Reliving the ACC Championship

by Eric Wassel

Ed: As we head into the Christmas break, I wanted to put some universal good vibes out there. Eric Wassel (Missing WLAT) was in Charlotte for the championship game, and the experience inspired him to write a piece. He submitted it right after the game, but there was so much news that we weren’t able to immediately publish it. Here it is, in full. For those that went it’s a great chance to relive a memory. For those that couldn’t attend, it’s a great firsthand account of the goings-on. Merry Christmas everybody!

– Michaelangelo

The Tale of a Championship, by Missing WLAT

I had decided before Pitt played Virginia for the Coastal title, that if our Panthers won and advanced to the ACC championship game in Charlotte, I was going to attend. Like many of you. I consider myself a long-suffering Pitt fan. However, when the Panthers won the National Championship in 1976, I was only six years old. As I have mentioned here before, I actually rooted for Penn State as a kid (sorry Erie Express), because my uncle played football there in the late 1960s.

This makes me different than many of you in the sense that I’ve essentially never seen Pitt football win anything. My dedication to Pitt really started in 1988 when I enrolled as a student. 

Think about what Pitt has (not) accomplished since 1988. Mike Gottfried had a couple of good seasons before conflict with administration caused him to leave. Paul Hackett and Johnny Majors II/Back to the Future, were both a disaster. 

Walt Harris resurrected the football program from the ashes, but other than seemingly dominating Virginia Tech, the most he accomplished was getting us to a Fiesta Bowl with a weak 8 and 3 record. We proceeded to get crushed by Urban Meyer, Alex Smith and Utah.

Dave Wannstedt appeared to have the program headed in the right direction. The mystery remains as to whether the program would have achieved greater heights had he been allowed to stay. Regardless, Steve Pedersen wanted him to be gone, and so he was. But not before Mardy Gilyard and Cincinnati crushed our souls in the 2009 Big East Championship Game at Heinz Field.

How about I add the debacle of hiring Mike Haywood, Todd Graham leaving after one year, or Paul Chryst seemingly doing the same. 

Did I mention that they tore Pitt Stadium down?

In less than 400 words, I think I’ve painted the picture of my experience as a Pitt football fan. In one simple word: misery. That all changed, thanks to one beautiful weekend in Charlotte.

It’s not like the last seven years under Coach Narduzzi has given us excessive promise. Prior to this magical season, the bulk of the POV not named Ike would admit that while some progress had been achieved, the program has appeared to be stuck in neutral. As Reed has so often correctly pointed out, the program has been mostly devoid of any stars capable of propelling our Panthers to the top of the ACC, let alone the national rankings. Recruiting has been mediocre.

 I won’t rehash the many disappointing defeats during the Narduzzi tenure. That could be an article of its own. Zero bowl victories of any consequence, unless you are counting that monumental win over Eastern Michigan in 2020. I don’t.

So was I excited to be heading to Charlotte to see Pitt play in the ACC championship game? Does Richman like beer? Does Erie Express have a standing tee time on Sundays in June? Does UPitt have an infatuation with the color of Heather Lyke’s blouse? I could hardly contain myself in the days leading up to my departure. I wasn’t even put off by the fact that due to ongoing problems with the airlines, my best choice was to make the nine hour drive from Wilkes-Barre.

I arrived in Charlotte on the afternoon on Friday December 3. My feelings could best be summed up by saying that I was very excited, but also very nervous. Would it be SOP? I would be lying if I told you that in the days and hours leading up to kickoff, on numerous occasions I found myself thinking about the various ways that Pitt could find a way to lose. I’d imagine that many of my POV brethren were feeling exactly the same way.

As I sit here typing this article, I can say that ultimately there was not one disappointing thing about the entire weekend. I’d like to share with POV nation the sights and sounds of ACC Championship weekend. Not only did Pitt dominate the football game, Pitt fans took over the city of Charlotte.

We arrived at our hotel late in the afternoon on Friday. After getting checked in we headed out towards downtown Charlotte, went a little further south and reached our evening destination: Brewers. Brewers was one of several bars and restaurants in a very large complex. It had been selected in advance as the location of a “bar takeover” for Pitt fans.

This event had been organized by Jeff Ferruzza, a great guy who organizes a Facebook group called Pitt Panthers Fanatics. Upon arrival, my family quickly located top five POV celebrity and host of the now famous Red 5A tailgate, lastrowofsection4 (Fran Lokar). Joining Fran at Brewers was fellow Red 5A stalwart, Scooter.

Fran and Scooter proudly reported that they had arrived at Brewers at around 2:00 p.m. that afternoon. My arrival wasn’t until close to 7:00 p.m., so use your own imagination as to the condition of these two fine gentlemen. Shortly after my arrival, Big B (Bernie Blystone) and his wife Jeannie B joined the party.

I would estimate the size of the crowd at Brewers to be around 300 or so. I’d say 95% of the crowd was dressed in Pitt colors, and the atmosphere was terrific. (What immediately came to my mind was the post-game party at an Irish bar in New York City when Pitt won its first Big East Basketball  Championship in 2003.) Food and drinks were aplenty, as were numerous chants of “Let’s go Pitt”. A trio of stringed instruments played “Sweet Caroline” several times, and the vocal cords of the Pitt faithful got stretched out in advance of Saturday’s big game.

Non-POV media celebrities in attendance included Bill Hillgrove, Andrew Stockey and Paul Zeise. Also present were former Pitt players Mike McGlynn and Dorin Dickerson. 

On Saturday morning we headed into town to the ACC Championship Fan Fest, held approximately one block from the Bank of America Stadium at Romare Bearden Park. (Notably, Truist Field, home of the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball team was adjacent. It’s right downtown and is considered one of the best minor league parks in the country). 

Upon arrival at Fan Fest, one thing was abundantly clear, Pitt fans were out in force. I would estimate the crowd at the Fan Fest to be at least 10 to one in favor of Pitt. While mindful that most Pitt travelers stayed overnight on Friday while many Wake Forest fans made a day trip on Saturday, it was still a very impressive showing by the Pitt faithful. Lots of fun and games were available for young and old. There was an ACC mascot competition which unquestionably was won by Roc the Panther. Alcohol was available for purchase. The Pitt Band and cheerleaders made an appearance. A stunned Wake Forest fan was heard to ask the question: “Where is the Wake Forest event?”.

I ran into Richman (Rich Tencza) at this event and then headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch. Not to my surprise, the restaurant was filled with Pitt fans. Unfortunately, by heading to lunch, I missed Dr. Tom (Thomas Richards), who arrived at the Fan Fest shortly after my departure. Apparently, I also missed former Pitt tight end Scott Orndorff, who posed for a picture with Dr. Tom. 

Our next stop on Championship Saturday was at the “Relocated to Charlotte Red 5A tailgate”. This party was hosted by “Friends of Richman”, Thad and Dana Christian. I knew that I liked Dana right away when: 1) She served me AWESOME barbecue from world-famous Lexington BBQ, and 2) She told me that her kids were not allowed to apply to Penn State. We ate and drank, and of course, listened to Big B talk everyone’s ears off. 

