Trust the Climb... just trust it... no matter how hard it may seem, just trust the climb. That is the statement that West Virginia fans have heard ever since Neal Brown came to Morgantown, but exactly how can fans do that?
Well, today I will be teaching the fans the exact way to trust the climb. So, in order to trust the climb fully, you must follow these five rules.
Rule One: Remain Patient
Ok, so rule one is probably the most straightforward rule of the five. Let's face it, it's 2019 and everyone wants instant gratification. In fact, if you as a fan feel like you have no patience, you shouldn't feel discouraged - you're just a typical fan.
However, it's important to be patient during this process. In his inaugural season at Troy, Brown posted a record of 4-8. A record parallel to what West Virginia was projected to do in Brown's first year at West Virginia.
The following year, Brown had Troy inside the Top-25 and finished with a record of 10-3. Brown not only washed away a bad season with a good one, he also delivered to Troy its first 10-win season since 2001 and a bowl win - something West Virginia hasn't done since 2015.
Rule Two: Embrace the Future
This rule stems from rule one, but they are different. Brown wasn't gifted a whole lot of talent from the former coach, but he is changing that. Brown is working hard to fix the recruiting woes created by Holgorsen. So, for the time being, the talent just isn't present.
Now, this isn't to say that their isn't any talent on the Mountaineer football team, but there definitely a Will Grier, Tavon Austin or Gary Jennings roaming the sideline. The future is bright for West Virginia because of the recruiting efforts of Neal Brown. Brown already made an effort to get his quarterback of the future with Garrett Greene. Greene is considered by many amongst the elite of 2020 quarterbacks.
So, remain patient and embrace the future.
Rule Three: Support 24/7
I wanted to give a little bit of a disclaimer with this rule, because I am aware of the excellence that the West Virginia fans typically provide. However, during down years, Mountaineer fans sometimes lash out and even fire shots on social media. First, don't do that. It's simply not a good look and it's even worse when it occurs during a season that was expected to be nothing but a rebuilding campaign.
A true fan that trust's the climb should never stop supporting this team. Regardless of how ugly it gets, in order to trust the climb, West Virginia fans must support 24/7.
Rule Four: Give Credit
It is important to be hungry for success, just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Be hungry for success, hungry to make your mark, hungry to be seen and to be heard and to have an effect. And as you move up and become successful, make sure also to be hungry for helping others.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
However, no matter how hungry West Virginia fans might be for success in the new era, rule four reminds fans to be proud and give credit of how far the program has come. Throughout this climb, West Virginia will face the inevitable ups and downs. Through these times, remember to give the team credit for the success that they have achieved. Even if it's just six wins and a bowl game. Give credit.
The more grateful of a fan you become, the sweeter it will be when West Virginia does finally turn that corner. It's also important to note that West Virginia is 3-7 since 2008 in bowl games. Winning a bowl game is something to celebrate any year.
Rule Five: Stop Bashing Players
This is the single most important rule on this list. You see player-bashing far to often from Mountaineer fans. During the climb, there is ZERO tolerance for player bashing.
It's important to point out that every single player on the Mountaineer roster wakes up at the crack of dawn for conditioning and practice. Then, they go to class and back for practice. Not to mention all of the countless days of the off-season spent towards providing the fans with entertainment throughout the season.
Also, there is so much more that college athletes do in preparing for games. They have to study countless hours of film all whilst trying to study for their own classes.
They are kids, and they of course want to win. Oh, and get this, the West Virginia players want to win 100 times more than you as a fan do. So, if Austin Kendall has a poor performance, tweet at him with your support. Don't bash him. If Reese Donahue misses a tackle, tweet at him encouraging him. If Sam James drops a wide open touchdown, tweet him with something positive. The alternative is messy road to walk down.
These guys are not professional athletes, they are young kids. Put yourself in their shoes for once and let's end player-bashing once and for all.
The future in Morgantown is bright and the climb is being trusted, the only question, will Mountaineer fans follow these rules?
Please follow me on twitter @HALK_35 for more updates on the Mountaineers!