I need to announce a few updates as we head into the season.
First, I have COVID-19. It’s a minor case, just a cough and some fatigue really, but until I recover I’m going to be curtailing most of my Pitt POV activities, as they are an unnecessary time commitment and mental strain.
As such you’ll still see me post stock content released by the Pitt SID (interviews, game notes etc), because this really doesn’t take all that much time or effort. Probably 2-3 x per week.
You’ll also see the open game threads each week.
What I won’t be able to do is actually spend time writing articles.
I’ll also be spending much less time moderating comments. I’ll expect you all to follow the rules, and I’m implementing a zero tolerance policy. IE If I receive just one email complaining about political or otherwise off-limits topics, comments will get shut down. Immediately. With the exception of a weekly game thread.
With that being said, Reed and I did have one collaboration cooked up for you prior to me making this decision. It was meant to be the first of a series, and it may well be that…after I kick the COVID. Anyway, here it is, and I hope you enjoy.
Are you Drinking Kool Aid or Vinegar? In this series Reed and I will be presenting an opposing set of viewpoints on a common topic. I will be presenting the optimistic (Kool Aid) viewpoint and Reed, of course, will be presenting the pessimistic (Vinegar) viewpoint. Veiw points are not always what we truly believe but for dialectical reasons we’ll each stick to our roles. The first topic? Same Old Pitt
Kool Aid: Same Old Pitt – Michaelangelo Monteleone
Oh how we lament Same Old Pitt. And as I started to write this one, I had to ask myself (because I’m the Kool Aid Guy) will Same Old Pitt ever really cease to exist? Will there ever be some vestige of Same Old Pitt that doesn’t rear its ugly head when a pass is dropped? Or when the opposing team manages to outscore Pitt in the third quarter (after Pitt spent the first half building a two-touchdown lead?) Will we ever experience a season where Pitt doesn’t play at least one really sloppy game? Or lose an easy one to a team we should have beaten? Will Pitt ever not play down to their competition? I don’t know, and that’s why it’s Same Old Pitt, and now I’ve got to come up with reasons why Same Old Pitt might not actually be Same Old Pitt. Well happy day.
I can think of one reason though, but it’s intangible as hell. That reason is people. It’s not the coaches. They are who they are, and I don’t think Narduzzi is going to change very much. But the general consensus is that each year a college football team takes on the personality of its leaders, who are generally representative of its senior class. The theory is that better and stronger leadership leads to more accountability, more focus off the field, better habits across the board, and ideally better and cleaner play on the field. This year Pitt has stronger leadership then I can remember in a long while. There are the four senior captains who have been in the program for at least four years (some for five or even six), AND there are also 21 seniors on the two-deep (including special teams). Compare that to just 13 seniors last year, and 16 in 2018. 21 Seniors is kind of collective maturity that should not be discounted, and if there was ever a year where Same Old Pitt gets put on ice… Yes it’s because of the seniors that we should believe. Pat Narduzzi consistently says it’s their team. Lets see what they can do.
Vinegar: Same Old Pitt – Reed Kohberger
“SOP, SOP, Same Old Pitt!!!… SOP, SOP, Same Old Pitt!!!”
Let that old Pitt school cry ring from the gothic rafters of the Cathedral of Learning as a clarion call to all those young students who will be Pitt football fans for life starting this semester. We old Pitt fans must teach them the phrase well and their lives will be a hell of a lot less stressful as they age.
But seriously folks… sorry, just can’t get that serious about this topic. Not when our last real show of excellence on the gridiron was 39 years ago and our last national championship was 44 years ago (and one prior to that was 37 years before ‘76). These are what we Pitt fans hang our hat on. As Springsteen sings about so well…Those Glory Days…and I don’t see any change on the horizon.
When the best you can do is a singular 10 win season (DW) with only two nine wins seasons thrown in (DW with one and WH with one) over that time period that ain’t great. Tag onto those the 20 seasons in which we were at .500 or worse after the final whistle blew in those 37 years then, well yes, we’ve sucked.
It’s all well and good to get hopes up and fingers crossed for a change to happen – remember the preseason comments on here prior to the 2017 season when Narduzzi was coming off back-to-back eight win years? Damn, some Pitt fans were just absolutely sure the tide had turned and got pretty snippy with other Pitt fans on here that were just as sure it hadn’t. Then boom!! A five win season reared its ugly head.
We can point fingers all we want at the lack of big donors, supposed university administration’s weak support even though we have way more $$ in the program now than ever before – just ask King Pat when he’s in the deposit line at the bank! Weakened Western PA football, or any other reasons might get thrown out there but the bald facts are we just ain’t a strong championship program in any real way, shape or form.
So yeah, chanting SOP from worn and tired lips is valid and correct. For instance take a good in-depth look at how just how well Pitt played last season. Not just at the win total but how we played and fared against our Power Five opponents (a 4-5 record and scoring only 61 points in those five losses with an average of 12.0 ppg scored) and tell me if that was anything close to top shelf football.
Remember that 28-0 blowout by our only ranked opponent? Sorry, now I’m just piling it on but you get my drift – most Pitt fans will say how can it be SOP when we won eight games? Hell Reed – that is two eight win seasons in a row! I say examine our quality of play.
Unless you are an accountant looking at just the win/loss totals then you can’t see any real big, obvious differences between this HC’s tenure as opposed to others’ before him. A better record maybe and that’s nice but nowhere near “the next level” that Pitt fans want and expect. I’d like to see it happen. My fondest young memories revolve around Tony Dorsett and that national championship, but that’s very far in the rear view mirror now.
Note: this is written pointing at on-field play only. Narduzzi’s all-around program is better by far that our past head coaches. We can certainly be proud of those major improvements.
Michaelangelo here again. So what are you guys drinking on Same Old Pitt? Kool Aid or Vinegar?
Hail to Pitt