The smoke from the tunnel was still dancing around the field in small, quickly disappearing swirls of clouds. Just then the sun broke through the overcast sky, and sent yellow lines of light streaking through the haze to the ground below. Sitting in row 2 of section 102, I was surrounded by an ocean of gold 60,000 strong.
The crowd was roaring as kick off drew near. But I sat in silence. Staring up at the brand new score board of the Milan Puskar Stadium, I watched as the graphics heralded in a brand new era. A brand new era indeed.
I watched the highlights from that bowl game with a rising pride in my chest and a lump in my throat. For that is the spirit of what it truly means to be a Mountaineer. And the further away I go from home in this life, the more important it is for me to be reminded of that. And often.
I sat there in that stadium as the smoke danced toward the sun and stared out at an ocean of gold surrounding me. All of them. Standing there so full of hope, and so full of the promise that only a brand new season in a brand new era can offer. Just then the tears broke through behind my sunglasses and were sent streaking across the flying WV tattoo on my cheek below.
Yea, there's no doubt about it. It was a damn good day to be a Mountaineer.