Sometimes Life Just Works Out. A Wild & Crazy Day! (MD-WV-PA) “DAY 299” – 4/29/11

May 1, 2011 - 11:15 am - (MD-WV-PA) “DAY 299” - Week 44 - State 41

Let me tell you this, after four days of relaxing (pretty much), I am back and ready to do anything and everything!  Wow, I wasn’t sure I would feel this much better, but I guess my body and mind was so run down I needed a rest.  And now that I have it... it’s back on baby!  (You’re using my babies now! - Seinfeld reference.) 🙂

Writing & Packing
Once I got up this morning all I did was write my “DAYS 297 & 298” while I packed up all my things from my room. (I had almost everything I packed in my car in the room because I reorganized all my belongings for remaining 68 days I have left.)

By the time noon rolled around, it was my cue to leave the property and head off to my next location which is Washington, Pa.  But, the route I have to take to get to Wash-Paw goes directly through Morgantown (West Virginia University), so I might stop off there just to see the old stomping ground one more time.

Traveling (MD-WV)
Since I’m driving from east to west now to get to Morgantown, I am taking the same old route I used travel to WVU when I was a student there many moons ago.  Wow, this brings back memories.

One of those memories is a town that’s about 40 minutes from WVU in Maryland called Friendsville.  Ya see, when Goran and I (me and G almost always traveled back and forth to WVU together from NJ) would make this trip, we always stopped in Friendsville to get gas.  Hey, it seemed like a friendly enough place. 😉

Arriving In Morgantown
As I pulled into Morgantown I decided I would stop even if it was just walk around campus one more time.  So, as I was looking for a parking spot I called Alex who I had met last week when I was in town. (I figured I’d see if he was up to anything tonight, it was a Friday at WVU right before the semester ends.)

Hanging WIth Alex
After speaking with Alex, he said he wasn’t doing anything tonight (he had a final to study for), but if I wanted to hang out for a little bit, he was free for a few hours.

Since I was parking by his dorm room anyway (it’s right near the Mountain Liar and downtown), I stopped bye to say hi.  I’m glad I stopped to see to Alex or else I wouldn’t have found out that tonight (Friday) is the Gold-Blue spring football game.

And, unlike when I went to school here a long time ago, the spring game now draws over 20,000 fans and has the feel of a real WVU tailgate. (That’s what Alex and his friends were telling me anyway.)

F.Y.I. - When I went to school here nobody really cared about the spring game and I never went to one of them.  On the other hand, I never missed a home regular season football game (except T-Day game, home for the holidays).  My point is, the football program was still a huge draw but the spring game wasn’t.

Knowing what I know knew, I couldn’t leave WVU today.  So, I said good bye to Alex and his friends and headed down to the stadium to see what was going on. (The ride from downtown to the stadium is about 2 miles.  It’s not far.)

Milan Puskar Stadium
While I was driving to the area where we used to tailgate at when I went to school here (in front of the stadium to the right toward towers), I called an old buddy who lives in Washington, PA (B.J.) to see if he wanted to come down and watch the game/tailgate with me tonight.

B.J. is a great dude who I hung out with my whole time at WVU and who I have also stayed in contact every since. (I also hung out with him last week when I was in Wash-Paw for Easter weekend.)

Anyway, to my surprise, he said he’d come down and meet me in 2 hours. (Washington, PA is only 45 minutes away and since it was just 3:30 pm-ish, he’d still be here in plenty of time to still have a good time and watch the game.)  Nice!  I’ll be a WVU tailgate and football game with an old college buddy!

Walking The Stadium
Since I had time to kill before B.J. arrived, I walked around the stadium taking pictures from as many angles I was willing to walk to.  Hey, this place isn’t called the Mountain state for nothing. (The whole area is hill after hill.)

