“How I Became a Pitt Fan” Redux

Do you remember a couple of years ago when the regulars on here submitted articles regarding “How I became a Pitt fan”? Here is a follow-up on that by our good friend Gordon…

Pick-Up Games

A couple things today made me want to bring out my soap box, add a little to my bio and express a few more opinions that don’t exactly fit with the current thread. Anyway it is a very slow period for football and basketball so my mind drifted in other directions.

While Pitt football and basketball are minor blips on the overall sporting world, even in Pittsburgh, I want to focus on the importance of athletics in general and my hope that Pitt has finally recognized the value of sports that you probably won’t make a living at. All I can say is what has taken so freakin’ long, and is it really going to happen?

As you may know, I grew up in Penn Hills in the 60’s during the height of the baby boom.  Most of us had one car, one bathroom, one TV with channels you could count on one hand, poor programming and even poorer reception. For you young guys, there were no remote controls and a lot of the time one of the kids had to stand and hold the antennae to get any reception.

So from dusk to dawn we would go to the ball field and play, baseball, basketball, football, wrestling without rules, a little hockey and a lot of other hide and seek kind of games. Soccer hadn’t been heard of unfortunately or we would have played it. Jogging hadn’t been invented yet. We ran for pure joy! Everyone knew everyone’s relative value at each individual sport. All were pick- up games, except for Little League.

Sports were a major part of your identity, playing that is, didn’t do much watching or listening as today since there really only was the Pirates who weren’t any good until 1960.

It was hard to stand out because of the numbers, the age differences and cliques. So entering junior high (seventh grade at the time) it really was a tough time, fitting in, puberty and all that stuff. The fear of being made fun of or getting beat up was real.

I was too skinny for football and not quite talented enough or tall enough for basketball.  In gym class one day the teacher was instructing us on high jumping in the gym. When it was my turn, he moved the mats for the left handers, I jumped, cleared the bar and landed on the hard wood floor.  He laughed as did the whole class, but then told me to go out for the track team. Back then, there were so many kids they had light, middle and heavyweight classes in the field events.

I had found my identity. The next week in my first meet, I placed and my name was announced to the whole school, pretty heady indeed to make the varsity as a freshman. During the next two years I rarely lost. At my fiftieth reunion one guy was telling me what a great high jumper I was so I guess the identity stuck.

Two things triggered me writing this today. The WPIAL medal on the trophy on the article I submitted and the anniversary of the Assassination of Medgar Evers. Let me explain. I have a gold and silver WPIAL medals from the West Penn Relays. They were won with my team mates and good friends John Wilborn and Larry Johnson. Sports gave me the opportunity to work out, hang out and have friendships with black kids. Something I will always be grateful for.   

John went on to high jump for Pitt, I didn’t because a guy named Bryant Salter was jumping and was near world class before Fosbury invented his flip. Salter also went on to play for the Redskins and was one of the few Pitt guys to distinguish himself in that era.

I did set the intramural high jump record at Pitt and have been told I still hold it after almost 50 years. As long as they don’t reinstate the games it is mine.

I was told Larry Johnson passed a while back, he was one of the finest guys I’ve ever met.  I mentioned Medgar Evers, because I and most of my white peers had no idea of how blacks were treated in our society. Pittsburgh wasn’t Alabama or Mississippi, so until Martin Luther King was killed we had no idea.

In any case, the points I wanted to make were that sports give kids a chance to find themselves; they also give us a chance to get to know people that we might not get to know. They teach us how to work as a team and how to compete, as well as the importance of hard work.  It also feels good to be good at something.

I also found gymnastics in High School and worked my way into being pretty good. I lettered at Pitt and it hurt when they shut down the Men’s Gymnastics program. Gymnastics is one of the purest forms of athletics that exists.

It is a shame that Pitt has never valued Athletics for Athletics sake. My roommate freshman year was on the Golf team, another sport that is no more.

I have always believed that strong, varied, athletic departments are what lead to great football and basketball teams and not the reverse.  A culture that doesn’t value all sports creates an apathetic fan base.

Since kids no longer grow up playing sports unless their parents take them to organized activities, it will be harder to grow a fan base that identify with athletes. 

It is easy to bash our coaches, but they are just the symptoms and not the root of the long standing malaise that is Pitt Sports.

One other quick aside, sports were important to me for fitness. Playing games kept us fit. Work outs were to make us better at the games we played.  While I see the value in weight lifting, Marathon running, Pilates and Yoga, I am bored silly on the elliptical and long for the days when I could play tennis, softball or volleyball. At least I still have golf, for how long is anyone’s guess.

If anyone else wants to write a follow up, maybe to update how you view, or feel about, Pitt athletics or maybe additional stuff about growing up – whatever, please do so.

Submit them to me at rkohberger@gmail.com and good things will happen…maybe.

