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February 27, 2014

Just Spring Practices. No Game.

Filed under: Fans,Football,Marketing — Chas @ 6:08 pm

Just a bit bland.

Did not expect this when the schedule for spring practice would be announced.

Pitt has canceled its annual spring football game.

Coach Paul Chryst said Thursday that he believes finishing spring drills with a regular practice will be better for his team.

“The thinking behind that is to get one more good work day out of (the players),” he said. “Most if not every spring game you end up really sacrificing a lot.

“These days are really valuable for us. I’m not in a hurry to get through spring ball, and I want to maximize every day with it.”

Spring practice will include the NCAA-limit of 15 practice sessions, beginning March 16. The final session is scheduled for April 13. All practices will be held at UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side on the outdoor fields or at the indoor facility.

Is there a large element of truth to this? Absolutely. Coach Chryst has, at best, shown antipathy for the Blue-Gold Scrimmage. It has been clear that as a coach he sees it as a waste of valuable practice time. Decrying at the end of the scrimmage how they need more practice and wishes for more time.

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September 19, 2013

Creative Buzz

Filed under: Basketball,Marketing — Chas @ 7:13 am

Give Pitt’s Athletic Department credit for creating some buzz once more for the start of basketball practice. Last year it was having an outdoor practice out on Bigelow Boulevard was a success and got plenty of national attention. This is a better than decent follow-up.

Fans will get their first glimpse of the 2013-14 Pitt Basketball Team when it hosts a “Morning Madness” event at Stage AE beginning at 10:30 a.m. prior to the Pitt-Virginia Homecoming Football game on Saturday, Sept. 28.

As part of Pitt’s “Super Saturday” slate of Homecoming events, a basketball court will be constructed inside Stage AE. “Morning Madness” will highlight the 2013-14 Pitt Basketball team and feature player introductions, various skits, promotional activities and a slam dunk contest. Admission is free and open to the public for the event. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

I wonder if doing it after the game would preclude the post-Sweet Caroline exodus, but I guess they weren’t prepared to test the theory.

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December 3, 2012

Welp, It’s A Rumor

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 1:43 pm

Let me state how much I don’t believe this. That by even posting this, I am probably just trolling for hits on the site.

But what the hell.

Former Pitt Middle Linebacker Scott McKillop just put this out on Twitter. Take it for what it’s worth.

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July 16, 2012

Welp, Big East Media Days are only a couple weeks away. That means training camp is looming. That means some actual Pitt football speculation. I know, it’s been a while. Teams have announced which players will be attending the media day for interviews/lobster eating competition. Pitt is sending:

  • Jared Holley
  • Ray Graham
  • Aaron Donald

Can you believe that Tino Sunseri isn’t going? Not liking Pitt’s chances in the lobster eating. This is almost certainly the last time Pitt and Syracuse will be a part of this. I’d like to see Coach Chryst end the clambake by solemnly stating:  L’Shanah HaBa’ah B’Greensboro (Next year in Greensboro).

 

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July 10, 2012

Watchlists to Fill the Time

Filed under: Football,Honors,Marketing — Chas @ 12:39 pm

You get a watchlist nod! And you get a watchlist nod! He gets a watchlist nod! Everybody gets a watchlist nod!

Still weeks before training camp. Not even any good arrests happening at this point in the college football offseason. So for the myriad of college football individual honors that are quickly forgotten once they are handed out in January (or is it December?), announcing the watchlists for the various awards makes sense.

We are bored/desperate enough. You get attention across all the conferences as long as you include a couple from each conference. Which they do. The watchlist is basically the acknowledgment that, yes this guy might be good and he’s got some hype. We’ll mention him.

So far, Pitt has four players mentioned on the watchlists:

Ray Graham — Maxwell Award (Best college football player)

Aaron Donald — Bednarik Award (Best defensive player)

Hubie Graham — John Mackey Award (Tight End

Ryan Turnley — Rimington Trophy (Center)

The Maxwell and Bednarik watchlists have 65 names each. The Mackey has 33 names and Rimington lists 51 names on their respective watchlists.

Like I said, the awards at least get some attention.

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.

 

February 27, 2012

So, this is the final “Challenge” question in Volvo‘s Biggest Fan in the Big East competition. There’s still time to vote for me, before the popularity aspect closes next week.

