Here is a Bio piece from Eric Wassel – MissingWlat to us.
My parents did not attend Pitt. In fact, neither attended college at all. Truth be told, I grew up rooting for the now-hated Dairy School to the East, as my uncle had played football there in the late 60s under Joe Paterno. My only tie to Pitt prior to my enrollment in 1988 was my sister, who had graduated from Pitt in 1985.
I had originally intended to attend Pitt-Johnstown to play baseball. Had I done so, the rest of this story would never have happened. So here’s how my kids became Pitt fans.
In the spring of 1991, during my Junior year at Pitt, I traveled with my roommates to Florida for Spring Break. I had a good friend from high school who was attending Palm Beach Atlantic College. Free room for the week, warm weather, fake ID. I was all set.
Being the frugal (i.e. poor) college student that I was, I booked the cheapest flight that I could find, so I was scheduled to fly home on a Monday rather than a Sunday. Missing one day of classes never hurt anyone, and I got to extend spring break by an extra day. Having time to kill on that Monday before an evening flight back to Pittsburgh, my roommates and I decided to attend a spring training baseball game in Palm Beach between the Expos and the Dodgers.
We arrived and moved towards our cheap seats in left field. As luck would have it, the guy sitting in the row behind us had a daughter who attended Pitt. One of us was wearing a Pitt shirt, so the gentleman struck up a brief conversation. He had put his daughter on a plane home the previous day, and pointed out that we were skipping class. Point taken. Anyway, real nice guy. Buys us all beers, and we talk a little bit about Pitt football. He had been a season ticket holder since 1982. Sat with his back against the press box on the 50 yard line in the last row of Section 19 of Pitt Stadium. (opposite side of the field from our buddy, Lastrow). He was a die-hard Pitt fan, and had attended numerous Pitt Bowl Games, including the 1982 Sugar Bowl. Continue reading “How My Kids Became Pitt Fans”