160 thoughts on ““How I Became a Pitt Fan” Redux

  1. Why I chose Pitt. Because even as a young kid, I knew who paterno really was. And I knew the cult. From family to friends to people passing in the night. I’m not wired as a Nitter. I’m not wired as a Panther either. But I’ll be damned if I worshiped a false idol who ended up being the patron saint of pedophile protectors. I spurned penn state and have no regrets. They are far worse than an Aggie or okie in my opinion. I hate them. Really hate them. I will do them no favors ever and even in my afterlife.

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  2. It’s good you experienced what you did. And it’s good that you found takeaways in athletics. Too few kids know the value of sports today. It’s all YouTube and video games.

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  3. Need to find out who wrote the article. I was a gymnast at PITT for a time. Was unable to complete to sit out a year having transferred from FSU. I think I’m a little older than you. Don’t remember anyone from Penn Hills.

    You write what I have been trying to tell Tex, that minor college sports play an important part in a students education/development.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. GC – You bring back lots of memories of that time period. And I relate to so much of what you said.

    I was painfully shy and struggled in grade school. Now we know that different people learn in different ways. It was like I couldn’t do anything right — until my Dad taught me how to play baseball. As you said, it’s good to be good at something. I finally found something, thanks to my Dad, that I could enjoy and even excel at.

    This helped me overall. Don’t know if I could have been a Pitt engineering grad if I hadn’t gotten some confidence playing baseball.

    One of my high school highlights was pitching the championship game as a senior. We won 2-1. Our school only had a basketball and a baseball team, and a championship was pretty rare.

    Then I was fortunate enough to letter at Pitt. Back then, Pitt baseball was like a western PA all-star team. We had a couple players from NY.

    Playing on that baseball team helped me grow as a person. I think we knew we had no chance for any type of championship — but that didn’t seem to matter.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. Great stuff Gordon. There was nothing better than playing pickup games, no matter which sport, from the ages of 10-18. My favorite was pickup tackle football on the same fields at St. Vincent where the Steelers held training camp. Also used those fields to become good at kicking field goals. I hold the unofficial Pitt intramural record of 51 yards.

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  6. Ran across this from the really “good old days.” Calling Doctor Tom…

    “Pitt’s undefeated 1917 football team was known as “The Fighting Dentists” because on occasion every position was filled by dental students. The dental students on the 1917 team included Katy Easterday, Skip Gougler, “Tank” McLaren, “Jake” Stahl. and Jock Sutherland.”

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good article GC – it reminded me of the tackle football games we had in the back grassy field of a local business in Erie. One sideline was a brick wall and the other was a street.

    As a RB your tendency was to cut back away from the brick wall and as a WR, the Post pattern was a safe route to run.

    Rain, snow & frozen grounds did not stop us from playing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best tackle football games were in the mud. The frozen tundra was super hard on the bod.

      My grade school (Sunnyside) would challenge a nearby neighborhood school (Dilworth)
      once every fall, Strickly pickup since Pgh Public schools didn’t have any sports team in
      grade school,

      Winner got the unofficiai East End Trophy.

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  8. Thanks for your editorial skills Reed.
    I remember distinctly driving around Penn Hills and recognizing that all the ball fields were empty, but I don’t remember the date. It was like a switch was turned off, it was long before Play Station and I remember someone saying it was around the time kids stared showing up on milk cartons. I also remember being sad because those pick-up games were where we learned to play ball.

    Reed also reminded me that when we were at Pitt there was no segregation of athletes, they lived in the dorms ate in the cafeteria and went (or didn’t go) to the same classes. I remember marveling when Majors came at the training table. For a short while all athletes that practiced late got to eat there (first edible food on campus) Then they segregated the football players from the rest of us.

    Who else remembers the goal posts being on the goal line? I witnessed a friend lose his front teeth to them.
    I did something similar on the Cathedral lawn, went out for a pass turned around to slam into the back of someone’s head. Reached for my nose and it was gone, spent the rest of the day and evening at Presby.

    But like Erie said, nothing could stop us from playing, until that first Turkey Bowl as adults when ambulances were called.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had one of those electric vibrating Football Games…..and yes the Goalposts were on the Goal line.

      You flicked the switch on and all the players sort of vibrated into 1 large mosh pit.

      For passing the QB flicked a little cotton ball shaped like football. The QB could also kick.

      It was quite the stupid game. The Hockey games were much better,

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I get why many think that the only thing that matters is Football and Men’s basketball and the heck with the rest. I don’t agree, in fact I believe the main reason Pitt doesn’t have a rabid fan base is because it has never valued athletics in fact just the opposite. A culture of winning is developed by having all sports be important.
    Those other athletes are more likely to become long term fans.
    I mentioned that at Rec Hall at PSU they have photos of every team that ever played with names. They value those athletes. I am sure that many fathers and mothers have shown their kids those pictures, which help to create a bond with the U.

    No those sports don’t make money, but they create a culture that is sorely lacking at Pitt. Getting more events on the ACCNet will help.

    Watching Roger Kingdom win Olympic Gold was as outstanding as any Pitt athletic moment.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Well there are only 5 sports at Pitt out of 19 that are good or trending that way. Most are mediocre or flat out poor.

