Long Wait

It'll be a long night for West Virginia fans, and a longer one for its players.

New Year's Eve marks the Mountaineers' first early curfew, when players must be in their rooms by 11 p.m. That's the time most WVU fans, now arriving en masse to Atlanta, will be hitting the north Georgia streets in search of everything from Peach Drops to Peach Schnapps.

The players? They'll bide time with everything from electronics and fooseball to self-imposed relaxation and studying.

"I gotta take it easy and try to get my legs back under me," offensive guard Jeremy Sheffy said. "I'm not any more tired than on any game week, though, so it should come back. My family is in now, too. I have about six or seven of them and my girlfriend. I have neighbors here. So I'll spend some time with them."

Others will stage a battle royal at fooseball or on PlayStation2.

"A lot of them do that on the PlayStation," corner Anthony Mims said. "I'll watch TV, watch the bowl games. I don't have any in particular that I want to see. If it's a good game, I'll watch it."

The players have dinner on their own for the first time after a week of steakhouses and meals scheduled around the media blitz.

"I'll relax, do something for dinner and kill time downstairs in the arcade," punter Phil Brady said. "Might play some fooseball, though I am better at 2 on 2. One on one I can't turn the things fast enough. I'm spinning the wrong ones, grabbing other peoples men."

Spur safety Eric Wicks is shunning the smaller games for the large one.

"I'll stay in my room and watch film, study up the playbook," he said. "You don't want to play around and then regret not being focused. I'll look at Georgia, see as much as I can."

Linebacker Boo McLee will welcome a Georgia Bulldog. His father, Kevin McLee Sr., is a former UGA tailback and had the most yards in Georgia history until the mark was snapped by Hershel Walker. He arrives in town tonight from his home in Los Angeles.

"I am meeting with my family when they get in," Boo McLee said. "But Mortty Ivy, my roommate, brought the PlayStation. We might do that. I like Grand Theft Auto. Love that game.

"I'll lay back and relax mostly. It'll be cool though, just to relax a bit. I am tired of hitting teammates. I just want some different colored pain on my shoulder pads."

Said Sheffy: "At this point, if everything goes right, I'll have a few more New Year's Eves in front of me. If we win the game, heck, that's the best New Year's Eve present ever." Jeremy Sheffy: On Pat White – The first time I saw him really take off was against Louisville. It was like a switch had been turned on on the offense. Coach Trickett says that there are not too many pure thoroughbreds when it comes to being an athlete. Pat White is one of those thoroughbreds. George Shehl got head table on birthday.

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