If there is an
award for college basketball’s rudest fans, West Virginia’s may run
away with it this year. At least they’re giving it the old college try.
So far this year, here’s their body of work:
In the category of Creative
and Offensive Cheers they’ve peppered opponents with “F*gg*t”
and “**** You”. This was done during an ESPN game so it opened to a
In the category of Personal
Insults Hurled at a Coach, who can forget, during their game
with Louisville, the chants of the woman’s name with which Coach Pitino
had an affair?
In the category of Things
Hurled at an Opposing Coach, who can forget the quarter coming
out of the stands, striking Pittsburg assistant coach Tom Herrion just
below his left eye?
We know the “RUDIES”
are not given out until the end of the season but we think the West
Virginia fans have it locked up.
Okay, we know what you expect us to do next and that
is make fun of West Virginians as some sort of backwoods hill people.
We’re too classy for that… and sensitive. We’re not going to call them
“hillbillies” because we understand they prefer to be called
We’re not going to deride their state name because they chose to just
add a direction to the state to their East. That would be insensitive.
We have no idea why, back in 1863, when they declared their
independence from Virginia they kept the same name as a state that was
told there was a Santa Claus.
We’re not going to denigrate West Virginians. People
have been doing so for decades. It may be one reason why they’re so
obnoxious during sporting events. They can’t help that their state is
shaped like a colostomy bag. They can’t help that they call themselves
“Mountaineers” yet Colorado has an entire city bigger than the state at
a higher elevation than West Virginia’s tallest hill. “Hillainteers”
doesn’t quite have the same ring.
Like we said, we could have made fun, but we didn’t.
How can we expect West Virginia basketball fans to couth up if we
don’t? Despite a tarnished reputation West Virginia is a beautiful
state with nice, thoughtful people. Many of my favorite folks come from
there, like Jerry West and Don Knotts and my favorite screenwriter of
all time – Lawrence Kasden. Could scripts like The Empire Strikes Back, Bodyheat, Raiders
of the Lost Ark, and The Big
Chill have come from someone who yells “**** You” at a
basketball game? Of course not! That’s why you can’t paint all West
Virginians with the same brush. Because if you do, you might get a
little of that paint on Charles Manson’s swastika. What we’re saying is
don’t stereotype an entire state just because a few bad apples empty
their loose change on a basketball court. A few of those bad apples
might not be apples at all, they might be oranges. And do you know what
happens to oranges in West Virginia? They freeze, that’s what. That’s
why Johnny Appleseed never planted them… there.
What we’re saying is… unless the fans heed WVU
president Jim Clements’ plea to clean up their language and their
personal chants and their coin tossing skills they’ll win the RUDIE.
I’m not sure Clements wants it. Yeah, there’s room in the trophy case
since Rich Rod skipped town… which may be the source of much of the
bitterness. WVU fans may see the basketball team as the last possible
chance for a Big East or a national championship. Bitterness breeds
boisterousness which is a word I’m not sure boisterous WVU fans can
pronounce, much less spell. Except for Lawrence Kasden, he can spell
it, I’m sure… and put it in a Spielberg movie.