Sober West Virginians threaten to boycott beer-friendly Mountaineer Stadium

Matt Hinton

Most of the time, being a West Virginia fan is about appreciating the simpler pleasures in sports. A flaming couch. The occasional John Denver singalong. The collective resentment of a former coach that may never diminish. And sure, every so often, a guy who participated in one too many pregame beer duels in the parking lot deciding to take the entertainment into his own hands:

But alcohol-fueled halftime shows on a weekly basis? With the specter of sanctioned alcohol sales at Mountaineer Stadium looming, that's where upstanding Mountaineer partisans draw the line:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- By a more than two-to-one margin, West Virginia University fans who filed public comments on the proposal to sell beer at athletic events said they oppose the plan.

Opponents said they would stop coming to games, cancel season tickets and even suspend donations to the university.

Many of them said fans already are too rowdy and that WVU officials have failed for years to control drunken hooliganism at games. Selling beer during games would only make matters worse, they said.

One season ticket holder wrote that "behavior in the stands has deteriorated" to the point that fans in her section have gone from sneaking in airplane bottles of liquor to smuggling full fifths, forcing her family to endure excessive swearing, vomiting, passing out and drunk fans "getting in my 75-year-old mother's face when she is cheering and trying to the enjoy the game, telling her they love her." Another called the proposal "akin to putting gasoline in the fire hoses."

Some of the outnumbered contingent who support beer sales to raise revenues actually think rowdy fan behavior will improve by providing an alternative to covert flasks and getting tore up at the tailgate. Besides that, it would give former fullback Owen "Runaway Beer Truck" Schmitt an opportunity to launch an actual runaway beer truck that careens around the field before the game before unloading its cargo and dispatching an army of vendors into the stands. If the board of trustees can't come together to make this happen for the good people of their state, I'm afraid this university is doomed.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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