May 4, 2016

The Cardiac Hill blog is running a “Bracket of Pitt” series that has  ‘all things Pitt” subjects listed much like we see during the college basketball NCAA tournaments.  Here is how they describe what they are going to do:

“The Cardiac Hill Podcast has a new segment; the Bracket of Pitt. It’s a 64-item bracket of everything Pitt. People, places, things, etc., basically if it has anything to do with the University of Pittsburgh, it’s in. I’ll be hosting the tournament primarily with Jim Hammett of Cardiac Hill. We’ll post the first episode here (and on SoundCloud) tomorrow with me & Jim discussing the bracket and you can vote for the matchups @CoreyECohen on Twitter; one vote per person. Each week we’ll put out a new episode discussing your results and advance the bracket accordingly! Let’s make some May Madness here at Cardiac Hill, we can’t wait to debut the #BracketOfPitt!”

This sounds like an original and fun idea and will fill up some of the Pitt sports dead time from now until the football Fall Camp opens up in early August.  Here is what the bracket looks like as a snapshot but click on this link to see the details.

Cardiac resized

Guess The Pitt Blather didn’t make the cut.

January 15, 2015

Everybody Get Social

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Internet,Media — Chas @ 9:02 pm

Or something like that. Okay you luddites that still want info, the Pitt football coaching staff is going to drag you kicking and screaming into 2010.

Sure you ignored getting on just because I am there. Or Justin. No, Reed is still a conscientious objector or something like that.

Unlike the previous staff that treated Twitter like MySpace, the new Pitt coaching staff is actively on the social side of things. Letting you know where they are out recruiting. Ready to drop code words to indicate if they met with recruits — and just waiting to find out the code words when they land one (quick example is Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin who tweets out a “YES SIR” when he gets a verbal). A veritable Pat Signal.


July 25, 2012

In case you missed it, Pitt fans got to have a bit of fun on Twitter yesterday.

The Panther faithful hijacked a Twitter thread designed for fans to ask questions of Arizona State coach and former Pitt coach Todd Graham at Pac-12 media day on Tuesday afternoon, Within an hour, the #AskASU hashtag became one of the top trending stories in Pittsburgh on the social website.

Initially set up by the Arizona State social media director to take serious questions for the first-year Sun Devil coach, the #AskASU thread was quickly bombarded with hundreds of “questions” from testy Pitt fans.

Graham, who unceremoniously left Pitt for Arizona State after one year and informed his players by text of his decision, was derided for everything from his high-octane offense to his lack of loyalty.

The hashtag was the No. 2 trend in Pittsburgh on Twitter by mid-afternoon Tuesday, getting upwards of 20 new tweets every minute. There were roughly 300 “questions” in the first hour and the traffic increased rapidly after that, drawing interest from national college football writers.

Deadspin posted on the bit too. A lot of credit should go to the guys at Cardiac Hill, who really led the dog pile of fun then kept it going. Some small factual corrections/background to the story, though, is needed.


May 3, 2012

Coach Paul Chryst is still a relatively blank canvas. Sure he’s been an outstanding Offensive Coordinator, but we have no idea how he will translate to being the head coach. We can project. We can believe. We can hope. But we don’t know.

Neither does anyone else. And one of the primary time-killers in the spring and summer months for college football media are lists. Best coaches, best hires, best players by position, etc. Then you can break them down by conference.

That’s where we are at right now. Lists.

Athlon, usually one of the first-to-the-market publishers of preview guides has a rather bizarre ranking of the Big East Coaches. Why is it bizarre? Consider that it includes the present members for the upcoming season, but also tosses the future members as well. This despite being a list just for this year. That means it is a list of 15 coaches rather than 8. Er… I realize expansiopocolypse can be confusing and convoluted, but this just seems silly.


November 26, 2011

I have enjoyed Twitter more than I thought.

The one thing I have tried to avoid doing is following and commenting on players who tweet. Whether you call them kids or not, they are cocooned in college. They will make mistakes. Forget that everyone can see and read this. Hell, plenty of grown-ups regularly mess this up.  And I can’t help but think about how lucky I am that none of the social media (and evidence) was around when I was at Pitt.