Our final pre-game function started at 5:30 (on the dot) at the Pitt Alumni Pre-Game Party/Tailgate. This event was held in the Carolina Panthers Atrium Health Dome. This facility was essentially attached to the stadium and serves as the Carolina Panthers indoor practice field. The reason I mentioned “on the dot”, is because fans were lined up outside the doors of the Dome for at least an hour before the scheduled start time of 5:30, and they would not open the doors even a minute early.

Accordingly, by the time the event began, there was a line that was at least 1/2 mile long (not kidding), and the people at the end of the line didn’t make it through security for at least 45 minutes. I’m not sure if this was a failure on the part of Pitt or if the security company was to blame, but it was a mess.

Once inside, the setup was very nice, as the photos below will attest. the band made a brief appearance before it had to head over to the Stadium. There was a DJ spinning tunes, and Sweet Caroline was played at least once. The turnout for this event was fantastic, sold out with approximately 1500 people. 

There was a half-sized football field, including an end zone, of about 60 yards. Nearly every square inch of the inside was covered by the seating area for Pitt fans, food displays and portable bars. I wasn’t expecting a gourmet meal, but regarding the food, let’s just say I’ll have no comment.

At various points during the two hours of this event, chants of “Let’s Go Pitt” broke out. The event was well organized and run efficiently. There were two enormous televisions against the side of the Dome that were playing the Pitt soccer game. My only other observation was that this was a Pitt Alumni event for a championship football game, and I did not see one former player or notable alumnus in attendance.

I can’t imagine that it would have been difficult to arrange to have a few former players in the house. At 7:00 p.m., we made the short five-minute walk to the Stadium.

Of course, every last one of you who are reading this article watched the game. I did watch a replay of it when I got home. I can tell you that the television broadcast did not do any justice to how tremendous the Pitt fans were at Bank of America Stadium last Saturday night. The announced attendance was just under 60,000 fans (unlike when the Pitt athletic department counts attendance, this number appeared to be legitimate). I would estimate that 35,000 of the fans we’re supporting Pitt and of those 35,000, nearly every single one of them were wearing the new colors. It sounded like 60,000. It was a sight to behold. 

The Pitt Band was seated in a rectangular area directly behind the goalpost, facing in my general direction. The Band created a big part of the energy. As my daughter, a Pitt Engineering student, so eloquently stated, “Our band could eat their band four times”. This was true, as the Wake Forest band seemingly was the size of a mid-sized high school band from Western Pennsylvania.

I’ll make a quick comment about the Wake Forest fans. The entire weekend I observed only one negative interaction between Pitt fans and a group of Wake Forest fans. I observed this after the game. We had a few Wake Forest fans in our section, and they were fairly quiet. Multiple Pitt fans did comment, and I also observed, that the Wake Forest fans would start loud chants at times when Pitt players were injured on the field.

I witnessed this situation first hand many years ago when Pitt played Duke at Madison Square Garden and Mike Cook tore his ACL. I thought that the conduct of the Duke fans was classless then, and felt the same way about the behavior of the Wake Forest fans on Saturday night. (Side note: Levance Fields’ 3 point shot at the buzzer to win that Pitt-Duke Basketball game remains one of my five favorite Pitt memories of all time).

Nervous energy settled in at the start of the game, and the stadium was briefly quiet. But a single 58 yard touchdown run by Kenny Pickett changed that in a hurry. To say that the stadium was in a frenzy at the conclusion of the “fake slide” play is an understatement.

The juices were flowing at that point and for the most part the Pitt fans remained engaged through the remainder of the game. The fans especially came alive in the second half following the interceptions by A.J. Woods and Eric Hallett (whose family was sitting in the row directly behind us). MissingWlat correctly predicted that Hallett would win the MVP trophy, and I could not have been happier for his mom.

To my surprise, arrangements were made for Sweet Caroline to be played at the beginning of the fourth quarter. I can tell you that the Wake Forest fans likely thought that whoever was in charge of entertainment at Bank of America Stadium likely was just a Neil Diamond fan.

It wasn’t until the “Lets Go Pitt” part, until they realized how outnumbered they were. Somebody told me after the game that some Wake Forest song was played after Sweet Caroline, but candidly I didn’t notice.

A special moment for all in attendance came when, once the game was decided, Kenny Pickett was able to take a curtain call. The offense went out on the field with Kenny under center, and after one running play a timeout was called. Kenny came off the field to the raucous cheers of the fans as well as the hugs from his teammates and coaches. It was a very special moment for Kenny Pickett, his family and for all of the Pitt fans in attendance.

After the clock hit double zeros, celebration of the Pitt fans was just beginning. The on-field presentation of the ACC Championship Trophy was pretty standard, but for those of us Pitt fans who had never witnessed it in person, it could have gone on all night. It was all smiles for the players as the confetti filled the sky.

For all of the criticism that Pat Narduzzi receives here on the POV, I legitimately believe that he cherishes his association with the University of Pittsburgh, and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The first words out of his mouth at the trophy presentation ceremony were “Hail to Pitt”, and you could tell that he meant it. 

At the end of the trophy presentation ceremony, Sweet Caroline was played again, and this time the players joined in and sang along with the fans. It was priceless.

My family returned to the parking area where we were joined by Big B, AtlantaPanther (Doug Mundrick) and JoeL (Joe Lawrence). Along the way back, more “Let’s Go Pitt” chants were heard, and Pitt fans remained loud without anyone being destructive. Somehow in all of the madness, I ran into Dr. Tom and BigB. 

Celebratory beverages were consumed when we got back to the parking lot, as Atlanta Panther broke open a bottle of Crown Royal (my chest is still burning). To sum up the feeling of those in attendance, JoeL turned to me and said, “SOP is no more”. He could not have been more correct. By this time it was well after 1a.m., and despite still having some adrenaline and thinking about finding a bar, we decided to call it a night.

I attended the game with my wife, my son and my in-laws. My father-in-law has been a Pitt season ticket holder since the mid 1970s. Over 45 years. He is still in good health, but how does anyone really know how many more years he’s going to be able to make the trip to see Pitt games? For him, it was a very special weekend. Both he and my mother-in-law have thanked me many times since last Saturday. 

My daughter, who as mentioned above is a Pitt student, took the bus from Pittsburgh with other students. As luck would have it, she and a posse of students were seated eight rows in front of me. When my daughter chose Pitt Engineering over Clemson three years ago (true: those were her final two schools), I’m sure that she never thought she’d be celebrating an ACC football championship, after also defeating Clemson during the regular season.

My wife and I met at Pitt and have bled blue and gold together every Saturday during football season for over 25 years.

My son has applied to Pitt and is anxiously awaiting an acceptance letter. He also happens to own more Pitt clothing than the entire POV combined.

For me to have the opportunity, after over 30 years of disappointment as a Pitt football fan, to enjoy such a monumental victory with all my family present? I really cannot put that feeling into words.

And don’t think for a minute that I would forget to mention how great it was to be in Charlotte with some of the very best members of the POV. For those of you reading who have not yet made it to a Red 5A tailgate, you owe it to yourself to do so. They aren’t just passionate Pitt fans, they are special people.

