March 22, 2012

Blue-Gold Game Hits the Road

Filed under: Football,Marketing,Practice — Chas @ 9:19 am

So, um, anyone know any good bars near this place?

In an effort to embrace and celebrate the traditions of Western Pennsylvania football, Pitt head coach Paul Chrystannounced today he will be taking the annual Pitt Spring Football Festival and Blue-Gold Scrimmage on the road to North Hills High School on April 14.

“I may be new to Pittsburgh, but I’ve respected and known about the traditions of Western Pennsylvania high school football for a long time,” Chryst said. “As a first-year coaching staff, we feel it is important to get out and engage the people and communities who have built that tradition. The spring game is a perfect opportunity to do this and we’re really looking forward to visiting North Hills in April.”

The gates at North Hills’ Martorelli Stadium will open at 11 a.m. The Panthers will host a youth clinic at 11:30 a.m., followed by the playing of the Blue-Gold Scrimmage at 1 p.m.

The stadium is not at the school. Not sure what the capacity actually is. Pre-2000 renovations, the seating was around 5300. I’m guessing it isn’t too different now.

Update: Not seeing any bars nearby, but there is a beer distributor rather close by. Hopefully tailgating will be allowed.


In other news, it seems kids can’t go 3 days without calling in yet another bomb threat to the Cathedral. This is getting ridiculous.

Comment by Greg 03.22.12 @ 9:21 am

It’s a far easier stadium than Heinz to tarp when the fans don’t show up for a meaningless scrimmage. I like what Chryst is saying though. I just never get the hype over these Spring games. Bama has 60k show up for their game. I’ll wait for the real games in the Fall.

Comment by TX Panther 03.22.12 @ 9:30 am

If the stadium was on campus, kids would have a lot of fun tailgating and going to the spring game. My guess is that’s why other teams like Bama have such good attendance, compared to Pitt.

Comment by Kevin 03.22.12 @ 9:42 am

I went to NA (Go Tigers), but my wife works at NH so I know the stadium had $11millon in renovations and it’s great for high school football.

Not much parking or should I tell the truth and say no parking what-so-ever.

Wiegand’s Cafe in West View is just over the hill and a good place to down a few. (Not walking distance though).

Comment by Tackle made by Hugh 03.22.12 @ 9:45 am

Walt Harris held one here during Larry Fitz’s last year. It is a good place to watch the Blue & Gold game, especially considering how few people come to these at Pitt. IIRC, Walt also spun it that it would help with Pitt recruiting NH kids.

That being said, there is more to life than drinking. You should remember that younger kids read your blog as well and not be overly infatuated with alcohol.

Comment by Ghost of Pete Gonzalez 03.22.12 @ 9:56 am

as I recall, Pitt had its Blue-Gold scrimmage at Martorelli Stadium in 2003. It is located less than a mile from the Rte 19 exit on 279N (if memory serves) I believe the 2nd exit going north from downtown. Funny, the thing I remember about that scrimmage was Walt H talking to recruits A Morelli and A Johnson on the sidelines during much of the scrimage … both reneged and went elsewhere come signing day.

I also remember a scrimmage at Gateway High School during Wanny’s 1st or 2nd year.

Comment by wbb 03.22.12 @ 10:00 am

@wbb, did Morelli have the grades to get into Pitt?

Comment by Ghost of Pete Gonzalez 03.22.12 @ 10:02 am

I checked the Pirate schedule and they are away on the 14th so my guess the real reason for this move is not scrimmaging in a stadium with over 55,000 empty seats.

But it could also be an attempt to cut down on expenses due to how much money Pitt is losing on this CBI deal

Comment by wbb 03.22.12 @ 10:11 am

Good news for me! My in-laws live two exits north, I can drop the kids at grandma’s and actually watch the game!

Wonder how big the crowd will be. Was it packe back in 2003?

Comment by ME 2001 03.22.12 @ 10:28 am

There’s more to life than drinking? Like what?

Comment by Pittdiser 03.22.12 @ 10:41 am

Drinking sometimes helps me get through life. Responsible drinking is part of the tailgate experience kids. Just don’t drink and drive.

Comment by TX Panther 03.22.12 @ 10:48 am

There is a PAT Park n Ride within walking distance
of the stadium

Comment by Pitt1969 03.22.12 @ 10:54 am

Yes kids don’t drink, and don’t do drugs, don’t rob people and don’t murder people!!!

Now, I know that bottle of Glenlivet is somewhere around here!!

