Received some pictures “in the mail” from frequent reader, sometimes poster, frequent tailgater, Dr. Bernard Blystone.  They are circa 1969-1970, and they were given to him from a fraternity brother who was a photographer for the Pitt Owl.  Some of you old timers may even recognize a classmate.  Bernie’s captions are in quotes.

For the record, Pitt football went 4-6 in 1969 and 5-5 in 1970, and both seasons were played under coach Carl DePasqua.  The 1970 team posted the first non-losing record in five years.  Sadly, Pitt went 3-9 in 1971 and 1-10 in 1972.  The administration fired DePasqua and brought in Johnny Majors in 1973, and they vastly increased their football spend at the same time.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Enjoy the nostalgia folks.

First some basketball.  Dan ’72, you out there?
Pretty good hops…
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“Pitt vs Dairy U in front of a sellout crowd”

 

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“Pitt vs Miami…I think”
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“Pitt vs Kent State”
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“Pitt vs West Virginia” – Denny Ferris takes it around the end
“Pitt vs West Virginia” – Tony Esposito runs over a Hoopie
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“Denny Ferris carrying the ball against Tulane”
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This also appears to be Ferris…
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Definitely not against Dairy U with a sellout crowd
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Roc
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And they say Nike invented the Panther Head…

98 thoughts on “Old Time Rock N Roll

  1. Correct.. my mistake… think # 17 is Dave Havern… that pic was from the greatest Pitt game in my lifetime… what a day to be inPITT Stadium…

    Thanks for posting MM…..

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Pic in Pittsburgh Press next day of Tulane QB Rusty Lachassee throwing the game winning pass over my summer roommate Charlie Hall. Another brutal loss for Pitt. .

      Like

  2. Thanks for the pics Bernie, pretty much before my time although I was at the WVU game. 🙂

    What I like about the pictures and the story behind them is that it proves that many of us old timers actually lived through some tough PITT football times just like everyone else. Lot’s of the graduates from 85 on think that they are the only ones to suffer from PITT deficiencies. Not true! Experiencing losing and winning brings perspective to the table. Only experiencing losing leaves a real sour taste in ones mouth.

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  3. Many of us 90’s grads experienced winning and losing. Experienced winning under Gottfried. Losing under Hackett and Majors. And winning under Evans in basketball although always underperforming given the teams talent. We all saw and experienced SOP. There was both vinegar and Koolaid back in my day. The state of apathy among all fans began in the early 90’s though and on November 14, 1999, we all went asleep.

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  4. @Dan – Can’t believe you missed the pick-up of the Chuck Taylor Hi-tops on the bball pictures! I loved those shoes! Who would have guessed they would be so popular today with the kids………..for fashion!!!

    Ike- you are almost on to something there man! Many here rip apart others on here for being negative, when it really isn’t negative at all. It’s because each of the commentators has experienced some form of winning that we feel qualified to fix the things that contribute so much to losses or losing. If you are a competitor (and i think most here are), when you win, you should desire to win more. When you lose, you should hate losing. The comments to me are constructive for the most part.

    An organization learns as much (if not more) from winning as it does from losing. Winners don’t make excuses and neither should losers. I don’t want to hear about how tough it is to recruit florida kids to come north because it’s cold. That’s bs. Most of the NFL teams are in the northern climates or see snow during a year. Get use to the snow cupcake and come play! I don’t want to hear about gameday experience, build a flippin stadium on campus with 40k seats. Don’t give the fans a 30 year plan, give us a 3-5 year plan and hold people accountable for execution. Don’t tell me about competing against the nfl. Is it coincidence that Pitt de-emphasized football right when the Steelers began to emphasize it? Think People! Hoodwinked.

    When people see less comments during a win, it could be that the WIN is expected and that the players are executing as they should be. Granted, most will say, nice pass, nice catch, nice run, etc., but at the end of the day…everyone watching the game already knew that it was a good run, pass, etc. The comments to me are improvement opportunities called out in real time so the team could execute better. It’s no different then having 20 coaches in the press box. Do you think that the Pitt coaches go to the locker room at half time and worry about hurting a players feelings by yelling at them that they missed a block or dropped a pass? NO! It doesn’t mean they hate em or are negative. They want to win! Do you think they heap praise on a player going play by play and saying good job little joey…NO! They may do that during film breakdown but not during the game, so why do we have to be different? This isn’t the Pitt Kumbaya web site.

    I will bring you to the dark side of realism soon Ike…..this is a flawed explanation of what it might look like. 🙂

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  5. Little know fact and I liked Gottfried, in twelve years of being a head coach, he never won a bowl game.

