“School Spirit” Follow-up

Folks – on Tuesday Tex wrote a very good article regarding, in essence, what can Pitt do to increase “School Spirit‘ in its students, alumni, Pittsburghers, etc. I have drafted a letter to the Pitt athletics department outlining some of the good ideas readers have had.

What I need from you is some more concrete, perhaps step-by-step, ways on doing what the subject implies – boosting school spirit and all that comes with it. Below is what I have now drafted as an addendum to the letter. Note that I kept any references to Penn State out of it because I want Pitt to concentrate on issues and answers they can put into effect for Pitt itself:

  • For alumni and fans; has the university ever recognized a tailgate crew or fan? Have them put a spotlight on these groups and individuals each week. Name a formal “fan of the game” at the home games. Get the cheerleaders to give him a gift bag of Pitt gear,  put them on the Jumbotron and ask then a few questions on why they think “Pitt is It!”. It can be hilarious and a focus effort on being a great fan.
  • Have fans share their stories. Like What made you a Pitt fan? What were your most memorable games? What schools are your rivals? Who are your favorite all time players? What was your best road trip to a game? Which fan came in the farthest for this game. Etc.  (Editor’s Note: I suggest you do a few of these on the big scoreboard during commercial breaks – might have to use a seven second delay or better yet record the bits as the fans cross the parking lot or at tailgates.
  • Also, many have talked about those football chalkboard discussions. Even some real and genuine meet and greets where your question gets an honest answer. Enough with the pre-canned questions and generic sanitized answers.
  • Engage with fans via email and social media on a scheduled basis. Drop by the POV tailgate one day and ask questions. (Editor’s Note: I suggest that you create something, a newsletter or website where the fans can register their email address and get all of the news you all put out on a regular basis.
  • Not sure what pre-gameday or same gameday traditions there really are. But reevaluate your songs, chants, and activities to get more people energized and involved. More than just Neil Diamond please.
  • Have the students and athletes interact more.  Might be tough to do with football due to separate housing and cafeteria. Get athletes and students involved in group community projects. It’s far easier to root and attend when you know someone on the team. 
  • A great point about the student/athletes co-mingling and/or living with the rest of the students; when you live near them, they become fellow students to you and you see firsthand how much they have on their plates. Makes you want to go and support them on the field of play.
  • If these are already being done then get the word out better.
  • How about the idea of a rewards card to entice the students to attend games. Once they earn enough points, they can spend it. Once students attend an Olympic sport match they could become hooked and this then could rise attendance across the board..
  • In order to get seats in the student section for basketball at the University of Virginia students must attend the other school athletic teams’ events (excluding football games). The athletic department then gives points for that and one needs to hit a certain point level to get into the student section.
  • At each home game have a drawing for a random student, who has remained until the end, to have a semester’s tuition waived. Not only might this attract more students but have them stay past halftime. Might have to have late busses from Heinz Field to the campus for this.

That is what I have so far. It’s a lot but I say let’s give solid feedback to Pitt from some of the university’s most ardent fans. Let’s hear what else I can add.

153 thoughts on ““School Spirit” Follow-up

  1. It is absolutely essential that Pitt starts getting past graduates of the university to Oakland for games from around the country. This means doing more than just a halfhearted Homecoming game. Pitt turns out medical professionals, lawyers, engineers and MBA graduates who then spread out across the country. These professionals can afford to return to Pittsburgh for one or more games each year. The Notre Dame model is a good example, where graduates return to their alma mater each year like an annual pilgrimage (just try getting a hotel room in South Bend on game day weekends). Pitt needs to put attractive packages together for each home game that includes transportation, lodging, etc., and the best sideline tickets. Maybe even have a locker room tour to meet the players and coaches. And these graduates will also spend money in the campus stores.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In the past, the packages have been so expensive only med school grads could afford them. I always book on my own.

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  2. I like the idea of encouraging and recognizing tailgaters.

    On the homecoming topic. We’ve been to the Friday night homecoming event several times. The first few times we enjoyed the alumni reception in the Commons Room of the Cathedral (her name is not Cathy, sorry), and the laser fireworks show. Took my 6 year old grandson a couple times for the laser show. I rarely saw familiar faces there but when we did, it was really special. But that whole deal needs a fresh look.
    I know the various schools also have receptions that night and at least from what I’ve seen,, seem well attended.

    But the focus has to be on getting students to games and liking the experience. Memories bring alums back. Aside from winning big, I don’t know what that recipe is.

    If you count the bodies in the student section late in the 4th quarter, those are your potential season ticket buyers, your homecoming visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For what it’s worth, there is a system in place that awards some sort of credit to members of the Oakland Zoo for attending certain events, buying season tickets, and perhaps for other things. I know that my daughter attended some of the early season “warmup” games last year, which gave her the opportunity to attend the Duke and North Carolina games.

    As we speak, she is in a bar/“restaurant” in South Oakland. Finally getting back to being a normal college student. Strange to be happy that your daughter is hanging out in a bar. But I sure am.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We tailgate in red 5. A couple of years ago a couple of recent grads were having a tailgate next to us and all the sororities and fraternities showed up. Must have been at least 500 all behaving having a good time. Next thing I know is the Pittsburg police show up and threaten to arrest all of them for under age drinking and disperse them. Wonder who sent them. Great way to encourage fans. Then you wonder why undergrads and recent grads get turned off.

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  5. Good job, Reed (and Tex)!

    On the “Chalk Talks,” they can be more than just questions about the team. They can be real glimpses into “Football 101.” Gottried’s staff did some of these at local high schools, open to the public, where they actually showed clips of plays. They ran the same clip forward and backward explaining things like why a certain play was called against a certain defense, what the key was for the QB to recognize where he should go with the ball – that kind of stuff. Might not be for everyone, but I loved it and so did my 10 year old son…who, by the way, didn’t go to Pitt but is now a rabid Pitt fan…

    Go Pitt.

