10 fun facts about West Virginia

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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 26, 2018 at 11:50 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] 1. “Hi, Billy Mays here …”Billy Mays attended West Virginia before dropping out. During his two years there, he was also a walk-on linebacker on the football team. After leaving WVU, he became a promotional advertiser and television pitchman. He promoted more than 40 different products, including Mighty Putty, OxiClean and the Awesome Auger. Mays died in 2009.2. A Tailgate TraditionOne of West Virginia’s biggest tailgate traditions is an alcoholic drink that dates back to the early 1800s. It’s called “Moonshine.” It’s made by specially distilling high-proof whiskey. Many West Virginia tailgaters make different flavors of moonshine and drink it out of mason jars on gameday. During Prohibition, many West Virginians made a living off of bootlegging Moonshine.3. The Coal RockBefore each home game, every West Virginia player touches the large coal rock in Milan Puskar Stadium. It’s a symbol for the entire state of West Virginia, which is the second-biggest coal mining state in the U.S., behind Wyoming. The players touch the rock for good luck, and it symbolizes the blue-collar coal miners in the state also going to work.4. “A date which will live in infamy”On Dec. 7, 1941, the USS West Virginia took seven aerial torpedo hits during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The battleship survived and was repaired, later helping the United States in future battles. The battleship was later decommissioned, but the mast from the ship sits on the West Virginia campus, in front of Oglebay Hall. The mast has been on WVU’s campus since 1963.5. The man behind the logoThe current NBA logo is a white silhouette of a man dribbling a basketball. That man is Jerry West, who played for WVU from 1957-1960 until he was drafted second overall in the NBA draft. He went on to be a 14-time all-star. The road outside the WVU basketball arena is now named Jerry West Boulevard.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text6. An unusual top sportWVU participates in 17 different intercollegiate varsity sports. While the football team and men’s basketball team are often ranked in the Top 25, WVU’s best sport is actually rifling. The Mountaineers have won 19 NCAA national championships in coed rifle shooting.7. WVU’s theme song“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver is the official theme song of West Virginia, per WVU’s website. It’s played before every home game and again after the game if the Mountaineers win. It’s been played at every game since 1972, and Denver performed it live before a game in 1980.8. Mountaineer IdolIn 2004, West Virginia started its own smaller version of American Idol. They began a six-week competition to find the best singer and performer on the campus. Hundreds of students attend each round of the six-round elimination process. The 2018 Idol began in September, with each week having a new theme or genre that the singers must follow. 9. Kanawha … or West VirginiaThe state of West Virginia was founded because of deep political divides established during the Civil War. When Virginia planned to secede from the U.S., the entire state was not in support of it. The delegates from the western part of the state decided after Virginia’s secession that a new state was the best path forward. There were plans to name the new state Kanawha, but West Virginia was the eventual name chosen. 10. Filling it up for footballMilan Puskar Stadium holds about 60,000 people. On game days, the stadium holds more people than the largest city in the state, Charleston. As of the 2010 census, Charleston had 51,400 inhabitants. Commentslast_img

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