By VIC SPROUSE
CHARLESTON -- No, not Bill Clinton. No, not Bill Gates.
Who should go back to Kansas City? Bill Rieter of the Kansas City Star.
Go back to Kansas City, Bill.
What am I talking about?
Well, every so often, maybe once every two years or so, there is an article written about poor, poor old West Virginia. You know us… poor, pathetic wretches.
You know, the West Virginia that is so poverty-stricken, so desperate, so pathetic, that our only hope from hurling ourselves off the nearest bridge is that West Virginia's football team does well.
At a minimum if WVU doesn't win the national championship, well, we will all just crawl back under the rocks from which we came.
I'm sorry, but the Bill Reiter story in the Charleston Daily Mail Friday nearly made me puke. Did you read it?
The Gazette ran the story on Labor Day as well, but cut large swaths out, making it somewhat more palatable.
These types of articles are run nearly every couple of years. But, normally, normally, they are usually from New York City reporters.
I've never known Kansas City was the bustling metropolis that now ventures out looking at other poor saps across the country. Yeah, because everyone in the country, when they think of the best places to live and work, when they think about where they may want to live when they grow up, the FIRST place to come to mind is… Kansas City.
And, of course, we all know that's where the best writers end up… at the Kansas City Star.
Ok, Ok, sorry, but I can't contain my venom. If you didn't read the sickly piece of garbage, here are a few excerpts.
"Steel and football, coal and football, they're two parts of the same thing - the thing that shaped the lives of many of the young men who grew up in Appalachia.
At least it was until the mills and mines began to fail."
(I'm guessing Kansas City Bill hasn't been looking at the latest severance tax revenues… but, I digress)
My thought at this point was ... uh-oh ... here we go.
Then it goes on ...
So how has this struggling state, one of America's poorest, found itself poised for a national title run - a feat usually reserved for our richest and largest institutions?
People here swear you have to look to the decay and lost jobs to find the answer.
To the good things gone bad.
Who in the world is this guy? Is he a sportswriter trying to write a "serious" piece? Because, this is something right out of a high school journalism class. Can you write in more cliched terms? This guy makes Phil Kabler seem like Bob Woodward.
OK, there were some good portions about Rich Rodriquez, but every good statement was cloaked in the 'woe-is-us-poor-poor-West-Virginia" attitude.
But, the rest is ridiculous dribble.
Some more excerpts ..
Bob Rossell drives his 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass through Weirton.
He passes the blast furnace.
"Not what it used to be."
He passes the coke plant.
"Thousands of men used to work here."
Oh, good gracious, Bill.
And, here comes the coup de gras ...
Rossell drives past the football stadium, and his old blue eyes sparkle.
"This can be the opportunity," he says. "All they have to do is look at their traditions to see what can happen."
Outside, on a dirty sidewalk, a man walks slowly down the street. He looks destitute. Grime covers his clothes. His face is puffy and sad.
A state fell, and it took this man's job with it.
There's only one thing about him that's clean: a gold and blue WVU hat, brand new, a reminder that not everything is lost.
Can you say projectile vomit?
Isn't it convenient that Kansas City Bill, JUST SO HAPPENED, as he was walking in Weirton, he micraculously comes across those poor, dirty, obviously homeless man who JUST SO HAPPENED to have a clean WVU hat?
Believe that one, and I have some beachfront property to sell you in… say, Kansas City.
I want a photo of the dude who is covered with dirt, with a 'sad, puffy face' and with a clean WVU hat that so seamlessly provided the perfect ending to the perfect story for ol' Bill.
I say he lied out his as$.
On a dirty sidewalk in Weirton walks a dirty man in a WVU hat? Come on, Bill, even your editors had to have a tough time believing that load of crap.
And, in the unlikely event that this was actually a true story, which I find impossible to believe, Are you kidding me?
So, there are no dirty, homeless people in Kansas City. My guess is if ol' Bill walked out of the Kansas City Star, turned right and walked a few blocks, he might come across someone "destitute."
And, my guess is they wouldn't have a shiny new Kansas City Chiefs hat on.
Go back to Kansas City, Bill.
And, when you get there, send me a photo of the grimy, homeless guy from Weirton with the shiny new WVU hat with whom you spoke and found out that he lost his job… when West Virginia fell.Go