I am 2,078.5 miles away; approximately 31 hours by car and seven hours and 15 minutes by plane to the place that stole my heart long before I can even remember. A place that helped shape me into the sports reporter that I am becoming today. A place that has brought so much joy (and sometimes pain) into my life.
Growing up, it was my dad that taught me the ropes of college football; something that has been in my family for years long before I was even born. Some of my favorite childhood memories was riding in my dad's old, red pickup truck to get a bag of ice and head to football practice where he then coached my quarterback of a brother. There is something about a football game that makes me feel so nostalgic and makes me miss being a kid.
Saturdays were for West Virginia football, then and even now while I'm 2,078.5 miles away from the team that I love. I was lucky enough to go to just about every home game; taking a three-hour car trip to Morgantown, West Virginia. My brother's tradition would be to stop and get a package of Twizzlers, buy a program as we walked into Milan Puskar Stadium and of course grab a frozen lemonade (even if it was extremely cold).
When bowl season would come and WVU had won enough games to make it, we would travel. I thought it was the most amazing thing, to see how many people loved the same thing that my family and I loved. I grew up in the years of Pat White, Noel Devine, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin...the list goes on.
While my brother chose to spend his college years as a Mountaineer, I decided to part ways and head to the opposite side of the states to Arizona State University. Not once have I regretted the decision I made to become a Sun Devil, but I will say, college football just isn't the same. And I know this is because of my strong passion for a team that sometimes doesn't meet my expectations. While pursuing a career as a sports journalist, I know my passion was fueled by West Virginia football.
Making my family and the people that I have met in WV proud is my main goal. Putting out content and covering sports is what I love to do and I don't think that will ever change. I love all sports, but college football comes naturally to me thanks to my family and WVU.
So thank you to a team that I love. A team that makes me happy. A team that makes me scream at my television. A team that makes me a better reporter. But most importantly, a team that has fueled a passion inside of me for as long as I can remember.
"God must be a Mountaineer too because the sun is gold and the sky is blue."