Who are the Guttmans and where did that $$$ come from?

We Pitt people, and especially us Pitt football fans, just became familiar with a Pitt alumni name when Steve and Kathy Guttman casually dropped a cool $2,000,000 into the Pitt Football Championship Fund. 

“Finally!” we all cried “here is a donation that will start the financial donation ball rolling”.  And it well might do so, or at least let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Steve Guttman was a 1968 graduate of Pitt and then went on to complete his law degree at George Washington.  He wasn’t raised in one of Pittsburgh’s arty families, of which there were many back in the ’60s:

Steven Guttman fell in love with art at the heels of a hound. “I grew up in Pittsburgh, in a modest family, and we had no art in our house,” says the 68-year-old collector at his Greenwich Village town house.

The founder of Storage Deluxe Management Corp. and former CEO of the Federal Realty Investment Trust, Guttman is surrounded by hundreds of paintings, sculptures and furniture created by some of the world’s most desired artists. Along with his wife, Kathy, he has amassed one of the nation’s foremost collections of American folk and contemporary art, but he still remembers when he was a blank canvas.

“No one in my family had ever really been exposed to art,” Guttman says.

steve2020kathy20guttmanWe’ll get back to the Guttmans in a moment but I think it is safe to say most Pitt fans had never heard of or knew Steve Guttman before yesterday unless you may have been a childhood friend or attended Pitt in the same years he did.

But very few of us also had even heard of the Pitt Football Championship Fund or “The Quest For Ten” as it is known in the athletic department.

Continue reading “Who are the Guttmans and where did that $$$ come from?”

POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions

Have to apologize for lack of articles lately – between going to Virginia for two days on Tuesday then having to drive up to PGH for two days for a funeral on Thursday I couldn’t find computer time to write anything.

BB News: Cam Johnson is indeed leaving the Pitt BB program as one of the many who have seen the handwriting on the wall with the Stallings hire.  I think that Pitt BB fans are much like the Pitt FB fans in that they find it hard to point fingers at the coaching staffs when there are players to blame.

To me this mass exodus from the BB program is all on (dearly departed) ex-Pitt AD Barnes’ and BB Head Coach Stallings’ shoulders. From that initial press conference announcing the hire until now the Stallings era has been on a downward slope.  Multiple players from a small roster don’t leave within months of each other unless there is great institutional instability.

This is NOT what you want a new AD to have to deal with in the first part of her time at your university.  We saw a Pitt FB head coach leave Pitt when there was the same type of institutional instability back with Todd Graham. 

Continue reading “POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions”

Now that Conner No Long Stalks the Field…

As part of a series looking at individual units we will try to patch-up, rebuild  or strengthen in time for the 2017 opener against Youngstown State I’ve switch between offense and defense articles taking closer looks.

We’ve talked about the Tight Ends, the Defensive Line and the Linebackers and the QBs and offense in general.

But I have some real concerns about our running game and would like to take a closer look at the Running Backs – maybe researching this piece will make me feel better. 

2016-rushing

To recap last season’s rushing production here are the final stats for our run game in total and the reason we were #28th in the nation at 225.1 ypg with a nice 5.4 ypc average.

That was a pretty big jump from our 2015 production that saw us at #44th with only 186.6 and a 4.77 ypc… and a jump up of almost a yard adds up over the season.

Continue reading “Now that Conner No Long Stalks the Field…”

Pitt’s Tight Ends and What Else?

This position is one that is going to be very closely watched during the upcoming spring practices as it doesn’t have a deep existing roster at the position where a sure starter will jump right into the void.

And it is a void considering one of our most productive TEs of all-time, Scott Orndoff,  has just left.  He was a good one, very efficient and productive, and could block just fine for a guy who is 6’5″ and 265 lbs. The surprising thing with Orndoff was how fast he was in getting out on the intermediate and deep routes. Because of that he had an excellent yards per catch production especially in his last two seasons as a starter.

 

Rushing

Total

Year G Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2013 6 6 50 8.3 2 6 50 8.3 2
*2014 4 4 24 6.0 1 4 24 6.0 1
*2015 11 13 244 18.8 5 13 244 18.8 5
2016 12 35 579 16.5 5 35 579 16.5 5
Career 58 897 15.5 13 58 897 15.5 13

A 17.1 ypc over 48 receptions is up in the Wide Receiver airs and is a true added weapon to the offensive game plan.  10 TDs over that time isn’t chopped liver either for a TE.

Continue reading “Pitt’s Tight Ends and What Else?”

Pitt Football’s Glory Days; Part 3

(This is Part 3 of a three-part series looking back at Pitt’s best decades of football)

Yesterday we discussed that last set of Glory Days from 1974 to 1983. Now let us skip another 33 years from 1984 to the nearer history of Pitt football in 2007. Remember that number because from 1938 to 1974 was a 36 year stretch.  It seems to me that we take around  35 years to ramp up to have another good run of Pitt football. Way too long but it is what it is – at least so far.

Now are talking about this last decade, from 2007 until last season’s end. I think it’s interesting that we look at these last 10 years and think the program has been rather average or even mediocre at times, especially the four years under Todd Graham and Paul Chryst. But if you put these ten years up against our whole history of play you’ll find that we really been above and beyond what the vast majority of other years’ stretches had done.

Here are the years in discussion:

07-16

Continue reading “Pitt Football’s Glory Days; Part 3”

A Quick Hitter Today

On this date in 1981 the only church open for Saturday business on the Big Island of Hawaii was the small Imiola Church in Waimea.

imiola-church-500
Imiola Church

So, that is where my wife and I got married and in a rush since my ship was changing homeport and leaving mid- week.

See – I knew if I left Hawaii without her hand I’d regret for the rest of my life.  So I took a machete…

 

11334438_1139870389373511_1498427785_n
Koa Wood Interior

A wedding on Valentine’s Day is rather tacky but it had to happen that way. Kidding aside I’d be in bad shape without her counsel over these years. I fully admit that.

Now, how we met is a story that is best told over drinks... without kids present.

36 years ago and after only knowing each other for six weeks.  Weird huh?  I still don’t think we know each other all that well…  She has an uncanny ability to hear whispers from two floors away. She may have the rooms bugged though.

Anyway, because today is that anniversary I’m pulled away to do other things but wanted to get something up for Pitt fans to discuss…

Rivals.com’s Chris Peak has another good podcast up and discusses the arrival of OC Shawn Watson and the departure of DL coach Tom Sims. 

He absolutely disagrees with my and others’ beliefs,  that Pitt’s offer to Matt Canada was done knowing that LSU was going to and/or already had topped it.

Well, here the thing – if you know that your offer is going to be topped – which they did, and you know the buyout was going to be paid – which Pitt did, and still offer $1m then great for Pitt.  Kudos for them I suppose.

Continue reading “A Quick Hitter Today”

LOI Day Travel & POV’ers Festivities

I’m on the road early this morning – have some things to do in Pittsburgh before we meet at Bettis’ Grille around 3:30 or so.  As I said I’ll be down there then or maybe even earlier and if I tip the staff there early enough maybe they will let me fly the beautiful Pitt POV flag Bernie B. bought us.pov-flag-1

I’m bringing along some nice Pitt POV gifts for all who attend so please make it a stop before you go over to Heinz Field – in the East Club, when the doors open at 5:00 for the Fans & Staff Meet and Greet and then the Position Coaches take the stage for player introductions and that begin at 6:00 .bettis

As I said earlier I’ll take care of the bar bill – you guys bring yourselves and buy dinner or whatever.  I’m really looking forward to see old faces and meeting new ones.

Continue reading “LOI Day Travel & POV’ers Festivities”