Then, I found out that there was some kind of sale going on at WVU’s indoor football facility.  Now, I know I don’t have much money to buy anything, but still, I don’t have anything else to do and I’ll still get to se some cool stuff (I hope).  Plus, I know I’ll at least be able to get some pictures of the indoor practice field.

WVU Clothing & Memorabilia Sale
When I walked into this building it was around 4 pm.  I only mention this because it was 3 hours before the actual game started and this place already had a line of fans waiting to buy things.  This is cool because I’m happy the spring game has some interest now.  Let’s Go.... Mountaineers!

F.Y.I. - The spring game (Gold-Blue) started at 7:45 pm (I knew that), but what I didn’t know and found out during my walk around stadium is that at 7 pm WVU was having an old-timers games with 250 of WVU’s former greats.

Here is a list of just some of the players that were suppose to be there: Jeff Hostetler, Pat White, Major Harris, Coach Don Nehlen, Coach Bobby Bowden, Owen Schmitt, Aaron Beasley, Dale Wolfley, and many many more.

Should I Buy Anything?
This is one of those moments when I wish I had a bunch of money I could spend because I really wanted to buy a WVU game worn jersey.  They weren’t that much considering they were game worn ($80 a piece), but I just can’t spend that much money on a jersey right now.  Damn!

Then, as I kept walking through the building, I saw a bunch of pictures that were right in my price range, $1. 😉  They were framed pictures of former players dating back to 1895. (At least that’s what was left when I got there.)

So, even though I didn’t know the names of the players who were left on the table, I still bought two of them from 1895 and 1900.  Why not, these pics are over 100 years old.  This is some Mountaineer history right in my hands.  Nice! 🙂

Waiting In Line To Pay
If there was one problem with this whole thing, it was the way the payment process was organized.  You couldn’t just buy something.  You had to fill out a form and even if you just had just two $1 pictures (as I did), you had to wait in an endless line in order pay.

A Great Story
Everything happens for reason because as I was waiting in that long line, the couple in front of me was looking through a book they were about to purchase.  Nothing to crazy there, huh.  But... the book they were looking through was the one from the 1993 Mountaineer Football Team .

In 1993 the Mountaineers went 11-0 in the regular season and beat Miami 17-14 right here in Morgantown for only the 2nd time ever. (We ended up 11-1 after getting lambasted in the Sugar Bowl against Florida.)

Anyway, because of the magical season they had, the school put together a 1993 memoribiilla book.  The funny thing is... I’m in that book on the 3rd page (it’s a pretty big picture).  LOL

So, as the guy was looking through the book in front of me, I told him what I just wrote (I’m on the 3rd page), so he flipped to that page and asked me to autograph his book.  LOL  How cool is this. 🙂 (Left: I'm the guy on the right.)

Then, other people in line who also had the book, caught wind on the story and asked me to sign their’s as well.  So funny!  My legacy at WVU lives on! 😉  (I actually only signed one book as the other people thought I was a player, not a drunken painted fan!)

Meeting Up With B.J.
After paying for the pictures I bought, I walked about a 1/2 mile to meet up with B.J. at where the 7/11 used to be. (It’s some other store now.)  Anyway, B.J. got there around 5:30 pm and had his friend Mike with him. (I have never met Mike before although I have hung out with his brother Kenny in the past.)

Now, since we only had about an hour and half to tailgate, we grabbed a bunch of beers from the fake 7/11 and drove to the tailgating area to find a good parking spot.

Tailgating Outside Mountaineer Field
Once we found a parking spot, we got out of the car and started to have a few beers (just like B.J and I used to at numerous Mountaineer games together). 🙂   Then, as we were standing there BS-ing, we noticed a band was playing on top of the hill approximately 100 yards away.

Watching The Band Play
I don’t remember the name of the band that played (although they were good), but what I do remember is that former WVU fullback/current Philadelphia Eagle Owen Schmitt was part of the band and playing the guitar.