      Pitts ranking among ACC teams based on ACC record is in the bottom of the second tier across most sports.

      This after 4 years of a new AD and going on year 7 in the ACC.

      I agree in principle but the results don’t bear it out.

      What sports besides soccer, wrestling, volleyball and baseball are more than mediocre?

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      1. That’s a good start. Soccer is now hugely popular. Obviously wrestling in Western PA is big. I have seen lots of press for the baseball team which is great.

        Decades of neglect can’t be fixed overnight.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Going on five years isn’t overnight. And the facilities have all been in place. The ACC transition period or honeymoon is long over. Time to start winning now.

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      2. Tex you still don’t get it. The minor sports are not for you to feel good about or not. They are not there for you! They (minor sports) are there for the participant, the student’s own experience. Yes, everybody would like to win but, at times, you don’t in life. You still gain confidence and growth as a person just competing.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I understand that. I played and coached Minor sports all my life. But football and basketball pay the bills. I’m a Econ major from pitt with a UB MBA and former small business owner. Frankly you can get the same experience by joining a club or frat.

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    1. Once baseball season is in full swing and the Pirates start to suck as usual, Penguins will move up to 2nd place on the list.

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    2. Well what Nitter wants to write about Pitt. Or cuse alum for that matter.

      Big time programs direct the narrative. They make sure they get a healthy dose of PR each week.

      But this is Pitt which rhymes with.

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  10. Good article about the transfer portal:

    https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/joe-starkey/2021/03/26/pittsburgh-panthers-basketball-jeff-capel-transfer-portal-ncaa-joe-starkey/stories/202103260064

    “Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi has a weird nickname for the transfer portal. Here is the implied PN quote:

    Narduzzi said after practice on Wednesday that the NCAA’s new database for players wanting to transfer from their current schools should be called the “ugly toilet portal”

    https://sports.yahoo.com/pitts-pat-narduzzi-the-transfer-portal-should-be-called-the-ugly-toilet-portal-143012954.html

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    1. Once again Coach Duzz tries to be clever or witty or who knows what, but totally misses the mark…

      Go Pitt.

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    2. It’s not too difficult to say portal potty…….

      He also isn’t a math major. I talk to my kids and tell them they have to improve 3% everyday. I am not a math major and leave that to you bean counters…..but don’t you have to be at like 5% of good to improve 3% everyday for a year? And does that 3% rollover or does each year start off at 5% of being good? I am so confused so I am locking the gates because that is so much clearer.

      I would pay to hear a reporter ask a player where they started on the scale and then ask, “So, after 10 practices how much better are you then when you started? Again, I will pay for that instead of donating to mediocrity.

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  11. This article appeared in the Press 35 years ago today.

    “PITT COACHES SET CLINIC FOR MT.LEBANON HIGH

    Pitt Head Football Coach Mike Gottfried will be at Mt. Lebanon High School to conduct a clinic April 7th at 7 pm. The price of admission is $1.

    Gottfried will speak on Pitt’s passing game and what fans and coaches can expect to see this season. Pitt assistant Frank D’Alonzo will talk about Pitt’s defensive techniques and assistant Mike Dickens will discuss quarterback play.

    There will also be a clinic at Aliquippa High School on April 9th. At that clinic, Sal Sunseri will join Gottfried and talk about linebacker play. “

    My 10-year old son and I forked out the two bucks and attended. We both enjoyed the heck out of hearing some “inside” football.

    I thought this was a great way for Pitt to connect to the local communities…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Duzz cannot and will not do that. The Athletic dept would be wise to prevent it as well.
      Great engagement idea for the next HC.

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  12. Narduzzi welcomes back players such as Ford and Twyman that walked out on their team mates, but then calls the transfer portal the ugly toilet portal. So it appears that if you walk out on your team during the season that is okay, but leaving at the end of the season through the transfer portal is the kiss of death as a Panther. It seems the emphasis on Pitt players making the NFL is fine, but don’t cross PN if you want to enter the portal to find a place to play.

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    1. I don’t think there is anything to be gained from shunning either of those guys and who knows maybe they will make a nice contribution some day.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Narruzzi posted another Pat Signal today. Rumor has it the WR from Hawaii that entered the transfer portal recently. If right that would be the first for Marion.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The two articles Reed linked above seemed to have conflicting info regarding the portal. One said that there is a risk that a player is not picked up by a new school and therefore loses their ability to attend school on a scholarship. The other notes that entering the portal still allows the possibility of staying at your current school.

    I took a look at the NCAA’s website pertaining to the portal and it says that when a player elects to enter the portal, his/her current school has two days to post that info to those who have the ability to view the portal. The current school also must maintain the scholarship for that player through the end of the current semester.

    The player can return to their current school but the current school has to agree to that. Seems to me to do so would make for an awkward situation. But it makes sense that the current school can move on or even fill that scholarship spot while the player is in the portal.