I can attest to this personally, and cherish the support I received from many members of the POV as I searched for a kidney transplant donor and ultimately had my transplant surgery. As you know, our brother Ike, perhaps the most famous and popular POV celebrity of all, is currently fighting a personal health battle. He too would speak to the greatness of members of the POV who have been so encouraging to him.

Thank you to Richman, lastrowofsection4, BigB, Atlanta Panther, Al, Scooter, and Dr. Tom for making your way to Charlotte. It would not have been the same without you all.

Hail to Pitt!

242 thoughts on “Reliving the ACC Championship

  1. Missingwlat….that was great!!!! maybe you should have it published as a book or added to the PITT FB Vault as a new chapter….what a memory and glad we could be there to share that rarified air!!! The week-end SOP died- at least for the next several months….Let’s Go Nick!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We were honored to be in the presence of greatness in Charlotte with all you guys! And yes…even Richman! What a game what a trip. Glad you could make our last minute makeshift Lexington BBQ tailgate! Thanks for the shoutout! And my vintage 1987 Pitt Helmet Charlotte skyline pic made the blog! (I will not share the story on how i acquired that helmet…and game jersey LOL!)

    Thad and Dana Christian
    (And Hunter and Sierra and Gia)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Special thanks to Thad and Dana, you gave us our own little Red lot5A away from home. It was a great time. I played flip cup for my first time in like 30 years. And like my email would suggest, I WAS carrying that team. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Eric, a very descriptive and entertaining account from a true, long suffering Pitt fan. Thanks and please keep up the good work

    In the past 2 weeks, I have never seen Pitt gear being worn so much … Giant Eagle, Costco, liquor stores … you name it. I struck up a few conversations and ran into 3 different people who were in Charlotte, and all expressed what you did .. that it was a magic couple of days

    Just one issue … SOP is dead … hardly. Just wait until the next head scratching loss. Trust me

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. one special surprise from my vantage point sitting with the enemy on the visitors side- when PITT would score the band was miked and the music came out of speakers behind us…Loud and clear!!!….something Heather should think about-“Mike the band!”!!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Wonderful recap Eric, great writing. Wonderful that everyone is savoring the moment…who knows when it will happen again. Is anyone going to Atlanta next week? Does anyone know what bars the Pitt faithful will be at?

    This is my first bowl game and the first time the wife and I will have any alone time from a toddler in three years. Go Nick Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good call Biggie!

    SOP has been dead for a few years, it’s just some POVers just didn’t want to see it.

    Narduzzi’s biggest win so far at PITT? Showing himself to be a winner and holding himself and the PITT football team to those standards.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What do you call a 26-24 record over the previous four years and a 1-3 record in Bowl games?

      C’mon Ike, PN did great this season but let’s not act like he’s been a resounding success ever since he got here. Last season he was 6-5 and invited to a crap bowl that Pitt declined. So, yeah…give him a lot of credit for 2021 but take off your Pat Narduzzi autographed blinders sometimes.

      If I remember correctly you were pretty critical of King Pat at this time last year…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Why are we hung up on bowl game records?

        Most coaches have losing records in bowl games. Bo Schembechller lost his first seven and finished 5-12. Don Nehlan lost seven in a row at one point. Tom Osborne lost every bowl game from 1985-93 until he started to cheat his behind off. George Welsh was 4-8. Paul Hackett won his first and then we had a decade of incompetent leadership and a terrible product on the field.

        Most are nothing but exhibitions. Even this Peach Bowl is going to be a joke due to the opt outs.

        Pitt is going to be shuffling QBs most likely in this one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jackie was 4-1 in Bowl games. Losing the only one, where Pitt was disinterested.

          Gator, Fiesta, Gator, Sugar were the winners.


        2. Call me a mathematical failure, but doesn’t it seem to make sense that for every bowl loss, there is an equal and opposite bowl win for somebody. My sense is that the winners and losers will split at exactly 50%.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. My Friend Reed… The last four years you say? Narduzzi is 22-12 in conference play with two Coastal divisions titles. A little Christmas cherry picking maybe?

        Liked by 6 people

      3. Wow, Reed. How often does a new coach immediately turn a loser into a winner? Plus, his system certainly did not fit with what he inherited. I think that the question (to answer) is are we heading in the right direction and can we maintain it? I say Yes.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the entertaining article. Great to get the perspective from the ground to understand how great the crowd and experience was.

    Watching the game on TV was marred by the inept TV coverage and commentators – never got a good sense of the impact the Pitt crowd had on the game.

    (Though after listening intently to the in depth expert psychoanalytical coverage of the WF QB, I did take and pass the Psychiatric Boards.)

    Merry Christmas to all!


    Liked by 5 people

    1. Tommymac, just about all the great announcers are “dearly departed” with no big talent appearing to bein the pipeline..really sad ….as for me I am hanging on to Bill Hillgrove for as long as I can….Some of the ole guys remember Ed Conway who was Bill’s predecessor…we are blessed to have Bill’s voice calling PITT games…he still gets my “blue and Mustard” juices flowing

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Great write up, Eric. I would say you shot 5 under par on this article! I imagine MM will be calling on you for an assist when family or work calls.

    I screwed up not making the drive to Charlotte for this spectacle! But I really enjoyed the telecast – and BTW, I thought the Carrick Elementary School announcing team performed remarkedly above their grade level. I’ll bet by the time they graduate college, they’ll make the Big Time (I should live so long!)

    I’ll be in Atlanta next week for the Peach Bowl – hope I didn’t choose the wrong game to attend!


  9. Thanks Eric for a great job summarizing one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had in my life. I attended with friends who I’ve loved for between 45-60 years and we all had a blast in Charlotte. Going to the Peach but frankly see it as a game where I will sit back and enjoy the experience win or lose (Sorry Reed, see it as an exhibition game and reward to the players not a measuring stick).

    I too would love to know if Pitt fans will be congregating at a specific bar in Atlanta if anyone has any info.


  10. Great write up neighbor. I consider anyone that lives in NE Pa to be a neighbor and living in Scranton qualifies I should think.—-Side Note: It looks like KP will be up un the booth next to our interim OC for the Peach Bowl listening to the calls and helping(at least I hope so) our OC with his in put from time to time. A classy move by Narduzzi IMO letting him accompany the team for the game on Pitt’s dime I’m sure.


    1. jrn: I’m practically a Scrantonian, I practice law in Pittston. Kinda sad that the NEPA Pitt Club has lost its juice. Happened under the watch of Steve Pederson. Not surprising.


  11. Eric, I loved this article. I’ve been a Pitt fan since I graduated in 1970 and experienced some of the good times.
    Your descriptions and pictures made my eyes misty. I envy those who made the trip. I would have gone if I hadn’t already booked a trip to Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great article….nice mentioning the Pitt Band. And how much energy they created,

    Too bad ABC/ESPN/disney was too busy telling us about Mental Health, for I can’t even remember
    a Pitt Band shot even once….during the game. it was like we didn’t have a band.

