CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As a responsible furniture owner, let me just say I was shocked by the reports of rampant couch burning by West Virginia University students after last week's upset of Virginia Tech.
What's the matter with these kids? Don't they know how much a good sectional couch costs?
Besides, in my day, burning things meant something. Sure, we wanted to burn sections of something - sections of town.
Those were the days when the legal drinking age was 18, our nearest rival, the University of Pittsburgh, was only a few years removed from their last national championship and cocky, future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino stood behind center. We wanted to knock off someone big - anyone big.
By the time I got to school, our record against powerhouses such as Pitt and Penn State was dismal enough that I was told should we ever beat one of them, we would burn down Morgantown's legendary bar district, Sunnyside.
It was almost like a high-stakes bet, as if a big-time victory were so dear, we would sacrifice the thing nearest and dearest to an undergraduate's heart to achieve it. In this case, it was a row of wonderfully low establishments serving up our favorite frothy beverages.
That first year, down fell Oklahoma. Then, later, Pitt. And eventually, even Penn State.
Each time, as if from a congress of pigskin shamans, the incantation arose: "Sunnyside burns! Sunnyside burns!" But it never did.
Impromptu bonfires were lit, put out and re-started. And, yes, upholstery somehow got involved then, too.