Sunday, October 14, 2007

Like father like son

I'm sure all of you loyal readers out there know my opinion that the majority of Pitt fans are bad fans. I think most of you who read this site are in the minority of what I consider to be "good" fans. We have fans who will drive over 250 miles to each game just to see the Panthers play. We also have fans who live less than 30 minutes away but refuse to come to the game if it is on TV. I'm sure there are other schools out there with this same problem, but it is an issue that I have many problems with because I am so passionate about Pitt. I can't justify not going to a game unless there is something significantly important going on. My sister got married on Sept 1, 2007, the same day we played Eastern Michigan. The wedding was at 3 but I found the time to be in the wedding, be in all of the family photos, and be in my seat for the game 45 minutes before kickoff. The game wasn't in Pittsburgh, it was an hour north in Butler County. Some people might think that it is ridiculous that I would place such importance on a college football team, but that's just who I am, and that is what other passionate college football fans are.

The main point of this rant stems from the bus ride I had from outside the union down to Heinz Field on wednesday for the game. I have always been one of the first people at the gates for all of the games in the last 6 years with the exception being EMU. I had a meeting with some of higher ups in the academic side of things at Pitt. The meeting was scheduled for 4-4:30, but ran over till 5. I thought I would be in good shape to catch a bus down to the stadium and with the two previous games being awful, there shouldn't be too many students waiting. So as a 71A drove by me at the corner of 5th and Bigelow without stopping (F the Pat bus system), I decided to take one of the school buses that Pitt provides to the game. I got on the bus and luckily found an open seat. This is where my problems began.

There were some kids sitting in the front of the bus who are the type of people I wish represented all fans. They know about the program and stay updated like all good fans should. Now I was stuck in the middle of the bus surrounded by freshmen. I wasn't the biggest Pitt fan when I was a freshman, but I at least wasn't completely in the dark when it came to the team. These people around me were so proud that they were finally going to a game before halftime. These kids were painting their faces to match the blue and gold E-S-P-N they had written on their chest. The others in the group were talking about how great their signs were and how they were definitely going to get on ESPN. The kid sitting next to me mentioned to a girl that she should write "19" on her cheeks. Her response was quite naturally "Who is number 19?". The conversation then moved to how the day's edition of the Pitt News reported that Matt Cavanaugh said we were going to open up the offense. They all seemed like the coaching staff came up with that idea on tuesday night around 11:30 pm and that no one else had any idea this game plan change was coming.

As I'm sitting in this crowd of idiots, I have a bag with some Cat Basket shirts for my friends as well as a folder containing our SuperShady sign (which made it on ESPN even though we didn't care if it did or not, HA!) as well as tape in the folder since the A-Hole security guards won't let you bring in tape to the game. I also had a few study guides and notes that I had made because I had 2 exams and a presentation the following day. The guy next to me asked if I was bringing homework to the game. I told him it was a Shady sign as well as some study materials for my exams the next day. He told me that "It was gay that I brought work to the game with me". I had to explain to him how I have been doing this since 2001 and that I was going to this game regardless of when it was, who was airing it, and didn't care if it was Navy, Notre Dame, or IUP that we were playing. He seemed puzzled by the fact that I wasn't going to the game because it was an ESPN game. Luckily, he understood that I thought that him and all his friends were a joke and I hope he knows I think that it is people like him that are the reason our fan base sucks.

Our students love to party. Pitt can drink with the best of them and our students love getting blackout drunk thursday-saturday. We also love football tailgates because it is an acceptable reason to drink on a saturday afternoon. The one thing that can change it all though has been ruining football and basketball games at Pitt for as long as I can remember. ESPN brings out the worst in our fans. The damn fair weather fans love being on TV and really don't give a shit about the team or the game, all they care about is getting on tv.