    A lousy lousy broadcast, which I was expecting. Rather would have had the ACCN broadcast it.


  13. I’m wondering how many feel like I do. In college football, I love the regular season but am indifferent about the bowls. Yet in college basketball, I pay very little mind in the season (except for Pitt) but love the NCAA tournament

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. when Pitt basketball was good/great, the season was great and the post season was almost greater,

      unfortunately always ALMOST 😦


  14. I’m thinking a Return Trip to Charlotte next year with the ACC player of the year again.

    And this time we beat up on Clemson… we did in the 1977 Gator Bowl and this year.

    Just to let them know…….Pitt is back !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We missed the anniversary of Johnny Majors signing a contract to takeover at Pitt and leading us out of the wilderness to National Champions. Dec. 18th was the day, in the year of 1972.. We should always celebrate that day.

    Johnny’s Record at Pitt in those 4 magical years was 33-13. Nice numbers are they not ?


  16. 5-7 Buttgers selected to play in the Gator Bowl. Wow….what a mockery,

    Absurd, lunacy……but fitting of the times.


  17. Juggs, when we return to Charlotte next year Scooter and I will be in our usual seats at Brewers by 2pm…and we will drive down again that same morning. 😎

    Eric, you hit a home run with this article buddy..
    I only have one word to say and I am stealing it from the great Tony Bruno…

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Short and to the > This is one of the VERY BEST articles about a Pitt game and the game experience that I have read on the POV or the Blather. The huge turnout of Pitt fans in Charlotte (health issues prevented me from visiting “The Queen City”) proves that the fanbase DOES EXIST!! It has taken 4 decades (A LOOOONG TIME) for all of us to truly hold our heads up high and shout//////
    HAIL TO PITT!!!!

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Also of some note to us Pittsburghers. On this date in History.

    The Immaculate Reception ……took place.

    The Immaculate Reception is one of the most famous plays in the history of American football. It occurred in the AFC divisional playoff game of the National Football League, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 23, 1972.

    So to recap…..Johnny Majors signs to come to Pitt on Dec. 18th, 1972.
    5 Days later, the play that changed the Steelers from perennial losers to perennial winners.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Wow, Eric, great write-up. Thank you for allowing us to share your experience vicariously. If we are lucky enough to get to Charlotte again I will have to find a way to go. Happy Holidays to all and Big B, I have mentioned miking up the band better in every Fan Experience survey I have completed!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Don’t know what any of this talk is about concerning Slovis not being able to scramble around.
    Check out the video.

    This guy is hardly a statue. He moves & scrambles when needed. lol

    And a bit of irony here…..his Freshman year, Slovis’s favorite Receiver was one Michael Pitt-MAN. ha
    Pittman had 101 Receptions for almost 1300 yards & 11 TD’s. He’s a starter for the Colts now.

    Now Slovis is a Pitt-Man. And he also had a TE named Jude Wolfe. too funny.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think he has NFL ability. The question is concerning his durability. I believe he’ll get a good looking over by scouts and GMs.


  22. Eric – Thanks for making me feel like I was there!

    Long ago and far away on a former Pitt Blog I posted this “ask” for our new coach.

    Stop losing to teams Pitt should easily beat.

    Develop a program …not just one big win.

    Finish in the top 15

    Go to a major bowl.

    I give Duzz a ton of credit for accomplishing three of these marks
    even tho it took 7 years. Most important is that Duzz has established a long term successful program with National Recognition.
    Wasn’t sure I’d ever see that again in my lifetime! This year, in a way, reminds me of 1975. We are on the verge of something very big!
    Now, if we can just stop losing that one game to a team we should easily beat! H2P

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Eric – thoroughly enjoyed your article, thank you for sharing your experiences. And the info about your father-in-law was awesome.

    Concerning the broadcast, I was disappointed that they didn’t show the parents of some of the Pitt players. I would have especially enjoyed seeing the reactions of KP’s parents. And Hallett’s Mom’s reactions would have been awesome.

    But not as awesome as the expression on Richman’s face in the POV-celebrities photo!

    Hail to Pitt!


      1. I saw that photo – neat that you were sitting nearby.

        Would have been great for the broadcast if they could have shown her delight…

        Go Pitt.


  24. ok, so not trying to put a wet blanket on things(Reed beat me to THAT anyway) but I’m just now thinking how the next 7-8 months plays out and the awful situation an article like this and Pitt football in total has created for nearly everyone here, right?

    i mean, how looong is this off-season going to feel with the reasonable expectations for what next year can be?

    Pitt basketball did that to me most every year of the Dixon era and for me some years were excruciating

    so, not that it will cure everything but but maybe better to hope for a painful bowl loss and then a quick return to the usual mediocre Pitt football next year so I won’t have to be tortured through the many long months of anxious anticipation I think we all are about to be forced to endure



  25. Fantastic write-up, Eric! Unlike something written by a reporter, this one obviously came from the heart. I didn’t just read it, I could feel it! Thanks for taking the time to write it and for sharing it.

    Liked by 7 people

  26. What a nice gift to unwrap for Xmas…thanks for getting it all down – and so eloquently – Eric.
    You really captured the essence of the experience!

    I too was overwhelmed by the turnout of Pitt fans…truly something to behold.
    A sea of blue…everywhere. And the noise, the noise….”Lets Go Pitt!” and the memorable “Ken-ny, Ken-ny” as he took his curtain call.

    Been to a lot of “coulda, woulda, shoulda” games and this time the team took care of business like no other in the past several years. That 4 hour drive home from Charlotte went by in a breeze. Seemed like every 10 minutes I saw another PItt fan heading north on I-85.

    BTW – the Wake Forest song was “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. Not gonna judge…. glass house theory.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After the game and maybe thruout the 4th Quarter….they should have been serenaded with Steely
      Dan’s….classic. ‘Deacon Blues’.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Eric – nice double Eagle with this article. Wish the Mrs. and I could have attended with yinz. Maybe next year.

    Go Pitt!


  28. Was sort of dreading opening up with WVCC next year. Now I’m looking forward to putting a good beatdown on the Hoopies.


  29. Probably the best article written here, ever. This just about sums up my feelings as a life long Panther fan, Pitt Band and CAS Alumni. Narduzzi, as we all love to hate him – he gets Pitt, and is fitting for Pitt, and I can only hope the program and all of Pitt continues in a positive trajectory. I was in Charlotte and loved it. I will be in Atlanta, and although we would all prefer to have Kenny at the reins, we are and always will be Pitt fans. That is why I never wavered on not making this trip. Once a Panther, always a Panther. H2P!

    Liked by 9 people

  30. Speaking of Pitt drama, think about this: how did you feel when we were quickly down 10-0 at UTenn? And then KP makes an amazing throw – while running to his right – which Stovall catches for a TD. Thus the magical season began…

    And then it culminated, surprisingly, not with drama but with a championship win so dominant that we had nothing to worry about for the last 10 minutes of the game!

    An amazing and satisfying season for Pitt fans!

    Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 9 people

  31. My hope with this article was to give those not in attendance a feel for how great the entire experience in Charlotte was. Seems like mission accomplished. I enjoyed every second that I spent writing it.

