Great News for a True Pitt Fan!

Fellow POVerts:

Some time ago, Commander Reed was kind enough to post a request to the POV community on my behalf. I have a kidney disorder that has resulted in my being placed on a national list for a transplant, and the post was a plea to help me locate a donor.

At that time and since then, I have received an outpouring of support from the POV community. Although no POVer was able to give me their kidney (seeing some of you at Fran’s Tailgates, that’s maybe a good thing), I heard from many of you. And you should all know that I appreciate every call, email and text. 

I want to thank everyone who reached out to me, and special thanks specifically to UPitt, Big B, Ike, Fran and Joe L. And of course to Reed, for posting my original plea for help.

I’m happy (and relieved) to let you all know that my transplant surgery is scheduled for September 10. Please note that this will enable me to attend at least one Fran and Friends tailgate. 

Unfortunately this prevents me from attending the Pitt-PSU game.  Not sure if that’s a bad thing, really. I’ll be watching either from a hospital bed or god willing, from home.

Hail to Pitt. Looking forward to seeing many of you on August 31 when we crush the Hoos.

Eric (MissingWlat)

80 thoughts on “Great News for a True Pitt Fan!

  1. Eric, this is great news, so much it brought tears to my eyes. The best of Luck to you and I’m sure you’ll be in great hands. They kicked my out of Shadyside Hospital after a partial nephrectomy only a few days after surgery. You will be up and rolling in no time friend. If you need anything, advice or like I said, anything, just drop me an email. Meanwhile, I just might get a Hotel Loyal pizza on Sept 10th. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eric,

    We’ve all been in suspense – but nothing compared to what you’ve gone through. This is most excellent news!

    Best wishes that everything goes great!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Fantastic wlat! I can honestly say that even though I don’t know you personally, I couldn’t be happier if Pitt landed a 4-star OL and TE.

    It really put things in perspective and occasionally we here all need some sobering up

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Eric – Praise God and I can’t wait for your procedure and the positive results. You are truly an awesome man and Father. A true Mentor to some of us who constantly try to live up to your standard. You are in my prayers.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great news indeed!!

    I’ll remind everyone that if anyone is contemplating donating a kidney to someone I will be perfectly happy to talk to you about the all the tests and procedures leading up to surgery. And I also repeat my offer to drive anywhere you live (with a full days drive) to talk with you in person should you want or need to.

    Who ever is donating their kidney to Eric is saving his life – pure and simply – and that is the greatest gift (and task) we can have in our own lives.

    On another note:

    In keeping with my practice of off-season sharpening a stick to poke in Pitt fan’s eyes I’ve received Pitt football media credentials again… and didn’t even have to request them this time (and EJ even knew I passed the blog onto Mike!)

    Stand by for heavy rolls come fall camp… way too much cheerleading on here lately.

    😂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Outstanding news, Eric! And like wwb said, it really puts things into perspective. Something we may need a lot of come mid-September.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Eric, This is great news. Although I don’t know you personally, I know you are a good guy from the obvious high regard in which you are held in by the POV members. May you and your surgical and rehab. teams have tremendous success. All the best to you and your loved ones. H2P, Soccer Gramps

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Eric, great news for you and your family. Will keep you on our prayer list at our house for sure. His plan, his timing, his result. Keep the faith brother!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Eric…great news. The second great news( and miracle) in 3 weeks. My friend and former coworker Dan B. got a new kidney last week after 8 years of 4x a week of dialysis blood cleaning. A grueling and tiring 4 hour process. I had kept him in my prayers but had moved him to my “hopeless cases” group. He was on every list in the USA. A Yankee, Ranger, Giants fan, he has always supported Pitt. Glad he (and you Eric) will be around a few more years. Pitt needs all the fans we can get!
    Prayers matter folks!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I imagine Eric has all his ducks lined up by now but that is a great question BigB. Here is my doctor. First, due to a tumor on my left kidney he tried and successfully saved 1/3 of my right kidney after a 6+ hour surgery. (seemed like one second) I was up and walking the halls around 2:00 AM next morning. Piece of cake.

    urology.pitt.edu/people/benjamin-j-davies-md

    Like

  11. WLAT
    This is the BEST news that I have heard in the last two months since my wife passed away!!
    Your positive attitude and the prayers of the Pitt Panther Community will lead the path to
    a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Isnore; what can be said other then you will be in my thoughts.

    Now you have another opportunity to honor your wife and your marriage in a different way. The good things you do from now on in will be an extension of what kind of a good life I’m sure that she herself lived.