    That’s all the time I have for now. but I should have a response Huff the Third.

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    1. But Hackett did against the aggies in the bluebonnet. And Hackett is regarded as one of the worst Pitt coaches ever. The late 80s and early 90s pitt teams had so much talent it was sick. But the teams were soft mentally because their coaches were soft and thought they were smarter than they actually were. Gottfried did recruit some questionable players and then of course there was that cheerleader coach thing. Good and bad with the man. That’s what makes him an interesting study.

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      1. Actually, it was the John Hancock Bowl (aka the Sun Bowl).
        He was interim HC, having replaced Gottfried immediately for that bowl game.
        He had Alex Van Pelt as QB among some other decent players.

        I always think of that as a Gottfried bowl win, not Hackett’s.

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      2. Every school recruited questionable kids then. When you have 105 schoolies to give out it is only natural there will be some seedy kids. Nature of the beast. Jackie and Johnny had them, too.

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  6. Like a handful here, I’m an old fart and I love seeing these older pictures. Just like the site that Majors’ son has, I cannot get enough of them. The P-G used to show pictures of Pittsburgh from the early 1900s (maybe it still does) through the 1970s. I vividly remember a photo that looked liked it was taken from the top of the VA Hospital overlooking a sold-out Pitt Stadium (vs ND in mid 50s) …. with the Mon River in the background and smoke emanating from the steel mills … which had to be taken on a Saturday

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    1. I’m glad there is a photo of old Pitt stadium in the archives. Will prove to future generations that a stadium did once exist in Oakland on campus and people didn’t arrive by horse and buggy.

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  7. Thanks to BigB and MM for making those old photos available.

    Denny Farris could fly. Fondly remember him motoring down the sideline on wheel routes. He and Espo were our thunder -and-lightning – course all is relative… Still, Denny had some wheels.

    I can’t tell but No. 20 shooting the basketball — I wonder if that is Kent Scott? Only thing is that I remember Kent being way skinnier – he was all knees and elbows, but he sure could shoot. Kent was a late round NBA pick — back when the NBA had late rounds — but didn’t make it…

    Great to see those photos…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These pics are awesome. What colors did the football team wear in those days? Was it navy and gold, traditional blue and mustard? I’ve never seen Pitt football footage before 1975.

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  9. Given the black and white photos, I guess it took the psychedelic 70’s to bring color back to the world? Didn’t Kodak have color film back then? What’s film the kids ask these days.

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    1. I showed my kids a couple old eight track tapes and their heads spun.
      “Why four programs, Dad?”
      “A song might get interrupted in the middle with a click to change programs?!”
      “That’s so lame, Dad.”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t think posters are rip apart because they are perceived negative, it’s the redundancy of the same old battle cries and I also don’t agree that posters are ripped apart in any case. Not going to revisit the negative/positive/realist debate.

    JoeL, maybe Bernie will post a picture of himself dancing like the dance champion he was way back then. BTW JoeL, thanks for the audio of the Capel show.

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  11. will have to do some lookin……back in my long hair day-.looked a lot like GC in his long haired day….Dingo boots, P-coat/bell-bottoms with a bandanna around my blonde locks and I never smelled of incense…had no money to buy a black light poster and didn’t smoke ganga but had the best stereo on my floor….must be a coincidence-3 Dog Night playing at the Sandler Center in VBeach this Saturday night- one of my favorite albums from my freshman year “Before the breathing air is gone-before the sun is just a bright spot in the night-time” where have we heard that before….sounds like the Burgh in 69-70…God, I miss the smell of sulphur dioxide….home sweet home where real men did manly jobs and raised tough boys who became great football players…dream on BigB in your residence there on #1 Memory Lane……..

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Bernie – lets see….no incense, no black light posters, no ganga. So guessing no Boone’s Farm or MD 2020 either. Crown too expensive for a college kid. Irons and a shot of Seagram’s, with the occasional foray into the world of V.O.?

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  12. PITT..9 players in the NFL HOF..Tied with Michigan for 4th place with only ND, USC and OSU ahead of us…WOW..love sharing that with my friends who are not Pitt fans…..

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I hope ya’ll notice that the athletic department didn’t tarp the stadium back then, either! During the 1-9, 1-9, 1-9 seasons, if anyone showed up for a game, we thought it was a good crowd. The student section always had a good crowd, though.

    Musta served good Coke back then, cuz the ‘troughs were always packed at halftime

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Spats was a great back. 6’2 around 225, which was huge back then. I remember him telling me they played UCLA one year and he knew they were in trouble when their players arms were bigger than his thighs.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. from College Football News ….

