When parents have feuding kids move to separate sides of a shared bedroom, it’s supposed to be more peaceful. But it’s also much less fun.

For 12 years, West Virginia University and Virginia Tech have stayed on their separate sides, with fans mingling at Thanksgiving, weddings and birthdays but never on the field with the other’s team as the opponent. At Sunday’s (Sept. 3) football game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., the teams and the fans reunited.
There was the game, which didn’t end so happily for Mountaineers. Virginia Tech won 31-24. There were still the glorious moments that had Mountaineer fans rising to their feet and shaking the stadium, like when Gary Jennings caught Will Grier’s pass and ran 60 yards to a touchdown.

But most of the day was in appreciation of the meeting, of one more chance to even the score. The nudging from father-in-law to son-in-law. The teasing of that one family member who chose the other team. The fan shirts worn by siblings though they didn’t go to either school. Old friendships — and new ones — across state lines. The sassy comebacks. The alumni from opposing teams who traveled to the game with each other, and we think had bonds strong enough to make the return journey together, too. 

The alumni and fans we talked to from either team showed that what they want is more of the same. It’s a long wait until 2021 when the teams meet up again, this time in Morgantown. But we made it 12 years. What’s four more?