F.Y.I. - I’m not sure if he was actually part of the band or just a guest performer, but either way, it was really cool to see. 🙂

Since there was a lot happening in this area, we stayed up there and drank beers until the band stopped playing which around 6:30 pm.

They played a whole bunch of homer country songs that fired up the crowd (Country Roads to name one), but they finished with their own song called “Let’s Go Mountaineers” and it was good.  Good luck guys, that song wasn’t bad!

Meeting Owen Schmit
Once band finished playing, I walked over to the stage area where I talked with Owen Schmit for a little bit.  He’s a real cool regular dude and it’s funny because he said he was nervous playing the guitar in front of a 1,000 or so people.

Whereas, he’s fearless on the football field as he plays in front of crowds up to 80,000 people.  And... he plays in Philly at “The Vet” where the fans are rabid and crazy.  Different worlds I guess. 😉

Running Into An Old Friend
After meeting Owen, B.J., Mike, and I walked back toward the car before we were to enter the stadium. (None of us had tickets yet.)  So, as we were getting our stuff in order, we ran into another old college friend (Alonzo) who also grew up in Washington, PA (the same place B.J. is from).

I haven’t seen Zo in I don’t know how long, but he looks roughly the same and is doing real well for himself. (I don’t know all the details but he is a lawyer as well as a sports agent.)  You go Zo!

Finding A Ticket To The Game
By the time we done catching up with Zo, it was around 7 pm which was the start of the Legends game.   So, the four of us walked up to the stadium to buy tickets/enter. (I wasn’t buying a ticket as I had to find a way in and Zo already had his seat.)

B.J.’s friend Mike couldn’t understand how he and B.J. were going to buy tickets and I was just planning on walking in.  I couldn’t explain it either, I just told him I’d meet him inside. 😉

Then, as I was doing my thing at the gate, Zo walked over to me and handed me an extra ticket he had in his pocket.  Nice!  Ya see, things just work themselves out. Thanks Zo! 🙂

Finding A Seat
Once B.J. and Mike got into the stadium, we walked the hallways to where we used to sit when we were students here. (Well, almost where we sat, it was exactly on the other side of the stadium from where we used to sit, as this side was the only side open to the crowd.)

Watching The Legends Game
Now that we were all settled in, we hung out in the stands and watched the former WVU greats play touch football against each other.  There had to be at least 200 of the 250 players there that they expected to show and play. (Maybe all were there but I didn’t see some of the names listed, like Amos Zeroue for one.)

While we watched the Legends play, I was looking around the stadium for a way onto the field to meet all the former players that I have watched and enjoyed over the years.

Getting Onto The Field
After searching for options, all I did was walk up to a security guard and tell him my story.  Then, walla... I was on the field with-in feet of all the great football players that have graced Milan Puskar Stadium.  So cool! 🙂

Like I said, there were so many Mountaineer football legends walking around that I didn’t even know who to approach first.  And then, ironically enough, the first person I spoke to didn’t even play football here at WVU.

Meeting Head WVU Basketball Coach Bob Huggins
Yep... it was college basketball legend and current WVU head coach Bob Huggins.  There is so much I can write about coach Huggins, but I’ll just talk about what we talked about. (Google him if you don’t who he is.)

Anyway, since I met and hung out with WVU basketball legend “Hot Rod” Hundley back when I in Arizona (we watched the WVU vs. Pitt football game at a bar together), I told coach Huggins about that story. (The story was how “Hot Rod”made the hook shot when they retired his number, “One Last Shot”.)

Coach Huggins was a real down to earth guy, as he was actually interested in our conversation and then told me his version of the shot from the locker room. (He didn’t see it or know what was going on, but he a loud roar from the crowd as he was preparing his team.)  So cool! 🙂

Meeting A Two-Time Super Bowl Champion
After speaking with Coach Huggins, I looked over to my left and saw former WVU QB and Ex-two time Super Champ Jeff Hostetler just standing there.  This is so wild!  Here I am on Mountaineer field next to all the best WVU players of all-time and I didn’t even know what I was gonna do this morning. 🙂

Anyway, I didn’t talk to the Hoss that long as everybody wanted to talk him (even the other players).  So, after telling him that most of family is a huge a fan of his (all Giant Fans), I kept moving around while talking to former players.

