losing to Temple years ago, Nowhere near as bad as Losing 13-9 to Pitt on that Dreadful night. I will proudly wear wear my WVU Gear. Tomorrow. Today it still hurts

    34. As if WVU ever had class. Throwing quarters at basketball referees, rioting and burning couches win or lose, spitting and throwing beer on opposing fans. Please! You are the Philadelphia Eagles fans of college sports.

    35. Blizzard like conditions? Have you ever in fact witnessed a blizzard? That was a dusting. The “kid” who gets love for having an 80+ passing efficiency against no name schools to start every season can’t win a big game. I’m not saying he isn’t trying, fact is he just isn’t that good. Stupid mistakes cost this team that game, you can’t make OU go 3 and out on the first drive then muff a punt, that in turn could have changed the entire complexity of the game, you can’t take multiple personal foul penalties that lead to touchdowns. Dana is a great football coach but he needs someone to support him and instill heart and desire in these young men. No one on that field looked like they played for an 8-1 team that was playing for a chance at the biggest stage of college football. If you’re ashamed go root somewhere else, don’t make excuses when so many facts led to how terrible that team looked last night.

    36. Lots of misplaced hubris and arrogance in this so-called article. First, WVU hardly represents the whole state, as Marshall has a commanding presence in southern WV. In fact, only about half of WVU’s students are even from West Virginia.

      Second, WVU fans always have been classless jerks, as they’ve thrown batteries, trash cans, and bottles at opposing players and coaches for years. They regularly boo their own team and walk out when WVU falls behind. What was the attendance in the 3rd quarter last night?

      In addition, WVU is not and has never been a national contender. About once a decade, WVU will have a senior-laden team, play a cream puff schedule, scream for respect, and then get embarrassed and humiliated when they play a good team.

      Finally, West Virginia is not some magical fairyland. It’s poor, littered, run down, and a prescription drug haven. A blow out in a football game should be a West Virginian’s least concern.

      • @ Hoke Colburn,

        LOL at a Marshall fan calling ANYBODY else’s schedule “weak”. You can’t make this stuff up, lol. You wouldn’t win 2 games against our schedule….oh wait, you can’t win 2 games against your CURRENT schedule, LOL.

        • I dont like WVU, but that certainly does not make me want to bash them like some of you folks are doing as well as bashing OU and the smaller school down south in WV where i received my undergrad before going to UK for my medical degree. I will say that I have seen much more respect for visiting teams in Huntington and Lexington. I was in Huntington the last time WVU played there and was glad to see the large contingent of their fan base, but I did experience some really arrogant and asinine behavior from some of the WVU fans.
          I have lived a lot of places, both metro and urban, I voted for the incoming president and would confidently say that some of these comments are just downright ignorant.

      • you could fit marshall’s commanding southern presence in their stadium and still be able to scalp tickets game day for $5. I will agree that this writer is either completely disassociated with who the current WVU fan base is or ever was because as a multigenerational WVU fan family I can tell you that my grandma would boo Skyler Howard if she could make it to the stadium, and I dare anyone to say she lacks class. WVU fans expect results or at least a fight. No one walked into that stadium thinking we were going to win. Maybe hoping, but no one thought that it was going to be a walk in the park. What we didn’t expect is to see a meltdown of epic proportions. These fans took what they could from their hard earned money and bought a ticket to escape, as you so empathetically put it, their poor, littered, run down, prescription drug haven existance to see a team they love put up a fight. I think they earned the right to boo a QB who has shown that he is capable of giving the game away at any second.

      • At least we don’t married our mom and have sex with our kids. Ou is a team with a state full of inbreeders. Ill take the state of WE over that place anyway

    37. I’ve never seen an OU team stomp another team’s logo, I don’t know what the players thought justified their action but they were wrong. As to the statements about OU doing it to get into the heads of the WVA players, I think you’re giving our players too much credit, OU’s defensive players can barely play their positions without spending time plotting psychological warfare.

    38. The behavior of the players falls to the coach to police. If he doesn’t show sportsmanship and respect, neither will the team. Coach Bill Stewart understood that some things are more important and his players loved and respected him for it. When these players have moved on, what will they take with them? Respect, or ignorance and hatred. There’s enough of that going around.

    39. I was there, 8 rows back, right behind the OU bench. You are saying you’re ashamed of the way WVU fans and players acted? Let me assure you that OU’s QB was the biggest instigating fan taunting low class athlete I’ve ever witnessed at a WVU game. There were numerous other OU players following his lead and taking cheap shots both on and off the field. They were completely disrespectful and the fans reacted to what they saw. The OU fans were great and I have no complaints about them at all. The team I witnessed was a whole different story!

