Posted: Sep 21, 2011 8:33 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Fans of West Virginia and LSU football are laying the rivalry aside until Saturday night to collaborate on a culinary fundraiser for the families of 29 coal miners killed in an explosion last year.
Morgantown's Richwood Grill is dishing up shrimp, crab and crawfish omelets, crab cake and soft-shelled crab Benedict, along with standard breakfast fare from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day.
All profits and tips from the "We Remember Mountaineers on the Bayou Brunch" will benefit RememberTheMiners.org, a group that supports the families of the men who died at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch near Montcoal.
Richwood Grill chef Marion Ohlinger is teaming up with the Louisiana chef behind the project, Steve Herbert. Herbert, who runs the Abita Springs Cafe in Abita Springs, La., said the states' cultures have some things in common.
"WVU and LSU fans were voted the worst fan bases in all of college football by GQ, a magazine that probably doesn't sell many subscriptions in our two states," he said. "Maybe the rest of America doesn't understand that the two regions both had a unique culture that was different from the rest of America."
No. 16 West Virginia (3-0) meets No. 2 Louisiana State (3-0) in a prime-time game that ESPN will air live.
Herbert said he has been thinking about similarities between the Upper Big Branch tragedy and the oil rig explosion and subsequent spill last summer in the Gulf of Mexico.
"People were working in dangerous situations extracting fuel out of the ground," he said, "and when something goes wrong, there's not really anywhere to go."