Guest Contribution: Fun with the DA


Editor’s note: Once again, Jeremy (of Pacman Jonesin’) comes through with another takedown of WVU retardery regarding student behavior at big games.

Last winter, WVU V.P. Ken Gray began firing off a series of comically out of touch e-mails to students regarding our behavior at basketball games. So I began making fun of them, FJM-style. These were well regarded by my 20 or so readers at the time. Jim has hilariously done the same with the pithy articles of the great(ing) Marshall flag waver, Chuck Landon. Last week, Gray fired off another holier than thou message, which was promptly torn apart. Well, now the time has come to delve into some bad student ”journalism”. For those who don’t know, The Daily Athenaeum is WVU’s student newspaper, and my god is it’s sports section bad. Like Bleacher Report-local bad. Squeezed in-between your staid, boring game reports are the bastion of bad sports writing- the ”FANS NEED TO ACT LIKE THIS” columns. So, Junior Jay Mariottis of Morgantown the time has come for one of your own. Omar Ghabra, prepare to meet the internet.

With Morgantown set to host the 2011 edition of the men’s basketball Backyard Brawl tonight, it’s important to take a look back at the lessons learned from last year’s showdown.

And no, I’m not talking about how either team performed on the court.

That lesson? Nickels are more aerodynamic than quarters!

This time last year, the sixth ranked Mountaineer basketball team throttled the Panthers 70-51. But the team’s stellar performance isn’t what made national headlines the following day.


Already under the spotlight after a series of controversial incidents, it was the idiotic fan behavior that garnered all the national media attention. Let’s make this year’s Backyard Brawl memorable for its basketball, not the immature actions of a segment of the student section.

Oh lord, it’s going to be one of THESE articles. GRAH YOU HAD FUN I’M ANGRY!

The controversy surrounding the behavior of fans last year began after Ohio State visited the Coliseum in late January. Led by then-senior Da’Sean Butler, the Mountaineers came from behind and picked up a huge win against the Buckeyes.

However, this win was tainted by the obscene chanting of fans, which was audible in living rooms all over the country.

For the uninitiated, we called him an asshole. Which it turns out, maybe true.

The vulgar chants were directed at former OSU star Evan Turner after fans were angered by a fancy dunk he performed on a fast break.

The following week, Louisville came to town and the Mountaineers pulled off another big come-from-behind victory.

Hehe….come from behind.

Once again, the story after the game wasn’t about the team’s great performance, it was the behavior of the student section. This time, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was the target of the student section’s verbal assault.


Pitino had been mired in a personal scandal involving a woman named Karen Sypher, whom he had admitted to having an affair with. Throughout the game, the WVU student section taunted a visibly distressed Pitino with chants of “Karen Sypher.”

And it was awesome.  Frankly I was disappointed no one waved coat hangers. Or atleast a crazy-eyed Barbie.

After this incident, the behavior of the WVU student section became a national talking point on sports radio and even ESPN, with commentators all over the country insisting that the WVU student section was crossing the line.

Sports talk radio: Clearly the pulse of our nation.

This set the stage for the Backyard Brawl, which was taking place at the Coliseum later that same week.

With all eyes on the WVU student section in another nationally televised game, one would have expected that the fans would have behaved accordingly.

And they did.

As we all know, that wasn’t the case.


In what was yet another victory for the basketball team, that was again overshadowed by the behavior of fans, it seemed as if some students in the stands were eager to outdo their antics in the previous two home games and elicit an even more negative reaction from the press.

Well ya just gotta get better every game, ya know?

In that, they were successful.


As the game got close and the referees made a couple of questionable calls, the angry crowd began to hurl debris onto the court.

In what was a truly embarrassing moment for the University, head coach Bob Huggins took the microphone and told the WVU student section that throwing objects onto the court was “stupid.”

Because that’s what he’s supposed to do. Deep down, he loves that 1% in the back of every visiting players mind that thinks ”We might not make it out of here alive tonight”.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. Later in the game, a small metal object hit former Pittsburgh assistant and current Marshall Head coach, Tom Herrion under his left eye, leaving a visible bruise.

In other words, he got what he deserved. Look, I know you’re probably one of these guys who doesn’t watch sports, doesn’t understand why other students get up at 6am on Saturdays to tailgate instead of doing lame college things like ”study”,  but for the rest of us, the words ”Pittsburgh” and ”Marshall” elicit such a strong visceral reaction, you would pass out if you experienced it. Tom Herrion could be a very nice old man, but with those two schools on his resume, he is scum. Actually scum is too high, it washes away quickly. I’ll tell you what this guy is. Have you ever been real sick for a week, so sick you don’t shower, only leaving your bed to sh*t and puke til you cry? Tom Herrion is the dirt that is under your overgrown fingernails at the end of that week.  That ”small metal object” should’ve been a hand grenade.

The national media had a field day with this, and, once again, the main headline wasn’t about the basketball team,which was on the brink of making a historic run to the Final Four.

Once again, I’m sure you don’t watch any sports coverage besides the walking hairpiece that pops up 6 times a day during your Darfur coverage on CNN, but people were not that mad about this. Sure Doug Gottlieb (look him up, junior), and the rest of the over reactionary WASP media went on their radio shows and complained, but after they did a 7 minute segment on it, they plugged some product noone cares about and moved onto something else.

How humiliating, that even after the game was stopped so students could be scolded like school children, someone was physically injured due to the raucous behavior.

Actually, anyone with a sense of humor thought it was pretty funny.

It is up to the students to ensure that this spectacle is never repeated.

Students are expected to come out and enthusiastically support their team.

However, there’s a distinction to be made between passionately showing support for your team and acting like a rabid animal. If you want to embarrass yourself by acting like a fool, you have every right to do so.

But if you act this way while you are representing your school at a nationally televised event, you are tarnishing the reputation of the entire University, and in doing so, devaluing the degrees of its graduates.

Oh Jesus H Christ. Yes, I’m sure this is how every graduates interview process will go now.

Employer: Well let’s just check your resume. 4.0.  Masters in Poly Sci. from……MY GOD!

WVU Graduate: Is there something wrong sir?


We’re not children.

No, but you do have the sensibilities of a 5 year old.

We shouldn’t need an e-mail from the Vice President of Student Affairs before every game reminding us that we should act reasonably at these events.

I’m all for those e-mails. Great column fodder.

We shouldn’t need coach Huggins to tell us that throwing objects onto the court is “stupid” and could physically harm the players or coaches. We’re all adults here, and we should all act that way by taking responsibility for the fan behavior at games.

I know, way too many Pitt fans walked out last year not fearing for their lives.

There’s no doubt that the atmosphere at tonight’s Brawl will be intense, just as it should be. Coaches and players of opposing teams should be afraid of coming to the Coliseum.

But, this should be because of the loud, passionate fanbase, not because they’re afraid their eye is going to be impaled by someone in the stands.

Why would a grown ass man be afraid of noise?

Students must keep in mind that their actions, good or bad, always have a significant impact on the reputation of WVU, especially when they are being broadcast on national TV.

Except, it doesn’t. No prospective college basketball player is out there saying ”Hmmm….I don’t know if I want to play for WVU, their fans are insanely passionate, maybe I should just go some place sports where don’t mean as much, and the fans are neutered, but their degrees are without tarnish. Thank god I have that offer from USF!”