Column: WVU Embodies Black Diamond Mentality
The black diamond is known as the toughest natural diamond in the mine. Literally, the toughest diamond in the rough.
In the mines that liter West Virginia and Virginia — which are two separate states to inform any who may not know — the black diamond is known as the toughest natural diamond in the mine. Literally, the toughest diamond in the rough.
For football fans, it is the trophy which represents the victors of the West Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry, a matchup that renews Sunday at FedEx Field, giving bragging rights to the winners for the near future.
The coal mines and those who work in them represent some of the toughest, grittiest people in these states. They are a generational crowd who goes in and out of the mines daily regardless of what is going on in the outside world. They have risked their lives, and lost lives, for years to work an industry so prevalent in these parts essentially without batting an eye. Just getting the job done.
Sunday night the Mountaineers, who are arguably the state team for the state of West Virginia, face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies to battle for the Black Diamond Trophy. It’s a trophy which speaks volumes to fans on either side of this matchup, but also to those who have spent their lives working in the mines.
In a sense, this season-opening game represents the strongest people in BOTH states. Could you find a better symbolism for a state, and a team that rallies around each other and looks to find any way to win?
The West Virginia Mountaineers are the example of a black diamond. New(ish) to their conference, furthest distance from the rest of those teams, making travel hard for many Mountaineers fans. The Mountaineers have to work hard for every single yard, down, play and point. Just like the workers in the mines have done every day, for years.
For many fans of West Virginia, and Virginia Tech, they have family members and personal friends who have grown up in the mines. Sunday night, this gritty and strong West Virginia football team will work hard every moment of the game to bring that Black Diamond Trophy back to the great state of West Virginia to thank all of those who risk their lives in the mines, to thank those fans for being the best.
The Mountaineers look to not just win the first game of the season, against an old neighboring rival, but to be the embodiment of the black diamond, the toughest team out there. And to bring that trophy home.