Comment by Dan 03.22.12 @ 11:08 am

Howards Tavern is right behind the stadium in walking distance. Great food and drinks, just watch the language,they don’t take kindly to f-bombs.

Comment by pittwillriseagain 03.22.12 @ 11:12 am

I hate to bring this up but speaking of drinking and scrimmages at North Hills …. after some thought, my other memory of that previous scrimmage in 03 was one of the highlights … Luke Getzy thowing a long TD to the late Billy Gaines .. you all remember how he died, don’t you?

Comment by wbb 03.22.12 @ 11:15 am

Ok, ok, I’m sorry, I’m exaggerating………..

I know exactly where that bottle is!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 03.22.12 @ 11:15 am

ive gone to every spring game for the last 15 yrs or so, even went to gateway when wanny had it there. to me this is stupid. i do not want to go to a college spring game at a high school with my son. i was looking forward to taking him to heinz, but i have to reconsider this move.

Comment by mike 03.22.12 @ 11:17 am

And kids like adults do stupid things. Typically, you don’t die from them. Everything in moderation.

The HS move is designed by a first year coach as a sign of respect to the area where most of his recruits will come from. Plus, 55k empty seats at Heinz would look very bad and that experience would kill off any buzz from the tailgate. I’m sure they’ll have Heinz lined up for next year with plenty of tarped seats.

Comment by TX Panther 03.22.12 @ 11:40 am

Don’t think this is too far away:

link to

Comment by Carmen 03.22.12 @ 11:59 am

@mike, take your son to the Blue/Gold game at NH. He will be closer to the action. I took my young son in 03 and we were really close to all of the action – like Rod Rutherford fumbling a snap. Word is, that was Tino’s fault too. NH stadium may not be as “impressive” as Heinz (I hate Heinz for football – Clev, Cincy, Philly all have better “new” stadiums), but he will have a better view and there will be fewer empty seats.

Comment by Ghost of Pete Gonzalez 03.22.12 @ 12:07 pm

Brush your teeth kids!!

Comment by Dan 03.22.12 @ 12:45 pm

Well, sorry Pete – this fan likes to down a few cold ones with my PITT fan friends both pre and post Spring Game. In all honesty it is what makes the nine hour round trip drive worth it.

I’ll be there and I’ll buy a couple of cases of beer at the PX and put them on ice for tailgating before the game. Watch out for a tall guy who looks like Tom Selleck.

Hope to see every one of you there…

Comment by Reed 03.22.12 @ 1:40 pm

Kind of sucks that this thread has more comments than my Pulitzer Prize worthy report on Spring Camp I just put out.

Get back on there and talk about some real football dammit!

link to

Comment by Reed 03.22.12 @ 1:42 pm

The North Hills is Emel’s old stomping grounds.
Several good bars are close to NH’s football stadium. Perrysville Tavern on Rt.19 right in Perrysville(go figure) is a good local bar. As is the Rochester Inn on the corner of Babcock & Rochester Rd. This is a real Pittsburgh type bar if you get my drift. Those two are about the closet to NH’s stadium. If I’m picking, Perrysville is better, Rochester Inn is on the way back towards McKnight Rd & all points south when leaving Matorelli.

Comment by Emel 03.22.12 @ 1:48 pm

Oh….kids shouldn’t be in bars. If you are a responsible parent !
And then they won’t be subjected it and the language that is in bars.
There are tons are restaurants that cater to families. STay the f*ck out of my bars !

Comment by Emel 03.22.12 @ 1:54 pm

Kevin–When the stadium was on campus (Pitt Stadium), spring game attendance wasn’t any better and most students didn’t bother to go to the spring game even in the Dorsett and Marino era. I know as I attended most spring games back then–that’s just the way it was and is. Holding the game in a large high school facility makes plenty of sense.

Comment by pitt1972 03.22.12 @ 1:56 pm

Oh, I mentioned the Perrysville Tavern, cause they actually do get a good mixture of crowd. You know people with college degrees and such. The bars in West View, which is closer to Matorelli are not where you want to go. Believe me !

Comment by Emel 03.22.12 @ 1:57 pm

@Reed, I was not judging you for drinking, as I like to have a few every now and then myself. It is just not the main focus of my life. Maybe it is an age thing. Even when I attended Quarter Draft Nights (Thursdays) at CJ’s, (dating myself here), it was not the number one thing in my life. Be safe on the drive to and from NH and I will be on the lookout for you. I look forward to introducing myself and having one with you.