    I know without any doubt whatsoever that in a healthy marriage we men benefit greatly from our wives’ guidance and teachings in ways we might not ourselves recognize…at least I know that is a pure fact in my case.

    When my parents died while I was in my teens I had a wise Aunt who told me “Love them…and let them go”. I took that to heart and it help me to understand that I had a future of my own to live.

    Best to you our friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. On a football note this came to me from EJ today:

    From: E.J. Borghetti, Executive Associate Athletic Director/Communications

    Re: Quarterback Kenny Pickett Wednesday Media Availability

    Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, who recently served as a counselor at the renowned Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana, will be available for media interviews this Wednesday at 1 p.m.

    The session will take place at the Panthers’ practice facility in the second-floor team room.

    Important to note that Pickett was one of 30 college QB counselors at the camp…much like Voytik was back in 2015.

    Lets hope he fares better than CV did in his subsquent year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FWIW, I agree that a 3-day camp (or whatever) will not make a new player out of anyone, A pointer here and some positive words there certainly won’t hurt but if KP is going to improve, it’ll be because of (1) the everyday coaching he will receive and (2) he has the ability of improve.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Reed, are you traveling up to KPs media availability day to ask him a few questions.?..if not,what do you feel would be good questions throw his way ??? (and not ruin his confidence level going into ’19)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d ask him if all the overblown preseason hype thrown around about him by Narduzzi and his staff placed too big a burden on him and resulted in personal stress. Which I believe that is exactly what happened.

      If you remember that I wrote numerous times over last year’s preseason that we fans should moderate our expectations of Pickett’s passing because he didn’t really do all that well in his ’17 play with only one TD in 66 attempts – and that a trick play shovel pass.

      It was his running that stood out then, not his arm. It wasn’t a fluke that his passing efficiency was so poor at only 120.3 (90th out of 113 listed who met the NCAA criteria).

      That said I really hope the staff shuts up about Pickett this fall and more importantly conducts a true open competition at the position this fall because Pickett is certainly not good enough to not be replaced if needed.

      We have some other QB talent on the roster with George and Patti who might give KP a good run for the money. Forget about Belville – it is rare that a true FR QB succeds as a starter unless he’s very highly talented and recruited by heavyweights…which Belville wasn’t. Pitt was his best offer among other pretty poor programs and he had only three P5 offers total.

      But PN already stated publicly the ‘Kenny’s our starter for next season’. I absolutely do not buy into that being the way to bolster a young QB’s confidence…what will make the young man really ready and confident is to know he won the starting job fair and square.

      And lastly I would have Sat KP down for some series last year when he was stinking out the joint mainly to let him know he wasn’t untouchable out there. His poor work against UCF, ND and especially over the last three game were perfect opportunities for our other QBs to get actual game passing experience.

      Instead only two passes were attempted by other QB in George and Town.

      It will be very interesting to see what happens with him in ’19 but I’m capping my expectations for him at average or slightly above average if the OL really helps him. Kind of like Chad Voytik’s starting year maybe where he had a rating of 140.1.

      https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/chad-voytik-1/gamelog/2014/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the reason you didn’t see KP sit for a series was simply that the gap between him and the next guy last season was enormous.

        Now that George has been here for spring ball and will have a fall camp, the situation may be different. Plus, Coach Whipple has used 2 QBs in the recent past.

        I think it would be cool to see the backup, whoever he is, and if he is competent, get some snaps…

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m no sports psychologist, but I don’t buy for a second that Narduzzi’s support/praise of Picket is what hurt his performance last year, and I certainly don’t think naming him starter is a poor decision either, but if competition is finally up to par this year, I’d love to see another QB getting some time and pushing Kenny and the offense a little, I just hope we don’t need to bring in George, that may be a reflection of a bunch of young QBs that are simply not ready yet.

          Major, interesting, I didn’t realize Whipple has used 2 QB’s in the past, that bodes well in my book.

          Like

  15. The “Whipple Effect” was already evident at the Spring Game. Pickett is already improved.

    Now, how will that translate in the Fall? Remains to be seen. Obviously no comparison going up against the same Defense and Defenders you practice against every day and facing REAL Defenses with talented Coordinators pulling the strings.

    Regardless, Pickett by far the BEST Arm of all of the Quarterbacks on the Roster.

    This is one thing we know is not going to change.

    Like

  16. However, the one thing that MUST change come fall… Pickett’s tendency to focus on the rush and completely QUIT looking downfield when pressured.

    His No. 1 problem to solve.

