The Backyard Brawl

The first ten years of my life were spent growing up in West Virginia. My father went to WVU, my uncle went to WVU, my sister went to WVU. But I was the first to graduate from WVU.

I grew up a fan of West Virginia University. No matter how a football or basketball season went, the true outcome depended upon whether or not the Mountaineers beat Pitt.

On December 1, the #2 ranked Mountaineers take on their long time rival the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in Mountaineer Field for the 100th time. This is Pitt week!

The teams first met in 1895 in Wheeling, West Virginia. The Mountaineers beat the hell of Pitt then, when they were the Western University of Pennsylvania. The score was 8-0.

More than likely, I’ll post more as the week goes on, but I found this excellent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on that rivalry. Beano Cook, 76, is a long-time football analyst and athletic directory at Pitt. Mickey Furfari, 84, has written of West Virginia sports for over 60 years. In the article and in this video, also from the Post-Gazette, they reminisce about those games.


Oh yeah. Beat the Hell out of Pitt!


8 responses to “The Backyard Brawl

  1. Yeah. Go Mountaineers! I sure knew lots of folks there and have a very, very close friend from HS (we’re still close) who graduated in ’74 (he’s actually a fairly well known alum). Good luck against Pitt. 🙂

  2. Thank you, Sophmom. As I’m sure you can appreciate, these are exciting times for us Mountaineers. Not only are we ranked #2 in the country, with a darn good chance to play for the BCS Championship, but we should be able to beat Pitt “like a rented mule.” As a fellow alum down here says.

  3. Someone over at my blog was asking if perhaps the WVU vs. Pitt rivalry has outlived its time now that Pitt’s program sucks. I thought it was a good question and I don’t know the answer. What do you think?

  4. I hope the rivalry continues. Rivalries like this one are good things, especially when they last so long. I mean, this is the 100th football game they’ve played. History is important.

    I’ve grown up all my life with that rivalry, and enjoyed it. I drove to basketball games with my father at Pitt when I was a kid and was in school in Morgantown and was at the 1975 game, arguably the best of them all.

  5. Since I like picking on Pennsylvanians, I hope WVU beats the pants off of them! Ok, when does this happen, or did I already miss it?

  6. Catty, I must have snuck that date right past you in that first paragraph. Or else this article was so enthralling that you missed it.

    December 1 at 7:45pm on ESPN or ABC.

  7. I missed it! But this is also the weekend that we went to see the Johnstown Chiefs play the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Cyclones looked so much better than our team, so it wasn’t such a big surprise that they won.

  8. Whoa, Catty. You’re a hockey fan, too. Oh my my, a woman of great class.

    I used to have Cincinnati Cyclones season tickets before they joined the Johnstown Chiefs and the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL. My son spent a lot of winter evenings during his younger years with me at Cyclones games.

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