    I wonder how many players in either football or basketball have entered the portal but then returned to their original school? I don’t follow it closely enough to know that.

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    1. I don’t know the numbers over all of FBS. But so far this year, I do know that only 1 player in the ACC has returned to their original team (FSU). Another 131 have entered and stayed in the portal. Tennessee has had two players return. Another 22 are still in the portal. (Data for football only.)

      Justin Fuente of VT has publicly stated that: “you enter the portal your not coming back to VT” Wouldn’t surprise me if more coaches have that attitude but haven’t said it publicly.

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  15. Gordon, it’s nothing personal about these two guys, but there is some inconsistency here that annoys me. Narduzzi will bask in the glow of his guys getting into the NFL, even if they bail on the team, but whichever QB decides to leave via the transfer portal because Pickett stuck around will be considered persona non grata.

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  16. Thanks for sharing Gordon!

    You forgot to tell the youngsters about the role of aluminum foil on the rabbit ears.
    The rich folk had one of those fancy Channel Master rotating antennas with the dial box on top of the TV console.

    There is a lot of truth in what you say about the role of athletics!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Seems to me that Duzz is one of those guys where everything is pretty much black and white. If you’re with him, he’ll do anything for you, but if you’re not with him, and even if you’re neutral to him, you’re his enemy.

    Maybe that’s how you had to survive in Youngstown…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Gordon, nice article. Thanks for reminding me of how grateful I am to have played games with friends outside rather than to have played games with electronically attached friends inside. PS. Don’t know if this was sent twice.

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  19. Does anyone know what % of Pitt students are commuters ?

    There-in lies one of the major problems with a lot of this other stuff we hark on about endlessly.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Stan Savron today said that while all athletes are offered 4 year scholarships, only one year is actually guaranteed! I did not know that. It seems very unfair to the athlete! Thus, the transfer portal was invented to give jocks the same leverage. What a mess.

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    1. Stan is off on that. Universities are able to now offer a full 4 years at once if they want, called multi-year scholarships. This is a recruiting advantage for the larger schools. If I recall it was in the early 2010’s when this came into play. Pitt probably keeps to the 1 year renewables to capitalize on their stupidity. They can also offer one year deals. More flexibility with scholarships now.

      Nardstop “son, i would like to offer you a one year guaranteed scholarship to come to Pitt and play for mediocrity”. Recruit…”hymmmphhh! Urban to same recruit “Son, I will offer you a four year guaranteed contract to come to OSU”. Recruit…..where do i sign?

      Universities do not offer an 8 year plan, although Tre Tipton might end up with that…. kidding!

      Too bad we couldn’t be on a year to year with Nardstop and Felton.

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      1. Give it break will you Huff III. You don’t like the guy and you make some dumb a** comments about him all the time. NOTE: Pitt has been very generous with recruits that haven’t qualified medically allowing them to continue on scholarship all 4 years. I haven’t seen too many of Narduzzi’s team transferring out have you. And my guess is that if they playing under the one year scholarship rule many would be leaving for greener pastures as Narduzzi kick their as*** out the door.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @jrn – read the prior comment wherein dan indicated that stan savran said pitt offers only one year deals. Stan was wrong and I pointed that out. 4 year schollies were allowable in 2012-13. I couldnt remember the exact year when i posted, but was close, after checking this morning. I have learned not to like Nardstop after observing for six years. Actually, after year 1, I pushed for him to be extended an additional year (+1). I took heat for that when I typed it. So, if you are going to criticize, make sure you have your history correct.

          That said, Nardstop hasn’t improved in his coaching decisions, recruiting, and the trajectory of the program, unless a straightline across the spreadsheet, is improvement.

          Pitt honoring scholarships for medical disqualifications is no different than other schools. So many think that Pitt takes the honorable way in all things sports, when in fact, they are just the same. Good grief!

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  21. From Pantherlair: Pitt added to its 2021 roster on Friday morning as Hawaii wide receiver transfer Melquise Stovall chose the Panthers for his final collegiate season. He checks in at 5’9″ and 190-pounds and has one year to play. Stovall has played the past two seasons at the University of Hawaii and totaled 49 catches in two years for the Rainbow Warriors, including 31 receptions for 232 yards this past season.

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    1. Sounds like 7.4 yards a reception in that league. Recalculated. Sounds like 7.4 yards per catch in all leagues.

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    2. 7 yards per catch avg, will certainly fit in…with Whipple’s 3 yard passing offense scheme.

      he might be our ‘long threat’. haha

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Man, I’m still trying to forget about the Aluminum Foil.

      How about telling the youngsters how fast cars rusted out in the seventies or how many flat tires you changed as a kid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my early ‘beaters’ was a Datsun B210. Omg, that thing was a total rust bucket. Came with air-conditioning via the floor boards. Of course I only paid $300 for it. Surprised i didn’t die in it, cause I drove it on the Turnpike a lot between Exit 4 and Exit 8.