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  6. I’ve suggested this before, but another thing Pitt could do is take advantage of the awesome experience of being down on the field during pre-game warm-ups and then when the team comes out of the tunnel.

    I have gotten to do this – Pitt used to invite members of the Lettermen’s Club to come down on the field pre-game for one of the early season games. It’s great to see the players (and cheerleaders) up close and to see the band come out. But the highlight is the excitement when they play the intro and the team runs out. Brings a tear to my eye every time — I’m so proud of my school at that moment. (Even though when I look up into the stands while all this is going on, they are mostly empty…)

    Anyway, they should find a way, maybe as a reward for something, of getting more people to be able to enjoy this experience. I don’t know how — invite the first so many people who sign-up from the Class of ‘98, or something like that. Better yet, invite the POV!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Okay. I’m up late and have had a couple of scotches (Johnny Walker Green.) Perhaps this is done already, but every company in Pittsburgh that advertises during Pitt games should announce to their employees that they will receive discounted tickets for every employee and their guests who want them.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Before I post my idea. This is why you never compare Pitt to PSU.

    They announced approval of a 48 million dollar project for their football practice facility. Not the stadium. This board members quote is priceless…

    Trustee Brandon Short, once a star linebacker for the Nittany Lions, said investment in the football program brings returns in increased student applicant interest in Penn State thereby helping the university raise its academic standards, helps with the recruitment of faculty and staff, and enhances the State College economy.

    “There is no other place where we can get a higher return on our investment than investing in our football program,” Short said. “My question is, why aren’t we investing more?”

    Pitt doesn’t have that kind of money and you will never here a Pitt board of trustee member utter those words. Is there even a former Pitt football player on the board?

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  9. The university must embrace the “Greeks” and get the fraternities and sororities involved. Back in our day those organizations would form a human tunnel holding their Greek standards…. Greeks also would gather to paint sheets to hang at PITT stadium…. we need another “ Greek Revival”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Back in the dark ages (late 60s) different floors of the Towers would paint the windows in the Towers lobby days before a game with pep rally type messages. There were also poster parties where sheets were painted with similar messages to be displayed at Pitt Stadium on Saturday.

      I don’t know if that kinda stuff works with kids today.

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  10. Alot comes down to just winning. It’s alot easier and FUN to watch a winner than a lover. If it’s fun to go to a game, then it’s more likely that people will go. I also agree that giving students an incentive to go and STAY at the games ( by winning a semesters tuition, etc) should help. Unfortunately, with the changes due to Covid, it will be a tough sell to get people in the habit of going to games.

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  11. I’ve suggested before that Pitt should work with a hotel in Oakland and a hotel in the city, reserve a block of rooms, host mixers in the ballrooms etc. Get preferred pricing and develop packages with transportation local and national. Tie in tours of the campus and other entertainment. Market this to Pitt Clubs and other individual alumni and groups. If it is fun and affordable, people will come year after year.

    A group of friends from my student years has been trying to put a reunion together. Among the activities, I suggested a football game, there were at least ten activities suggested. Unfortunately one of the leaders had an accident so the event was postponed, it was postponed again this year of course, so hopefully next year.
    How many groups are out there that would love to see old friends. Phi Epsilon Pi, a defunct fraternity had a reunion a few years back, they did it on their own. If Pitt would market and support these types of events they would happen more often.

    The problem with Pitt is they always want to make a buck so anything they do has a big price tag. The most important thing is to make the base price affordable. You can always add upgrades. Pitt rarely does things to inspire good will, that is one reason they are such poor marketers. An example is the pricing on Big East packages, you could easily put your own package together for half the price.

    While I am on the subject, Pedersen and Barnes were only interested in the big donors and treated the average guy like a bum. Steelers have been packing the stadium for years with people that can barely rub two nickels together. I get that it takes a lot of $50 and $100 dollar donations to match a large donation, but you need both and there are many more that can afford a small donation. It all goes back to how an institution treats its constituents and therefore school spirit. People like to be part of the Club, but the Club must make them feel welcome and proud to be a member. As Annie said being a winner makes a world of difference, people want to be associated with and part of that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Your key word – Oakland. Heinz Field will never feel like a college football stadium and nothing replaces the experience of being on campus for a game. But fans like me would show up more to the pro stadium if the product on the field was better coached. Pitt Stadium and the on campus football atmosphere are gone forever, but winning and rankings would go a helluva long way to make up for it.

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  12. Lots of great ideas mentioned.

    Pitt’s first goal should be to focus on the current students. Students with on campus stadiums have a blast prior to a football game. There are huge tailgate parking lots to socialize and hang out. Pitt students get a school bus ride and are shuffled directly into the stadium. There is a simple fix.

    Make a student area outside the stadium. Throw up huge tents, have bands or other entertainment the students like, food and beverages and make a cool tradition of having the marching band and team go through the area pregame.

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    1. Great idea NRS !!! Bands before the game and fireworks after the game is a sure-fire way to get people there.
      Folks, last summer, I checked into PITT to see what it would cost to purchase tickets for my ole high school team/coaches and cheer leaders to attend a PITT game…can’t remember the exact cost per ticket but the price was around $10 to $15 each…Apollo Ridge was going to leave the farm and come to a PITT game but the virus screwed those plans…hopefully, we will attend a 2021 game. Would be great if adults would look into supporting the young folks get some exposure into a major college sporting event.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. They should be giving youth teams easy cheap access to games.

        If you are a kid playing football, nothing is better than being up close to college or pro player. That goes a long long way toward future fans. I got to meet Sal Sunseri at my youth football banquet and meet Jack Lambert in person. They were larger than life to me at the time. If I would have seen them in uniform, it would have been even better.

        Let the kids line up in the tunnel or as the team comes into the stadium for fist bumps. Good Lord, the solutions are so simple.