    I would add that I too encountered many Pitt fans along the highway as I made the 9 hour drive up I-77 and I-81. It was awesome.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all.


    Liked by 10 people

  32. Thanks for the great article, you captured the game vibe perfectly. I arrived on Saturday so I missed the Friday festivities, I will not make that mistake next year. The Alumni event was a good way to meet up before the game and meet with fellow POVerts and others. Agree on the food, at least the beverages were cold. On to Hotlanta! H2P!


    1. From the overly long line to get into it and then from what I hear about the food. You’d almost have to think either a Nitter or a Tobacco Roader was in charge of it.

      Sabotage ?


      1. They did try to speed up the line by sending 4-5 people out with passes to hand out. They didn’t waste time scanning your bar code, just looked at it and gave you a pass. It was much quicker that trying to do it at the door to the facility.


  33. I totally agree with Reed’s prognosis at 12/23 1:09 pm.

    BUT, Coach Narduzzi finally delivers a Conference Champion and a top 3 Heisman football player.

    Homework for Pittpovites and PSU and WVU trolls:
    When was the last year that Penn State or WVU achieved such a feat?

    Yeah PSU and WVU trolls; I’d be embarrassed too.


    1. Tony, i love your passion. I don’t necessarily agree on the comparisons between ACC championships versus Big 10 or Big8 championships. I don’t think anyone on here would suggest we could beat osu, michigan, msu and penn state to win a big 10 coastal conference title, let alone a championship.

      Same with Virgina from the west although in my opinion we would have a better chance to compete.

      Barkley at state penn did pretty well in hesiman voting. Not much to write about for wvu, but please don’t look at our record against wvu in last 10, or Dairy High in last 10.


  34. What a great article. Thanks WLAT, and thanks to all who provide content for POV. You won’t find quality work like this on other blogs or even in the traditional sports rags. Thank you, all.

    And Merry Christmas to all.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Wlat, your hope for the article was fully realized. Even as a non-alum, I was able to identify with most of what you wrote about the past. And your account of the Charlotte experience was fantastic

    This was the 2nd gift I received this season ( the first one was the ACC title of course)

    Merry Christmas to you and all POVers

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 3 people

  36. Eric (Wlat) – Great read on your experience. I agree with dinosauri71 in thanking all the POV’ers who provide excellent content thru out the year.

    BTW – ACCN network scheduled to replay the Pitt – Tennessee game today at 3:00pm. As John (MajorMajor) said at 10:14 last night relieve that feeling that culminated in the ACC championship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funny strange eh, my handle was generated from this game (and Reed making you log in to post)lol.

      The funny strange stuff is; Pitt’s rise again to some significance this year started where Johnny Majors was from.

      I don’t believe in coincidences. That was Divine Intervention !!!


  37. News this morning: Tod Graham’s Hawaii team backs out of today’s Hawaii bowl due to covid.

    The fact that their QB and leading RB are in the portal has nothing to do with it…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kind of like A & M’s QB entering the portal too and them forgoing the Gator Bowl ! I find it hard to believe, they couldn’t field a team for the Gator Bowl.


  38. Missingwlat, I forgot to say thank you for that post. Well written and captured the popular sentiment I believe. Also thanks meeting up with me/us. Everything just turned out better than expected down there, from the tailgate to the game, to the burning after the crown. Even Doug Atlanta panther was manageable. 😉
    What a magical weekend. It seems everyone is proud of our panthers, I see people wearing Pitt stuff everywhere I go. I hope people can just enjoy it. No need for anyone to complain about narduzzi, just give it a couple of weeks and bask in the glory of the ACC champs. It is a significant achievement. I hope to see some of you in Atlanta. H2P

    Liked by 3 people

    1. FYI, I usually don’t read this blog at all, but since MissingWlat let me know his article was up, I had to login. Glad I did. Now it’s back to panther lair and pittsburgh sports now, and the Athletic


  39. This probably was covered before, but the biggest concern with Slovis is his trend line, especially his TD/TO ratio as a freshman he was 30/9 finished at USC at 58/24.

    By comparison KP was 39/25 in his first four years and this year he was a miraculous 42/7 , no doubt a huge contributing factor to our win/loss ratio.

    Hopefully we can attribute much of this to each guys team mates in those good vs average years. There certainly is a correlation.

    Both guys and teams did poorly in the first Covid year.

    Pretty obvious why Slovis is coming here, he knew about the O-line, receivers and Running Backs. I also have to think that Narduzzi expressed a strong desire to pass the ball even though Whipple has departed.

    When you watch those Slovis highlights, a lot of similarities with Pitt’s passing game this year with one main difference, Slovis moves around to find open receivers and does not take off past the line of scrimmage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slovis was actually All-Pac 12 first team QB in 2020….in a shortened season.

      USC was a total mess this year with Helton being fired after 2 games…so I totally discount this season.


    1. Really glad to see Conner beat the injury bug so far this year. Also that Arizona was smart enough to figure out how to use him. He has always been a TD machine. Too bad Fitz didn’t come back for a cameo, would have made for some nice Pitt PR Pub.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kind of glad, JC got outta da Burgh. Too many nitter/hoopie Stiller fans wishing him not well.

        Not good for his overall well-being. Just too bad it’s way out West… Fitz. Does not help Pitt
        at all having their better NFL players not playing in our recruiting areas, Same with Aaron Donald.

        This stuff happens way too often.


    2. From Lafayette?

      Interesting but intriguing. Lafayette was not very good this past season, yet I hear this TE was clearly the best player on the field in almost every game they played.

      Go Pitt!


  40. For all of you “What’s-in-it for-Me” folks, this is what the players in the Peach Bowl get:

    “Both Pittsburgh and Michigan State will be making their first-ever trip to the Peach Bowl. This year’s game represents the first Big Ten vs. ACC matchup in the Peach Bowl since 1988 when N.C. State and Iowa met.

    For this year’s Peach Bowl:

    *Each player on both teams will receive a $400 MasterCard Gift Card by University Fancards, a Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Watch and a Personalized Bowl Commemorative Football.

    *Players receive private tours and access to several Atlanta-area attractions including the College Football Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

    *Players will have access to private hospitality suites that include pool tables, ping pong tables, Foosball tables, XBOX ONEs with assorted games, PlayStation Pro with assorted games and a private player barbershop.

    *Team buses will be decked out in team and bowl graphics with police escorts as they travel around Atlanta.”

    In contrast, each conference (not individual team, such as Pitt or MSU) get $4M plus $2.63M for expenses.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What no trip….to the fantastic…..Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama.

      That and the beautiful Chastain Park Amphitheatre(Home of the Kool Jazz Festival) were the highlights of Atlanta for yours truly.


  41. Busy day today so getting this out early.
    Merry Christmas to all yinz POVerts and be safe in your travels.
    Prayers to all those who are struggling with illness or grieving a loss…there are many of us in this boat.
    Juggs, can’t wait until next year at Brewers…and I always remember the Immaculate Reception, its on my birthday!
    Finally, a big freaking

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Very fitting indeed. Sure it isn’t Dec. 18th ? lol

      A little belated Happy Birthday. Your present this year was Kedon Slovis.