NFL All-Pro Arron Beasley
The next player I bumped into was somebody who played while I was at WVU.  His name, Arron Beasley.  The Bease (as we called him back then) was an All-American while he was at WVU as he lead the NCAA in interceptions his senior year (or last year).

The cool thing was, I had hung out him a handful of time back when we were in college. (We had a mutual friend named Koss.)  It was funny because about 2 minutes into our conversation, he remembered hanging out with me and Koss and then his mode changed from courteous to holy shit, how you doing “Crazy Dave”.

The List Goes On And On And On...
I could continue on with name throwing for another 10 pages if I wanted to but the last people I’ll mention I met were recent WVU standouts Pat McAfee (kicker) and QB Pat White.

It was really cool talking with Pat White because I told him the story of how I rushed the field when he beat Rutgers in NJ a bunch of years ago.  The cool thing was, I took a picture with him on the field that day and then a ESPN reporter mentioned me in a story he wrote about Pat White espn.com.  It’s a small world!  Go luck in life Pat!

F.Y.I. - The whole version of that story above, I actually already have on my website under the “About Rooster” tab - Rooster History.  Here’s the link to my own site. 😉  http://wheresrooster.com/rooster-history/pat-white/

Mascot Time
While I was down on the field, I had to get a picture of me and the new Mountaineer. (They change Mountaineer’s ever few years, so this one I have never met or gotten a picture with.)  It wasn’t hard as I was already where I needed to be, so I found the our mascot and got a pic with him.  Let’s Go Mountaineers! 🙂

The Blue-Gold Game
The Blue-Gold game started right after the Legends game ended but truth be told, I didn’t even notice a play until all the Legends cleared the field about 1 quarter in the Spring game. (They went to a VIP area which I eventually made it into later.) 🙂

Seriously though, how could I watch a exhibition game when I have the chance to talk to with almost any WVU football player I could imagine. (Well... Pac-Man Jones wasn’t invited back to play, I heard he was to busy making it rain at Lady Godivas.) LOL 😉

Watching The Spring Game
From a fans point of view, the interesting thing about this years spring game is that we have new offensive coordinator (Dana Holgorsen), thus a whole new offense.  The great thing is, this is the offense that Oklahoma St and Texas Tech run which is a high powered passing machine!

The problem, after watching a few quarters of play, I couldn’t tell if our offense is just that unstoppable or if our D-backs suck because we were throwing the ball all over the field on our defense.

That’s the thing about watching any D-1‘s spring exhibition game, you can’t dominate on both sides of the ball because you are playing against yourself.   Either way, it was fun to watch football again and especially... football here in Morgantown!  Woo hoo!  Let’s Go Mountaineers!

The Vip Area Of The Stadium
At some point, I realized that I had been on the field for a long time and forgot I was here with B.J and his friend Mike.  So, I left the sidelines but when I got back to our seats that we initially sat in, I found out that B.J. had bounced and went to a bar. (He text me.)

Now, since I had nobody to hang out with, I made my way over to the VIP section where all the Legends were hanging out. (In this section there was free food and drinks.)  Oh yeah! 😉

I wasn’t sure until I got there, but I remembered Zo told me earlier that he though the ticket he gave me would get me into this section.  Well... he was right because after showing my ticket, I walked right into the VIP area of the stadium.  Thanks again Zo!

Now, if I hadn’t already talked to and met most of players I wanted to, I probably would stayed in this section longer, but I had and all the former players were enjoying each others company, so I just ate some food and left the VIP area sometime during the 4th quarter of the game.

