MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Let me start by apologizing, because this is my fault.
All it took for West Virginia’s first football cancellation since 1954 was one week of me on the beat. Though I am new to the Mountaineers and the Mountain State, it turns out that I cannot escape my past.
In 2015, I was covering the season opener between McNeese State and LSU when a freak thunderstorm popped up over Tiger Stadium and decided to hang out for five hours without moving. The lightning was spectacular, but the result was LSU’s first canceled game since the flu outbreak at the end of World War I.
I was only getting warmed up.
The next year, I was boarding a plane to Jacksonville, Fla., when the news broke that the LSU-Florida game was pre-empted by Hurricane Matthew. The fight that broke out between the schools as they attempted to reschedule the game was legendarily petty, and carries all the way into this season as the Tigers visit Gainesville for a second straight season after a straight-up site swap.
I’m not done yet.
Last season, LSU and BYU were supposed to open the season in Houston. Then Hurricane Harvey hit, forcing the game to be moved to New Orleans, which, of course, is no stranger to hurricanes.
After living in Louisiana for nine years, I was optimistic my only brush with a Hurricane in West Virginia would be if I drove through the town of the same name. No such luck.
Weather aside, I’m looking forward to covering WVU after spending two years in the SEC, seven covering the FCS and my college days at Indiana watching every other team play at a Big Ten-level.
I’m also excited to explore my new hometown and see what Morgantown has to offer. Turns out, I’ll have a weekend to do so much earlier than I expected.