The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

January 17, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: Crowd cheers, WVU provides the thrills late

MORGANTOWN — It was an early West Virginia morning, cars beginning to park outside the Coliseum by 7 a.m., students beginning to gather until they were queued from the gold gate down the road all the way to Natatorium.

Judging by their demeanor, it had been a Red Bull morning.

Down the road at the Boston Beanery, a popular local eatery with the pre-game crowd, the doors swung open at 9 a.m., and they were serving a whole lot of cheering potion for those in the 18-and-over demographic.

The colors ranged from gold to blue, with the only orange in sight being in the Beanery screwdrivers.

Syracuse was in town, the first time the Coliseum had hosted a matchup between Top 10 teams in its 40-year history, carrying its No. 5 ranking against a No. 9/10 West Virginia team that was a 4.5-point favorite, that obviously being based on the theory that you can’t underestimate the power of the home crowd.

It was a crazy bunch, these West Virginia fans, roaring loud and sporting special optics that allowed them to see only fouls on Syracuse but none by their beloved Mountaineers.

There are those who believe the Carrier Dome at Syracuse is the loudest thing this side of a NASA launch pad, but on this day the Coliseum was giving it a run for its money, perhaps due to the cameras that ESPN had stationed throughout.

They got quite a show, complete with a guy in a monkey suit taking part in the halftime Papa John’s shootout who just missed his shot at $100 and with Ryan J. Boyd doing his YMCA routine for what seemed like an eternity as TV slipped in a couple of extra commercials during the time out.

Even the governor of West Virginia got into the act when a student group shooting T-shirts into the group misfired and plopped one directly in his highness’ lap in his front-row, mid-court seat, allowing him to turn and flip it back to some fan sitting behind him, undoubtedly a Democrat.

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