  42. Could Pittsburgh become a Pitt Football town with the pending demise of the Steelers?

    Merry Christmas to All and ditto to Lastrow’s comment!

    Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well everything does seem to have ‘cycles’. And that would be truly Amazing.

      The sign will be ‘Amazing Panthers’ instead of ‘Amazing Steelers’.

      Merry Christmas dan-o (we use to have 2 dans) I think.


  43. What a great post. Thanks Eric. I wish that I knew the names of all the POVers in the pics. My bad. I guess that I just need to get to a game someday to meet you all. Or, you can all show up for the UVA game next year. I will be there for certain.


    1. I’m having trouble reposting the tailgate photo pmdH2P. See above. From left to right….

      Al (non-poster)
      Fran Lokar (lastrowofsection4)
      Bernie Blystone (BigB)
      Rich Tencza (Richman)
      Eric Wassel (MissingWlat)
      Joe Lawrence (JoeL)
      Doug Mundrick (AtlantaPanther)
      Scooter (non-poster, Red5a tailgate legend)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. A distinguished group.
        Who is the guy in the bar with the christmas lights “necklace”? Dorin?


  44. A few things:

    Happy belated birthday Fran

    Great to hear from Richman, << Great PITT Man.

    I’ll say Merry Christmas to Frankmd now since he’s going to bed so soon.

    Still relishing in the ACC title. The ultimate gift that keeps on giving all year long!

    It would have been interesting to see KP call his own plays in the Peach Bowl.

    Surprising note, Eli sent us a Xmas card by mail?

    Upcoming is PITT’s biggest bowl game since 1976, in my mind there is no doubt in this.

    Stay safe folks and to all a Very Merry Christmas!

    Lets Go PITT!
    We All We Got
    We All We Need
    ACC Champs!


    Liked by 6 people

    1. good to hear, not the rest

      room for all, at times some need a little thicker skin

      I’ve read more of the others richman mentions this year than before, some good stuff there too


  45. Final post-script to the Charlotte summary… WLAT Junior got accepted at Pitt this week. Current acceptances also include Alabama and Michigan State. Waiting on Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. I think UGa requires a pulse as well as UofSC

      Florida is a great school, higher than Pitt in academics generally

      who the heck would want to go to Wisc?


      1. Actually, Georgia is pretty similar to Florida now as far their academic requirements. SATs of 1300+ needed. Near 4.0 gpa. USCarolina is pretty similar to Pitt. I’m not sure where Wisconsin came from, but apparently both the academics and campus are great.


  46. I join you all in wishing everyone a blessed and Merry Christmas. May good health be one of the best gifts we all receive (especially those fighting illness) this year in our stockings. This blog makes all of our lives just a wee bit better. Thanks.

    Liked by 7 people

  47. Merry Christmas & a belated Happy Hanukkah to all.

    May you all enjoy the Holiday Season (and we all get a Peach Bowl present of a W) !

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nice find Dion. Wait until this guy finds out…one of the returning WR’s at Pitt is the Biletnikoff Award winner.

      And Pitt and us, have ourselves another Mad Bomber(Lamonica to biletnikoff) to throw to him.

      Pitt should hire this guy as a PR guy, lots of good things he says about Pitt. (both football & academic wise)

      Liked by 2 people

  48. The football Santa Claus has been exceptionally kind to our Panthers this year.
    Wishing all POV’ers a Merry Christmas and a HEALTHY New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Great article Eric! Thanks for taking the time and allowing us to see the Championship game experience through your eyes!

    Some volleyball news: Russ Rose, the coach at PSU and winner of 7 NCAA Women’s volleyball championships, has retired. There is no reason for Pitt fans to panic though! I am fairly confident PSU will hire someone other than Pitt’s coach Dan Fisher. I expect the new coach will have PSU connections.

    I am not impressed with the USC quarterback. He will have to prove himself to me.

    Merry Christmas to all the Reed and all the POV readers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pitt Women’s Volleyball Update: To no one’s surprise, Anastasia Russ, Pitt’s tallest middle blocker, entered the transfer portal on 12/21/2021. Although she saw some playing time this year late in blowouts, she was fourth in the depth chart behind Gray, Nwokolo, and Starks at her position. All three of those players are returning next year. We wish Anastasia all the best!

      Liked by 2 people

  50. Watching the Tennessee replay drives home what a great year and great team.
    So many big play made when absolutely needed the most, started with that game and continued all year.
    With the exception of the dumbfounding WMU game and not getting that last play made vs Miami near perfection.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was pursuing a site that listed the top players in the portal. The amount of talent in there is pretty amazing. Like 4-stars who have sat the bench for a couple years at Alabama…and players who have played over a thousand snaps…

      Anyway one of the players is a WR from Western Michigan. He is described as one of the fastest WRs in the country.

      The WR from Akron is highly considered too. Would like to see Pitt pick up proven talent at WR and TE.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I also watched the Tenn replay. The one thing that concerns me after watching it, is how many times KP was able to extend a play when rushed or gain needed yardage with is feet. I hope that whoever is the QB in 2022, he is able to do some of the same.


  51. Sitting out beside the fire pit along the river having a toddy list’n to Karen Carpenter and Pentatonix singing the sounds of the season…might get up early in the am and work-out… or opt out… I am a quitter actually… I love you .. all of you… you make life’s journey to the finish line …. Very entertaining….; sleep tight and don’t forget the cookies and milk for ( as Gene Autrey would sing)Santi.Claus !!!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I can’t agree with the Pitt OL being one of the best in college football. They are better than average pass blocking but below average run blocking. And when Kradel went down their pass blocking was OK at best. Maybe an extra year will help on both the pass and run execution.


  52. Only two ACC teams have multiple alumni players in this season’s NFL Pro Bowl. One of them is Florida State, with 4 players selected. Notre Dame has 3 players, but we’re not counting them here. Who is the other ACC team? it’s not Clemson. It’s not Miami, either. The other ACC team with more than one alum in the 2022 Pro Bowl is none other than your reigning ACC champion, the Pitt Panthers! #H2P! (Conner and Donald)

    Which other Pitt alum on Pitt’s current roster or now in the NFL do you guess will make a Pro Bowl roster?

    Liked by 3 people

  53. just a comment to a post above… Penn State went 12-0 with John Capelletti winning the Heisman…. No conference championships in those days…,


    1. yeah big, i don’t think even our current team would be able to win the big10 coastal with week in and week out games against OSu, Mich, state penn and MSU. Not, one-off games, week to week. I just don’t see it in my opinion.

      Barkley seemed to have a good heisman run.

      I hope you all have a tremendous Christmas for those celebrating! We are an odd bunch, but the great news is that we are the only ones allowed to call us odd. Anyone comes on here and tells us that and me thnks, we have each others backs. Much Peace to each of you as we try our best to slow down and smell the roses in a world that wants to speed us up! H2Pov!

