Fighting the wrong battle


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For many West Virginians, it feels like it is us against the world.

“Where are you from?”

“West Virginia.”

“Oh! I have family near Richmond.”

“No. WEST Virginia, the state. Not western Virginia.”

Therefore, it’s exciting when our state gets national attention. Even if you just go to school here, it’s nice to hear people talking about Marshall, especially once we entered the AP Top 25 Poll.

When West Virginia University entered the top 25 that was just more good attention for our state.

It’s what brought ESPN GameDay to the state, and that is why Rakeem Cato was asked to go to Morgantown to be interviewed. The rest of the country lumps us together. It makes sense. The two biggest schools in the state are ranked. Why wouldn’t they ask Cato to come for an interview? (Shout out to him, by the way, for representing Marshall so well.)

But what did ESPN bring to West Virginia? More animosity between the two schools.

When it was announced Cato would be interviewed, many Mountaineer fans were outraged. Many Herd fans feared the worst. What happens if they boo him? Or worse, throw something at him? Cato’s interview was moved inside the GameDay bus.

Then there were the signs.

In Bleacher Report’s Top 10 “College GameDay” Sign list, two targeted Marshall, which is weird considering we don’t even play them anymore. More were seen and tweeted, including “I woke up harder than Marshall’s schedule,” and “Marshall was ranked about a week agoooo.”

Why not focus on the team ahead, instead of a team you insist is below you? It’s just bullying — making fun of “little brother” to make you feel better about yourself.

Rivalries should be fun. Does this one even have a point anymore?

This shouldn’t even be a discussion anymore. As stated before, we no longer play the Mountaineers in football. We will still have the Capitol Classic, but merely playing each other doesn’t mean this has to be such a heated rivalry.

And if you think it is just WVU fans who are the only perpetrators of the hate, you are kidding yourself.

We have bigger battles we should be fighting together, like funding cuts from the state for higher education and misconceptions the rest of the country has of us as a whole.

If we stood together instead of holding signs that tear the other down (Looking at you, “8-0 and Marshall still sucks,”) then maybe we could accomplish something great.

It’s going to take more than just Marshall fans, of course, and changing the culture of a group of people takes time. We shouldn’t threaten each other, but rather, support each other.

It’s us against the world.