Sep 012013

I’ve sat through 2-9 records. I’ve been disappointed by 9-4 records.

… watched 13-9, jumping up and down, hooting and hollering throughout that agonizing and ultimately triumphant fourth quarter against West Virginia.


… was present when Rod Rutherford scampered 62 yards to score the lone touchdown as Pitt beat Pennstate, 12-0, at Three Rivers Stadium in 2000.

Pitt 12, PSU 0

Pitt 12, PSU 0

… started the “asshole” chant at Joe Paterno in 2000 at Three Rivers Stadium.

… bore witness when Larry caught that touchdown pass. And that one. And that one. And that one. And that one.

… will never forgive Oklahoma’s Jason White for denying Larry Fitzgerald the Heisman Trophy.

… saw Tyler Palko lay the wood on that BC player and Darrelle Revis’ ESPY-winning kickoff return for a touchdown.

… was so fucking proud when Pitt beat Notre Dame in five overtimes at ND Stadium.

… think Walt Harris made the right decision to start Palko over Joe Flacco.

… watched helplessly as Cincinnati came back in the fourth quarter to deny Pitt a BCS bowl berth.

… stood in the home student section at Beaver Stadium, too afraid for my life to say a word, watching Pitt fight and scratch and claw against Pennstate, only to lose 20-17 when LeVar blocked a last gasp field goal attempt.

… remember the “slide” against UConn.

… shook Dave Wannstedt’s hand after watching him give a talk to alumni after he was hired at Pitt.

… tried putting on a brave face when Mike Haywood was hired. (I couldn’t even convince myself though).

… was subjected to the Swinging Gate.

… wish Walt’s experiment with the Spread Offense, years before it became en vogue, had succeeded.

… refreshed ESPN Gamecast over and over and over again sitting on a connection in Bangladesh, ‘watching’ Pitt win the Tangerine Bowl vs NC State.

… sat through that entire bullshit meltdown in the rain against Youngstown State last season.

… saw Chryst rally the program to thump Virginia Tech after starting out 0-2.

Pitt 35, VT 17. Sept 5, 2012.

… have said a couple nice words about Tino Sunseri and even Bill Stull before him.

DITKADorsett, Marino, Curtis Martin, Russ Grimm, Chris Doleman, Rickey Jackson, Joe Schmidt. Beat that. Only three other schools can. Ruben Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Darrelle Revis. We’re coming for the last three.

… have been a Pitt football season ticket holder in all but one year since 1998.

… refuse to give up hope.


Aug 222013
Golden Panther on the prowl with tail up

Or… Really, He’s Writing About the Damned Script Logo?!

Yesterday, I wrote about the second most annoying common issue that Pitt partisans bring up – the lack of an on-campus football stadium. Today’s let’s delve into the most aggravating common issue – the script logo, which Pitt used from 1973-1996.

I get why people pine for the return of the script logo. It’s pretty unique and just so happens to coincide (at least in its early years) with one of Pitt football’s most successful spells, a period that included a national title and three straight 11-1 seasons as well as a cavalcade of stars. Of the 8 Pitt players enshrined in Canton, 6 wore the script logo – Chris Doleman, Tony Dorsett, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dan Marino and Curtis Martin. Ruben Brown stands a decent chance of adding to that total.

I love the script logo but I’ve come to accept that the administration won’t bring it back. Furthermore, a whole generation of Pitt fans has grown up without the script logo and so have no attachment to it. The current block logo is pretty decent, if not a little unimaginative. And both Larry Fitzgerald and Darrelle Revis (two possible Pro Football HOF candidates) made it proud.

Pitt Script logoscript logo, 1973-1996 pittblockblock logo, 1997-present.

If Pitt were to use the old script as a third uniform in the same way that ND occasionally wears their green uniforms, I think that would be a decent compromise. But if the administration really wants to get creative,  why not bring back logos for eras past.

Continue reading »

Nov 012012

SB Nation Pittsburgh links to a Ben Roethlisberger quote ruminating on whether his draft class may eventually surpass the fabled 1983 QB draft class that included John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino (and a couple other guys named Bob).

“And all four quarterbacks — Matt Schaub, Philip (Rivers), myself and Eli — that were drafted there. I hope we can play well enough that one day they talk about us as maybe the best quarterback draft class of all time.”

Let’s check out the numbers.

Class of 1983 Designation Superbowl Record Passing Yards Years Yardage Rank
John Elway HOF 2-3 51,475 16 4
Todd Blackledge Bust 0-0 5,283 7 245
Jim Kelly HOF 0-4 35,467 11 18
Tony Eason Ok 0-1 11,142 8 154
Ken O’Brien Ok 0-0 25,094 10 62
Dan Marino HOF 0-1 61,361 17 2
Totals/Averages 2-9 189,822 69 80.83
Class of 2004 Designation Superbowl Record Passing Yards Years Yardage Rank
Eli Manning Potential HOF 2-0 29,980 8.5 36
Philip Rivers Mediocre 0-0 25,931 8.5 58
Ben Roethlisberger Potential HOF 2-1 28,566 8.5 44
J.P. Losman Bust 0-0 6,271 8 223
Matt Schaub Undecided 0-0 19,586 8.5 98
Totals/Averages 4-1 110,334 42 91.8

I tend to believe 2004 has already surpassed 1983 because of a superior Superbowl record. 2-9 for 1983? That’s abysmal! Continue reading »

Feb 042010

In honor of NLI Day, let us speculate.

