From the Cheap Seats: Change and Lightning Were in the Air - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

From the Cheap Seats: Change and Lightning Were in the Air

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MORGANTOWN -

The first game of the season, or at least three quarters of it, is in the books and fans like me finally got the chance to see what they'd been waiting for since last spring: the Mountaineers playing meaningful football.            

There was a lot of talk about change coming into this opener, with the vaunted new offense, the beer sales, the lump o' coal, the "High Five" rules, the "mantrip" and more.            

Like most fans who were there Sunday, I got a chance to check it all out.  I'm sure you're dying to know what I thought about it all, so here goes.

The mantrip's a pretty cool idea and seemed to be a hit with fans.  Some of the players were a little more into it than others.  I just hope the lineman don't expend all of their energy hiking up to the stadium.

My favorite parking lot T-shirts were the ones that replaced the Obama "Change" logo with a picture of Holgorsen and the ones that read: "Silence the Annoying Little Brother."  My not-so favorite shirt was the one emblazoned with the F-word that was prominently displayed on ESPN.  Apparently the "no foul or abusive language" rule doesn't apply to T-shirts.  I'll have more on the "rules" later.            

The chunk of coal is unique.  Its positioning makes sense as part of the "mantrip" path, but otherwise it's kind of tucked out of sight.  I guess I expected it to be bigger.            

The many beer stands were in much more obvious locations.  At first, it was a little weird to see fans openly drinking in the stadium.  Wait a minute, I take that back, fans have pretty much always drank fairly openly in the stadium, they're just sneaking less in now.  Notice I said "less".  Booze is still making its way through the turnstiles.             

The beer sales didn't seem to cause any major problems and the $75,000 profit from suds sales alone, seems to suggest that it was a hit with a lot of fans.  It was certainly a lot faster to get a beer than to go through the regular concession line.  Yeah, $7 a bottle is expensive, but as one of my co-workers said, it doesn't seem so bad when you drop $4 for a water.  A couple next to me in the stands indulged in quite a few beverages during the game.  They were much less obnoxious than the sober lady behind me who had been in the band in ‘90s and was still really, really excited about it.  I appreciate her service to the university, but I didn't need to hear about every flute solo from the '96 campaign while I was trying to decide if I liked the new offense or not.            

Speaking of the new O, many fans seemed pretty upset that the scoreboard didn't hit 70 in the first half.  To be honest, I don't remember ever watching a Dana Holgorsen-coached offense at Oklahoma State or Houston, so I really didn't know what it was supposed to look like.  All I knew was that his offenses have a history of scoring a lot of points and filling up stat sheets.  With only three quarters of action to judge from, it seems like we're headed in that direction.  Yes, the running game left a lot to be desired, but keep in mind that we used three true freshman running backs and it was the offensive line's first game under a new system.  On the topic of the O line, Geno had more time in the pocket Sunday than he did all of last season combined.  We've under utilized our many weapons in the past, so I loved seeming all of those different guys catching the ball.  We scored 34 points in three quarters.  Had we played the full game, it looked like were headed for at least a few more scores.  Looking back to last season for perspective, we only scored more than 35 points in one game and that was against UNLV.

We have that pesky Mother Nature to blame for slowing down Geno and the scoreboard.  During the delays, knowing that our wives were at home, and dry, my friend and I entertained ourselves by watching couples young and old fight over when it was time to give up and call it a night.  The weather brought out the ingenuity of the fans pictured above, who used some beer sales remnants to keep their posteriors dry after the first weather delay.  Now those are the "cheap seats."

Back to those "rules" that were supposed to govern fan behavior.  I noticed that the entire student section wasn't kicked out when they greeted Marshall with the classic "Eat Sh*# Pitt" chant, letting them know who our real rival is.  There was also no sign of the speech police when the students invoked the F-word against the Thundering Herd and the thunder and lightning.      

As I said, we've heard a lot about change.  Yes, we've got a couple of new pre-game traditions and what looks to be a pretty dynamic coaching staff, but other than that and the weather, it was just another day and another "W" at Mountaineer Field.  Sometimes the more you talk about change, the less change there is.

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