Big Lead Sports Bar



As you know, Wednesday night will bring the latest installment of the basketball Backyard Brawl, when #6 West Virginia hosts #21 Pitt at the WVU Coliseum, the basketball palace which was closed in 1999 for asbestos removal.

As you also know, things tend to get a little crazy in Morgantown, especially when the Panthers come to town. In the 2007 football version of the Backyard Brawl, the Panthers' team bus was pelted with rocks by Mountaineer fans on the way to the stadium. As LeSean McCoy told Dave Wannstedt at the time, "Hey, coach, it's just like the movies." And in a script right out of Hollywood, the Panthers beat the Mountaineers - and the refs - in a monumental upset for the ages. That outcome probably didn't help Pitt-WVU relations in the long run.

Of course, bad behavior in Morgantown is not limited to Pitt games. More recently, the Mountaineer student section was "hushed" by Bob Huggins, of all people, to curb the chants against Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who admitted last year to an extramarital affair in 2003. And for historical perspective, there's always the flying trash can that hit a Miami assistant coach at a football game in 1996, which resulted in an out-of-court settlement. That's an interesting visual. Only in West Virginia could you somehow get a trash can into the stands.

With that as the backdrop, there is somewhat of a push among the classier WVU faithful to clean up the fans' act tomorrow night when Jamie Dixon and Co. pay them a visit. Said WVU VP for student affairs Ken Gray:

"We would encourage them to be more creative and work on not doing those things that really embarrass and disappoint not only us, but the coaches, the players and other students and fans," Gray said.

Gray is alluding to a certain three-word-phrase that's used every time Pitt comes to Morgantown, which will probably be uttered a few thousand times or so anyway on Wednesday night. I'm going out on a limb and guessing that no one will be thinking of his email when the Panthers enter the court.

Being that I am not a West Virginia fan, I could care less what their fans say. They're the ones who look bad, but then again, I'm not sure they're too conscious of their national reputation. I like rivalries, I like passion, I like the Backyard Brawl. At least they're willing to play Pitt, unlike other schools who shall remain nameless.

The Panthers would have their hands full on Wednesday night if this was being played in an empty arena. The hostility only adds to the backdrop. And when things end up working out in your favor, it's all the sweeter. Isn't that right, Rich Rod?

WVU warns rowdy student section []

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BURGH08 said...

I love that they hate Pitt. I have made trips to Morganhole for both football and basketball. You have to keep your head on a swivel at times, but if you have a few people with you, it's mostly talk.

That said, I haven't gone in the past three years since becoming a father. I have a fear more about getting a prison term bashing someone's skull in than getting hurt myself. I do find WVU fans to have more smarts though with their teams, unlike Penn State or Notre Dame fans overall.

Adam said...


BURGH08 said...
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SmokeyMaverick said...

Ahhhh, the grand 13-9 game. Love the clip - I never really noticed how well you can hear the Pitt locker room whooping it up in the background - great playback value.

Went to Pitt, I live in Pittsburgh on the weekends, and I was working Mon-Fri in Lansing MI for the past 3 years. Starting this week, I switched to another project in Charleston WV thought. Looking forward to the game tomorrow - if Pitt wins, yuugge upset. If WVU wins (which is what should happen) I can walk around just responding with my favorite comeback to any WVU fan: "thirteen-nine."

Anonymous said...

I still think it's unbelievable that Pitt fans will go back to that goddamn 2007 game. You won. We get it. 13-9, yeah, I haven't heard that at all since that game around these parts. That just tells me we've got to be a pretty damn good team if your rival keeps referencing a game from 2 years ago. Was I happy that we beat you this year? Yes. Did I mention 19-16 every damn time I hear Pitt fans talk about how WVU sucks? No. Do I bring up the shitty defense against Cincinnati? No. How annoying do you think it would get if when we talk to Browns fans the only words out of their mouths would be "13-6! 13-6!"? It gets more than annoying. That's pretty much what I have to deal with. Grow up people. I love a great rivalry like the next fan, but really, come on.

NickDawg said...

13-9 hahaha...the difference is that was the score that knocked wvu out of a national championship game...19-16 didnt knock pitt out of a national championship game..thats a huge difference and probably wouldnt be as annoying if the stakes were not as high

Koz said...

This game and/or post would be much more compelling if Penn
State was involved.

/rouses rabble

The Abiding Dude said...

The fans heckling Pitino is over the line in every way, but funny at the same time. I don't know, just makes me laugh. He is a public figure and puts his personal life on the line for the money he is being paid, so he should be able to handle it. If Pitino can't, he shouldn't have had the affair?

Is the cliche: "I could care less" or "I could not care less?" Just curious....