In the fall of 2010, sophomore Kevin Newsome and mega-recruit Paul Jones will lose the PSU starting QB competition to true freshman Robert Bolden. Not willing to ride the pine for three years, Jones transfers to Pitt and Newsome follows in the footsteps of Jeff Hostetler by transferring to WVU. Three years later, Paul Jones starts for Pitt at Panther Hollow Field as they welcome Pennstate back to their eastern roots as a member of the re-formed Eastern Elite Conference (along with new/old members BC, ND, UVA, VT & UMD) in Greg Schiano’s first year at the helm of the State Penn. Mr. Schiano leads Pennstate out of the tunnel in true Jersey fashion – doing the fist pump.

Former PSU coach Joe Paterno is given a rousing chorus of “@$$h0le” by the Pitt faithful. Pennstaters at the game respond by throwing their beverages high up in the air but are surprised when said concoctions come straight down and hit them in the head. Former DC Tom Bradley weeps in a corner, alone and forgotten.

Schiano’s personal guests include the newly elected Governor of New Jersey, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and first lady Snooki. Inspired by Schiano’s Jersey pride, The Situation subsequently passes a bill requiring all New Jersey/Staten Island/guido athletes to do the Fist Pump during pre-game ceremonies and changes the state song to Kernkfraft 400’s Zombie Nation. Mr. Schiano’s controversial replacement of White with Orange as PSU’s secondary color to more closely mirror the color of all his NJ players’ skin pays huge dividends as Pennstate’s new Orange-Glo Nights (sponsored by Fanta) will come to be devastating to opponents who can’t handle the burst of color from the students’ section. (Incidentally, PSU loses its first Orange-Glo against Mr. Schiano’s old team Rutgers because the PSU players can’t pick out the Rutgers’ players amidst the sea of orange).

Pitt avenges the memories of 48-14 by blasting Bolden into the ground in Dave Wannstedt’s swan song as Pitt coach before turning over the reins to OC Frankie Cignetti. Wannstedt’s first act as new Athletic Director is to bring back the script PITT as a third jersey. On the Pitt sideline that day are former greats Mike DITKA, who commands that all Pitt men must grow mustaches, goatees or beards, POTUS Larry Fitzgerald, Governor of Florida Danny Marino and the man responsible for finally destroying the BCS and instituting a college football playoff, NCAA Commissioner Tony Dorsett  (pronounced DOR-sett, not dor-SETT).

Pitt Defensive Coordinator Tony Siragusa, one of the holdovers from Wannstedt’s staff, threatens to eat anyone who goes against DITKA’s commandment or doesn’t believe that Larry would’ve have caught that. Mr. Siragusa does end up eating Bob Nutting on orders from Pirates, Penguins and city of Pittsburgh owner/Wizard of Oz Mario Lemieux. Mr. Lemieux’s Man-Behind-The-Curtains, Ron Burkle slides into the all-concealing shadow as he seeks to find the Jade Monkey, road maps and ice scraper before the next full moon.

From up on high, the Four Horsemen of Pittsburgh Football – Art Rooney Sr, Pop Warner, Jock Sutherland and Myron Cope look down on all that they have wrought and smile. For behold, it is very good.

Photo Credits: Joe Hermitt/The Patriot News, Matt Freed/Post-Gazette

Apr 232009

I daresay I’m one of the few football fans out there who has little interest in the upcoming NFL draft. I may track who the Steelers take with their first couple picks but I don’t tune in to ESPN all day or get immersed in the minutiae of late round picks or talking about a potential draftee’s upside or the dreaded “value pick”. Give me a damn break.

Mel Kiper has to be one of the greatest snake oil salesmen in modern history. He whiffs on picks, mis-analyses players and generally mucks up the works. I remember a number of years ago, he claimed that the Steelers would regret for years afterwards not picking Chad Pennington, a player at the time whose greatest upside was that he was a “poor man’s Joe Montana”. As if.

I suppose that the draft is a time of hope for those who root for inferior teams. But I support a team and organization whose drafting prowess is so well-established that there’s really no point in my questioning their draft decisions. This year, the Steelers will be looking to shore up OL, DL and DB. They could also use some depth at WR and LB. Yes, I pretty much named every position except QB. No wait, the Steelers might need to draft a late-round QB for #3/#4 QB depth reasons.

Tony Mandarich, 1989

Tony Mandarch was a colossal flame-out.  Rod Woodson was a highly rated first round pick. James Harrison and Willie Parker went undrafted. Donovan McNabb was booed on draft day. Tom Brady was a 6th round pick. Joe Montana was a 3rd round pick. Tim Worley was drafted ahead of Emmitt Smith. Gabe Rivera was drafted by the Steelers instead of Dan Marino. I do get interested in where Pitt kids or my favorite college football fantasy players may get drafted but it’s still worth noting that Curtis Martin slipped into the 3rd round and had a Hall of Fame career nonetheless.

Wake me up when training camp starts. Otherwise, I think I’ll skip Kiper and his faux intensity.