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          1. Pretty much with the brakes( i know i never had the pads replaced).
            After a while it had no ‘Reverse’ gear…so you had to park it, so you
            could get out of the spot,…..going forward.

            Which made it a challenge parking in the city.

            I also broke my right wrist severely playing basketball when i had this car and it had a 5 speed stick.
            So you had to use your left hand across your lap to shift it.
            I got so good at that, I could also eat a BK Double Cheeseburger & Fries while driving.

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      2. A friend had a Pinto – I think 80 percent of the body was body-puffy… I had an old Maverick with serious rust…

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        1. I had a 64 Dodge Dart Convertible w 89,000 miles on it.
          Bought it for $450. In my Sophmore year Exon Reps were on Campus and somehow I got an ESSO card which I ran up $1000s of dollars hand replacing every part on the engine and brakes. Took me years to pay off.

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  22. Be interesting to see how the colleges with lost of commuters have similar problems to Pitt. And of course since they are usually in major cities, they have to compete for the entertainment dollar with
    the various Pro Sports teams in their cities.

    Off the top of my head.

    Temple, GT, Miami, BC, UCLA, Minnesota (Minneapolis), Maryland (DC), NC State (Raleigh), TCU (Dallas)
    Buttgers (NYC), Northwestern, Cal-Berkeley, USC, AZ State, Vanderbilt.

    Not exactly a consistent Top 20 football or basketball list.

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  23. Seems like a guy you bring in for insurance purposes in case someone gets hurt. And maybe there is an unused scholarship available. Doe anyone know what happened to that big OL that failed to sign with Pitt at the last minute? Did he ever land somewhere?

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  24. 5’9″ & 190, and from out West. Exact same size as former Pitt WR Rafael Arujo-Lopes.

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  25. I’m so excited!! One of my favorite PITT seasons has returned. (MFPR) Make Fun of PITT Recuits. Now comes my chance while convalescing here in front of my CPU at home to read non-stop criticism of every PITT recruit that commits to the team.

    John (M&M) mentions DJ Gordon from last year. It would be a real hoot to go back and read what was said the day he committed to PITT? Turns out to be a real good get! It’s easy to separate PITT fans, just look for comments willing to rip apart a college football player they have never even heard of.

    Liked by 8 people

  26. GC – you got me thinking some more about the 50s and early 60s. When I was like 9 – 10 – 11, I remember playing summer pick-up games all day long. Sometimes going to a field to play baseball; sometimes playing wiffle-ball at the local playground.

    What I remember is having a blast all day long, but then on Little League game evenings, going home to suit-up for the game. At that point, all of a sudden there was some tension and nerves and I didn’t want to screw up. It was still fun, but not the pure joy of the pickup games…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John, I remember getting up early to get to the ball field before the big kids showed up, got to play a few innings until they arrived, when they went home for lunch played a few more. After a couple of years of this you were one of the first nine picked, a couple years later you were doing the picking. Remember tossing the bat, then hand over hand to decide who picked first. All day long for many years.

      The problem with organized ball back then was the favoritism of the coaches to their sons and son’s friends, until you got good enough that it really didn’t matter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hand over hand until the strategy of the scissor/two finger approach took over,,,,to set up the hand over hand…..hahaha, good stuff!

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    2. From 8 years old until 12, we played played pick up baseball all day and like you MM, went home to change for Little League at night. Played for S Whitehall up thru Legion Ball and then played for Mt Washington as they needed a relief pitcher in their Legion Tourney run. We played the final game of the Tourney at Forbes Field. I was in awe just walking on that field! One of the greatest thrills of my life. Got in for 2 innings and didn’t pitch badly.
      Got to bat once and tried to hit one out of the park to the short R Field porch. Hit a long foul ball that hit top row seat of stands. I can still hear it bouncing down all the empty sections echoing all over. Like you MM, first game in Little League the tension was far different than pick up games.

      MM who did you play for growing up?

      GC thanks for the memories!

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      1. Good stuff, Dan.

        I grew up on Mt. Washington. Actually the western end or Duquesne Heights. Played Pony and High School games at Olympia Park. I played one year of Legion ball for Mt. Washington, then went off to play for the Little Pirates. That was quite a step up.

        Played some games in Forbes Field and agree with you on how awesome that was. The perfect flatness of the infield and outfield grass struck me – Fran could have made 20-foot putts on that grass.

        On the Little Pirates, we wore old Pirate uniforms and we used old Pirate bats. Pretty awesome. I remember loving Jose Pagan’s bat…

        While at Pitt, I played for St. John’s in the Federation League. Some excellent competition in that league then.

        Go Pitt.

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        1. Wonder if we played on that same Mt Wash team at Forbes. They had a great catcher, that’s all I can remember. I think it was an All Star team…legion. Pitched BP a few times for St Johns. Had a good friend , Don Castelli, who was the left fielder. Their home park was oblong with a short RField and a long LField. Don hit a homer that night to left. Warmed up the pitcher who threw +90 mph fastballs. Had to borrow a cup. By then I’d blown my left ACL and couldn’t play at all. Loved the Federation League!