Comment by Ghost of Pete Gonzalez 03.22.12 @ 2:08 pm

So where are we drinking? See you all at the Spring Game!

Comment by Dan 72 03.22.12 @ 2:48 pm

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots…everybody!

It’s Pitt football, the only way to get through a game is by heavily consuming alcohol.

Comment by The Incline 03.22.12 @ 4:22 pm

Yes, there is one bar in very short walking distance from this stadium. Right up the hill near the drive-thru beer dist.

Comment by Hollywood 03.22.12 @ 4:26 pm

Actually, not sure if the one I remember is still open. It may have been quite some time ago.

Comment by Hollywood 03.22.12 @ 4:27 pm

I look like tom selleck there cant be 3 of us
JD and iron city only way to go.
and dont worry the kids know more swear words
than we do but they should not be used in front of ladys. go PITT.

Comment by Frankcan 03.22.12 @ 6:03 pm

Frankcan you look like Tom Selleck too? I thought I was the only one who had to put up with random autograph seekers.

Comment by IH8PITT 03.22.12 @ 6:31 pm

A old tom selleck now but when i was young i was pretty close not as good but all most thoes were the days that was why the wife kepet me on a short leash.

Comment by Frankcan 03.22.12 @ 8:00 pm

This year i just dont want to hear tino gives us the best chance to win.
but i think we will then i will have to get drunk on game day just to get thru the day.

Comment by Frankcan 03.22.12 @ 8:11 pm

Thank you for that post Frankcan
we will, but maybe not forever???

Comment by Gordo 03.23.12 @ 2:03 am

The Perrysville Tavern has some good food too! For those worried about kids, There is a seating area that is seperate from the bar area where you can sit and eat. I have had all of my young children there.

Don’t order too much food, the portions are large.

Comment by ME 2001 03.23.12 @ 7:39 am

Frankcan – Sunseri gives us the best chance to win.

There, has your head exploded yet?

Comment by Reed 03.23.12 @ 8:44 am

Frankcam, if your head is still in one place, the following is from PG’s Redshirt Diaries which Zeise posted after yesterday’s practice:

3.) Please sit down before you read this – I actually thought the quarterbacks had a good day today. I know that we are supposed to criticize the quarterbacks every day, but I’ll be honest, they — and actually more accurately, Tino Sunseri — had as good of a day as I’ve seen in a long time. He completed a lot of passes, looked confident in the pocket, made good decisions – it was a good day for him. He seemed to have a nice rapport with Cam Saddler, who caught a bunch of balls and he made a number of tough throws. Again, I am not saying he is all of the sudden channeling Peyton Manning – I am saying he had a good day. And if he has a good day Saturday, then Sunday and then makes a habit of it, he could actually have people feeling good about that positon by the fall.

Comment by wbb 03.23.12 @ 10:08 am

Zeise reporting that Tino had a good practice. That never happens…

In Tino we trust?

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.23.12 @ 10:41 am

Everhart just got axed at Duquesne. He is supposedly good friends with Jamie, however, even better frineds with Huggy Bear (he is a WV native) … so maybe he will turn up as an assistant

Jamie maybe already has Roehrersen promised for all we know

Comment by wbb 03.23.12 @ 11:44 am

I went to NH and played sports (football and soccer) at Martorelli Stadium, lots of great memories…but if I’m Chryst I would have gone to Woodland Hills or NA, which have much larger pools of kids for future recruiting. Either way, can’t hurt to go out and kiss the ring of coach McCurry…and since i can’t make it to the Spring Game, if you see Coach McCurry, tell him I said thanks for getting me out of detention my senior year!

Comment by CJK 03.23.12 @ 12:16 pm

Perrytown, sarcastically referred to by some as Scarytown, is actually not a bad place. Well, it wasn’t when my then-girlfriend/now-wife & I used to go there, nearly 20 years ago, almost every Sunday night for a beer and some nachos. It was a once-a-week date, the only night when one of us wasn’t working.

I have to assume the nachos are still pretty good…

Comment by Carmen 03.23.12 @ 12:22 pm

Everhart was a bum he ran kids in and off the team left and right glad he is going.
we could use ROEHERSEN hope it happens
Wbb you are trying to kill me i know it tino all ways looks good in pratice but when the real game starts he folds up and turns into a putz.
every thing that goes wrong is tinos fault the BB season was tinos fault chas car broke it is tinos fault if you dont belive me ask EMel.

Comment by Frankcan 03.23.12 @ 1:33 pm

Tino may look good in practice but we all know how he looks in games!!

