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Picture-Perfect: The stuff we just love about the game

WEST VIRGINIA/Simple Gifts

It's loud. It's crazy. It's insane. And the Mountaineer hasn't even fired his rifle yet. Just another Saturday afternoon in Morgantown. Blame the Pride of West Virginia. It's the band that sets the tempo for one of the nation's most dreaded cauldrons.

Victories are sweetened when the band, players and fans serenade one another with the state's unofficial song: "Take Me Home, Country Roads."

But everyone's heart beats a little faster during a pregame show that is legendary. At one point, the band morphs into the outline of the state and marches from one end of the field to the other before flipping and repeating.

The highlight comes during the song "Simple Gifts." The band forms a big circle and marches inward, forming a tighter circle. Suddenly, the band pivots and fans out in another big circle, blaring the tune. It's enough to make some fans choke up.

Excerpt from "Big East College Football Preview" article on SportingNews.com. Also, appears in the August 25, 2006 edition of the magazine.

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