Meeting Up With B.J. At Kegler’s
Even though the game wasn’t over yet, I left the stadium early to avoid all the traffic that was inevitably gonna happen. (There was over 20,000 people there.)  So, since B.J. was Kegler’s (a bar by the stadium), I headed over there to hang out for the rest of the night.

When I got to Kegler’s, I was surprised because this was a bar we used to go occasionally back in the day, but this must be a new and improved Kegler’s because it didn’t look like this back then. (This place is real nice with 3 levels and our Kegler’s was dive bar with only one level.)

Running Into Another Old Friend
As B.J., Mike, and I were having a drink at the bar, we ran into a guy we used to hang out with years ago (Doug).  I haven’t seen Doug since I was in college here, but he looked the same so it he wasn’t hard to remember.  Nice seeing you again Doug!

By now, it was almost midnight and since all three of us were staying in Washington, PA tonight (they live there and I’m staying at Matt’s place), we left Kegler’s and drove the 45 minutes north to Wash-Paw. (Mike quit drinking and I only had one drink at Kegler’s.)

The Meadows Casino & Racetrack
Instead of just going home though, the plan was to go to the Meadows Casino to gamble before we called it a night.  Now, I didn’t want to play poker because it’s an isolating game and since B.J. was playing blackjack, I just stood behind him and watched.

Well, that plan lasted for an hour before I took some money out of my pocket and laid it on the blackjack table.  I only took out $50 and only played 4 hands.  The good thing was, I won 3 of them and cashed out up $75.  Hey, I don’t have to play long, I’ll take a win anytime! 🙂

Heading To Matt’s House To Crash
Sometime around 2 am B.J. stopped gambling and we left the casino.  Mike and B.J went home and I drove to Matt’s house which is only a few miles away.  Just like last week when I stayed here, Matt left the back door open for me so I could get in when I arrived.

The only thing different than last week is that this week I’m not gonna sleep in my car in his driveway, I’ll enter his house and sleep in the guest room. (Last week I slept in my car because it was 5 am, not 2 am and I didn’t know the layout of the house.)

Well... that’s it.  It was a long awesome day that I won’t ever forget.  And like I mentioned earlier in this post, when I woke up this morning, I had no idea what I was gonna do or where the day would take me!  Oh Yeah! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Dad says:

    This sounds like one of your best days. Hangin
    at WVU with old buddy’s and all the players of the early 90’s. Great photo’s and finding yourself in
    the 1993 year book special. Post this story on
    Top Rooster’s Days.

  2. Matt says:

    sweet post man

  3. Mike says:

    Cool day but….. the eagles do not play at the vet, and haven’t played there in many years. The vet is not longer standing. They play at Lincoln financial field aka as the Linc.

  4. dave says:

    Thanks Mike. I didn’t remember the change.

  5. Big Brother Adam says:

    I was at WVU the weekend of that Game for my one/only visit to see my baby brother in college. I got to see how & where Crazy Dave lived (my buddy Tommy who came with me didn’t take his sneakers from Friday night until we got back in the car Sunday morning – that’s how disgusting his house was at WVU).

    I remember that weekend/game like it was yesterday. First of all, I never saw a 75 yr old Grandma jamming beers until I was at that tailgate. Second, I witnessed a few Miami fans (in a full Miami white jumpsuit) almost get knocked out by having full beers thrown at their head by WVU fans (probably the 75 yr old grandma).

    Dave didn’t know those other two guys in the picture before the game…he saw them painting their bodies and of course jumped right in (they painted W.V.U. on one side and A.B.C. – the game was on “ABC network” – on the backs).

    The other thing I remember is that it was FREEZING that day…somewhere between 20-30 degrees and my brother was outside with no shirt painted blue! We spent halftime in the bathroom because they had heaters in the bathroom and I was trying to cover Dave up with his jacket to keep him from freezing.

    WVU beat Miami…Dave was shot on TV and now he’s immortalized in this book…What a great weekend back in 1993.

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