      Liked by 5 people

  54. Merry Christmas to all.

    The ACCN is replaying the Pitt – Wake Forest game at 8pm tonight. Should be an enjoyable ending to the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Been watching “ Saturdays in the South” history of SEC FB….done like a Ken Burns documentary and I have been glued to the TV since lunch-time…. a flood of FB memories taking me back to my early years…. Highly recommend!


  56. If you would go back to the in game and pre-game comments, you may have read somebody who typed that in order for pitt to defend WF properly, they needed to maintain a disciplined rush within their lanes and make him throw from the pocket, where he is extremely ineffective. That was the key to the defensive game in my opinion.

    I think Pitt wins dino! 1 bourbon ball per interception and sack, should make the game even more enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. I have lost count of how many times I have watched that game, just doesn’t get old.
    I hope we get to see that defense play like that one more time. Maybe Keyshon Camp’s best game ever.
    The number of big plays was incredible and by so many guys, lead by Hallett’s incredible performance.
    Our running back triumvirate was incredible.
    Of course the O-line protecting KP and Addison, and Co. making plays.
    A huge exclamation point to a very special season. Magical

    Happy for those of us that lived to see another Pitt Championship and especially for those too young to have witnessed those glorious days.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Maybe a topic for Monday night, Dare we dream that with a couple more portal upgrades
    that this team could contend for an even larger prize next year, IKCR


  59. The team has landed in Hotlanta. One step closer to game time.

    I have a few MSU friends and they believe without Pickett, the Spartans are the better team, hands down by 20 points. They think their QB is going to torch our secondary.

    We’ll see…

    If Nick Patti can direct this offense to 28 points, our D holds the Spartans to 24.

    No FG’s please.

    Go Pitt!


      1. Michigan State is ranked 18th in stopping the run giving up 118 ypg and only 9 TD’s.

        Pitt’s D is ranked 6th for the same category giving up 91 ypg and 15 TD’s.

        If MSU holds Pitt to FG’s this could be a 20 point blowout loss tossing a wet blanket on a very good season.

        If I’m Duzz, my game plan with Salem as the OC would be to not kick FG’s unless long, late game winners. Nick Patti is gritty and he is a gamer who would welcome the challenge.

        Pitt is favored per ESPN at 62% chance to win, but Vegas has MSU giving Pitt 2.5 points. With the Vegas under at 56, my Pitt victory score of 28-24 fits just right. Win and there is a high probability of being ranked in the top 10. I like our chances.


        1. I think MSU’s Rushing D had those rankings, because it was so easy to pass against them.
          So why run.

          MSU ranked #117 in Total Defense of 130 teams. So they have a ACC like defense.


  60. I think Pitt will struggle mightily with Mich States Big 12 lines but Pitt by far wins at the skill positions. Tough close game for Pitt. It’s all on our QB play!


  61. I hope Pitt is able to start the game on D. This will give Patti and Salem to get a feel for the speed and atmosphere.

    Patti is highly motivated to play well and get a leg up on Slovis. Duzz likes film, and Patti needs more film.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. My Nitter neighbor thinks Pitt would lose even with Kenny playing…I laughed and then threw him out of my house.
    Mrs lastrow not pleased…
    But I am.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. That’s awesome, Lastrow.

      I’ve thought that Mich State has been over-rated all season. Guess I’ll find out shortly if I was correct or not…

      Go Pitt.


      1. Well if we lose, it certainly won’t indicate if they were over-rated or not. For obvious reasons.

        But if by some miracle we win……that would certainly indicate they were over-rated.


  63. Very clever of Pitt and Heather to recruit and admit to Pitt the girl-friends of elite football players who our “Beam Me Up Scotty” computer model projects as eventual transfer-portal occupants.

    It’s these types of ground-breaking, outside-the-box strategies that will allow Pitt to punch above its weight….


    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 6 people

  64. Another 2 reasons I wanted Pickett to play.

    Pitt has never beaten Michigan State. 0-6-1 Lifetime.

    Michigan State was also given Pitt’s place in the B1G way back when. 1940’s I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. If Picket played, Pitt would win easily.

    Pitt puts up 43 per game, MSU 31 per game.

    Without Picket it evens it out, but they lost their RB so Pitt still has an advatage.

    The guys up front are equal.


    1. Well not according to Vegas. MSU is favored and rightly so.

      Replacing a RB is much easier than a star QB. Especially when 350 yards of Pitt’s 500 yards/game of Offense a game were via passing.


  66. Jordan Simmons is gonna replace Walker. He avg’d 4.7 yards per carry in 54 attempts.

    Their QB, Payton Thorne is not bad either…..he avg’d about the same YPA as Pickett at 8.5.
    Pickett’s was 8.7 And he threw 24 TD passes, while completing about 61% of his passes.


    1. Not helping that you can’t be sure your flight will depart from Pittsburgh International or your return flight won’t be canceled.


  67. Nice article by Johnny McGonigal in the PG about Haba Baldonado and his improbable journey from Rome to Florida to Pitt. Haba came very close to signing with Coastal Carolina, which was his only early offer…

    I hadn’t considered that Haba might leave for the NFL – that would really harm our pass rush next season….

    Hoping you stick around for another season, Haba!

    Go Pitt.


  68. Kenny Walker of MSU is kind of interesting. Sort of like Pickett, he was not highly recruited by any top teams.
    And he like Pickett only had one (1) P5 offer…..his was Wake Forest.

    And after 2 years of about 500 yards per season at Wake he transfers. And then blows up at MSU with
    over 1600 yards and 18 TD’s in East Lansing.

    The Kenny Bowl would have been fun, as both these guys, hit it big….after not being thought of much.

    His Rivals page.


  69. Like

  70. Both the Military and Fenway Bowls were just canceled because of Covid eliminating 2 ACC bowl teams–UVA and BC. Let’s hope that Pitt and MSU stay in good shape for the game.


      1. Juggernaut commented about Patti improving on his Delaware start – how about Salem improving on the OC job he did vs Navy in one of Duzz’s many bowl losses.

        We’ve got two improvements for one game.

        Maybe we win 13-9

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That bowl loss was after Chryst left for Wisconsin and Duzz wasn’t here yet. We scored over 30 points and lost in the last quarter because we weren’t focused at all


  71. It is official, TE coach Tim Salem named interim OC for the December 30th Peach Bowl. Look for the line to move again, possibly to 4.5


  72. Fran – 30 years ago we were living on an Army base and we had just gotten the latest thing in big color TVs. I bought it just for a Pitt game that was being televised nationally – so we invited a bunch of neighbors over to watch the game.

    One was a Penn State fan who just couldn’t keep his mouth shut so I told him if I hear another “Penn State is better, blah, blah, etc…” I’d throw him out. 30 seconds later I was closing the door behind him.

    My wife was pissed when she found out I did that.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Reed and Lastrow are my kind of Pitt fans.

      My sister went to psuX. Her two boys are very good football players and Pitt fans – they have me, Mrs. Erie and their aunt Missy whose husband worked for Stevie Petersen in the Pitt AD office.

      I’m going to watch the Peach Bowl with both boys, Mrs. Erie and Missy.


