KEYSER - His license plate says it all - “NO1WVFAN.”

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - His license plate says it all - “NO1WVFAN.”
And now, Keyser resident Rick Harshbarger has a chance to officially earn that title as he competes in the Ultimate WVU Fan competition.
In order to do that, however, he needs the help of family and friends.
Harshbarger, whose house and office are both full of WVU memorabilia, designed the logo for a WVU cap in order to be eligible for the competition, and was chosen to compete against three other WVU fans and their hats.
He says designing the cap was a new and interesting experience for him.
“I had an idea of what I wanted,” he explains. “A guy sketched it out for me on his computer. We skyped, and I was able to watch him do it.”
Although Harshbarger graduated from Frostburg State University and not WVU, he has been a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers.
He says his dedication to the Mountaineers is not so much about where you went to school, but “it has to do with where you were born and where you live.”
For the past 31 years, he has therefore found himself on quite a streak of attending WVU basketball and football games.
“I am up to 459 straight basketball games without missing one,” he said. “I’ve only missed one football game since the new stadium opened, and that was the day my daughter was born.”
He admits that trying to get to some of the games have “been a circus,” including the time in 2012 when he drove all night from Syracuse, New York, where he’d attended the Pinstripe Bowl, to Morgantown so he could attend the men’s basketball game at the Coliseum at noon.
He hasn’t missed a men’s basketball game since 1987, and he hopes to hit the 500-game mark.
What would it take for him to miss a game at this point?
“I’m going to have to be in a coma,” he said.
Whether he is able to earn the title of “Ultimate Fan,” however, depends not upon his unflagging dedication to WVU, but upon how many votes his WVU cap gets on the contest website.
Those wishing to help him out may visit https://trademarklicensing.wvu.edu/fans/ultimate-mountaineer-fan and vote for the solid blue “Mountaineer Pride” hat.
“You can vote as often as you want,” he says, noting that the website does not keep a running total so the winner will be a complete surprise.
Deadline to vote is Wednesday, Feb. 7, and the winner will be notified by phone.
The winning hat will be mass produced and available for purchase in stores in March, and the one chosen as the Ultimate Mountaineer Van will win a trip for two to the Big 12 Championships.