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The Big Guy curse kills the Mountaineers

Submitted by on Monday, 28 July 2008 No Comment

The No. 2 curse didn’t kill West Virginia – the football team, its national championship hopes, half the state – Saturday.

It was the Big Guy curse, a far more powerful phenomenon.

I thought we were over it. The first two letters Big Guy learned back in the spring, before he could recognize even letters in his name, were WV. He’d watched several WVU games with me this fall without griping. He’d even taken to pretending he was the Mountaineers in the back yard. He did a better job than the real place kicker did against Pitt, so maybe I should have Fed-Ex’ed some film to Morgantown.

So silly me was actually optimistic. Sure, it was a rivalry game, but Pitt was weak this year. Got it in the bag!

Early Saturday afternoon, though, Dad called me at work. “You need to talk to your oldest son,” he said. “He’s been saying all day the Mountaineers are going to go in the garbage.”

Masochism is the only possible explanation for why I even bothered to watch the game after that.

The Big Guy curse is well into its second season. Just look at last year, for example: Thursday night game at Louisville, Big Guy gripes because Mommy’s watching, Mountaineers lose. Thanksgiving weekend, home game with South Florida, Big Guy gripes because Mommy’s watching, Mountaineers lose.

So maybe there’s another explanation for the Louisville loss – it was a road game. But there’s no freakin’ way a team from Florida rolls into West Virginia in November and wins. Even Miami couldn’t do that.

My theory was confirmed during the bowl season, when, every time Big Guy would walk into the room, the Mountaineers would do something so incredibly stupid that the supernatural had to be coming into play.

Dad knew my Big Guy curse theory and kept calling him into the living room just to torture me. It was only after Big Guy became preoccupied with some new Christmas doo-dad that WVU was able to lock down the win.

If I’d thought of it, I swear I would have told Big Guy Saturday that Santa had come early, so go play with your new toys.

Despite Big Guy’s garbage can prediction, my enthusiasm rallied briefly at kickoff Saturday. I’d just gotten home, so the guys were happy to climb on my lap and watch the game. Little Guy had finally learned to say “Let’s gooooo, Mountaineeeeeeeers,” a speech milestone that’s right up there with the first “mommy” and “daddy” back in the motherland.

That lasted until roughly the time WVU started blowing easy field goals in the first quarter. “Mommy, when’s this game going to be over,” Big Guy squirmed. “I don’t like this game.”

I was beginning to not like it myself. To throw kerosene on the fire, Dad started heckling.

“They don’t do anything but run. They’ll never win any games like that.” I pointed out that they’ve won 32 in the past three seasons.

“This coach is an idiot. I could do better.”

I pointed out that the idiot is only 44 and already has 104 wins as head coach.

“That quarterback is awful. Where’s the backup?”

I pointed out that he was so awful he was in contention for a Heisman.

In the end, neither I nor the Mountaineers could withstand the two men in my house working against me.

So instead of a championship game, it’s on to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

I’ll take that matchup. Though the Mountaineers have bad Fiesta Bowl karma – blew the national championship there in 1989 — there’s good karma left from the last game with Oklahoma. The No. 4 team – same ranking Oklahoma holds now — got upset in Norman. It was my freshman year and my introduction to that quaint WVU tradition of burning couches in the street.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for a baby-sitter for Big Guy Jan. 2. The only requirement: Keep him away from the TV and don’t mention the Mountaineers. I’ll throw in one heckling husband to keep everyone company.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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