February 7, 2013

Amidst all the hoopla of signing day, the Paul Chryst press conference praising the newest Panthers and promising that a DC will be named soon. There was information about the Spring practices and the annual Blue-Gold scrimmage.

The spring practices start on March 5. Seems a bit early when you are limited to only 15 practices, but okay.

They culminate with the Blue-Gold scrimmage that will be held this year at Bethel Park High School. Okay, we knew that the plan was to rotate to different high schools in Western PA. Just so happens to be the same HS as a big 2014 recruiting target for the O-line in Mike Grimm. Nice.

The game will be played on April 12 at 7pm. That’s a Friday. What the hell?

Is the plan to guarantee Pitt fans have an excuse not to make the game? There’s no way anyone from out of the area can make it in for this. (And yes, selfishly that includes myself.) Good luck getting out there right after work on a Friday if you are in the area but don’t live in Bethel Park.

I just don’t get this on any level. The spring game is supposed to be a way to build enthusiasm for the upcoming season. To get the fans talking early. Thinking about the upcoming season. Planning for games. Being optimistic for what could be.

Instead Pitt is holding a practice out in the suburbs on a weeknight.

About the only thing I can figure (or hope for) is that Pitt has worked out a deal with ESPN to broadcast the scrimmage. Something to explain an otherwise inexplicable decision.

Wow! I don’t know how ANYONE ever makes a high school game on a Friday night!

Comment by Eric Rodgers 02.07.13 @ 1:19 am

if you think the traffic was bad getting to North Hills, wait until you try to get to Bethel Park. I’ve never been inside the stadium but it looks pretty nice from the road … but it’s not the easiest to find or to get to unless you know that area.

Comment by wbb 02.07.13 @ 7:18 am

BTW, the fact that Bethel Park OL, Mike Grimm (approx 6-6, 290) is a prime target and playing the game at this field is purely conincidental. (FWIW, the last time they allegedly tried that was for Andrew Johnson in 03 and it didn’t work.)

Comment by wbb 02.07.13 @ 7:24 am

Maybe one of these years Pitt will play their spring game like all other big time schools…at their own on campus stadium. I can dream can’t I?

Comment by TX Panther 02.07.13 @ 7:45 am

Friday Night Lights!

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.07.13 @ 8:19 am

“The spring game is supposed to be a way to build enthusiasm for the upcoming season. To get the fans talking early. Thinking about the upcoming season. Planning for games. Being optimistic for what could be.”

How does having the game on a Friday night prevent this? Although I get where you are coming from and the frustration, ALL of those things can still be accomplished. Also, the game is not next week. It is in April. Plenty of time to plan for this game too. (And besides all that, it’s not like the turnout on Saturdays has been so wonderful that Pitt shouldn’t try to break the mold…)

Comment by JCE 02.07.13 @ 8:28 am

This will be a game you want to get to whether it’s Bethel Park or North Shore. Having lived near the BP stadium for 10 years, I can tell you its a great HS facility and we can fill it up on a Friday. I have a feeling when the fanbase builds up, we will be at Heinz. In the meantime it looks like a good strategy.

Comment by barreman 02.07.13 @ 8:38 am

I live in a neighboring town. Works for me1

Comment by winedogs 02.07.13 @ 9:01 am

Not sure of the strategy. Sounds like another Smilin’ Steve blunder. We’ll see. HTP

Comment by pittbluegold 02.07.13 @ 9:06 am

I don’t like Friday nights in April for a scrimmage, but I will be there.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I think SP is perhaps the worst AD east of the Mississippi River. Never look to him for anything but the bizarre.
Saturday afternoon would have been much, much better.

Comment by SFPitt 02.07.13 @ 9:13 am

5 minutes for me, 6 with traffic!!

Has always seemed to be out east or north!

Hooray for the South Hills!!!

Comment by Dan 02.07.13 @ 9:14 am

obviously, the primary strategy for high school stadiums is not having scrimmage in front of 40,000+ empty seats with a secondary strategy of promoting Pitt to the area community.

The strategy for Friday night is more obscure unless Tv is a factor as Chas had alluded to.

Comment by wbb 02.07.13 @ 9:21 am

Close to me as so I’ll be there…it’s a nice stadium, the Pittsburgh Soccer team the RiverHounds used to play there.
I’m fine with a Friday night and actually prefer it, it seems when every year when on a Saturday I had some conflict with kids activities…though I do agree not ideal for people in other parts of the city to make after work.
But I don’t think they are expecting people from other parts of city to attend…stadium isn’t big enough if that was the case. I’m guessing the idea is to move it around for people in each area can attend easily every so many years…I’ll go this year but if they play it at Woodlnad Hills next year…. you won’t see me crossing town.