          John, you must have been a hell of a player! Great memories. Thank God you didn’t play for Mt Lebanon! Had my worst game ever against. them Colt League playoffs. And Baldwin never beat them in football in my years playing.

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          1. Dan & Major- was Don Castelli related to Joe Castelli from USC. Great baseball family. Castelli Sr was my coach. We all did the Little Dodgers route. Same concept as little pirates. Fun times!

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  27. If you want to make yourself sick watch “Varsity Blues: the College Admissions Scandal” on Netflix. Ever wonder why colleges have so many walk-ons who never play? Here is the answer.

    Pitt carries 117 kids on roster this year but it is an exception due to Covid. Most years we carry between 105-110 with only 85 on scholarship. I still have not figured out if Pitt has separate admissions preferences for athletes?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Pitt baseball losing to VT in the 8th inning 3-1

    Pitt is ranked #2 in the RPI with VT at #50

    Disappointing day with the bats.

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    1. Pitt baseball lost 5-1

      The Hokies were the much better team against Pitt’s best starter.

      Our starter only gave up 2 runs – the bullpen was the weak link along with the silent bats.

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  29. Pitino is one of the few coaches who could win a championship, but at what cost? It would be a race to see what happens first, a championship or NCAA probation…

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    1. If HCJC left, I’d support a Ricky hire.
      Why?
      Because I’d remember the championship forever but forget the sanctions the next day.

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      1. Pitino would not come to Pitt with a tattletale AD. Very similar to sitting head coaching candidates staying away from Pederson after Wannberger. AD’s matter to winning coaches.

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  30. I guess my response is more about how I became a Pitt student (being a fan came directly from that). I grew up in WV. Yes, a hoopie to all of you. I knew I didn’t want to go to that school in Morgantown. I disliked most of my classmates (except a few) and wanted to have a chance to be my own person. It just seemed like Morgantown would be an extension of high school. My best friend and I were looking for a good college / university we could both attend, be roommates, and be far enough from our parents to have some freedom. We both received invitations to visit Pitt. I did a little research and saw that it was a pretty good school and about 3 1/2 hrs away. Sounded pretty good. We both got in and became roommates freshman year. It wasn’t until then that I realized the rivalry there was with WV. I kinda hated it because we (Pitt) were really bad in the early 90s. Much, much more to this story, but that’s for another time.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Shaka to Marquette. I’m glad he at least was allowed to find a job before being forced to resign. I think he just had one year left on his contract.

    Petino would win a NC at Texas. He’s unethical. Immoral. But a great basketball coach. Texas would need to set out certain rules and watch him closely. No slip ups on morality.

    But I’d make that hire. I want to win.

    Like

    1. True story: My college roommate at Pitt is the current President/Chancellor of Marquette. They are very happy to get Shaka Smart.

      Like

      1. Wow. And they should be. Shaka is a decent guy and above average coach. For whatever reason he just couldn’t get over the jump at Texas. I commend Texas ad conte for setting him up and a graceful exit. Unlike what Cornhole did to Wanny.

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  32. “Since kids no longer grow up playing sports unless their parents take them to organized activities, it will be harder to grow a fan base that identify with athletes.”

    You are spot-on here, Gordon! My boy is age 12 and couldn’t be less interested in organized activities. It kills me daily. Seriously.

    Like

    1. It will be harder for sure but not impossible. Pitt however has no plan. Again, like I’ve said countless times, pitt needs to understand English football. When they do, they will have loyal supporters regardless of record.

      Like

    1. Reed definitely does his part but commenters, those brave souls, are the engine. As well as those publishers of some very good articles.

      Tex takes a bow and salutes others.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. The other problem with organized sports is that they aren’t free, if you have ever paid for “travel teams” you know what I mean. This certainly limits the number of kids playing.

    Like

    1. In Europe, they have academies. The clubs identify talent and buy your rights. Even here in the states it’s that way for soccer. No reason why universities can’t do that for football. Set up a Panther academy. University pays for it. Pitt then owns you unless you’re loaned away.

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    1. I agree, Gordon. The only down side to me is the final round. Having one pair play for the championship and another pair play for 3rd/4th place leaves a lot of dead time during the broadcast. You really appreciate the normal broadcast jumping from one hole to the other in quick succession when you have talking heads droning on and on to fill in the time it takes for these guys to walk to their ball and prepare for their next shot. One of the reasons I never liked the made for TV matches like Woods/Mickelson. You have to really be into golf to not be bored out of your mind by those broadcasts.

      Like

  34. Hawai’i transfer:

    https://triblive.com/sports/pitt-secures-commitment-from-hawaii-transfer-wide-receiver-melquise-stovall/?utm_source=second-street&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Triblive+-+Daily+Sports+Email

    Huh, third best receiver from a 5-4 Mountain West team, 5’9″ and best buddies with an first time, unproven P5 WR coach.

    24/7 has listed him as the 169th (not kidding) ranked WR in this year’s portal.

