Stage 7: Acceptance and Hope

Just like our new President-elect, we’re going to focus on the “hope” part.

During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

So who is going to help us find our way forward?  Glad you asked.  Here are my top candidates for the (proposed) coaching position at West Virginia University:

Continue reading

Stage 6: Reconstruction and Working Through

As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

OK, so Mountaineer football is effectively dead, right?

Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s certainly on life support.  Action needs to be taken now if we want to salvage the foundation of greatness that was in place a year ago.  To some, these required actions might seem overly drastic.  But to many, like myself, they appear to be our only option.  So, what are those actions.

Step #1: Fire Bill Stewart.

Continue reading

The 7 Stages of Mountaineer Football Grief


It is now very clear that Mountaineer football has suffered a great tragedy.  As such, most of our fans are experiencing a different degree of grief, just as if they had lost their best friend.  Here is my journey through agony.

1.  Shock and Denial.

You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

Early losses to ECU and Colorado were certainly shocking, to say the least.  Even still, however, Mountaineer fans held on to hope that those games were only the result of growing pains.  Unfortunately, this was made even worse by the five game winning streak that immediately followed.  The combined record of teams beaten during that stretch?  25-33.  Not exactly the Big 12 South.

Those wins kept us from seeing the real truth: since the Villanova game, Mountaineer football has been in a steady spiral downward.

Continue reading