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      2. Fans are created at an early age. I’d also suggest that there be some tour of campus given for the students. It shouldn’t just be a game experience. Tie it back and connect with campus. I’d start out in Oakland for a brief stop and walk around, and then hop back in for the ride to the game. Might require an extra 90 minutes for this detour. But well worth it.

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      3. No police.
        Have Pitt cops to break up fights. Anything else is fine. Let them have fun.
        Play at PNC park after baseball season.
        Pay Uber a fee to offer discounts to students for trips to and from games.
        Nobody wants to ride a school bus or have a police escort of the busses directly to the stadium. Non stop trip.

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    2. I do believe pitt already does something like this. They have a tailgate tent for students and the band does march outside. I know pitt has asked for input before and has tried new and different things so they aren’t risk adverse. I just don’t know if they’ve heard of any of these POV ideas and if they are willing to try them. But it never hurts in asking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tex, are you referring to the Tailgate Guys tents? If so, they are a fortune to get into and occupy a great area on the lawn along the river. That should be where the student are. Not some money making scheme for the wealthy fans, lol.

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        1. I’m not sure. All I know is that pitt has some tailgate tent set up for students specifically. I assume it’s free

          Speaking of tailgates. It might be fun to mix with some opposing ACC fans. Pitt might be able to set something up. Like to pitt the Fran tailgate posse up against the bubba tailgate crew from clemson in some friendly competition like Jell-O shots and keg stands. 🤠

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          1. I like it. We have to give Pitt fans a home field advantage.

            Maybe a Primanti sandwich eating contest and your only chaser is an Iron City beer.

            A parking contest, see who can find a spot to park (without a parking pass) in a lot that costs less than 40 dollars.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. If we really want a home field advantage how about having a kegger for the opponent’s team the night before, complete with jello shots! Haha.

              Liked by 1 person

  13. Another thing. Why not give students and alumni the chance to give tours to visitors of the opposing team. Campus tours that is. Partner up Tex with some pitt sophomore and we’ll be tour guides to a group of 5-10 visitors from clemson in October. I’ll need a cheat sheet from Pitt but boy do I have campus memories I can share with out of towners.

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  14. Here is a comment from Jason:

    Some things to consider..

    – Pitt has a larger contingent of commuter students than many state universities (PSU, OSU, etc.);
    – Pitt is an urban campus, competing with major league sports teams, cultural and historical attractions, theme parks, etc;
    – Pitt has a much smaller undergraduate enrollment than most football powers;
    – Pittsburgh weather certainly isn’t for everyone.

    Something more important to consider..

    All of these things were also true from 1915-1937 (164-16). And they were true from 1973-1989 (136-56-7).

    So, while certain issues might be “facts” it doesn’t mean they are causal to the problem.

    The real issue? When Pitt wants to be good, they’re good. When they don’t care, they stink. If the issues listed by everyone for Pitt’s mediocrity have remained constant throughout the 130 year history of the school, they simply can’t be cited as REASONS for mediocrity. Call them what they are.. EXCUSES.

    Like many said above, Pitt (and more accurately the leather elbow patch-wearing academics) are so terrified of being ruled by athletics that they actively work against their own success. Why did Sutherland leave? They took away his ability to compete versus his peers. They let Sherrill walk for the same reason. And when that silly and irresponsible article about Wannstedt’s Pitt teams made it to the ivory tower- out went another winning coach.

    Whether you agree with this approach or don’t, it simply is how this school operates. The “nerds” hate the “jocks”. And when athletics becomes the “thing” at the University, leadership steps in to “knock them down a few pegs.”

    Because of this outlook, Pitt will never promote athletics as a vital part of the “Pitt experience.” And they will continue to struggle to compete or build a relationship with students and alumni.

    But, there’s hope on the horizon. My daughter, an athlete, sports fan and life-long Panther addict, recently was accepted to the University of Alabama. As she put it to me, “I’ll always root for Pitt but at least now when I come home to visit, we can share a team that actually cares about winning.”

    She’s 18 and gets it. It amazes me how so many others don’t.

    Roll Tide!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HOOKem HORNS. Wish my son was as passionate about sports as your daughter. But you nailed it.

      I think connecting back to campus is key. Surely the academic intelligentsia in their ivory towers understands how sporting events can be used to showcase the university and even spotlight the academic side. Or are they that obtuse?

      Tex

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    2. Reed, not sure what Jason is conributing to the dialogue.
      No helpful information/suggestions about how to improve team spirit.
      Zero value in his comments relative to the topic at hand. I’m not saying he is not accurate. Its just not furthering the discussion. Just victim-speak….again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think his point is that some schools aren’t ashamed of sports.

        They truly value the front porch. They don’t actively try to push sports down. They embrace sports. Use it as a way to build pride and school spirit.

        All our ideas are for not if Pitt has a mindset that fears athletics and the potential consequences of winning.

        His comments are very relevant to this discussion.

        We need buy in from the administration. We need them to know there is a problem. We need them to admit there is a problem. (Can Pitt look into the mirror?)!! We need to partner in exploring solutions.

        Not only does penn state get it but bama and Texas. It’s so refreshing to send your children to schools that get it.

        And frankly Texas has no major scandal. They also have true scholar athletes. And their academics are better than Pitt. They don’t fear sports.

        No football fighting between academic egg heads and the jocks.

        Sports helps enhance their brand and invigorates the academic side.

        School spirit manifests itself in sports.

        Tex, a loyal Pitt alum and now supporter of burnt orange.

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          1. At the very least its caution to temper our expectations. But I do believe the mindset and culture regarding athletics is changing for the better at Pitt given the composition of the BoT.

            Is it just me, or sheer coincidence that ever since the public message boards including this site started talking about Nitters on the BoT, the member bios were taken down. And then I noticed there were no newly appointed members with any ties to penn state. And I saw the background of those members was diversifying.