Comment by JP 03.23.12 @ 9:52 pm

Wow. So Pitt is now having its spring game at a high school stadium. How sad.

Comment by A-Wild 03.23.12 @ 9:53 pm

North Hills stadium- easy road access and free parking. Two things Heinz doesn’t have. And close to where I live, which makes it doubly good. I can’t justify spending a day at Heinz for the spring game but can get over to NH for a couple hours if neither of my kids have volleyball tournaments.

Comment by Annie 03.23.12 @ 10:29 pm

I second (and third) everyone’s recommendations for the PErrysville Tavern. Good food, drinks, and fine place overall.
Oh, and the beer distributor pretty much overlooks the field — we’ve bought a case there before and watched from above behind the fence. Does the trick!

Comment by JW 03.23.12 @ 10:35 pm

I don’t know much about Everhart, but I do know that he took an abysmal program and made them a hell of a lot better. The Duquesne job has been a carreer ender for a lot of basketball coaches. I knew Jim Satalin who had been successful at St. Bonaventure before coming here and it was his last head coaching job. They haven’t had a genuinely good team in over 40 years. At least with Everhart they became good enough to win some games even against some good teams like Dayton and Xaviar in Alantic 10 play during his tenure. The McConnells are basketball royalty in Pittsburgh, and losing T.J. McConnell brought about his dismissal. It’s going to be almost impossible to recruit top notch players or to be successfull at Duquesne.

Even with Pitt’s “not so successful season,” I’m glad I’m a Pitt fan.

Comment by Justinian 03.24.12 @ 7:19 am

What’s the trick to get the current version of Pitt Blather on an IPhone? When I google it only brings up older articles.

Too bad about Duquesne, it looked like they were turning a corner.

Listened to Bobby Engram on the Fan yesterday. He sounded more like a politician than a coach. Didn’t reveal anything about the players progress or mention many names. Then the idiot interviewers asked him about Hines Ward and the Saints scandal. They asked him about Mason, I don’t think he knew who he is.

Comment by gc 03.24.12 @ 7:34 am

Taking the game to a high school stadium is a great idea. When they came to Gateway they packed the place. Helps with recruiting and maybe creates some young fans. They should pick a new school every year. Definitely go to Alliquppa, Woodland Hills, Penn Hills, Gateway to recognize their contributions to Pitt Football.

Comment by gc 03.24.12 @ 7:40 am

It’s called HS karma. And we could really us it.

@gc Add Mt. Lebo to your list. I believe we have some sort of connection there?

Comment by CompLit 03.24.12 @ 7:49 am

GC, I agree it would nice to see the Blue-Gold game move to a different high school every year. It would great PR in our Pittsburgh area communities. I along with CompLit vote for the next one at Mt Lebanon, Bethel, Upper St. Clair or another high school in the South Hills. That kind of thing creates a lot of interest in the local communities. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Justinian 03.24.12 @ 8:12 am

I have a comment regarding the spring practice post

You mentioned rushel shell and the rb situation. Ive said it before that i thought rushel shell would be option 3 or even 4 this year and i got a ton of crap for it. Ray graham is the obvious 1, i said that isaac bennett would be 2 and i said that malcolm crockett and rushel shell would compete for the 3rd spot. The talent and depth at the rb spot will make it very tough for shell to just waltz in during camp and gain the 2nd or 3rd spot.

Comment by Pk 03.24.12 @ 10:04 am

Yeah its a great idea…..when you can only get a thousand to attend your spring game.
This is just another sign of the long decline that is Pitt football.

Comment by A-Wild 03.24.12 @ 1:39 pm

Would Pitt have had a different record last year if they had 60,000 show up for the Spring game?
Focus on the things that really matter and the rest will follow.

Comment by SFPitt 03.24.12 @ 8:47 pm

PK – I agree on all counts. I do think PITT fans are expecting too much too soon out of Shell, especially given that RB is not a real ‘position of need’ this upcoming season.

From all reports Ray Graham and staff expect him to be 100% physically ready to play. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll be 100% the RB that he was in 2011 before his injury but I’m confident that he’ll take the lion’s share of carries.

I was really looking forward to see Malcolm Crockett play this season and we still might, but Corey Davis has been getting a lot of reps in the practices.

One thing is that at Wisconsin Chryst used a pretty deep RB rotation – which gave him three 1,000 yards rushers two years ago so we may see the same approach at PITT this season.

Comment by Reed 03.25.12 @ 9:51 am

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