    Pitt Season Grade: B
    2019 Record: 8-5
    CFN 2019 Prediction: 5-7
    CFN Preseason Ranking: 56
    CFN Final Opinion Ranking: 34
    CFN 2019 Season Ranking: 49
    The Panthers had a strange way of playing up or down to the competition, but they were in the mix for the Coastal title until late, won eight games and a bowl, and were at least entertaining. It was a solid year that teetered on disaster, but didn’t get there – six of the wins were by a touchdown or less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…they were at least entertaining.”

      If you like drama, they were highly entertaining!

      How ‘bout the Pitt Special, Carter’s game-winning TD against Duke, and Mack’s catch to win the bowl game, to name three highly memorable moments…

      Pitt will certainly have a cool highlight video playing at the LOI event…

      Go Pitt!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. sounds like JC is the right guy,,,,he with the right assistants doing the rest of the tough job of coaching these young men/kids

    former AD jeff barnes NEVER sounded like the right guy and he was responsible for hiring the other not right guy

    barnes was an arrogant total and complete ass,,,,i know some credit him with some good thing he did at Pitt,,,,no matter what else he did, his biggest and most important job was a total fail,,,,he should be employed NOWHERE

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Regardless of what you think of Dan Hurley, what I liked about Heather was that she aimed high in hiring a BB Coach. She could have settled for a middling young coach and still done far better than Scott Barnes, but she didn’t settle…

      And I think you see both the men’s and women’s BB coaches not settling for just making the teams better — they are aiming high. Coach Capel has gone after elite players, as has Coach White, in spite of the deep holes both their teams were in…

      I think there’s reason to be excited about watching the growth of these two teams over the next 2-3 years…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. Was there with Bernie, John, Dan72 and others. Must confess I attended very few football games, except for drinking purposes they were awfully bad. How bad were they? Pretty sure I could have made the team, when I wouldn’t have started on my high school team.

    Didn’t become a fan till Dorsett and Johnny came. Watched Johnny’s first team workouts in Fitzgerald Field House, before his first recruiting class arrived. Guys were dropping like dogs. Knew right then that a change was occurring.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You.. were a long haired hippie GC… you bio pic that you did for the POV a couple of years back summed up my total 2970’s PITT experience… one of the best posts/ stories ever… talk about having a “ flashback”…..

      Like

    2. Still have my letter from Dave Hart asking me to walk on in 68. Considered it a bit until I came to the Towers for summer orientation and saw the size of Howard Broadhead et al.

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  18. Wwb – 6 of our wins were by 7 or less, as were 3 of our losses. Penthouse or outhouse!!

    Bernie – three of my favorites were receivers JD Lewis and Skip Orzulak, Cindrich’s co-LB, Lloyd Weston. Cindrich was hurt a lot, and I think Weston was out a good bit too. TE Doc Medich was a very good TE. Smart to take the baseball (Yankees) route!

    Point of interest: in ’67, we scored 73 points (7.3/game), and gave up 295 points (29.5 ppg)! Hence 1-9

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember Skip Orzulak scoring on an 80-yard pass play in Pitt Stadium. It was a slant pattern — against the Eers, I’m thinkin’.

      Joe McCain was another tough football player from back then.

      Doc Medich could bring it from the mound. Threw smoke…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ole Doc had a kid at Kiski Prep when my boy was there( Post- Korberger era!).. he always sat in the top of the bleachers with little to no crowd interaction…….

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      1. Reminds me of how on bus trips with the baseball team, Doc sat toward the front of the bus. While the rest of the team was goofing around in the back, Doc would be up there reading a biology book or the New York Times…

        Go Pitt.

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  19. Also sorry to say that our high school yearbook was better than the Owl.
    It was pitiful, especially towards the sports teams.

    Those were some lean years, thankfully Billy Knight and the Amoeba defense, then Majors turned things around for a little while.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Max Browne was on Sirius ESPN U radio today, discussing the pros/cons of the transfer portal. Essentially said that it was imperative that the player make a decision in time to attend the Spring semester to learn the playbook and develop a rapport with your teammates, and for the team the portal is to avoid a major drop off in play at that position. Nothing earth shattering, but he acquitted himself well. BTW, if you have Sirius radio, the quality of college sports programming on ESPN U and ACC radio is light years above the drivel on The Fan, with half the commercials!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can remember ESPNU immediately lambasting Barnes for one of the worst hirings ever … and then for the next 2 years, constant criticism of Stallings, But then, nothing but praise for the Capel hiring