            I think some scrutiny, constructive criticism, holding those in power accountable helps. There is power in numbers and a voice. Unfortunately many pitt fans either don’t know it, don’t care enough or don’t have a way to mobilize. And yes I went off on my own tangent there. 🤠

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            1. Im not sure anyone here is naive enought to think that these suggestions are they key to turning things around in school spirit. But a letter like the one Reed will send can help them understand they have a good – and perhaps underutilized – resource in the fan base.

              I hope you have water today… looking pretty rough down there.

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    3. Yes, Pittsburghers love a winner and consistent winning will build consistent big crowds. In the Sutherland era, fans jammed the stadium breathing in the fowl air of “hell with the lid off.”” Didn’t matter. The smell of the mills just down the hill from the stadium didn’t matter either. Camaraderie, good memories, and new friendships are built by shared positive experiences, and nothing is better at engendering that in football fans than winning.

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  15. In my opinion, it is impossible to overestimate the value of tailgating in filling PSU’s 110K stadium. We like to make fun of them tailgating next to cow paddies but what they have is magical on game days. Of course, I believe the University owns the parking lots, the cow pastures and other land so they set all the rules. They allow canopies to protect against blazing sun and pouring rain. There was one tailgate near me up there that had a barbecue pit on a trailer that roasted a pig at every game. As far as I know they allow people to set up and start tailgating at sunrise for an evening game. I’m sure other schools have similar atmospheres. But I am so jealous of that environment.

    We have ALCO. As far as I know, ALCO calls all of the shots in the use of their parking lots. They did in Oakland and they certainly do on the North Shore. Try putting up an umbrella or small canopy in their lot. If you are lucky, an attendant will tell you to take it down. Otherwise, they will tell the city police to order you to take it down. Thankfully they still allow grills in their open lots. But not in garages; not even on the roof. You have to hide a warming fuel light under a chafing dish. I foresee the day that ALCO will require you to park and immediately leave. An attendant told me that he heard that once upon a time someone’s tailgate umbrella blew over and hit someone. Easy fix for that liability issue. Just outlaw them.

    I do think the University does what they can to encourage tailgating. The most obvious is the area they established for students to tailgate in the grassy area overlooking the river. Their partnership with the Tailgate Guys is another. I wish they could exert more influence on ALCO to be more tailgate friendly. But from what I’ve seen, ALCO does the same to Steeler fans. And I would think the Steelers would have some pull with ALCO.

    Finally, I believe that the Steelers allowed a few thousand fans to a game or two last season. Maybe I dreamt that. But I remember reading that the lots would not open until something like two hours before game time and no tailgating was allowed. I wonder if that was an inkling of what is to come.

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    1. I think the land the parking lots sit on is actually owned by the Stadiumn and Exhibtion Authority and leased to ALCO. I know they shot down grilling in the Blue 10 garage because the grills damaged the surface, particulalry on the top. Certainly get that, but perhaps charging an etra fee for using a grill or an umbrella to defray maintenance and insurance costs? Any Pitt alum on the SEA?

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  16. No doubt Pitt’s spectacular losses, SOP and Pitting have really hurt in the eyes of the Greater Pittsburgh Community. When you are competing with Pro Teams, PSU and WVU for the affection of the community at large being a laughingstock doesn’t help.

    Reed’s description of how Narduzzi treated him with arrogance and disdain fits right in with how Pitt has treated its “fans” and potential fans over the years. When you are that unlikeable, Narduzzi and Pitt’s administrations, it is really hard to overcome to create a positive “spirit”, especially when you are mean spirited.

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    1. I’m not the only one who has come out of these meet and greet with a poor opinion of what just took place. After the first two I went to myself and some other attendees had drinks afterward and talked about it. Other POVers have written about their experiences also.

      It isn’t so much a complete snub as it is the principals obviously feeling like all they have to do is go through the motions to fulfill contractual obligations.

      Getting a photo taken with the fans is not really any sort of real interaction at all.

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      1. I have heard from others as well, but you asked a serious question and rather than give a serious answer, he acted the ass. Whether he likes it or not PR is an important part of the job, especially at Pitt due to the history and the environment. You would have to be really arrogant or stupid, probably both not to recognize that. I fault him much more for this than I do recruiting or results on the field. Although you have to wonder if this personality flaw affects his recruiting chops?

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    1. I don’t disagree. However, i feel compelled to offer the following. I attended Pitt from 1987-1991. After graduation, i continued to live in Oakland through 1996. I had season tickets. Here is what I know to be true…. Fans -including students- continued to arrive all through the first quarter up to the start of the second. There were plenty of empty (bleacher) seats, even when all were in attendance. It wasn’t as noticeable as Heinz field since full capacity was about 15,000 less and the metal bleachers didnt’t stand out like yellow seats do- except when the attendance was really sparse.The students usually left the game not long after halftime. The only games that were packed were for PSU, WVU, and ND.

      What were the reasons given for the above? Traffic in Oakland pre and post game was horrendous. Nowhere to park. Climbing up the hill to get to the stadium. Not enough tailgate spots. Campus/city police too strict. The team sucked in the 90’s.

      And as to the reason why the students left so early? The stadium was too close to their apartments, dorms, frat houses (unlike PSU where it is a considerable walk to get back.) Therefore, too easy for them to leave to go party. Too many students were engineers, pre-med, or other “geeky” majors and had no true interest in sports. Too much to do in a city campus to give a hoot about football.

      For the record, I would love for Tex’s idea of a multi-purpose facilty to be built and therefore an OC stadium for the games. But, I chuckle everytime I hear the debate about Heinz vs. an OC because I remember all the arguments when Pitt stadium existed. I am all for moving from Heinz into a new facility even if all or some of the old arguments would still exist. The games should be within the campus.

