MORGANTOWN — oooooo
It started a year ago last August when McKillop sent Statler a request to be a friend on Facebook.
It intrigued her enough to accept.
“Did I really just accept a friend request from a Pitt football player? That’s awful,” she wrote back.
They began conversing via Facebook but didn’t really meet face to face for almost a year, which says a lot about just how the dating game has changed over the years.
“We were supposed to meet a couple of times,” McKillop said.
One of those times was when Pitt played West Virginia in last season’s final game at Milan Puskar Stadium, but McKillop could not get hold of her during the game.
There was supposed to be a postgame date, however, but that didn’t come off either.
“I kind of stood her up. I admit it,” McKillop said.
They continued conversing while he was in Buffalo, trying to recover from knee problems that threaten to end his career.
“It was nothing significant, mostly flirting,” McKillop said.
This October, WVU was to play Baylor in its first Big 12 game. Baylor’s defensive coordinator was Phil Bennett, who was McKillop’s first defensive coordinator at Pitt, and he decided he and some friends would come to the game.
“We finally met face to face. It was small talk, but we ended up going on a date,” McKillop said. “I’ll be honest; I wasn’t cheering for West Virginia.”
“I’ll say. He had on a pink shirt,” Statler added.
Not long after that “The Quote” came into their relationship.
“We started dating and hanging out, and I could sense it was going somewhere. I had actually told her about that quote on, like, our second or third date,” McKillop recalled.
It was about that time that she came across John Antonik’s book titled “The Backyard Brawl” and got a copy for him. She actually had just seen the quote mentioned prominently as a crucial part of the longstanding feud.
“Do you realize what you said? Do you remember?” she said to McKillop. “You’re lucky you don’t get beaten or burned.”