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A2Buc

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#15 : June 07, 2011, 06:44:53 AM

Is this a fair analysis of WVU fans, or is it way off base? It would explain a LOT of what we've dealt with at Michigan the last few years.

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I think alot of comments here are made by people who don't understand West Virginia (and Western PA) culture.  I'm not from there and not going to proclaim its greatness.  But I have had occassion over the past 15 years to be out there many, many times, and I have come to understand the region -- and why they are so insane about their college football team.

Here's what you need to know about the people in WV.  They are an insular, self-supporting group who knows the rest of the country looks down on them, but who believe in each other and think no one appreciates how good of a people they are.  They have had, historically, two of the most dangerous industries of all:  coal mining and steel mills.  These are jobs requiring hearty men and very high accident/death rates.  Many people in WV and WPa never leave the small town where they grew up in.  They also tend to be very religious people.

But they are also, typically, not nearly as affluent as other parts of the country.  Their education system sucks.  People don't move into WV, except when relocated there (e.g. FBI has a big operation in Morgantown).

So, WV people yearn for something on which to feel good about themselves, compared to other parts of the country.  Same issue Alabama has, I think.  So when their football team was doing very well, it was not merely a source of pride or diversion -- it was reaffirming of their culture, their hard work, of the nature of the people who lived there.  (Same kind of attitude Pittsburgers have about the Steelers.)

I think, IMHO, that's why they were so hard on RR when he left.  He was one of THEM, he grew up there, he played there, he came back there to lead them.  He made them feel good about themselves.  Then, he left... for a "better job," one of the glamour jobs.  It just reminded WV people, hey, this is just WV after all.  It opened up that thing you don't talk about there -- how, when WV people get successful, they LEAVE.

It's not a place used to being under the spotlight.  This is just the latest chapter of what happens in small, islanded, parochial regions that are trying to be what they are not.

The thing that annoys me is that people here in Ann Arbor who were against Rich being here from day one used the WVU reaction to him coming here to trash his character. It seems as though Lloyd Carr was one of these people that tried to undermine his successor. If WVU is smart, they fire Bill Stewart TODAY to prevent him from undermining the program.

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#16 : June 07, 2011, 08:53:32 AM

^ I can't speak for W Pa because I never spent much time there, but for West Virginia that statement is spot on.  As hard to believe as it may be, the huge majority pf people there are proud of their state and wear it like a badge in their arm.  They can name every famous person/athlete/etc  thats from WV or went to WVU and like to remind people when out of town, thats "thats the West Virginia coming out in me."

Its a different environment in a state with no NFL/MLB team so darn near everyone is a Mountaineers fan.  The Rod thing was a punch in the gut to the people there for sure. This won't be as bad but still is another coaching transition gone sour.


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A2Buc

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#17 : June 07, 2011, 07:21:33 PM

When Rich Rod came to Michigan, WVU never should have given Stewart the permanent job. He had the nice guy image going for him, which was now clearly just a facade. It puzzles me to this day that they didn't even consider Calvin Magee for the permanent job. At this point, Stewart needs to go and WVU needs to decide if Holgorsen is their guy. If Oliver Luck is smart, he's already at least contacted Rich to guage his interest, though I think that is a very remote possibility that they go that route. I selfishly want to see Rich go to and succeed at a bigger program as most know he would without people constantly trying to undermine him.

Biggs3535

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#18 : May 21, 2012, 05:01:27 PM

Bill Stewart died:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7956249/ex-west-virginia-mountaineers-coach-bill-stewart-dies-school-announces

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