    IMHO

    Like

  17. Good comments guys on KP… personally, I wish we could revert back to the 1970s and not parade these young kids out to be interviewed by the media… They personally have nothing to gain by giving us their thoughts relating to their expectation and performance…They just need to get out on the field and perform.
    PoD , KP lacks poise , plane a simple and that leads to happy feet, holding the ball to long and frequent inaccurate tossed ( I particularly remember a couple of 5 yd slant-ins) KP has the FB version of the yips… hopefully Pappy Whip can fix the yip!!!

    Like

    1. That’s another way of saying it.

      Don’t think the LOUSY pass protection is totally at fault here.

      Of course, a PERFECT Offensive Line can help, but some Quarterbacks just don’t like being VULNERABLE to getting hit while trying to stay focused Downfield.

      No secret that successful QBs FEEL the pressure and react to it instinctively.

      In this case, not sure if this can be taught or the BAD habits unlearned. However, I do think Whipple’s Offense by its design can put Pickett in a better position to be successful than what he’s been working with in the past.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. If you ask Pickett those questions he will only say NO, the preseason praise certainly did not put pressure on him and he loves coach Narduzzi which in turn will lead to another discussion about what did we expect him to say. My buddy Huff the Third will lead that discussion.. 🙂

    Like

  19. IMO no doubt Pickett suffered from his pre-snap reads and reluctance to pull the trigger. In the times I saw him live, he just seemed to wait too long even when the WR was open.

    Another issue was that he and his WRs didn’t react to blitz situations well. That is coaching IMO.

    Like

  20. Reed posted this on Saturday when I had my whole family in town for my daughter’s Graduation Party. It was a very hectic weekend. So I apologize for not commenting sooner. Thanks to everyone for their kind words and well wishes. I can’t wait for September 10 to get here.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. There were Lott’s a of issues on the “O” last year… hopefully KP makes progress in the mental aspects of being the QB ( IMO he possesses the physical tools). and the rest of the is better from pass blocking( fingers crossed the newbies can run block, receivers getting separation…. should be a fun year… lots to keep us in suspension or suspicion pending your POV

    Like

  22. Majors, have to disagree with your take on the “enormous” gulf in talent.

    George has played at the P5 level in the B10 and thrown well.

    I talked with guys who watched multiple fall camp practices last year and they were impressed with him.

    He may not be the starter but you make it sound like he has no talent whatsoever…and based on what we saw from Pickett last year the gulf may not be that big.

    Like

    1. Reed – the gap at QB last season was not in talent, IMHO, but in being ready to play. By the time George may have been ready, Pitt was in their 4 game win streak to win the Coastal…

      I posted after the spring game that I think George Jr. will be the backup, and that since Coach Whipple isn’t afraid to use two QBs, we may very well see George if KP struggles. I thought George made some good throws in the spring game; but once he got going, KP looked good too. Hopefully a good sign for both.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  23. Pickett’s running ability sets him apart from George. Whipple can use Pickett’s run ability to pressure the opposition defense into coming up to defense his runs. The question is can Pickett exploit the opposition defenses when they get out of their coverage when chasing him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whipple called/designed running plays for the UMass QB, so I would expect the same now that he’s at Pitt. Kenny runs fairly well as you noted.

      In addition to your question above, does Kenny have the receivers (RBs, WRs and TEs) that can get open when things break down. And, can they catch anything thrown in their general vicinity (like Clemson’s receivers against Alabama in the national championship game)…

      Tre Tipton, Tasir Mack and Maurice Ffrench have shown elusiveness at times after the catch, so that is a plus

      The RBs are the unknown skill position – can they run, block, catch? Whipple likes to call pass plays to the RBs…

      Liked by 1 person

  24. That is awesome news to hear, Eric (MissingWlat).
    …And you’re telling me that you feel inclined to “thank” several folks but amongst them is “UPitt” (Mark)?
    Maybe I should not have a beef with this man, because from all accounts many here have enjoyed the former baseball player at outings at the golf course and @Heinz.
    Everyone has their moment @POV and can become abrasive at times. I have been guilty of this myself. So, if you’re out there, UPitt, I think it’s best to hold opinions of one another till we eventually meet up at a game one of these days.
    In sum, all that being said, the prognosis looks pretty darned good for you, Eric. You’re a big part of this community so I am sincerely rooting for you. (*I think it’s best, also, to miss-out on PSU-Pitt; I mean to say that might be too much a game for one needing a kidney to get over (win or lose).)
    I’ll be thinking about you in September, brother;)
    —Neil

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Neil. And UPitt is a great guy, not just a good one. I understand how he gets under skin on here sometimes. But that’s what makes this blog great. He a critical thinker.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eric, did you just misspell cynical thinker? Just kidding. Mark is a really great guy. I consider Mark a very good friend.

