During conference expansion one fan base exceeded all other fan bases in pure delusion -- West Virginia.
Morning after morning I'd awake to find a grammatically challenged missive about why West Virginia was a great fit for the SEC or the ACC or the Big Ten or the Big 12 or the Pac 12 or any other conference in the country not named the Big East. The reasoning was illogical, harebrained, conspiracy-laden and downright incomprehensible. All of it suggested that West Virginia was a "national brand" with "huge television ratings" that promised decades of continued renown.
All of it was ridiculous and stupid.
Welcome to West Virginia, the 8th dumbest fan base in the country.
In 1940 West Virginia had a population of over 1.9 million people. Eighty years later the 2010 United States census estimated there were now 1.8 million people living in the state.
This means that during a seventy year period representing one of the most successful economic expansions in world history, the state of West Virginia actually lost 100,000 residents.
How remarkable was this population decline?
West Virginia was the only state in America to actually lose population during these seventy years. This reduction in population is particularly impressive when you consider that from 1940 to 2010 the United States nationwide population surged from 130 million to over 308 million. So during a time when the United States added 185 million people, West Virginia lost 100,000 residents.
This is almost impossible to accomplish.
Congrats, West Virginia.
What was left behind?
A hardy bunch of delusional neanderthal Mountaineer fans who truly believe that West Virginia is a national leader in athletics. They believe this despite the fact that they clearly never attended the school. All fan bases have dumb fans, but West Virginia boasts the lowest percentage of residents in the United States with bachelor's degrees, at just 17.3 percent of the population.
So it's quite probable that West Virginia is truly the dumbest state in the nation. You can say this without even using hyperbole. Statistics prove it. Hell, how dumb are West Virginia people? Arkansas and Mississippi residents can say without irony, "Y'all need to study more."
How crooked is the West Virginia program? So crooked that Pacman Jones and Chris Henry were college roommates.
And they both stayed eligible throughout their entire tenure in Morgantown, which, in case you're wondering, is just a modern day Deadwood. How much do players get away with in Morgantown? That's where Aaron Hernandez buried all his bodies.
No one even noticed.
Hell, West Virginia fans are famous for burning couches. Less popular but more interesting? After the college kids burn the couches West Virginia fans reclaim the burned couches and use them as actual couches in their singlewides for the next decade.
It would stand to reason that the dumbest group of state residents in the country would also be the dumbest fan base in America.
But, sadly, West Virginia only comes in at number eight on our list. That's because West Virginia loses every big game that matters. Even when the odds are stacked in their favor. Like the season finale in 2007, when at long last West Virginia had a chance to enter the national stage and then those rich big city bastards from Pittsburgh rolled right into Morgantown as 28.5 point underdogs and swiped the burning couches right out from under their noses.
So what's the dumbest stereotypical West Virginia fan like in his habitat:
He works at Wal-Mart, which happens to be the largest private employer in the state of West Virginia. (Seriously, you can't even make this stuff up.) He doesn't actually attend West Virginia games, but he watches the Mountaineers play in the audio-video section of the Charleston Wal Mart. This is the only way he can watch the games since his doublewide doesn't have access to cable yet. He was suspended from Wal Mart for a week during last year's Pitt game for carrying in his granddaddy's musket, which was used over the past 150 years to shoot both Yankee and Confederate soldiers -- why choose sides when you can sell moonshine to both? -- wild hogs, three bears, two hookers who wouldn't accept wild turkeys as payment, and an ornery cousin/wife.
He last read a book in 1974, but he's convinced that gay marriage will eventually lead to sodomy in the streets.
Speaking of sodomy in the streets, he has two daughters by three women -- don't ask -- and both daughters have already left West Virginia for Kentucky because, "That's where the action is."
By "action" they mean a better meth market with wealthier consumers.
For the past forty-eight years, his mother has begun each of his birthday stories by saying, "Boy, you're awful lucky abortion wasn't legal when I got pregnant with you!"
Last year he finally got up the nerve to tell his mother this upset him and would she please stop telling that joke at his birthday party. His momma pulled the snuff out of her lip, spit and said, "Joke?"
Lots of people make fun of West Virginia for having loose standards when it comes to incest. But, by God, he will fight you if he has to. He hates stereotypes. (At least the ones that don't involve minorities). How many times does he have to tell you? He lost his virginity to his SECOND cousin. And she was once removed. That's a BIG difference.
He has no hobbies aside from occasionally shooting beebees at the mailman. Although he got interested in geneaology for a while when his momma told him they were direct descendants of Daniel in the Lion's Den. But when he kept having to loop back up into the family tree, he gave up and went back to drinking moonshine and promising he would strangle Rich Rodriguez to death if he ever tries to come back into the state.
Considered driving to Texas for a road game but realized that the trip would cost nine months of his yearly salary. Also, since he's never actually left West Virginia before he believes he needs a passport to travel across state lines.
He'd hoped to have a son and if he did he was going to name him Major after Major Harris. For eighteen consecutive years he called into local sports talk radio anytime a quarterback was injured in the NFL and suggested the team needed to, "Just pick up Major."
Once met Major Harris in the Charleston Wal Mart employment line and said, completely serious, "Major Harris, what are you doing here? You buying Wal Mart?"
Harris chuckled softly and placed his application back on the shelf before walking quietly out the door.
Ever since that day he's lied and told everyone in a West Virginia t-shirt shopping at his Wal Mart -- so basically every person -- that he sold Major Harris a 100 inch flat screen television on special order.
The Ten Dumbest Fan Bases in America