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  17. Folks – just as a follow up to disapproved comments

    In the last month alone I’ve had 75 comments sent to me for approval by WordPress. All of them were caught by the filters that have been on here since the blog started.

    I’d estimated 80% of those were written by regular commenters. Most for swearing – BTW “Shite” isn’t a way around the actual word and gets flagged each time. “Trump” is also flagged as are some other incendiary words. Here’s the deal – any commenter that tries to get cute and write something that should be flagged but gets through will be considered for banning.

    Yes this is censorship and you all have known that it was going to happen from Day One of the POV as I have been very clear on the subject.

    BTW – Freedom of speech applies to formal governmental censorship – not a privately owned blog. Take it or leave it. For the idiot who asked if I even understood the Military Oath I took – I ask him to meet me any time to discuss just that. I clearly did understand it when I took both oaths – first as an enlisted man and the second as a commissioned officer and lived it for 33 years. Which I am sure is the difference between me and some fool who takes potshots anonymously.

    Also – in addition to regular used handles on here – these are some of the names regular commenters have used to try to beat the system…

    Bowl Environment Safer than Hood

    Pittacus of Mytilene

    PC Trumps ALL

    PC trumps Results

    The Masked 7 Foot Kiwi

    bornapittfan

    etc. etc. etc.

    I just spent three hours yesterday reading each of those 75 comments and emailing the commenters about why their comments were flagged… something at this point I shouldn’t have to do unless they have never commented on here before. I also just banned four more people which kills me because I have always wanted this to be a blog that anyone can contribute to.

    This crap is why I get so frustrated and angry…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry you have had to do that, Reed.

      The past few posts have had great dialogue. And holy cow we have Tex to thank for the topic.
      I’ve learned quite a bti of history about PItt and athletics from the some of the folks, legalbeagle being one of them.

      And resally appreciate that you will use our input to communicate with the school. Maybe Heather or EJ could author a post for us… topic of their choice.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m personally all for that. Would love to have EJ connect with the POV with some ‘important message’. It could just be a thank you for hanging in there as Pitt fans over the years or appreciation of the honest dialogue. Pitts connection with fans is missing. I personally think of the POV as an ‘on campus’ venue used to help connect fans with Pitt. And not just sports.

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    2. Reed thanks for doing it. The site was getting unbearable with all the nonsense. Unfortunately it is a sign of the times. While I have strongly disagreed with opinions, I try not to disrespect people. I am sure I have slipped a few times in the heat of the battle as do others. MM did a great job of prohibiting political and Covid talk. It makes for a better forum.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Something I mentioned awhile ago- when my daughter went to Case Western Reserve Univ the had a spot for students to ” check in” before entering a sporting event. Student groups and sports teams competed to see whose members attended the most athletic events. I guess you could have 2 winners- one for the sports teams and another for the clubs and organizations. Winners won a specified $$ for their organization. That certainly got all the sports teams supporting each other. Just a thought that even the geeky organizations could get behind.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. So how much does playing at Heinz affect “School Spirit”?
    While like everyone, I would love it if Pitt had an OCS but like many,
    I don’t see it every happening.

    I also think it has a minimal impact on ” Spirit ” attendance or on the field success.

    It has been 20 years since Pitt Stadium was razed. Pitt’s freshman, and sophomores
    were born since then.

    Pitt’s problem with school spirit goes back much much further. In fact “Pitt’s school spirit” might qualify as an oxymoron.

    If Pitt has to wait till we get an OCS till we have a surge in Spirit, we might as well give up right now

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When Pitt played football on campus, there wasn’t much spirit. Just having a venue on campus doesn’t do it.

      There has to be traditions and excitement leading up to the game.

      The venue itself needs to be intimate and special. A unique experience. The Fitzgerald fieldhouse was fun.

      Pitt stadium was a large dump where one needed binoculars to see the field.

      And don’t get me started on those pee troughs but you know what if one of those porcelain troughs had JoePa’s face, I’d pay to pee on it.

      I just remember the fights in the stands as being more entertaining than the game. I went to school during the i can’t hackett era and beginning of back to the future with majors

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was great atmosphere at the Pete when Pitt was competitive.
        If you have never witnessed the Zoo in person, it is a sight to behold.
        Very strong school spirit. Really fun when they get the rest of the crowd into it.

        Winning is no doubt the key. If you were at the big Cinci game or the win vs. PSU at
        Heinz the spirit was there. Even though the Cinci game was a loss, it was electric till the very end.

        It is the event much more than the venue that makes it great.

        Like

        1. The 42-39 game against the Nitters was a good environment. Would have been made better if on campus though. And if pitt had their own small, full of character and unique stadium. Oakland would have partied all through the night. The north shore was dead two hours after the game.

          Like

    2. If you look at some of the best games Pitt has played at Heinz, like the Virginia Tech and West Virginia games of the Harris era, Wannstedt”s games vs. Notre Dame and Cincinnati, and the outlier Penn State game under Narduzzi in 2016, there was plenty of spirit, noise, eruptions. I have never forgiven Pitt for tearing down Pitt Stadium and will hold that grudge until I die, but I know Heinz can work. Some of the (censoring here) shows Narduzzi has put on there, and Wannstedt had his share as well as Chryst’s fumbleplalooza that Deadspin had a field day with, did plenty to crush the spirt and run off fans.

      Like

  20. The time to build a multipurpose, on-campus stadium/field house was when they tore down Pitt Stadium. I’m afraid that ship has sailed. But all universities make questionable decisions. Pitt is no exception. Heck, they got rid of Tiger Paul but they keep Scooter. How do you explain that?

    Just kidding, just kidding! I love Scooter! He can be caustic but it’s such a witty caustic, you just have to laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I remember attending an event sponsored by Iron CIty which could be copied by Pitt.
    Bob Prince (which should tell you when it was) and Rocky Bleier hosted an event where they updated fans on the Steelers, including some film review with Rocky pointing out details of a recent game. Rocky was also a good speaker and provided humorous comments about Chuck Noll. Open Q & A at the end.