    40. To the poster who said we should have never joined the Big 12, get a clue. We had no choice if we wanted to survive in college sports. But, as much as I am happy to be in the Big 12, the bias officiating is blatant. I don’t blame Coach Holgerson one bit for throwing a gasket when he has players playing their hearts out and referees make calls that aren’t there or ignore obvious penalties by our opposing Texas or Oklahoma teams.
      As for Skyler…The frustration is, against the better Oklahoma or Texas teams, he plays beyond himself trying to show them they made a big mistake not recruiting him; and in the process proves why they didn’t. The only reason we beat Texas is they aren’t a good team. and weren’t able to capitalize on his many mistakes like the two Oklahoma teams. He lost me last night when it was 2 and 10 and he rolled out and had at least 5-7 yards of clear field ahead of him, which would have made it 3 and 3-5, and he chucked the ball out of bounds.
      I agree that we should of had more composure and the coach should have been the one working the refs, not the players. And maybe as West Virginians we do have a chip on our shoulders when we constantly get dissed because we are a small rural state that due to the current economy is having some hard times. But I will never be ashamed to be a mountaineer.
      And I hope next year when we have a capable QB and we beat Oklahoma in Norman, we go out to their logo after the game and spit on it. Let them see what it feels like to disrespect their team AND fans . And I bet they won’t take it too lightly either.

    41. Howard is an inconsistent player, period.

      While he is capable of a 50 yard highlight worthy throw, he is equally consistent with blasting one 20 feet over a received head or getting put on his back.

      WVU, going back to the mid 80s has declared one or two key players as superstars and regardless of how poorly they produce will stick with them no matter what, make excuses to dismiss poor performance, and take a loss before telling the “star” to take a seat.

      If it bothers you that much, I hear Pitt tickets are available fairly cheap. And they have guaranteed parking.

    42. i’m a long time Sooner fan and OU grad 1991. I watched the game and was most disappointed at the player shoving his finger in the official’s chest and not getting ejected. What!!??
      Anyway I know it’s just a football game. I also realize that the player, coaches and fans aren’t truly representative of West Virginia or the people that live there. I’m sure you all are as passionate about your families, jobs and what’s really important in life as us Oklahomans. We have had our embarressing moments as well. What team hasn’t? There is so much more important things going on in our country than football games and fan reaction. People have truly lost sight of what is important anymore. We as fans need to remember that before we are fans, we are brothers and sisters, both belonging to this great county and owing our allegence to help make it a better place. As much as I love football, it doesn’t start there. Again, I want to reiterate to all West Viginians, no hard feelings, I know enough to know that most West Virginians are good people and what happened last night is not representative of your state.

    43. I’ve watched our Mountaineers degrade every year continuously since it was snatched from Coach Stewart and handed over to Holgersen. There’s absolutely no discipline left…be it behavioral or even just for the fundamentals of football! Every decent play is celebrated like it’s the best one ever instead of hustling back to the line and getting ready for the next snap. Most players on seem to prefer their individual spotlight instead of bringing glory to the whole team and the state. Unfortunately, I think it will be a while before anything changes.

    44. So funny this “writer” keeps deleting comments.

      “After Saturday night I’m ashamed to be a mountaineer”

      After reading this article I’m ashamed to be literate

    45. Don’t blame WVU’s quarterback, but some of the players actions were not sportsmanlike and that blame goes to the head coach. He is the one that sets the tone and expectations before the season starts. Howard is doing everything he can to win the game and the rest of the team needs to be on the same page too. They are having a good season and will go to a bowl game. Weather did have some effect, but that goes for both teams. I support the WVU players, but I don’t like the head coach.

    46. Being a Strong OU fan and living in OKC, but having gone to Texas Tech I have seen reactions over the years by the different teams and their fans. I was really glad that West Virginia joined the Big 12 (excuse me 10 now) and still am excited for their future in the conference. Oklahoma, Texas Tech literally have times when their athletes act out and are unsportsmanlike in their own ways. If i was the coach of the young man who got an unsportsmanlike conduct call and then poked the official, I would have yanked him and he would have sat the rest of the season and made to apologize to the official. Listening to pregame talk over the last days before the game, a consensus was that WVU QB wasn’t great but he was a capable game manager. if you are going to place blame, put it squarely on the soldiers of the coach who is quite often shown to throw fits of temper many times in the games, not just this one. Need to remember that the kids of this generation are wired differently with their emotions and outlook of life with them being influenced by pro athletes who seem to act the same way with their drug use, steroid use etc. don’t be so hard and be proud to be a Mountaineer. The program will emerge one day even stronger.

    47. I’m from West Virginia & have been to WVU games. Make it even better I’m a HOKIE! PROUD OF IT TO. Morgantown is the worst place I’ve ever been to watch a game …totally rude fans!!! No respect for anybody or anything!! Never forget in 1999 being there when my 2nd ranked HOKIES came in to only escape by a last second field goal. As we were leaving the game there were some older HOKIE fans leaving the stadium when these young stupid redneck mountaineer fans went grabbing there private area telling these people to “suck my”d#@ck” yeah and from what I hear it’s still no better! Stay classy Morgantown…losers!

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