Posted by Jerry Hinnen
And now for some news that may not surprise you, but which we feel compelled to pass along nonetheless: getting LSU fans and West Virginia fans together in a 60,000-seat stadium with school-approved beer sales leads to a lot of beer sales.
Accoding to the Charleston Daily Mail,WVU sold 36,042 "units" of beer during the Tigers' Saturday night visit and turned a profit of more than $120,000 on beer sales alone. Those numbers almost match the number of sales during the Mountaineers' first two home games combined, which netted around $133,000 and moved some 38,000 "units."
The natural inclination is to chalk the surge up to the (ahem) liveliness of the visiting fanbase, and there may be something to that; LSU is the same school, after all, that's partnered with a local brewery to produce its own brand of beer. (Unlike WVU, though, LSU fans shouldn't expect to see it on sale inside Tiger Stadium anytime soon.) But it's also worth noting that of the Mountaineers' previous two home games, one took place on an early Sunday evening (albeit the day before Labor Day) and the other was a daytime contest against FCS Norfolk State.
In other words, LSU fans may have consumed a lot of beer ... but the bet here is that between a sizable increase in numbers and the allure of a nationally-televised night game, West Virginia fans also just happened to consume far more than they had those first two weeks, too.
Besides, the bigger question isn't why WVU's beer sales shot up; it's whether those sales might have any connection to do with a vicious postgame assault in which an LSU fan was dragged from his vehicle, beaten, and suffered " a broken nose, a crushed eye socket and a fractured frontal bone in the middle of his forehead."
The wife of the injured man maintains that the assault wasn't motivated by team rivalry -- neither the man's clothing nor the vehicle itself featured any kind of LSU paraphernalia -- and it's patently unfair to leap to the conclusion that the assailants became drunk at the stadium, or were even intoxicated. At the same time, if WVU wishes to contine raking in its $120,000 profits, it can't afford for those beer sales to fuel a reputation that Morgantown isn't safe for visiting fans--and incidents like that one won't help.