        Like

      2. Just discussed the same with BigB. I’m not a hater at all. Am sure UPitt is good man, and hold back from making assumptions or drawing conclusions about folks, especially those who I have never met in-person.
        I’m a total diehard ‘Pitt Guy’ and have been since ‘89 when I moved in my freshman year. I love Pitt, the University holds a special place in my heart and always will.
        I would be planning to get to one of the later games this year. But we all have stuff going on in our lives, and I’ve had a lot to attend to recently — I am based in Phila. PA, and have custody issues regarding my age 11 son, commencing August in Cumberland County, so it’s hard for me to commit to any date at this time.
        It’s not “fun” stuff to wade through, but it’s nonetheless it’s better than looking for and installing a new kidney from a waitlist.
        And on this last point, as stated earlier, man, I’m thrilled for you to be able to look fwd to your future anew. No one can put a price on one’s health. And getting a second chance is not afforded to everyone.
        I’ll be thinking about you in August and September (before and after your procedure).
        **As an aside, are you the same “Wlat Harris” whose podcast I listen to on my way back and forth on the PA Turnpike. “Panther Rants.” Lol. It’s not far fetched to believe that that’d be you.
        —Neil

        Like

  25. Neil, I have met a lot of the folks/posters…not one bad apple in the barrel…just a bunch of true fans with varying opinions and ways of expressing their thoughts…. different ways of looking at things but one team!!!
    Try to hook up with the group sometime-you will not be disappointed brother.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your message and invite, BigB.
      I agree with you, too.
      I am really looking fwd to meeting you POVers at Frans tailgate one of these days. I’ve been following the site for years and know all of you by name. (I would likely get along with UPitt (Mark) if I met him in person, as I’m a friendly, outgoing, gregarious type of guy.
      (I’d assumed I’d have met y’all last year. But as it stands I’m not exactly local (Phila. PA) and have been preoccupied with custody issues regarding my son (age 11), so it’s dicey at best at this moment to consider a def date to attend a game in ‘19.)
      Once more, thanks for reaching out. Much appreciated,
      —Neil

      Liked by 1 person

    2. BigB, I’d replied first to you, but lost the my text (my response to you) in between getting back to MissingWlat.

      So instead of recomposing, I’m gonna paste the same comment here to you, as it sums things up to one extent or another when considering your statement to me about UPitt. Incidentally, Wlat sent a message nearly identical to your own.

      “Just discussed the same with BigB. I’m not a hater at all. Am sure UPitt is good man, and hold back from making assumptions or drawing conclusions about folks, especially those who I have never met in-person.
      I’m a total diehard ‘Pitt Guy’ and have been since ‘89 when I moved in my freshman year. I love Pitt, the University holds a special place in my heart and always will.
      I would be planning to get to one of the later games this year. But we all have stuff going on in our lives, and I’ve had a lot to attend to recently — I am based in Phila. PA, and have custody issues regarding my age 11 son, commencing August in Cumberland County, so it’s hard for me to commit to any date at this time.
      It’s not “fun” stuff to wade through, but it’s nonetheless it’s better than looking for and installing a new kidney from a waitlist.
      And on this last point, as stated earlier, man, I’m thrilled for you to be able to look fwd to your future anew. No one can put a price on one’s health. And getting a second chance is not afforded to everyone.
      I’ll be thinking about you in August and September (before and after your procedure).
      **As an aside, are you the same “Wlat Harris” whose podcast I listen to on my way back and forth on the PA Turnpike. “Panther Rants.” Lol. It’s not far fetched to believe that that’d be you.
      —Neil”

      Thanks for reaching out BigB;)

      Like

  26. Pickett media day tomorrow designed by Heather and Narduzzi to get the Pitt faithful hyped and ready for the upcoming season IMO. Maybe season ticket sales need a boost.

    Like

  27. Looks to me like I was pretty redundant. I also thought I was sending BigB and Wlat DMs.
    So for whatever it’s worth, though not intentional, I guess it’s all on-record now.
    (Am not especially embarrassed, but it wasn’t my intent to post those msgs to the thread.)
    Lmao. Smh.

    Like

  28. New ACC Bowl stuff from PSN. We are not in proximity to many ACC bowls.

    The league will do away with its previous tier structure, lumping all of the above bowls into one pool after the Orange Bowl gets the first selection. The conference and bowl games will make the bowl selections based on “geographic proximity, avoiding repeat appearances and matchups and regular-season won-loss records.”

    Like

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