MORGANTOWN — If there were no sports at West Virginia University this year, what would you miss most about it?
My list, in no particular order:
The National Anthem … as done by Marine violinist Peter Wilson, the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band and Ed Lewis.
Rolling out the carpet in basketball.
The Student Section at basketball games.
Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning’s press conferences.
The Red Panda’s halftime unicycle and plate flipping act.
Concession stand hot dogs.
The smell of tailgating wafting through the parking lot at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Sellout crowds at Mon County Ball Park.
Seeing the WVU football team come out in their all-white uniforms.
A quarterback sandwich between the two Stills brothers.
The Kroger Shopping Cart Shootout at basketball games.
The new spirit Neal Brown has brought to the football program.
Bob Huggins’ pullover.
Anything that matches West Virginia against Pitt.
Hearing the crowd, seeing the players gather and sing Country Roads after a game.
Oklahoma vs. WVU at Mountaineer Field on November 7.
Talking to wide receiver T.J. Simmons
Senior Day in any sport.
Bob Huggins’ sideline expressions in a game John Higgins officiates.
The Man Walk.
Oscar Tshiebwe’s smile.
Watching Neal Brown’s second team create an identity.
Being there late after the game writing a story and watching Jordan McCabe still out on the court taking shots.
Seeing Kari Niblack battle for rebounds against bigger players on Mike Carey’s women’s team.
Bob Huggins’ entrance into games.
Goal line stands.
Jay Jacob’s color commentary and his back and forth with Bob Huggins on the coach’s radio show.
Watching WVU President E. Gordon Gee, bedecked in his bow tie, working the crowd and posing for pictures.
Knowing how much joy WVU’s athletes bring to WVU Children’s Hospital patients.
WVU playing Kansas in the Coliseum.
Seeing how women’s basketball brings together the cutest little girls and the senior citizens as the heart of its fan base in this community.
And things I won’t miss if there are no WVU sports this year:
Game day traffic.
Derek Culver’s free throw shooting.
That silly bowling challenge they have.
Bob Huggins’ rear view mirror story.
9 p.m. starting times for games … too late.
Noon games … too early.
Big 12 officiating.
Gray uniforms worn by a team whose colors are old gold and blue … and yes, I know, I like the all white uniforms. Go figure.
Football games in “football weather”.
Hearing Pitt fans sing “Sweet Caroline”.
Hook ‘em Horns hand signals.
Did I mention game day traffic?
— Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel