Friday, October 26, 2007

Addressing the Issues

So recently a big stink was made about Pitt having to return unsold tickets to West Virginia for the 2007 Backyard Brawl. This was very surprising to me for a couple of reasons. First off, it seemed like it was a bit too early for us to be returning tickets. If I am remembering correctly, ticket sales for MSU and UVa were on sale until at least 2 weeks before the game. The second reason I am surprised is that while we do not have the greatest fan base, we do have a strong core of football fans that I thought would be willing to make the short trip. Perhaps the poor stretch from MSU - UVa made up people's minds for them. Another reason why I was surprised about this is because the Student Alumni Association is planning having a bus trip town to Morganhole. The bus would be students and alumni alike from what I have gathered. While I do not believe it is the smartest idea to have a bus full of Pitt people driving through Morganhole, it is still nice to see the support for Pitt is there.

Now, I have never been to the Backyard Brawl when the Hoopies are at home. I only have been to the games hosted by the Panthers. In fact, I have never and will never, barring extraordinary circumstances go to WVU unless it is for a Pitt basketball game. I have been to the awful Hoopie coliseum every year for the basketball version of the Backyard Brawl for the last 3 seasons. Judging from what I have seen from a smaller and more tame crowd, I can't ever imagine any reason why a Pitt fan would want to go to Morganhole for the game.

The easiest way I can say it is, I will never go to a Backyard Brawl game when held by West Virginia and I hope that none of the hoopies ever come to Pitt when we host the game. Sure we may chant Go Home Mountainqueers, but is that really bad when you compare it to what Pitt fans must go through when we go to West Virgina? (NIT reference).

I can't speak from experience, but the thought is WVU fans are among the nation's worst. The stories I have heard, although most likely embellished, were still vile enough for me to have lost any respect I may have ever had for them, which now stands for none. I could see if it were only the Pitt game where these stories have occurred, but ECU, Marshall, Rutgers, and even as recent as Louisville have reported these so called fans treating them worse than the typical opposing fan usually gets.

Basically, the point I'm trying to establish is that while Pitt's tradition and fan base gets knocked a lot, I'm not too disappointed by the actions of our fans at football games. The students do have vulgar chants from time to time, but it's nothing people haven't heard before. It's usually the same bland curse word chants that the uncreative people in the crowd start just to laugh and make themselves feel better.

I hope that WVU fans, Pitt fans, and everyone else can take this to heart. When you go to the games, you shouldn't care about trying to treat the other team and their fans as terribly as you can. Why not just show up to the game and support your team from start to finish. We support our teams because we are fans of those teams. We don't become die hard fans of one team just because we hate another. You cheer for your team because you love your team. So the next time you go to a game and see opposing fans, let them be. Invest your energy into supporting your team and representing your university as best as possible.

~ The One and Only ~

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