      Liked by 1 person

  73. #12 PITT (11-2) vs. #10 MICHIGAN STATE (10-2)

    Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl ∙ Atlanta, Ga.

    December 30, 2021 ∙ 7 p.m. (ET)

    Mercedes-Benz Stadium (73,272/FieldTurf)
    ESPN ∙ ESPN Radio ∙ Pitt Panthers Radio Network

    LINK (PDF): Pitt Bowl Notes (vs. Michigan State)


    √ Champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pitt will make its first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and face Michigan State. The Panthers have played in 35 prior bowl games.

    √ Boasting an 11-2 record, the 2021 Panthers are trying to become just the second team in school history to win 12 games in a season. In 1976, Coach Johnny Majors led Pitt to the national championship with a 12-0 mark.

    √ Pitt was No. 12 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, the Panthers’ highest CFP listing ever. Pitt is also No. 12 in the latest USA Today AFCA Coaches Poll and ranked No. 13 by Associated Press.

    √ A victory over Michigan State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl could help Pitt earn its first Top 10 finish in the national polls since 1982.

    √ Pitt and Michigan State last met in 2007—a 17-13 Spartans win in East Lansing. The Panthers are winless in seven all-time meetings (0-6-1) with Michigan State.

    √ Pat Narduzzi served as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator from 2007-14 under then-head coach Mark Dantonio, helping the Spartans to a pair of Top 5 finishes during that span.

    √ Since 2015, Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 36 victories in ACC play, the third-highest win total during that span. Only Clemson (52) and Miami (37) have won more.

    √ Winner of the 2021 Biletnikoff Award, Jordan Addison enters the bowl season with a national-best 17 touchdown catches. The last Pitt player to lead the nation in TD catches was Larry Fitzgerald, who had a school-record 22 in 2003.


    Television ∙ ESPN

    Mark Jones (play-by-play), Robert Griffin III (analyst) and Quint Kessenich (reporter)

    Pitt Radio ∙ 93.7 The Fan & Pitt Panthers Radio Network

    Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Pat Bostick (analyst) and Larry Richert (reporter)

    ESPN Radio

    Roy Philpott (play-by-play), Kelly Stouffer (analyst) and Lauren Sisler (reporter)

    SiriusXM Satellite Radio

    Sirius Channel 81, XM Channel 81, SXM App Channel 81

    WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) ∙ 92.1 FM

    Online Audio


  74. Salem calling plays is a mistake. Sounds like a loyalty reward. I may be wrong, not sure does what during normal games.


    1. RG3 is great. What are you talking about? Sports need more announcers like RG3. No one was a bigger supporter of Kenny for Heisman than RG3, too

      Liked by 2 people

  75. Speaking of mistakes, Matt Canada will be looking for a job next season and it won’t be in the NFL.


  76. Reed, when we moved into our house in 1989 we invited a large group of neighbors over and when one psuX jagoff saw my Pitt man cave I heard him say “Pitt sucks”
    I grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pulled him up the stairs and out the front door.
    By the way, the dude was dressed as Santa Claus, beard and full red suit.
    The neighbors still talk about it.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Good news!

      Concerning Canada, I was shocked when the Steelers promoted him to OC. He was the QB Coach for a QB who made poor decision after poor decision…. Head-scratcher…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tomlin likes hiring 🤡🤡🤡 coaches from within. Less work that way…(or no work that way if you will)


  77. The Steelers have no gas in the tank and I hope that when draft time rolls around KP has been taken by another team. It doesn’t take a football genius to realize that in order to have a chance in the NFL you need a strong coach and a team that has decent talent. One look at the Jags and Trevor Lawrence
    says it all. The Steelers would be a terrible place for KP to make his NFL start.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tomlin thinks he can avoid a rebuild and doesn’t want a young QB.

      Not sure I’d want Kenny going to the Steelers with that mindset.


  78. Only watched the last 1/4 at most of the stillers. Here is when you know you have a problem. When it is 3rd and 5 and you run a 3 yard route, consistently; when your wide receive tries to carry the ball in one hand, un-tucked and un-protected and fumbles; when your #1 draft pick shows no vision and will be used as a bull type runner…that tries to go wide on a 4th and 1 instead of running north and south; when a wr makes a first down and taunts the defender, drawing a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty; when a cb breaks up a pass into the endzone and acts like he is soo great in doing so (look at the scoreboard dude) and best of all, when the backup quarterback is rushing around trying to tell his offense where to go and what play he is calling and everyone is looking at him like “dude, it’s already the 2 minute warning”.

    No awareness of the situation, that’s coaching and a not smart player. Wait, I have a bigger blunder. The stillers qb rushes his guys up to the line of scrimmage. The qb yells at the tight end that he is on the wrong side of the line and puts him in motion to the other side of the oline, snaps the ball, and spikes it to kill clock. This is awful. The minute that the steelers brass feels it can improve on Tomlin, it will.

    Glad I only watched the last few minutes.


    1. The Steelers are working like teams are supposed to work in the NFL. When you consistently draft low in the rounds, it’s going to eventually catch up with you. Every team in their division now has a better roster than the Steelers.

      They need to tank for a few years so they can draft some talent but they can’t even do that right…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  79. Could Kevin Johns be the next OC? He’s now at Memphis as OC and QB Coach. I remember his name being speculated when Whip was hired.

    Johns has been around some. Was OC at Indiana previously – and even spent a year at Western Michigan… Seems to run offenses that get big numbers in both passing and rushing, which sounds promising…

    Coach Duzz likes an experienced OC – this guy fits the bill…

    Go Pitt.


  80. How the Steelers got to 7 wins is the miracle. The fact that they can’t score and can’t stop the other guys from scoring is not a surprise. Coaching matters little when you don’t have the horses. They have very few guys that would be starters on other pro teams right now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is kind of cyclical in the NFL. Pretty hard to get a franchise QB unless you have a really bad season.


  81. More wonderful news for the Kohberger family – my wife and I just tested positive for the C-19 Omicron Variant. We thought we had mild colds but because of my son’s cancer and his compromised immune system we did in-house testing and it showed positive for both of us.

    So even before today we all had Christmas Eve dinner together (our big celebration) but on Christmas day I had cold symptoms so told the kids to come get the presents and open them at their homes.

    Really weird as we both are fully vaccinated with boosters and wear masks everywhere. In all honesty this feels like a mild cold but still have to quarantine 12 more days…which in our retired state ain’t so bad.

    But – good news also. My son had his second PET Scan and it shows his tumors receding by 40-50% in all of them and his bloodwork results have been very good. His doctor says he may be done with chemo therapy by the end of February ’22! It will take my son a long time to get back to the health level he was before this happened but still – he’s on the upswing!

    Anyway, Go Pitt! in the bowl game…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Reed – I’m glad for the news regarding your son. Now that qualifies as a Christmas miracle.

      Really cool news!

      Be safe with the Coronavirus.


  82. I would be remiss if I didn’t compliment Missing WLAT on this article. Great job!

    Reed best to you and your family. Hope you have the same type of,Covid I had which was mild. After you recover you will have tiger blood! Awesome news about your son as well. I continue to keep him in my prayers.


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