POV PSA: Great Veterans Shopping Benefits

POV PSA: Great Veterans Shopping Benefits

A while back the Armed Forces Exchange Services (their shopping venues) opened up the ability for any person who was Honorably Discharged from any branch to shop at their online exchange.  This is regardless of how much time the beneficiary served – years, months or even days – as long as they had been awarded a honorable discharge.

It used to be allowed for only Active Duty members, military Retirees or Disabled Veterans but that has changed.

This is a huge benefit because the Exchange system is mandated by law to sell their wares at Cost + 5% overhead pricing.  Plus there is no tax levied on purchases no matter how big the sale is.  That right there saves a ton of money on large buys.

Here is the website with the detailed information:


I hope readers share this info with anyone you know who served honorably no matter what the age. It is a fantastic benefit to have – but note it applies only to online shopping, not the brick and mortar Exchanges on the military bases.

I’m posting this because in my work with veterans I have found almost no one knows about this even though it was put into place back in 2017.  Here is a letter explaining this.

Thanks guys and HTP!


An Open Letter to AD Heather Lyke

An Open Letter to AD Heather Lyke

Dear AD Heather Lyke,

I attended your Pitt “Panthers on the Prowl” event hosted by the Pitt Alumni Association Friday evening in Washington, DC.  First off let me thank you for doing this as I believe most attendees enjoyed their time there.  Please try to make it an annual event if possible.

Personally I feel you missed a great opportunity to engage fans and alumni in meaningful discussion regarding Pitt athletics and the status of the athletic department, as well as the three major sports (football, basketball and women’s volleyball) represented at the event.  The fact that Pitt ranks almost dead last in the ACC’s alumni donations to athletics should have led you to truly engaging potential donors instead of rolling out a dog and pony show.

You allotted two hours for the duration of the event, however anything meaningful at all could have been done with an egg timer given how sparse anything of substance was.  I get it – some fans want to have their picture taken with their college head coach. The personal reasoning behind that eludes me but clearly that was the apparently the main thrust of this event.

By my watch your question and answer segment – which I believe would have been the most valuable part of the evening had it actually been sincere – lasted only 15 minutes. The shortness of it was too bad really – had you chose to take questions from the attendees we would have been able to ask about the status of issues you yourself have been advertising like crazy.

For instance I would have asked about the exciting “Victory Heights” initiative rather than having the evening’s Emcee ask the HCs the insipid question of “How do your players ‘stay hungryover the offseason?” Please spare us the coach talk. The Q & As were so ridiculous that we would have gotten better answers had we consulted a Magic 8 Ball.  I’d like to know how the “Fan Committee” had any real input into making Pitt athletics more palatable to the average fan… and your Magic 8 Ball would have replied “Reply hazy, try again.”

Instead we had the emcee actually preface a question to the basketball HC, Jeff Capel, with this bon mot – “Coach, you had an incredible season in 2018!”  At that point I slid off my chair, went into the fetal position and covered my ears. Not to be too picky but an in-conference .167 winning percent  isn’t anywhere close to ‘incredible’.  Maybe next time say something like “Coach, congratulations, your first year showed real marked improvement over the 2017 season…” which would have been very true.

Continue reading “An Open Letter to AD Heather Lyke”

Questions for King Pat

Questions for King Pat

I’ll be at the W Hotel in DC this evening for Pitt’s Alumni Meet and Greet with Narduzzi and Capel.

What questions would you like me to scream at our HC when he is trying to speak from the podium??

He’s some I’ve thought of:

  1. Pat (I call him ‘Pat’ regardless that  he calls me ‘spy’), even though bowl games don’t mean anything at all do you think you might win at least one during your time at Pitt?
  2. What does your therapist say about you never being able to beat North Carolina even though they have been the worst team in the ACC?
  3. While you have said many times that recruiting stars mean absolutely nothing do you think you might be able to get more than one 4* or 5* kid sometime soon?  I mean that would be a good thing right?
  4. Who is going to win the POV Golf Tournament this year?
  5. How did it feel to bring Pitt any sort of football championship without sharing it with another team?  Good job on that by the way!

You guys have any?

2019’s Panther FB & BB Meet & Greets

I just registered for the Washington, DC portion of the 2019 FB and BB Alumni Meet & Greet.  I did this the last few years also (one of them was when PN first called me “The Spy“) and will attend again this year.

For the DC area it is on the evening of Friday May 10th.  Here is the link to register.

