So this week marks year 5 of my annual depression spike, knowing that Rivalry Week is non existent for us Mountaineers. Sure, we will go to Ames, Iowa hoping for a chance to get to the 9 win mark and continue our very successful season. But the fact is, this game sucks. It is meaningless. I feel absolutely nothing when it comes to the Iowa State Cyclones. This is beyond depressing. This is just tragic.
You see, it used to mean something, this week. It used to be intense. It used to be emotional. And it definitely used to be important. Important to each team’s record, conference standing, bowl destination, and in some extremely awful cases, national championship hopes. It used to mean something in the communities. Pride was on display. Each fan wearing their respective shade of gold, puffing out their chest declaring supremacy and superiority of the university either 70 miles south or 70 miles north. And that was great.
Then something happened. Men let money take over. They disregarded logic, both geographically and traditionally. They chased green. Not wanting to miss out on the monetary trains leaving the stations, they moved yearly operations to the southeast and southwest and ignored the historic value of the east. They took the money, gave the finger to each other and said “it’s over.” And that was that.
Now, West Virginia University resides in Texas and the University of Pittsburgh resides in North Carolina, figuratively of course. We could have played a game today. That could easily have happened. And we will in the future for a few years. But I fear it will never be the same. The Backyard Brawl is on ice hoping for a medical breakthrough to revive it. Pitt is currently begging big brother Penn State to be it’s rival. West Virginia is too busy booking flights to Texas multiple times a year. And the fans are just sitting here waiting. We could have 8-2 West Virginia against 7-4 Pitt. But instead we have 3-8 Iowa State and 4-7 Syracuse. Zero foreign eyes will be tuning in to these pointless match ups.
The thing is, we could make this happen every year. Clemson is playing South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Kentucky-Louisville, Florida-Florida State. All non conference, end of the year, nasty rivalries. Why can’t we play every year? It is a choice that can easily be made. West Virginia doesn’t need to play Delaware State next year and Pitt doesn’t need to play Youngstown State. But that is the reality of the situation. So don’t throw us a 4 game series tease and act like you are committed to bringing the game back. You aren’t. And that isn’t good enough. Every year. No matter what. Give us our game back!