I hate writing things like this because I know we have a good base of fans and students. It is just a shame that outside of the passionate fans, everyone else falls into one of two groups, the group that doesn't care and will never go to Pitt athletic events. The second group is the group that only wants to get on TV and will someday be the people refusing to go to the game because it is on TV. I really get frustrated with the fact that all these idiots have to do is let go of the fact that we are on TV. Just come to the game and support your school. If you don't know much about the team, don't pretend that you do. Show up before kickoff. You can still tailgate for 5 hours before kickoff so there is no excuse for saying, I can't go in before kickoff, I need to get my drink on.

I hope our new AD schedules opponents who are the least attractive for TV games. Not because I want to screw over those who can't come to the game. I want to screw over those who can come to the game, but would rather watch it on TV instead of being a good fan and showing up.

We currently have bad fans and the students now are only keeping that tradition alive. Hopefully winning can change that, but at this point I really doubt that it will.

To all of you "good" fans and supportive students, keep coming to the game, keep showing your enthusiasm. You are the foundation of what should be a great fan base, but is not right now. When someone tells you to be quiet or to sit down at the game, just ignore them and tell them if it bothers them so much to go home. Stand strong, while we aren't the minority, we are more powerful than they are.

~ The One and Only ~


Studzy said...

Personally i think the people that insult the program the most are those that show up only for the tailgate. pitt students love to drink, but have no idea how to do it. why the hell do you think there are still so many basement parties? don't get me wrong. i dont mind drinking, but when some idiots make it a higher priority than going to the game WHILE YOU ARE AT THE STADIUM...
this may sound crazy, but our fan base might just help the team, the organization, and maybe the school. Mr. Jason Jones and dpj have told me how a REAL fan base supports their school when describing Mich. State. the most embarrassing and intimidating moment as a pitt fan for me was when we played Notre Dame at home. i dont know what it is about Irish fans, but those guys are fanatical. they filled up the nose bleed section, and i could still hear them better than i could hear the fan section(which i was in). many schools have had more people in heinz field than pitt as times.
another instance: for some reason pitt fans made it out to the uconn game and we filled more than half the stadium, no meager feat for this season. once we started getting housed, and we did get housed, people left. fair weather fans? you have no idea. half the audience had left BY HALF TIME!
at this point nothing short of a BCS bid will completely salvage our institution. it wont happen this season, obviously, even if we win out (anyone can tell you that it's absurd to even hint that we will. sadly, i dont even think it will happen during my tenure at a pittsburgh based school.
i'll leave you with this note: i mentioned how attendance can eventually help Pitt in general. here is how. fans changing games is rare, but it does happen. even if we have such a poor season, the fans will make our university look better. this will send a message to alums and potential students and yes! we will get more donations and more students will come! i guarantee that! not to mention the support will actually help the players on the field. thats it. i'm done.
screen pass! BYAAAA

Elmo said...

my sentiments exactly. i was one of the students in the front of the bus when you walked by and made a comment about the cat basket shirt.

hopefully we, as a student body, pull ourselves together and become half-decent fans

im a freshman, and i'm praying that the Zoo is respectable. i'll be at every game, and i can't even tell you how excited i am.

J Jones said...

The Zoo is better don't worry about that but the bandwagon fan problem is 5 times as worse but the real fans get tickets.

stuffedred said...

It's definitely a shame that our own students don't know what it means to have Pitt pride.


I'm gonna be heading out for the Rutgers game in November with a bunch of my drumline buddies - we get to be fans in the stands for a change. I was wondering if any of you guys would be making the trip as well. If so, let me know and we can all meet up and tailgate before the game.

Hail to Pitt

Anonymous said...

I'm a Pitt fan living in CT and am driving out for the Syracuse game. Is there a way to get my truck into a tailgating lot without having a season pass?

Hail to Pitt!

Anonymous said...

if you get there early alot of lots will let you in. if you show up late, lots will let you in to fill up space. It's that middle time that people get shut out from the season lots. But the earlier you show up the better. The game will probably be a nooner, so the lots will open up at 7 a.m.