    Perhaps Pitt could do this with someone like Jeff Hathorn (from The Fan) and Pat Bostick. Have EJ or an Asst AD there as well. Give them the direction to be candid and share things that are going on that the average fan cannot see – good and bad.

    I think if you stick Duzz in front of one of these, he’s not going to do that well. He’s not a great public speaker as we know and probably won’t want to talk about what they are doing schemtaically. And that leads to the scripted Q&A, which really isn’t fun for anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. My answer has no solution at present. Moving Heinz Field up to the Pitt campus. You will never jack up any consistent school spirit at Pitt with an off campus stadium. That’s not saying an on campus stadium would solve the problem. But you would have a much better chance of achieving it on campus.

    Like

    1. Digital fans in the stands is coming. Also they could just digitally create the CoL overlooking the
      one low endzone of Heinz.

      All we need is Pitt to also event digitally created W’s. (that way we won’t lose in Homecoming games,
      which seems to almost the norm).

      Like

      1. I plan on beaming my image as a hologram onto the pitt script drawn by Carrick elementary at the 50 for the Miami game this year. I’m working on a sponsorship with an apple cider vinegar company.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. First time they have had a full 100 yard field in there – before it went to the 30 yard line both ways. What they really need are some seating for the press corps who attend practices (for the 15 minutes allowed while the players stretch).

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Guys – right now I have a total of 17 good, solid pieces of advice for the Pitt athletic department from the POV readers. Thanks – I’m going to smooth it out in letter form and I’ll send it to one POVer for proof reading – then onto EJ and Lyke.

    I am not including anything to do with an on campus stadium because that won’t happen for years if at all and the AD really has no power in that issue. It would just detract from the suggestions that are feasible. Once sent I’ll post it for the POV to read.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. What is her role when the two major men’s sports are at best mediocre? I’m not exactly sure but it must be something. As the representative of all Pitt sports she needs to be seen and heard. Tweeting is no substitute.

        Wishing for a return of what now must be called the golden 2000s. Two bowl wins, two final AP rankings for football, two #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament… We complained about Pederson and Nordy, but they were the leaders then.

        “you never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” aka Joni Mitchell.

        Like

  24. a large problem at Pitt seems to be once you graduate you are gone. Heard from a relative that Ohio State used to have Archie Griffin speak last at graduation imploring the grads to join the alumni assoc. May seem minor but anything to students to remain involved with thie alma mater might help.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A few years go they introduced fans who were 50 year season ticket holders – just ONCE were long time fans acknowledged and I’ve been going to Pitt games for 40 years. It was a nice gesture to have them on field, on the scoreboard and their names listed. This need to be done more often.
    I was a fan of the shows at Cupka’s and other places over the years, went almost every week to meet coaches, players, Panther Club folks and other fans. Pitt needs to get make themselves more visible, especially Panther Club. This was a great opportunity for them to meet fans and ask them if they belong to PC or if thy would like to join. Doesn’t seem like this will be come back.
    I like the idea of visiting tailgates, we are the true fans. This was a nice discussion.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Acknowledging 50-year season-ticket holders is great, but that’s a heck of a high bar. How about acknowledging season-ticket holders at 5, 10, 15, and 20 years…

      Invite them to be on the field for the pre-game warm-ups and the team coming out…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  26. if full attendance is allowed this fall, and that may be a big IF …. it will be interesting to see what Clemson draws (Oct 23)
    Other home games later in the year includes Miami (10/30), UNC (11/11 Thurs) and UVa (11/20)

    It seems odd that Pitt plays at Duke on 11/6 and then has to play UNC 5 days later. But since UNC has to do the same, it is advantage Pitt I would think

    Like

  27. Was going thru an old appointment/Daily planner At-A-Glance from 2013, looking for something.

    Have noted, a guy collecting for the Salvation Army outside the grocery store told me about Bitcoin.

    It was selling for about $450 per at that time. Today it’s at $55,800.00 per.

    Like

  28. They really should only allow fans who have been vaccinated. Nice incentive. Or poor saps like me who caught the virus naturally. I don’t recommend that approach though.

    But seriously, that’s a super spreader waiting to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I truly believe the bulk of the administration (BOT) view athletics as the ugly stepchild.
    There seems to be almost an embarrassment that Pitt has to even fund such banal nonsense.
    We can lament for years what it will take to generate enthusiasm for Pitt sports, but until the BOT embraces the need for change, nothing of consequence will ever happen.

    Like

  30. OT: from PSN – “Pitt baseball opened what is supposed to be a promising 2021 campaign with a disappointing loss in the opening of the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida.

    The Panthers (0-1) were shutout and scattered just five total hits in a 4-0 loss to Indiana State (1-0) on Friday afternoon. It marks the first loss for Pitt in a season opener since 2011.”

    Pitt head coach Mike Bell said to be very disappointed. Indiana State 4-0, not Florida State, but Indiana State. Not Arizona State, but Indiana State. Not North Carolina State, but Indiana State. Not Mississippi State, but Indiana State. Not Louisiana State, but Indiana State.

    Now that right there is a spirit killer.

    Like

  31. It’s proven that a successful national sports program will generate more student applications for admission. It makes sense to promote its athletic programs. The BoT must know this.

    Like

    1. They do. But it’s always a power struggle between academics and athletics at Pitt. They operate in silos. They don’t view themselves as partners. On the same team.