This time the question is the equivalent of a clip show. They are asking to recap the experience. Favorite aspects, the experience itself and what not.

Not the most exciting question or topic, I know.

Overall, this has been fun. Free trip to NYC for Big East Basketball Media Day. A trip back to Pitt, College GameDay, along with hotel, tickets and some walking around money to the Louisville-Pitt game Courtesy of Volvo. Plus free use over the weekend of a very sweet Volvo S60 T6 with all the bells and whistles.

The chance to win the new car and possibly go back to NYC for the Big East Tournament also in the mix. All I had to do was whore myself out for a series of posts over the past few months — most of which related to Pitt and the Big East. Note to other corporate sponsors of Pitt, the Big East and eventually the ACC: I can live with that kind of trade. Call me.

 

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February 13, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Volvo Challenge. This one comes with a little synergy. It is another Volvo Challenge. Remember to go and vote for me in Volvo’s Biggest Fan in the Big East. Volvo, a Big East corporate sponsor for the Big East, wonders what the Biggest Fans in the Big East think constitute the Garden 30, that the Big East itself is asking in honor of the 30th year at MSG.

What is the Garden 30? It is the 10 best moments. The 10 best players. And the 10 best teams in the Big East Tournament.

If you look over the list, Pitt doesn’t get much run. Except for being at the other end of some of the moments the Big East chose. The moments being widely defined as anything from a  moment, a single game, a tournament run and even back-to-back titles.

Well, if they are going to cast that wide of a net, there is no way Pitt doesn’t enter into the discussion.

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January 20, 2012

Meet Us At Hemingway’s

Filed under: Marketing,Uncategorized — Chas @ 3:45 pm

Picked up the Volvo S60 for the weekend at my local Volvo dealership. Got a crash course (figuratively I mean) about the car and all the features. It’s going to be a lot of fun to drive — even into a winter storm.

Well, I popped the trunk on the Volvo S60 I get for the weekend thanks to the Biggest Fan in the Big East contest. (Please, vote.) And in there was a box filled with t-shirts, mini-basketballs, beer cozies and hats. Emblazoned with Big East and Volvo logos. Needless to say, I have little corporate goodies to give away tomorrow.

As for the where, I’ll be at Hemingway’s around 6 pm tomorrow. Also definitely going to be there will be at least one of the Bryan’s from PittScript blog. Unfortunately Cardiac Hill almost certainly cannot make it. Please come on over and have a drink (or more) with us.

January 11, 2012

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.

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April 2, 2011

Buick’s Smart Sponsorship

Filed under: Bloggers,Marketing — Chas @ 10:08 am

I should be in Houston.

I’m sure many of you had some sort of plan in place to get there as well. Some of you probably have money sunk from the hope/expectations of Pitt being in Houston. This is the selfish, self-pitying, disappointed part of Pitt not making the Final Four. Beyond simply my love of Pitt and the joy I would take in seeing the Men’s Basketball team still playing, winning and being one of the four teams in Houston. There were selfish interests.

I was going to go to Houston for free if Pitt made it.

You probably noticed that Buick is one of the major corporate sponsors for the NCAA Tournament this season. They had a little extra money in the sponsorship budget after dropping Tiger Woods last year.

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January 18, 2011

I’ll get to the media recap and my thoughts on the game in a post later today. But since I know that will take a little while to compile, just wanted to get this sidebar stuff out.

This was an event. Major media covering it from all sports sites. You had seemingly half the Pittsburgh Steelers show up to watch. Plenty of Pitt football alum like Dorin Dickerson, Nate Byham, Tyler Palko, Bill Stull, CJ Davis and of course Larry Fitzgerald showed up to see this game.

And of course, football HC Todd Graham and a bunch of recruits made an appearance. Presumably they were primarily local recruits. The info is behind the recruiting sites paywalls. I am reasonably sure Desimon Green did go, but the big one is 2012 recruit, Rushel Shell. You have to believe that Graham loved being able to pitch the kids with this game as the atmosphere.

A friend at the game texted me, “Graham took the recruits past the Zoo, then came up in the stands, put on a shirt, and is jumping around w the fans. Most of his coaches just joined in.”

