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Mountaineer Mad

February 27, 2009 - Joselyn King
West Virginians, lets get Mountaineer Mad about a very offensive article regarding the state online at Newsweek. (See the link above.)

All of its credibility pretty much went out of the door when it referred to Joe Manchin as a Republican governor. (This has since been corrected). O.K. You can laugh at that. But it's wrong, and the article gets worse.

It starts off with a graphic description of one West Virginian discovering incest was happening in his family. (Have their ever been any statistics to prove incest is any more prevalent in West Virginia than elsewhere?)

And it's evident that the writer, Tony Dokoupil, is not a sports fan, either. An excerpt from the piece:

"(W)hile we know Kentucky for Louisville, bluegrass and basketball, West Virginia's perceived backwardness has been one its most durable cultural memes—an unshakable label for a state that lacks a big city, a famous musical heritage or championship team to offer as an alternative." While WV hasn't had a national sports championship in basketball or football -- it's come about as close as you can. When the successes of the WVU football and basketball teams over just the past four years are combined, it's probably the most successful athletic program in the nation.

The football team has won each of its bowl appearances since 2005 -- including the dramatic 2008 Fiesta Bowl win after its cad of a former coach abandoned them.

The basketball team, meanwhile, made the NCAA Tournament's "Elite 8" in 2005, and the "Sweet 16" in 2006 and 2008. In 2007. the team won the NIT Tournament. (Isn't that a national championship?)

And there are other sports at WVU, too. The rifle team there has been a perennial powerhouse, producing national championships and olympians for decades.

As for music heritage, wonder if he ever heard of Jamboree U.S.A.? Practically every major country music star has graced the stage here at some point.(And perhaps they will again someday. . maybe?)

Often criticism is justified, and there's plenty to criticize in West Virginia. There has been data showing that many in the state are in need of dental work.

But guess what. There was no mention about the court system in this article.


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