      Like

  32. My three ideas
    1) Make a greater push/incentive to get Branch campus students to attend games.
    2) Offer student price tickets or season tix to students from the other smaller colleges in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area to give them a taste of big time college FB, tailgating, etc and have them identify with Pitt.
    3) Pitt currently offers season ticket discounts to employees of UPMC. I suggest expanding that discount to health care providers who see UPMC patients and those enrolled in UPMC Health plans.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Do they no longer have fans of the game? I gave up my 3 seat season tickets 3 years ago. Back when it was Revis’ last year, my sister flew in from Scotsdale, Arizona. Along with my father, we went to a Pitt game. We were barely inside the gates when some young fellow approached my sister to congratulate her for being randomly selected as a that day’s fan of the game. She won a very nice gift package of Pitt merchandise. She got to go down onto the field pregame. She, and the other person who was selected, was introduced by the public address announcer as fans of the game. There was a camerman on the field filming them live onto the jumbotron as they were introduced. Their names were listed also. She was smart and gave her birth hometown (Derry) instead of using her Arizona residence. She got to stay on the sideline up until the television timeout just prior to kick-off. In additon to all of that, she won two tickets for the WVU game located up in the very nice 200 section about 45 yard line. The one with the access to the very nice concourse that only those in that level can use. She flew back in for the game. I sold my 3 tickets on stubhub for 200 a seat. And to top it off, that was the game that Revis had the punt return and Kinder wiped out two hoopies with one block! A great memory indeed! Unfortunately, that was the last thing we would cheer about that night as Pitt was outscored in the second half 28 to 3 and lost 45-27. But hey! 13-9 was just around the corner!

    Liked by 3 people

  34. when I worked for Children’s (2000-06), I got a 10% discount for Pitt FB season tickets

    Discounts also may be afforded to first line workers, police and firemen, veterans and area high schools. In fact I would offer students at every high school in the county free tickets for a game

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know vets get tickets for both football and basketball games. My dad would prefer the free tickets come early in the season though. He doesn’t mind watching teams like Delaware. At least he gets to see a pitt win in mild weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Hello to Reed and all:
    Having been a season ticket holder since 1977 and living in Maryland ( Towson), driving to games at home and away over the years, here are a few of my suggestions:

    A. Keep the race of the former great Pitt players. No one anywhere does that and it is cool to see them run at the game.
    Since Larry Fitzgerald retired this year, bring him to a game in 2021 and have him there. Or get Dorsett, Ditka and the others at a game as well.

    B. Bring back the in game video clips of local sports players, media and Pittsburgh icon to do the touchdown celebration on the big screen after a Pitt TD.
    Again, no the schools that I have been to do that and it was always well received.

    C. When Pitt gets a first down, there have been meager and inconsistent attempts to do get the crown in the game by pounding the seats along with the band and go first down.
    WVU does that
    USF does that and so do others but….
    they ‘teach the fans” and student to do it with visuals on the big screen and do it every time for every game for seasons to build the instinct to do that.
    Why not Pitt?
    The students start with it in the 1st quarter and then it just peters out.
    It needs to be done all the time.

    D. Outside the stadium, the potential for a Pitt walk from the PNC Park corner into the game is a natural corridor to build interest.
    Arizona State has such a path to the game with face painters, music, swag to win, food and more to build a corridor of connecting fans to the game. It was packed with families and fans and was fun to see
    Pitt could do that

    E. I believe that Pitt can and should include some students, past and present in these ideas. Why not have some Pitt students ‘scout’ other games and schools and see what they do to model or copy to do at our venues?
    For those of you who have not gone to an away game, especially at a pro stadium like Heinz Field that schools like USF, Temple and others use, you are missing how good a job Pitt and the Steelers doing in making it feel like it is a Pitt place v a Bucs or Eagles venue.
    Even more can be done but this they do well in comparison
    If basketball can sustain and have a “Zoo” then why can’t the “Panther Pitt” do the same or more on a consistent basis?
    The idea of linking attending ALL Pitt games to not just football is a good one and builds interest in on and off campus events.

    Regardless of any and all of these ideas, the most important aspect is a commitment to consistency. It takes time and effort and yes money to build up interest and then sustain it.
    Plans with a commitment to continue them is not realistic.
    Sorry to be so long but over 55 years of fandom is not easy to sum up so quickly. H2P

    So many other good ideas have been posted and hoping Reed ( and others as well ) can suggest them to Pitt and thanks to all for supporting the Panthers. See you at Heinz in section 534 this fall and at Tennessee and Atlanta.

    Liked by 5 people

  36. One problem with tailgaiting is that too many get in the stadium after kickoff. They miss a great band performance, the team coming out on the field, and then obstruct people’s view as they go to their seats.
    It takes a lot of energy out of the stadium.

    A long time ago, before the new Mountaineer stadium, I attended a game with some WV buddies. We stood in line 2 hours before the game entered the stadium easily an hour before the game. Of course bottles were passed during that hour. The team was greeted with some real school spirit by a packed stadium.

    I don’t know what could be done to get more folks in their seats prior to the game but it would make a difference.

    I also don’t like the tradition of booing the opposition when they enter the field, but that will never change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Allow tailgating to start 2 hours earlier than the ALCO allotment.

      It is also a personal choice – Mrs. Erie and I usually stop tailgating in order to enter the stadium about 1 hour before kick off. Mrs. Erie enjoys the band and National Anthem – I enjoy the National Anthem and the game.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Gordo, some teams deserve to be booed. Now I can’t think of an ACC team besides Miami that deserves it. But state penn and wvcc definitely deserve a strong boo, you stink, go back and tip cows, go to a dentist, sheep aren’t safe.

      Like

    3. Disagree
      Pre Fran I would show up right for the kick. Now, Fran likes to go early and see the warmup etc. So now I go early too.
      The better the tailgating the more fans. The more fans means more will go early.

      Like

    1. Give me the five and a half points. I’m picking Pitt. Surprised the line is that high. I expect a bounce back from Pitt. And no beat down.

      Tex who has the spirit today. I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. One late addition to the list due to a busy week of work and health appointments, mixed with multiple shifts of shoveling.

