Rivalry is often defined as “that moment when someone sees a stranger dressed in a team’s colors and, despite being down by three scores and on national television, still shoots both middle fingers at them and accidentally creates a Renaissance painting.”
Pitt and Virginia Tech do not have such a relationship. Still, they have a history that has fermented into a strong dislike of Pitt by the Virginia Tech faithful. Perhaps this is because we’ve upset nationally ranked Hokies teams five times since the series began (No. 13 in 2012, No. 5 in 2003, No. 3 in 2002, No. 12/13 in 2001 and No. 19/20 in 1997).
Or perhaps its because of the epic beat down that we handed them at Heinz Field last November.
Whatever the reason, Hokies fans seem to be throwing an awful lot of shade Pat Narduzzi’s way.
It goes on, but I don’t want to bore you. You’ve seen one hillbilly, you’ve seen ’em all.
(but feel free to read more at The Key Play)
Pitt fans don’t seem to be quite as fired up. Still, some trash is being talked.
But remember, this isn’t a rivalry.
Oh sure the familiarity is there. We go back to the old Big East. And who could forget how we were dominated by Beamer ball back in the day? In fact, Pitt won just 4 of first 11 contests between our two schools (but three of those Pitt wins were epic upsets of
overrated nationally-ranked teams…)
But this isn’t a rivalry.
Oh and the geography is there too. Blacksburg is just five an a half hours drive from Pittsburgh. The same as our cough cross-division rival Syracuse. That is certainly within mascot-stealing distance for a properly motivated fraternity.
The recruiting battles are there too…
Sure. It’s. Not. A. Rivalry.
Lets go back to the article from which we pulled our opening quotation, (my comments added in bold):
- Rivalries are evaluated mostly on the last four or five years. Well shoot, Pitt has won three out of the last five, including the aforementioned epic beat down last year.
- There are exceptions to this, like the Kick Six, which happened and was hilarious. My God, was it funny. It is the kind of play that gets a name, and then joins the other plays with Proper Names, and then even young football players and children know their name, and repeat them even after being reminded of the other team’s recent dominance over their rival. Is this triggering? It should be triggering for you, Alabama, because that is the entire point of this. Does anyone think that any self-respecting Hokie will forget Quadree Ollison Beast Mode? One does not create an animated gif of Justin Fuente slapping a Pat Narduzzi-topped beef tenderloin without some deep-seated source of shame.
- The rivalry has to at least be competitive over the past few years. If the games aren’t evenly matched, then the teams should at least split beat-downs. We’ve split the last six, three-to-three, so check that box. Also did I need to remind anyone of the epic beat down last year? I just thought I’d do that again.
- Rivalries should have some tusslin’ and hollerin’. In non-hilljack terms, some fighting, scrapping, some personal fouls, various football-related misconducts, brawls, resulting legislation following said incidents, bowl bans, international sanctions, and general extracurricular conflict. It all helps. Hilljack. He said Hilljack. He knows these people. Can we throw in a couple targeting calls for good measure?
- The games should matter in the larger scheme of things. Again, this can mean a lot of things. Does the rivalry often determine larger conference or national outcomes? Does one team consistently ruin their rival’s seasons? Or, most exotically, do both teams ruin each other’s lives every year, no matter who wins or loses, because the results of the game are repellent to one and irrelevant to the other? I’ll venture to say that Hokies fans have such an artificially inflated sense of their program’s worth that they are repelled by the thought of losing to Pitt. Oh and by the way, if we lose, we lost to Virginia Tech, and nobody expected us to win anyway, so there’s that. All this has made winning seven out of the last ten that much more pleasing to me, (and it should be pleasing to you too.)
- You left one off! Yes, yes I did. Your favorite one, probably. I did it on purpose, because you bankrupted my family, took the family farm, stole my woman, and left my children to starve in a [Morgantown] flophouse! This is my revenge for all that, and I’ve waited years for it. Well it ain’t quite the backyard brawl, or Pitt-Penn State, but dang it, it’s sure a hell of a lot better than the River City Rivalry. Here’s to some unruly Pitt students doing all of the above this Saturday in Blacksburg (as long as nobody gets hurt).
Hail to Pitt