    Not all that impressed

    OK! Here we go!!

    Like

    1. This guy is well travelled. It looks like his best year was as a freshman at Cal.
      He should help if he stays healthy.

      Like

    1. That’s how I read it Richard. **** four star! But, I can’t remember if Stoval is a PITT anyways? He’s a transfer so PITT did not recruit him, I think that’s the way it goes?

      Also, I understand Mel was 6’3″ when Cal lured him there? Apparently you shrink a couple of inches when committing to a non-perennial powerhouse.

      Not sure but I think I just saw Darrin Hall dash by the house running at the speed of light.

      Like

      1. Ike – He’s a transfer. Believe for only one year. Great 2016 true freshmen year at Cal. Injured & redshirt for 2017. At a Calififornia CC in 2018. Have no reason why he went to CC. Grades at Cal? Coaching change at Cal? Some other reason? To Hawaii in 2019. That’s where the Rivals 2-star comes into play. Both Rivals & 24/7 rank (rerank) out of JUCO,

        I have some concern because Hawai’i HC coach (Dan Radakovich) kicked him off the team mid season in 2019. Todd Graham put him back on team in 2020. But our new coach & Pitt’s compliance department must have vetted him.

        I thought that was Darrin Hall running down my road when I was doing my first lawn mowing of the 2021 season mowing season. He is FAST.

        Hope you are doing well. If everything goes as planned, I want to attend a Pitt home game Sept./Oct.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. So he is 23 years old born Jan 1998.
      I don’t think he is nearly as fast as Q but at 190 lbs. should be able to break some tackles.

      Like

  35. Howard Schnellenberger passed away at 87. The winning coach in perhaps the biggest upset and one of best college games ever. Also, saw a gamer at QB in Youngstown native, Bernie Kosar, who Sherrill wouldn’t offer.

    That decision set up Miami to have its great run in the 1980s, while Pitt had no QB and stumbled the rest of the way.

    Like

  36. Once again I tried to post a comment with a link to an article and this system blocked my post. So I will try to make the point without the link.

    Those who say they would be okay with Pitt breaking rules or risking punishment if it meant winning more games or championships should read an article in USA Today titled, “Grandmother harassed by then-LSU player Derrius Guice claims Ed Orgeron lied to investigators”.

    It details how the LSU coaches and administration managed to keep their running back eligible to play despite 4 different reports of sexual assault or harassment being filed against him. I know some will say that is not the level of violation they are talking about. But I don’t have a hard time seeing a program go to that level once you start down that win-at-any-cost road.

    The situation at LSU is reminiscent of the info that emerged in the PSU scandal regarding Sandusky. It even references a time when LSU’s general counsel stated that the player could not be disciplined by the school because he was no longer enrolled as a student. Yet he was still allowed to play in their bowl game thereafter. Reminded me of Paterno allowing Anwar Phillips to play in their bowl game after he was expelled by the university weeks earlier. Paterno rationalized that technically the expulsion went into effect at the beginning of the next semester, therefore Phillips could play.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. While those examples are pretty repulsive, people don’t think about this stuff when you’re winning games. If Pitt was really good would fans not cheer a touchdown because of negative press that was reported four months prior?

      Just like Pitt’s administration moved past the professor who killed his wife yet thinks athletic success without honor would kill its academic brand.

      Like

    2. Farmers, i think you may have gone too far with what the masses are saying here about breaking the rules. Covering up felonies is typically not part of the recruiting process where coaches tell parents and players that if you come here you can rape and pillage, no problem. That was a bit extreme. Sexual Assault coverup is never a part of a recruiting strategy.

      What lsu and dairy high did was criminal. I also don’t think win at any cost means what lsu and dairy did. I also don’t think anyone here has said “”win at any cost”. Those are dramatic representations. Just my opinion on terminology.

      Like

    3. There’s cheating and then there’s criminality. Nobody on here supports that. That’s why if Pitts car thief is guilty, he should go to jail. But Pitt handled that so wrong. Kids just been charged. Not convicted. Although there appears to be a damning case.

      Like

  37. PITT can’t cheat, they would never pull it off without major repercussions and suspensions. << This is good right? PITT has not gained the right of passage it takes to be known as big-time cheaters.

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    1. Pitt would come down harder on pitt than the NCAA. That’s the truth.

      I say throw all the buns out at pitt and hire some people who know sports and business.

      Otherwise you got stable mediocrity. Hamburger instead of steak.

      Like

  38. Back in from mowing and I have a follow up comment on the LSU article I referenced earlier. Certainly the player is a scumbag and most likely a criminal. But reading the article, the coverup went up and down the gamut of LSU employees. Not just the coaches and athletic administrators but the Title IX staff and the university attorneys. How does that happen? Did they hire nothing but shady people? Probably not. I just think that when you allow a culture of cheating, looking the other way, covering up, doing what you have to to gain an edge, etc., it starts to turn otherwise honest, decent people into willing accomplices. And LSU and PSU are not the only two by a long shot. Just a matter of degree.