    Invite all of the Tampa Bay Buc players and coaches who were related to Pitt – extend the invite to HC Arians who is from York, PA, Gronk who lived in the Pittsburgh area as a youth. Maybe, just maybe the GOAT will tag along. Create a game day atmosphere that honors champions.

    On that same game day, bring back the 76 NC championship players and coaches, having them line the field as the Super Bowl champion Bucs are introduced.

    Greatness celebrating greatness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the idea. Winning begets winning. Championship culture. Heck I’ll just settle for a warm bowl game and to beat the Seminoles today.

      Like

    2. Unfortunately, we tend to play like crap when any of the former greats are in the building…

      BTW, it was 40 years ago yesterday that Bill Fralic committed to staying home and playing for Pitt. 👍👍

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  38. Much as I would like to see an OCS, I think it will not happen unless and until Pitt actually sees a resurgence in interest for Pitt football, not the other way around. This can’t happen unless there is more of a national campaign to bring past graduates back, as I mentioned previously that ND does. The Pitt Athletics Dept. needs to have a section (with an Assist. AD of its own) in charge of graduate participation recruitment.

    There should be travel assistance provided with air and hotel discounts, and well publicized game packages that are put together for every home game. Make the graduates feel they are welcome and still a part of things and they will come back. Ask Pitt’s NFL players to return to campus for one of these games to sit with the graduates at the game. Just think if Pitt could bring in about 500 additional graduates every game, they would have 3,000 additional graduates annually that may want to get involved and maybe open their check books.

    Like

    1. Don’t think of it as an OCS. The perfect place is the Pete. It can be home to both football and basketball and countless other sports that use a rectangle field.

      Stade Pierre mauroy concept – retractable roof and hydraulic field.

      But can Pitt raise $500 million for it via pledged donations and other upfront monies from naming rights, etc.

      the other $500 million would be debt financed. Rates are zero right now.

      Economic stimulus most likely includes infrastructure projects under the new federal administration.

      Pete is over 20 years old anyway.

      Need that feasibility study first

      Is there a need?
      Is there a location?
      What is the cost?
      Can the money be found?
      When do we begin?

      Like

      1. I really hate to bite on this, but I’ll jump in and make two points about hown and when the OCS topic can happen.

        1) Something like this could only happen when a sizeable footprint becomes available. Think about how Gateway Center was able to occur. Big fire at the Wabash Train Terminal down at the point. some thing needs to happen to create a big enough space.

        2) Transportation infrastructure. For many years I have agreed with those who have indicated that
        city planners will never approve another stadiuym in Oakland due to traffic and roads in the area. Of course, urban arenas get built without car traffic in mind. Case in point – Yankee Stadium. People don’t drive cars to events at Yankee Stadium – they take public transportation. Same with soccer…. Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur stadiums in London, Santaigo Bernabeu in Madrid, Everton and Anfield in Liverpool, etc. The difference is public transportation – which in all cases includes rail/subway in addition to bus/taxi.

        Like

        1. cont’d from last comment:

          So, until there is perhaps an extension of the T into Oakland, its hard to imagine overcoming the physical and governmental obstacles. Then one can start arguing for Pitt to do something.

          Like

        2. And the feds infrastructure bill could be the ticket. Both parties love infrastructure.

          The footprint of the Pete sits on old Pitt stadium. It’s plenty big enough for a 45k MPC.

          Like

          1. How about this? Partner with the Steelers to build the MPC in Oakland, fix the traffic problems and satisfy both future football team needs.

            Like

  39. Finally,
    A big one.
    They need to tarp. The need to leave the tarp on for all the games. Make it a firm 45,000 for every game.
    They need to build demand. All tickets sales are pre sales. Walk ups make up very little.
    They can expand when they can pre sell out the 45,000.
    Again, PNC park is the answer.
    BC plays games at Fenway.
    Heinze sucks
    It will always suck .
    It is a cheap Rooney job. It deserves scorn.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Gordon – Personally, I don’t like the idea of booing when the other team makes a great play… but that’s me.

    When that happens sometimes I’ll turn to someone and say “That was an amazing play” or something to that effect – Think a Fitz catch or Dorsett run – and get idiotic things yelled at me. My favorite is “You’re not a real Pitt fan!!”

    One point I’m making to EJ is somehow instill a semblance of sportsmanship back into the games. Perhaps a 90 second pre-game video about the history of the opponent? Something like that acknowledging our football past with that program.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree. I believe its the economics of running a sports dept in a local paper.
      Jerry DiPaola gets stretched into other areas where they want coverage.

      Sites such as Panther Lair and Cardiac Hill (perhaps this site too) are ineffect competing with the Trib.

      Twitter and other social media outlets that carry player bios, interviews, press conferences, etc also don’t help.

      I will go to YouTube after a game to watch Pitt and Steeler postgame press conferences, hear what the coaches say directly and formulate my own thoughts.

      Its “relentless disintermediation” of the newspaper industry.

      Like

  41. A suggestion: Since the stadium is a public facility and Pitt plays there too, how about a Hall of Honor for past Pitt greats too like the Steelers have!

    https://heinzfield.com/2018/09/14/the-most-instagrammable-spots-at-heinz-field/

    And maybe a statue or two of past Pitt Greats outside near the gates. We do have a Panther statue outside but we should have more IMO. I mean, the Steeler fans (yeah, I’m one too) got Rooney sitting on his can smoking a cigar….might as well have Cyanide Steve sitting on a toilet while reading the sports section upside down too.

    For other universities that have an OCS it’s all about their team when they enter their stadiums. The spirit is so much greater for them than us. It’s almost like an away game for us at Heinz.

    Like

    1. Pitt players rub a bottle of ketchup before entering the field and then get blinded by the yellow seats. No wonder why pitt starts out slow.

      Like

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