And then someone posted the visual.

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September 2, 2010

A Little More Uni Stuff

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 11:14 am

Some people can hop flights. Bounce around in cars to and fro. Pop in and pop out of home and anywhere else, and still stay focused and with it.

I, apparently, am not one of those people. Granted too much to drink and not enough to eat on Tuesday night contributed to that, but I think I would still be a bit off.

First announcement. There will be a liveblog tonight. I’ll probably kick it off around 8:15.

Second, more uni pictures will be below the fold.

In case anyone was unclear about this, Nike paid for my trip and hotel room. As far as I understand, they paid for almost all the media and bloggers in attendance.

The good thing about this, was some opportunities for casual meetings and talks with some Nike people and others. They were less than thrilled to find out that Miami had put out the press release a day early to reveal details about the uniforms.

At breakfast, I ended up sitting with Aaron Cooper, the designer of Nike’s Huarache sneaker and another guy from Nike. That was illuminating

We talked about the designing of the unis. The schools get a lot of input and that impacts exactly how much the uniforms get tweaked. Ohio St. and Alabama, for example, are very, very protective of their uniforms. So visually, very little was allowed to be done. It showed.

Schools like TCU and Boise obviously were willing to be much more adventurous with the designs. We talked vaguely about Pitt, he didn’t want to reveal much. I warned him that there was going to be a negative reaction from a large contingent of Pitt fans, simply because there would be no script or the old colors.

That seemed to surprise him, which suggested to me that the powers at Pitt never entertained the notion of going old-school. Something we had all known for a while, but many still held out hope to be surprised.

The heritage in the “Heritage” uniforms turned out to be subject to wide interpretation. Can’t say I’m surprised that yet another reference to Pittsburgh’s steel history. It may be tired, but considering the name of the pro football team and every story about Pitt and Pittsburgh team goes to the “blue-collar” well, what can we expect?

Honestly, I was surprised that I didn’t mind them that much. Individual elements I generally don’t like — throwing black in to the color scheme when it isn’t in the team colors, solid color tops and bottoms — but those are the modern/popular things in uniforms. There seemed to be a lot of positive reaction from other guys I talked to at the event to Pitt’s uni.  I’m boring and old. That was why I thought the best uniform of the bunch was Oregon State’s. It was unanimous, though, on the hatred for Virginia Tech.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t wowed. I just wasn’t disgusted by them. I did like the shade of blue, rather than the navy blue. And I actually like the helmet. The slight matte finish, was different. Considering one of the early ideas for the uniform was to make the jersey’s have a “panther-fur” pattern, this was better. I liked the jersey numbers and having them on the shoulder as well — the choice of color for them, though is a question mark

I still think the “Pitt” logo came off as a bit generic and sterile. The sleeves on the underlayer are supposed to be the Panther head. Because it is so oversized and wrapped around the arm, though, it is virtually unrecognizable. The use of black instead of gold, also meant that the only gold really noticeable on the unis are only on the helmet. Hopefully they will at least tweak the color of the numbers between now and the Backyard Brawl.

Also in the photo gallery are the Pitt version of the Huarache. Comfortable. The display pair was in my size. I debated whether I could pull off strolling off with them, but odds are they would have narrowed down who took it fairly quickly since the only other Pitt-related media there was Chris Peak from PantherLair and Tony Greco of PantherDigest.

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August 17, 2010

Possible Uni Look?

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 6:36 pm

UPDATE: Putting this at the top to be clear to all who come to view. This is not the actual Nike Uniform. Reader JSS tracked down the actual source of the photo. They date back to at least December 2009. Ah, well.

At the risk of jumping the gun or simply posting a photo from someone’s photoshop wet dream or an EA Sports NCAA Football mock-up, I received this image a short while ago .

I think I could be quite happy to see that be the Pitt Pro Combat Uniform, “Heritage” series.

Start the Frenzied Speculation

Filed under: Football,Marketing — Chas @ 3:50 pm

It doesn’t take much sometimes. Brian Bennet’s Tweets should do it.

Click here to view full size

Click here to view full size

So does this mean a special uni with the present colors and the “Script Pitt”? Does it mean the old colors and the present style? Does it mean complete throwback?

Two weeks until we find out for sure.

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