And if he were, you couldn't blame him. It's an open-pit mine, where dynamite is used to blow up huge swaths of land that will remain forever altered. But he's not actually cursing fate. Instead, he's sort of fist-pumping at the heavens. He's defiant and victorious, even if he is standing in a scarred wasteland whose run-off will contaminate nearby water sources.
The Nike image is meant as a tribute to the 29 miners killed in an explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, and to unveil the new uniforms. A stripe of yellow runs down the center of the helmet, symbolizing a miner's headlamp. The helmet, numbers and pant legs are supposed to have some sort of coal-dust-smudge pattern. Hilariously, the shoes are canary-yellow, emblematic of the ill-fated birds miners used to determine whether poisonous gases were present. Do the uniforms include a fatal case of black-lung disease?
Apparently Massey CEO Don Blankenship is a major contributor to the university. Perhaps that money might have been spent on better ventilation of explosive methane gas buildup, but Pith digresses. Anyway, the image has outraged activists, who object to the image of a controversial method of coal mining. Nike and WVU have now replaced the gaping chancre with a football stadium.