    Like

    1. There are two schools that need heather. Michigan state and LSU. She’s a better fit for Sparty though.

      Pitt doesn’t need her. Pitt self reports and gets two sports on probation. Even when Pitt cheats, they lose. Pitt is far harder on coaches than the ACC or NCAA. That’s why Pitt is toxic to very good coaching candidates.

      Like

      1. Plus coaches know Pitt isn’t committed to winning in bigtime sports . Mediocrity or worse yes.

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        1. They will be committed when they don’t play in a rental stadium. When they have a guy as AD who knows football. Because he’s played the sport, or been involved in the pro administration and management. When Pitt cheats big time and not small time. When Pitt takes control of the media narrative. When Pitt makes a big push for boosters and gives them influence. When Pitt hires a real coach. When Pitt is held accountable for performance and financials. Heather is perfect for risk adverse Pitt and the mission statement.

          Like

  39. PG Jordan Goldwire of Duke has hit The Portal. And he would be eligible immediately.

    Perhaps Capel helped to recruit him to Duke and has some rapport with the kid. And can strike gold.

    Like

  40. Some of these players are only in The Portal for an hour and even less and they’re signed by another
    school.

    Almost reeks of tampering. But I guess anything goes now. As it does elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of duds in that list. Wahab is the best of the lot.

      Parker Stewart is back in The Portal. Let’s see if I can remember all the teams he’s been on already.

      Pitt
      Tennessee-Martin
      Indiana
      ?

      The next school will be his 4th. Kid appears to care not where he goes or gets a degree from.

      Poster Child for The Portal ?

      Like

      1. Give the young man a break.He started at Pitt, coach fired, goes to Tennessee-
        Martin to play for his dad. His dad dies unexpectedly and he is a grad transfer to Indiana with a bachelor’s degree and an MBA. Archie gets fired so now he is looking again.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Lots of players Pitt should go after. Many have two or three years of eligibility left.

      Like

  41. Pitt baseball on a down slide – losing 8-1 in the 9th – the scored 3 non-conciquencial runs to lose 8-4

    Bad showing at home.

    Series lose too…

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    1. Loss not lose

      Bummer of a series – maybe our 3rd starter can salvage a game.

      Knocked out of 1st place in the Coastal – maybe knocked from the top 25 too

      If you see kay –

      Like

      1. They are one school who certainly benefited from the breakup of the old BigEast.
        Glad Baylor took em out.

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  42. Swimming championships concluded in North Carolina. Pitt finished around 35 last I checked. It had two all Americans. So I’d say this program is another above mediocre. Solid yet unspectacular. Too bad they swim in a cesspool.

    Men’s did not finish the season well since it was ranked early on this season but slipped at the end. Poor performance at ACCs as well. Not sure why.

    Unlike the women’s volleyball team who started slow but are extremely hot right now. The one team you don’t want to meet in the playoffs. Could this year be the year fisher gets past the first round.

    Baseball is just revertimg to the mean. The consensus was an outside shot at a regional but unlikely. They need to go back on the road.

    And which school won a swimming championship for the 15th time?

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    1. “Too bad they swim in a cesspool.”
      What is wrong with you, man? At one time Trees was world class. It is FAR FROM BEING A CESSPOOL, TX Panther.
      Lyke cannot rebuild each and every facility, and as long as that pool holds water, it’s staying put.
      Please update on the conditions which you refer to, but almost certainly have zero firsthand accounts to reference and report.
      Do you even swim? Def not competitively.

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      1. You been to trees lately. My aqua center in town is better. You really need to come down to Texas to see how we build things. Trees was modern 70 years ago.

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      2. She can prioritize. She’d rather build an indoor track than outdoor. Would rather build a separate stand alone lacrosse field than a hockey rink. Not even modernize to the 21st century and beyond trees Hall. She’s a fool.

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  43. I bring this all up (and yes it bears repeating) because heather promised us fans championships.

    Excellence across secondary sports. A unconventional bottoms up approach.

    I’m holding her accountable based on results. The performances speak for themselves.

    A solid or stable program is not excellence. Finishing near the bottom of the conference is not winning championships.

    We are now going on year 5. The AD isn’t new anymore. Year 8 of the ACC. No more honeymoon or grace period. That’s long over.

    And remember most of Pitts programs were very stable heading into the ACC. And already had the facilities. Pitt would not have been invited otherwise.

    When am I going to see some hardware in that trophy case?

    Like

  44. Pitt baseball losing the final game of the 3 game series with VT.

    The hokies are going for the sweep with 8 freshmen in their batting line-up.

    Sad…slide

    Like

    1. Seems similar to the football team for a while now. As soon as they get ranked…..can’t handle it and
      take a tumble.

      Seems to be a common theme in Pitt sports, the volleyball team was highly ranked and tanked in the Tournament very early. Even playing at home.

      Reminded me of the one year we were a #1 seed in hoops and lost in the 2nd round.

      Like

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