Giving thanks for:
• Being able to live a life in newsrooms and arenas across America that kept the heart as young as the baby-faced freshmen we deal with now on a daily basis as the body got older.
• Discovering West Virginia, which offered an escape from the streets of New York, the old Yankee Stadium and dealing with George Steinbrenner on a daily basis. If viewing the Empire State Building awes you for what it took to build it, view these green mountains here in West Virginia and understand what a real engineering feat is.
• For being able to see Willie Mays and Ken Griffey patrol the centerfields of the major leagues while in the same lifetime, blending power and grace unlike anyone else.
• For having been born long enough ago to see Jim Brown run like no one before him and no one after him and to see Gayle Sayers move like a gazelle over a mud-covered field and then hanging around long enough to see Bo Jackson and Walter Payton at their best.
• Being granted time to wait for the next generation of Browns and Sayers and Jacksons and Paytons to come along.
• Having the privilege of covering Da’Sean Butler through his college career, for the joy he brought in watching him and for the way he carried himself in each and every situation.
• Being able to repeat the above about Patrick White, and wish he and Butler somehow find ways to bring to the world what they brought to West Virginia through their athletic prowess.
• Being able to watch Joe Alexander soar through the air for at least a short time.
• Watching Bob Huggins operate up close, not because he went to a Final Four, but so the misconceptions we had of him as a person could be corrected. He really cares for the kids he coaches.
• Having a profession in which you could cover such events as Wimbledon, the U.S. Open in golf and tennis, the Masters, the World Series, the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four.
• Having a profession in which you could deal with Sparky Anderson, Chuck Tanner and Jim Leyland, with Pete Rose and Willie Stargell, with Jerry West and Rod Thorn and Hot Rod Hundley, with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, to say nothing of the hundreds of athletes who have come through West Virginia over the past 15 years and grown from children to adults before our eyes.
• The Backyard Brawl, which renews tomorrow its good, clean competition at the highest level.
• Getting to cover the 2007 Backyard Brawl, an upset like no other upset and a game that brought out into the open more about a football coach than it did about his team.
• Bringing Oliver Luck back to Morgantown.
• The good guy coaches not yet mentioned like Paul Brown and Don Nehlen and John Beilein and Bill Kirelawilch and Steve Dunlap and Jeff Casteel.
• Mya, the black cat that has become a companion, and for Lisa, the tiniest of cats who used up her nine lives far too quickly.
• Being there when Amos Zereoue scored a 60-yard touchdown on his first college carry against Pitt, when West Virginia defeated Louisville in the coming out game for Patrick White and Steve Slaton, when Owen Schmitt broke his first face mask, Da’Sean Butler beat the buzzer (each time), when Bill Stewart debuted as football coach and beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, when Quincy Wilson ran over Miami’s Brandon Meriweather on one the greatest catch-and-runs in college football history, when Kevin Pittsnogle captured the attention of the nation with his 3s while helping the Mountaineers run to the Elite Eight.
• Finding a second home at the Boston Beanery on Patteson Drive here in Morgantown.
• My television’s remote control, without which America might actually be able to sit and watch a program or sporting event from start to finish.
• The NCAA keeping the number of bowl games to fewer than half the number of teams that play football so that some teams don’t have to play in two of them.
• To the NCAA for not putting a championship tournament in for football, not wanting to make the same mistake it made when it started that unpopular, profitless NCAA Basketball Tournament.
• And, of course, we give thanks for brave Robby, Amy and Chris, who awaits a Christmas time baby.
E-mail Bob Hertzel at email@example.com.
Giving thanks for:
- WVU Sports
HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU game attendance questioned
You might remember Rick Harshbarger. We introduced him to you almost a year ago as the guy driving the car parked in the Coliseum parking lot with the license plate: NO1WVFAN.
HERTZEL COLUMN: There are no sick days for athletes
So you wake up on a Monday morning and it’s cold outside; a couple of inches of snow have fallen. That’s bad enough, but then as you roll out of bed and put your feet on the cold floor, you realize you head is aching and your back hurts and you’ve got the sniffles and then …
Huggins implores Mountaineers to play to their strengths
Bob Huggins’ message to his West Virginia University team coming out of its disappointing 80-71 loss at Missouri that never really was as close as the final score indicates was a simple one – do what you do.
“We come out and we have too many guys playing out of character and doing things they can’t do instead of doing things they can do,” he said immediately after addressing his team on Thursday night in Columbia, Mo.
WVU women win seventh straight
Unlike the West Virginia University women’s basketball team she plays for, Asya Bussie draws a crowd every time she steps onto the Coliseum court.
The crowd, unfortunately, isn’t fellow WVU students or paying customers.
FURFARI COLUMN: Jerry West merits credit for Warriors’ jump in NBA
If you follow the National Basketball Association action, you’ll note that the Golden State Warriors are faring very well.
And for such significant improvement, you’ve got to give much of the credit, I’m told, to the legendary Jerry West — the greatest basketball player in West Virginia University’s history.
Dreadful shooting costs WVU in 70-61 loss to Missouri
West Virginia University couldn’t get out of Columbia, Mo., fast enough Thursday night, but the predicted snow/ice/cold storm had far less to do with it than the storm the Missouri Tigers brewed up for them.
Mountaineers square off with similar Missouri team
If Bob Huggins took a mirror and held it up to the Missouri team that West Virginia University plays tonight in Columbia, Mo., he would get back a reflection of his own team.
FURFARI COLUMN: The sweet and bitter about Oliver Luck
OK, so athletic director Oliver Luck admittedly remains confident that third-year head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff can turn around West Virginia University’s sinking football program in 2014.
Luck announces Holgorsen will be retained for 2014
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck put an end to the speculation about the future of head football coach Dana Holgorsen on Tuesday, announcing that he and his staff would be retained for 2014 despite a second consecutive disappointing season.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Like it or not, Holgorsen is coming back
Like it or not, it appears that Dana Holgorsen and his staff will be back to coach the West Virginia football team next year, looking down the throat of an angry Alabama football team to open the season.
- More WVU Sports Headlines
- HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU game attendance questioned