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Old 05-01-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
MountaineerDave
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I just feel like mentioning this, because nostalgia welled up inside of me, and my wife and kids just don't care, but when the College Football HOF induction list was released yesterday, and I saw Coach Stew's tweet about it, I had to say something somewhere.
The Ghost assures me that this is the place.

I have owned two football jerseys in my time. (They've always struck me as pricey, and I'm not athletically-shaped, and fat guys in jerseys who aren't on a field of play make my head hurt.)

One, I currently own the Steelers #7 Roethlisberger jersey. My wife chose it as a thoughtful Christmas gift a few years ago. Before the motorcycle accident. I've since worn it wondering just how committed I am to it and to him. I spent several downs last season wishing Leftwich got more playing time.

And then there's my Blue WV #9, circa 1988.

As much as I have loved Pat White as a Mountaineer, as effusive as I've been about him in my own head, there has never been a WV quarterback who captured the imagination, who changed games, who overwhelmed and befuddled opponents the way one Major Harris did.

Major Harris, behind the greatest offensive line WV ever had, led the Mountaineers to their best season ever. That team had a regular season record of 11-0, the first 11 win season in the program's history. They won their games 472-174. They scored fewer than 30 points one time.

Major threw for 1,915 yards and 14 TDs that year, adding 610 yards and 6 TDs on the ground. He only needed to play three complete games all year long.

One of the most exciting plays he ever ran I witnessed with my own eyes, live, from end zone opposite his direction--and still I remember thinking, "Oh, crap! Oh, no! OH YES!!" A twenty-six yard run intended to be a hand-off to the left, but Major (a great player, but not always so bright) went right. He got to the end of the leftward-moving line, sidestepped a DE, an LB, and proceeded to dazzle Mountaineer Field by deftly making his way to the end zone.

The play became part of the playbook, but was never as successful as it was the one time it came unscripted.

Major was Michael Vick before Vick got to high school. He was Pat White before Pat was out of diapers. But he was bigger than either of those guys, could take punishment, bowl over linebackers and safeties. If he made it to the defensive backfield, there were few capable of bringing him down any standard way.

I don't know where my Blue WV #9 jersey is these days. I've long since outgrown the piece of clothing, but will never forget the man who helped me have my greatest live sporting experience ever.

Thanks for indulging me.
Dave
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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That's what I'm talking about. That's the kind of insight and analysis we need here.

Welcome back Dave!
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing, Dave. Major Harris is a bad-ass name...
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:20 AM   #4
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I know this is over two months old, but I gotta respond since it's Mountaineer Dave.

I remember the 1988 Fiesta Bowl, as I was just starting to nurture my Notre Dame hatred and was rooting hard for WV in that game. As both teams were undefeated, it was sort of a pre-BCS NC game. Harris, alas, got hurt and the Mountaineers lost.
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