I managed to take my 3-year-old son to a couple of games this season. He seems to like the energy of the crowd and playing ball with the older kids in the green space at the north entrance to Milan Puskar Stadium at halftime. And then there's the popcorn.
Because of bad behavior, he stayed home and missed the highlight of the season, WVU's upset of No. 11 Oklahoma State. He didn't witness the heartbreaking overtime loss to Texas because kickoff was at bedtime.
I joked with friends afterward that he should have plenty of opportunities to have his heart fumbled or blocked or otherwise crushed by the Mountaineers in the future.
We're a long way since our last losing season back in 2001, which was the darkness before the dawn of some amazing football, including three BCS bowl titles. (That's as many as the entire Atlantic Coast Conference has won in the BCS era.)
I've had to rationalize to myself that the game is cyclical and that no program stays on top or even among the elite forever. It wasn't long ago that mighty Alabama was limping along - and now-struggling Florida was an unstoppable force.
Well, the wheel has turned and now we're facing an off-season of doubts about the direction of the program, the abilities of our coach and even the simple question of who will play quarterback.
While I tend toward fatalism as a vaccine against disappointment, I really do see potential in the experience our young linemen are getting and talent in our running backs and receivers.
And while more than one of my female friends thinks our quarterbacks have great hair, I will also admit I'd feel a lot better if the gray matter it covers finally synched up with the playbook of our genius head coach.
While football season is on the wane, the seeds for the season of hope are already being planted.
Contact writer Philip Maramba at phi...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1703.