Comment by milo bloom 02.07.13 @ 9:21 am

I have no problem with Pitt playing the Spring Game in a HS stadium. I actually think it helps attendance because the 3000 or so true diehards that go to every Spring Game will be there no matter what area of the city they live in. Then, you could get several more thousand local folks from the town that you are hosting it in or the neighboring communities (Mt. Lebo, West Mifflin, Peters, USC, etc). So, I think attendance for an event like this is actually better at a HS. 60,000 empty yellow seats just looks awful. I’d rather they hosted it in their indoor facility on the South Side and put up some portable bleachers than host it at Heinz.

Comment by SMF 02.07.13 @ 9:28 am

Better than having the game on Saturday the 13th, which is the first day of trout fishing in Western PA. Hail To Pitt!!!

Comment by Mr Pitt 2001 02.07.13 @ 9:29 am

I dont understand the Friday night start though. The Pirates are home that night and its tougher to make a sporting event on a weeknight. The Penguins are on the road and the Pirates are home on Saturday night so maybe they wanted to play a night game but did not want to compete with both the Pens and Pirates on Saturday night.

Comment by SMF 02.07.13 @ 9:30 am

and as wbb stated…not to play it front of 40,000 empty yellow seats and mess up the Heinz Field Turf..also not sure if it factors in at all since the game is played in the afternoon but the Pirates are home that weekend and the following weekend.

Comment by milo bloom 02.07.13 @ 9:30 am

The way the Bucs pulled their annual el foldo at the end of last year the Spring Game has a chance to draw more at Bethel than the losers at PNC.

Comment by isnore 02.07.13 @ 9:45 am

isnore, not if they have a Rod Barajas bobblehead or do an after game concert with Molly Hatchet

Comment by wbb 02.07.13 @ 11:00 am

Hope it dosen’t rain.

Comment by alcofan 02.07.13 @ 11:27 am

Going to the High School Stadiums is a great idea. I said last year they ought to reward the schools and alumni of the schools that have sent the most and best players, Alliquippa, Hopewell, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills. We have been to North Hills last year and Gateway recently. Maybe Clairton next year.

Should have been Penn Hills for Donald and Mason this year.

Friday night is the tradition for High School Football, under the lights everyone geeked up.

In any case a packed HS Stadium is far preferable to an empty Heinz. Milo try 55,000 empty yellow seats.

Come to the Burgh, spend the weekend, have a good time. You out of towners ought to check out the South Side, the New Penn Ave. and Market Sq. Live it up at the Renaissance or Fairmont, or crash with some old friends. Let’s fill up those yellow seats this year.

Obviously, many long for the days of Pitt Stadium, but the advantage of Heinz Field is the amenities of the City of Pittsburgh. Pitt Fans should take over the city for all game day weekends. I live 45 minutes away and like nothing better than leisurely relaxing in one of the fine hotels, a fine dinner, maybe a show at Heinz or the Benedum, a day at the Sports museum or Warhol. Sure it costs a buck, but once or twice a year is great fun. Much better than the Holiday Inn in Oakland.

Start a new tradition, your wife will thank you. The athletic department ought to be putting together some packages for fraternities, sororities, sports team alums, Panther clubs etc. Are you listening Steve? Pitt Football weekends in the Burgh.

Comment by gc 02.07.13 @ 11:30 am

Maybe the night game is to squeeze in some game simulation under the lights to help them prepare a little for the big season opener on Labor Day vs. FSU that will kick off at 8:00 PM.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.07.13 @ 12:29 pm

The NCAA Ice Hockey Championships are also being played on Thursday and Saturday evenings at Consol.

Comment by markp 02.07.13 @ 1:38 pm

gc, you are right on, however, when the Steelers are in town it is almost impossible to get a room at a reasonable price. I travel 5 hours and it is frustrating and expensive for a two night stay particularly if we make 5 of the 7 home games. Does anybody have any good ideas besides sleeping in the car!!

Comment by barreman 02.07.13 @ 1:58 pm

I moved down the street from the field 9 months ago. Can’t wait. I’ll try and take the day off and throw a tailgate.

BTW you can buy a house in the Northside for like $1000.00.

Comment by freebird 02.07.13 @ 2:17 pm

I don’t care about the when and where. All I care about is seeing these three guys throwing the ball. Savage, Voytik, and Chapman. Tino is gone, new era for Pitt football.

Comment by Why me 02.07.13 @ 3:42 pm

Barreman, you are right, hard to compete when the Steelers are in town. If you have a car, you can go out a little farther. The Waterfront has new hotels, restaurants, theaters, shopping.

The Shadyside/East Liberty area is booming, for entertainment, not sure about hotels.

Unfortunately town is where it’s at. Best to come when the Steelers are away.

Comment by gc 02.07.13 @ 4:46 pm

mike archer say pitt job intrigues him if it were offered he would think abought it.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.07.13 @ 6:14 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 02.07.13 @ 8:17 pm

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