After the craziness of Fraud Graham and yet another coaching search, I just didn’t have time to put drafts out there for the last couple challenges. Even this is a bit late, but it is a little better. This is once more, an open solicitation for suggestions before the final answer. I will keep mentioning and begging for your help as the Pitt rep for Volvo‘s Biggest Fan in the Big East contest. The contest is a mix of popularity — so remember to go and vote for me in Volvo’s Biggest Fan in the Big East — and by winning challenges.
This challenge is a rather simple question, yet also a little vexing.
What are the best traditions for your alma mater and why?
This doesn’t simply apply to the school traditions. It is open to the little personal traditions, superstitions or neurosis that have developed over time.
Pitt is in its 225th year of existence. So much history. Yet, when it comes to “traditions.” I’m having a hard time coming up with some of things that really stick out for me.
And before any of you suggest it — even as a joke — singing Sweet Caroline before the start of the 4th quarter will not be on this list.
Those of you who frequent the basketball games at the Pete, especially associated with the Oakland Zoo might have a better sense of the best things done at the games. The Oakland Zoo, generally, is a great new tradition at Pitt. An organized active student section is one of the great things about attending Pitt basketball.
The Victory Lights on the Cathedral is probably one of my favorite Pitt traditions. Illuminating the top of the Cathedral in those golden lights after a win. The beacon in the Pittsburgh night.
The Stadium Bitch has been a classic tradition for Pitt fans. Sure it has evolved over the years. From complaints about the condition of Pitt Stadium, the lack of parking, traffic, no place to tailgate and having to walk up Cardiac Hill. Then to complaints about eliminating the on-campus stadium. To the present complaints of playing in the sterile, NFL stadium that is Heinz Field. The parking pass chaos. The one constant is that Pitt fans will complain about the football stadium situation.
Complaining, in general, is a great Pitt tradition. Noon games — complain. Weeknight games — complain. Students away on winter break — complain that the students are not showing up any longer for December games. If there’s a problem — real or perceived — Pitt fans will let you know.
Among my friends, a tradition is that before at least one home game every year, we meet in Oakland. Not at our friend’s place in the Southside where we usually gather beforehand. Not right at Heinz Field or outside the Pete. Just meet at a spot in Oakland to walk. To wander the campus. Take in the memories. It can be so easy to just go in and back out. Even for the basketball games at the Pete. You fight through the traffic. Find your parking spot. Get into the Pete, then leave afterwards. Maybe at best stop somewhere before or after for a beer or a bite. But taking that extra time to actually walk around the campus. Especially with friends. That’s something else.
So what are your favorite traditions? Pitt or personal?
Changing gears. Courtesy of Volvo, I get to go to a Pitt home game on their dime. The choice before the season began was so obvious. The Louisville-Pitt game on Saturday, January 21. ESPN College GameDay on hand. 9pm game. Big game. Perfect choice. Sure, at the moment it has lost a little luster, but it should still be a great atmosphere and a close game.
Before the game, you can find me at Hemingway’s. Please come over and have a beer with me. I have had chances to meet some of you in football related events, but since it is a lot harder for me to make the b-ball games I rarely get to do anything on campus and with the basketball side. I’ll also be giving away some Volvo stuff.
And it won’t just be me. The guy(s) from Pitt Script will be there. Most likely, so will Anson from Cardiac Hill. And if you are a Pitt or Pittsburgh blogger who wants to join us, drop me an e-mail. Be great to have more of the bloggers and readers in the area gathering for a few drinks.