      The people on that network really do their homework. Yes, like everywhere else, you will here more about the elites but they will talks about Pitt a lot more than you will see on any ESPN TV network.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Seeing these old pictures bring back great memories and fun but they also make me mad because they can never be duplicated because we have no football stadium we can call our own.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Speaking of an OCS… Hard-core fans from Pittsburgh do not need anything fancy… Just a plain feel that measures 120 yards long by 53 1/3 yards long… A few bathrooms at the top… No track between the playing field in this crowd… Modern refreshments including ice cold beer, hot dogs and peanuts… “Are you ready to rumble!“ Let’s get it on screw the multi million dollar BS we have to live in at Heinz Field… We want real football without the nonsense except real seats with backrest and beer holders…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. totally agree, the game is the attraction and the tailgates provide enough variety assuming there is some space available for that pregame activity

        good cold IC and stadium wifi and you have all you need

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  23. Great pics and good stories. I was in the Pitt Student Union when Johnny Majors and his staff were introduced to us students. I just remember the usual rah-rah stuff but the southern drawl was cool.

    When we discuss recruiting, we talk about the pros and cons of an urban campus. Some of my favorite memories were the sights while walking to classes. The Black Panthers group on one corner with a megaphone railing against the man. Six or seven Hari Krishna members lining the sidewalk in their apricot robes with shaved heads, singing, dancing, and shaking their tambourines. What a great college atmosphere and a real eye opener to a kid from Somerset County PA. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to experience that.

    Liked by 7 people

  24. Not to mention original anti-war protests.. forces to read the. “Pentagon Papers” and as RY Stevens sang , “ They call him the Streak.. the fastest thing on 2 feet!”🎶

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  25. The pics you provided, BigB, were fantastic and reminded me of my own memories of that time. I wasn’t a big football guy in high school, but coming to Pitt in those years with Pitt playing a national schedule (not winning too many) increased my recognition that Pitt was a national institution, and began my own conversion to a love of the game. I wish you had pics of Lloyd Weston and Ralph Cindrich to add to the collection. Sadly, it will not be the same for today’s Pitt students, who will not experience that same Fall on campus football atmosphere. I may have actually been in the Student Union with Farmers that day when Majors was introduced. I’m becoming more sad as I write this…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. actually, I have a color picture of her SYNDROME reach walking off of the field with an ice pack on his knee. Couldn’t find it. Have another picture somewhere of loyd Weston and thePITTpatient defense lining up against UCLA.-in color… Fantastic looking uniforms for both teams…

      Like

  26. Bernie – reviewing the pics again. #17 may be Davey Havern, but I only remember him with white spikes, a la Joe Willie Nameth. I always thought Davey was the only college QB with the nerve (confidence!) to wear white shoes back then

    Also, I was at the UCLA game in Pitt Stadium. I believe we opened with them in ’68. Their QB, Gary Beban, won the Heisman that year. Needless to say, we got hammered – on the field, AND in the stands!

    One of my 1-9 years, I think one victory was over William & Mary….only because William was hurt, and didn’t make the trip!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When he visited at the POV tailgate, I called him Davey “White Shoes” Havern.

      He told me how those shoes were really black, but he made them white with some vinyl-like brush-on product.

      I don’t think he was “White Shoes” his whole career…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

    2. Oh., i am no doctor..wanted to be one but my stroll through Alfred Moye’s Organic class didn’t go as planned but it worked out great ….Hail to PITT

      Like

    3. Lou Biondi, son of the Monroeville car dealer, played on William and Mary team which plat at PITT.

      First team to wear white shoes was NC State defense ..they called themselves “God’s Chillun’ translated God’s Children for you yankees who don’t speak southern..Chuck Amato played on that team..he later coached them and always wore crazy wild framed glasses….he coached Phillip Rivers…

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Our guy Todd Graham hired as new head coach at Hawaii.

    Wow. Old Toddy sure knows how to work the system.

    How ‘bout a home-and-away with Hawaii?

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  28. Maestro, really appreciate the time and creativity you put into this blog…and Biggie, I mean Dr Blystone, thanks for the pics from your archives.
    Truly a walk down memory lane for those of us that attended Pitt in the 60s and 70s.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. BigB, Love your Pitt Organic Chemistry Alfred Moyer comment; it brought back memories. He was my junior year roommate’s favorite professor. My roommate continued into Pitt Med School and became a Gastroenterologist and a renowned Portland, Oregon Crohn’s Disease physician. He said that Dr. Moyer was notorious for weeding out pre-med students.

    My wife Aced Organic I and II at Pitt but didn’t have Dr. Moyer.

    Liked by 1 person

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