May 10

RT @Pitt_PC: Panthers on the Prowl is coming to New York City and Washington D.C.! Don’t miss your chance to come to this Q&A with @Pitt_LykeAD@fishercoach@CoachDuzzPittFB, and @jeffcapel! RSVP today ➡️ https://t.co/xXnI8PIBry #H2Phttps://t.co/cUC0vdZcZh

Hope to see the Maryland, Virginia and Delaware POVers there also.


Heather: “Hey Pat, What’s McNeese State’s Phone Number Again?


Hey – the fighting “Cowboys and Cowgirls” had a better record than we did wearing the blue and yellow so maybe things are looking up for us.  And what the hell is this guy talking about?  But at least those pants are semi-gold…

… 4. The whole uniform design is a throwback to what any reasonable observer would call the most beloved sports era in Pitt history.

The football team was a national power in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, dressed like this:

I could live with the look below if the “PITT” was in the old script (and in real gold coloring).

2013 Pitt Panthers Blue Uniform with New Helmet Stripe

But really, how hard would it be to just stick with the actual, formal, school colors as shown in Pitt’s own Public Affairs guidance... But if we do that we can’t switch apparel out every time we need money to extend PN’s contract another 15 years.

School colors

I do like the new Panther logo – that goes back to 1930’s tradition when the Cathedral was built.  I think my Dad proposed to my Mom while swimming in that fountain after a night of heavy drinking in the Phi Gamma Delta basement.

I’ll pass on the “arched” numbers though, personally I think that looks silly.  Again, we’ll revisit this is a few years when Nike tells us “OK, time to do it all over again Pitt!”  And that will happen as soon as this version’s sales start dropping off.

I’m actually OK with it all but just think they could have done better. Let’s hope this is the uniform that sees us win a bowl game.  OK – Back to OC Whipple promising the moon.

If anyone in Maryland is bored this Saturday evening come join me for a bit of the Bard…

H5 Program

MM Note – here is the pic “Big B” referenced below.  A throwback’s throwback.  That helmet looks like a toy!

1970's throwback

A Follow-On About Media/Scout Access and Recent Recruiting

A Follow-On About Media/Scout Access and Recent Recruiting

In light of the recent article Mike put up the other day and our responses to it I’d like to share a Rivals.com Podcast by Chris Peak that addresses both subjects very well.  It was done last week and you should listen at least from the 3:00 mark to 6:15 or so for his take on media access then the rest of the podcast is about ‘What happened to the 2016 recruiting class?”

I wanted this up for readers to listen to because he echoes exactly what I have been saying about the total shutdown of information save for what is force fed us from Pitt and the football staff.


Now – Chris’ idea of what makes a “star” player differs from mine.  My criteria is that the player be named to All-ACC 1st or 2nd teams or, of course, All-American.  His is that the player plays well in his role as a starter.  But that aside – I agree again with his ideas here.

2016’s class was just as Peak says it was – hyped to hell because it was Narduzzi’s first full recruiting class and it held five 4* recruits.  Here it is:

'16 part 1

'16 Part 2

Granted these kids have a year or two left but the reality is most often that ‘star’ players usually show their talent and worth in their first three years.  There are exceptions sometimes – RB Darrin Hall is one who broke out in his SR season, but really, if a kid hasn’t shone by the time their third year rolls around odds are that they will continue to be basically regular players.

In other words Pitt has to field 22 starters and someone has to do it.

And that is what Pitt has had last year and I believe, going into the 2019 season. The fact is that out of those 24 players who joined in the 2016 class only one has made any post-season teams and that is 3* WR Maurice Ffrench.  Peak lists two others – DB Hamlin and DL Weaver are the other two but I wouldn’t call them “star” players…  good players yes, great players? No.  I think Peak calls them “major contributors” – that I can agree with but IMO they aren’t star players (yet).

Honestly, I see much the same when I look at Narduzzi’s 2017 and 2018 classes also.  We are becoming a roster overwhelmingly full of 3* players and thus are playing (less than) 3* football over the last two seasons.  This is why PN has to rely on so many transfer players who come in for a season. The recruits he’s been able to convince to come to Pitt have been lacking.

Some kids will surprise – that happens every year  but I think we have to keep fingers crossed with both hands to hope we get play above what it looks like we’ll get.



Great Future Articles Ideas

Great Future Articles Ideas

I just had lunch with Pittman4ever (Jim G.) as we always do when he comes to Maryland to visit his daughter’s family.  As we ate we sat and thought up possible future articles about Pat Narduzzi and Pitt football that would be sure to upset most Pitt fans.

As of now we have 43 different topics to cover. The first eight are about recruiting.

Just though you should know…can’t wait till mid-April!!  How about you!!!  Which subjects do you think we can write about to torque fans off?