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October 21, 2011

Obviously there has been plenty written, and by Friday much of it is stale. I’m just trying to catch-up. On many things. I’ve had about 7 hours of sleep over the last couple of days and I’m just trying to make it through today and tonight.

One other note, about my media day. I was stuck in the Philly airport for a good chunk of Wednesday evening waiting for a connecting flight to get me home. My WVU counterpart ended up seated next to Coach Dixon. The universe has quite a sense of humor.

Now one of the big side shows out of Big East Media Day was Rick Pitino — yet again — lashing out at Pitt and Syracuse by choosing the most uncomfortable analogy he could possibly think of using:

“My problem is not them leaving,” he said. “My problem is you did it in 48 hours. Don’t run away with a girl after one date when you’ve been dating someone else for three or four years. You’ve been dating this woman for 30 years, show a little respect.”

That quote didn’t get out the minute he said it — which would seem surprising. But once it was out there, man. My twitter feed exploded with it around 2 or 3 that afternoon. I remember seeing some comment from a media guy who was there when Pitino said it. He said, Pitino was on a roll at the time, and no one really batted an eye at it as being other than a good one-liner — at least until they went back to put things together for the story. Then, well, what else can you say.

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The trip was far too short, but it’s not like the wife could take a second straight day off from work just so I could get a night in NYC drinking. That gave me a little less than 15 hours in NYC. It was hectic, busy, and a lot of time spent in airports waiting for flights — in fact I spent more time in airports coming and going than I did at Big East Media Day. Well worth it. If this post feels disjointed and without flow, then I am effectively conveying that day.

To explain. Volvo is a corporate sponsor for the Big East. Last year they did a “Biggest fan in the Big East” contest for the first time. They brought it back for this year. I was selected to be the Pitt representative and got this paid trip to Big East Media Day to help kick things off.

Sixteen of us, representing our school will be “competing” for the title which includes a return trip to NYC for the Big East Tournament and a new car. There will also be a donation to the scholarship fund of the winning fan’s school. We got to observe Big East Media Day, will get a couple tickets to a conference home game (TBD) later during the season, and shot some video talking about why we are the biggest fan.

The last, was more than a little awkward for me. Trying to concisely explain why I’m such a fan of Pitt almost seems silly when you get past the basics. I just am.

I didn’t grow up a Pitt fan. I wasn’t raised on the school or the teams. I chose the school for the education and grew into being a fan. For me, being a fan at Pitt is tied to more than simply the athletics. Much of it has to do with staying connected to not just the school but the friends I have from Pitt. Sharing, staying in touch and having the reasons to get together centered around Pitt. That is only part of it. The thing I know, is that I have become a bigger fan the longer I’ve been writing about Pitt. My affection for the school and the athletics have only deepened. And that’s because of all of you. All of you who have come here to read my ramblings. Who have left comments. Argued, debated minutiae. The interaction and passion on the site and — all too infrequently — opportunities to actually meet has only strengthened my feelings for Pitt. Even when the frustrations run high, and tempers a little higher. I simply can’t imagine not being a Pitt alum and fan. Thank you. All of you.

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