February 2, 2007

6’0″ vs 7’9″

Filed under: Alumni,Basketball,Good — Dennis @ 5:01 pm

Yep, it’s a slow day week. If you need some Friday fun, here it is. The first 10 seconds or so of the video link below show Sun Ming Ming, a 7′ 9″ player in the USBL, against former Pitt Panther and current USBL player Mark McCarroll. McCarroll sort of attempts to post him up but ends up getting a jump ball called. Uhhh, very entertaining stuff…I guess.
Sun Ming Ming: A Very, Very Tall Man…Mark McCarroll: Not So Much

By the way, Toree Morris also plays for the Brooklyn Kings.

Script Suspicions

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 11:52 am

I nearly forgot, in the Zeise Q&A the issue of the script helmets Palko and Blades wore was addressed — sort of.

Q: What is your take on the script Pitt helmets worn by Palko and Blades at the Senior Bowl? Is this a sign of things to come?

ZEISE: I had no less than 25 inquiries about this very subject which means some of you need to get a grip on this script thing. The helmets worn by Blades and Palko were worn because the two kids decided they wanted to wear them. It was not an athletic department decision, it has no significance for the future of the uniforms. It was not appreciated by certain members of the athletic department, who felt the kids should have been made to wear Pitt’s current logo on a national stage. So in short, according to people within the athletic department, there is no chance that Pitt will go back to the script next year or in the near future. The current logo — the one that was on the helmets last year — will remain in place. So please put an end to this script silliness. It isn’t going to happen.

Only 25? Not sure I’m buying the explanation. Especially since there is still no addressing where they came from. As has been noted by others, the script and the lettering was not some decal over the regular helmet. Are they saying — however obliquely that the players had or had access to alternate helmets? There’s just something that isn’t adding up correctly.

I’m still trying to make the judgment as to whether the Big East made the right call on releasing the schedules this week. Or should they have waited until after NLI Day on Wednesday. I realize some schools are now taking orders and send out renewals immediately. Still, for Pitt, at least it might have been a little better to wait until after signing day when there would be a more tangible sense of optimism to let the fans know what the schedule is.

Instead, it’s a bit of spin from AD Jeff Long.

“We understand that and we know that where we are in terms of televised appearances is reflective of how our season went and what expectations are of our team. At the same time, there are going to be other windows to negotiate to get certain games on television and so we anticipate things will change. Certainly the fact that we were picked to play West Virginia on championship Saturday speaks volumes about how we are perceived nationally.”

That unless Pitt is playing a team that has national recognition and achievement at the moment, there is little interest in Pitt outside of the fanbase?

On the positive side, they still haven’t raised ticket prices and seem genuinely desirous of getting as many bodies in the stands as possible.

Pitt is offering two new ticket promotions this season: “First and 10,” which provides fans the chance to buy one season ticket at full price and get a second for $10; and “7 in ’07,” which allows groups of four or more to reserve season tickets for a $77 deposit as part of a payment plan through August that allows for a minimum savings of $289.

Current season-ticket holders who renew online will receive a $10 discount. Single-game tickets, if available, won’t go on sale until August.

The WPIAL is happy about the way Pitt’s schedule looks. West Virginia high schools may not be so thrilled.

Arch rival Pitt has been moved back to the final game of the regular season.

The 100th edition of the Backyard Brawl will be played Dec. 1 in Morgantown.

It’s the latest date ever for a WVU-Pitt game and also conflicts with the Super Six high school football championships in Wheeling that weekend.

Amusing to note that the MAC had to redo two season openers with WVU and Pitt. Pitt was supposed to face Bowling Green, but they needed to be swapped out because they were overbooked. That’s why Pitt will face Eastern Michigan. Bowling Green will now be on the schedule in 2008.

WVU was supposed to start with Ball State, but they too were overbooked so the Mountaineers get Western Michigan.

Paul Zeise has another Q&A. My, linebacking seems bleak.

Q: Is there any reason to have hope given the Panthers’ situation at both defensive end and linebacker?

ZEISE: There is always hope — every one starts the season 0-0. I think you are correct, linebacker to me — not quarterback — is the biggest issue for this team. The Panthers need to do some serious reloading here and unless there are some athlete/running back types in this recruiting class headed for linebacker I’m not sure I see much help. You’d hope Tommie Campbell can take the next step as a player but the other positions are way up in the air. I think defensive end is going to be OK. It won’t obviously be like the Florida Gators defensive end situation, but it will be pretty good. I think between Doug Fulmer, Joe Clermond, Greg Romeus, Chris McKillop and, perhaps, a guy like Tommie Duhart, the position will be in good shape.

Don’t worry, Paul Rhoads will handle it. Ah, there’s a reason why the door in my home office has a well worn dent the size of my head.

Now as for the subject of getting season tickets this year. I’m renewing, as much to be able to gather with my friends as much as anything else. It’s really the only chance we get during a year to coordinate and meet at the same time given where we live, our schedules and family responsibilities.

I also understand why other don’t want to renew whether it’s the retention of Paul Rhoads — and the dedication to excuse making. Or if it’s simply not wanting to hear the excuses. The last two years it has been all Walt Harris’ fault for not leaving the cupboard well stocked. This year it will be youth.

2008 will be the end of excuses. No one will accept them at that point. Pitt’s football department from the AD to the coaches to the interns. They are putting everything to that year, so they better be right. My sense is 2007 is kind of a “hold on, until next year” sales job.

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