“It’s A Way of Life”: WVU Lifetime Fans Say It’s About More Than Football
by Victoria Cann
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — West Virginia University football isn’t just a Saturday afternoon, for some it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle they are proud to live and share with friends and family.
WVU fan Corky Griffith, 78, has been coming to games since 1954.
“The only time I ever missed games was when I was the head football coach at Salem College,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with my brain and I love all of these guys.”
Griffith said he loves getting together with old friends on game days to share stories and talk about life.
“It’s a great time to get together and it’s a fun time because everyone has a story to tell,” he said. “It’s magnificent.”
Josh Bastin of Quiet Dell has been coming to the football games for the last 25 years. He said it’s something he grew up doing and plans to carry on the tradition.
“I love the atmosphere and the people,” he said. “Just everything about game day is what makes being here for the games.”
The excitement of the crowd is always a great feeling, Bastin said. Especially when it comes to close games like the last home game against Texas Tech when the team came back to win.
“I enjoy getting together with friends and just spending the day talking about football and supporting our team,” he said. “I don’t always come out to tailgate but we make it worthwhile when we do.”
Matewan’s Tom Stevens has been attending the games for the last 47 years. He started coming in 1970 and doesn’t miss a game.
“This is my home, it’s my state, my university. I got my Masters here,” he said. “Always, home is home.”
Stevens enjoys being at the game and tailgating before hand. He always gathers up a group of friends, who have been coming to the games for almost as long as him.
“I love the enthusiasm and the spirit,” he said. “I just love being here. Look around, there’s a whole bunch of great hillbillies and there ain’t nothing like it in the world.”
Stevens was raised to love West Virginia and he does. The university represents more than just football and the academics, it represents the state.
Chas Stanley of Morgantown has been attending the games since 1968 and he’s only missed three home games.
“I love it. my parents brought me from Charleston first day here to my dorm and this became my home,” he said. “I always knew when we lived in Columbus, the day I retired I was moving back to Morgantown.”
Stanley said it’s part of their lives, his sons are also season ticket holders as well.
“I started bringing them to football games when they were six years old and now they both live here,” he said. “It’s a way of life that we love. It represents the state of West Virginia and the way people feel about West Virginia.”
It’s one of the only places where people will drive 200 or more miles for a home university football game, Stanley said. It’s more than just a football game and those who are able to experience it are “lucky.”