That said, Tino Sunseri has managed to make things worse with this tweet:

Oh. Tino. No.


September 28, 2011

Poynter Damages Its Credibility for ESPN

Filed under: Internet,Media — Chas @ 1:22 pm

Time to go off-topic to a media criticism.

In July, Bruce Feldman was a cause for the college blogosphere. A symbol of ESPN tyranny. Of the ongoing injustice of a college football landscape without Mike Leach on a sideline. Of the continued bad judgment of allowing Craig James anywhere near a microphone and camera.

ESPN denied that Feldman was suspended, and within a few days, the Poynter Review Project — ESPN’s indedpendent ombudsman thingy — put together a story that was not well-received.


September 15, 2011

No, I haven’t forgotten about Iowa this weekend. In fact, head over to Iowa site, Black Heart, Gold Pants where I participated in a podcast Adam and Patrick about Pitt football, no more Wanny, our AD, expansiopocolypse and the upcoming game. Not recommended for the very depressed as they are still coping with losing to Iowa State and I’m worried about so many aspects of the team at the moment.

Later today, I’ll be on WPTS to talk about the blog and Pitt athletics. That one should be live around 4 pm.

February 1, 2010

Yet No One Is On Record

Filed under: Internet,Media,Rumors — Chas @ 4:16 pm

I’ve decided to be bemused with the insane rumors from the weekend through today.

The funny thing to me is how this spread from some bad message board material and specious, unsourced internet writings. Kept getting picked up and enough people were hearing something to wonder if there was something to it.

Now it gets doused in a bath of logic and reason. Yet if you want to play the game, no one is actually on record of saying anything one way or another — which allows it to fester and keep going.

The biggest refutation on the Big 11 side came from the Chicago Tribune‘s Teddy Greenstein.

Bottom line, a source at the conference reiterated to the Tribune on Monday that the Big Ten will adhere to the timetable it laid out in December: a 12-to-18 month period of analysis. The league will then determine whether it wants to expand and, if so, how many schools it will invite to the party.

Unnamed source, but still no formal statement. But that refutation spread as truth (and for the record I believe it but not because of an unnamed source at the Big 11).

Another popular source was ZagsBlog actually getting a “Pitt spokesman” on the record — something local beat writers couldn’t do.

Internet reports that Pittsburgh is moving to the Big 10 from the Big East are “100 percent’ false, according to multiple sources within the Pittsburgh athletic department.

“There is no announcement to make because there is nothing happening,” said Pitt spokesman Mike Gladysz.

Well, that’s neat except that Mr. Gladysz is not an employee of Pitt’s athletic department. Oh, he works in the area. He is employed by ISP Sports Network as an editor of the Pitt monthly “Panther Eyes.” At least that is what his profile says.

Oh, and that KC Star blog post  that wrote:

Speculation is heating up all over the Internet that Pitt has accepted an offer to join the Big Ten Conference.

Here is what popped up on, normally a pretty reliable outlet, just a few hours ago…

[Emphasis added]

Well, that bit has been scrubbed and now he, uh, updated it to say he was just posting the speculation on the internet. Nothing else. No. Of course not.

And the fun keeps coming.

[UPDATE, 5:30: Adam Zagoria has changed his post to delete the attribution to Mr. Gladysz, without indicating he ever wrote it that way. Good to see that responsible journalism hard at work.

UPDATE, 2/2/10, 9:00 AM: Interesting. Now it is back. to the original way written.]

October 4, 2009

That promises to add to the weirdness.

For those who haven’t heard or read, the UConn-Pitt game on Saturday, October 10 will be a 3:30 game with regional coverage on ABC. And by regional, I mean regional. Here are the games at 3:30 on ABC.

Sat., Oct. 10 Wisconsin at Ohio State 3:30 p.m. ABC
Sat., Oct. 10 Baylor at Oklahoma 3:30 p.m. ABC
Sat., Oct. 10 Oregon at UCLA 3:30 p.m. ABC
Sat., Oct. 10 UConn at Pitt 3:30 p.m. ABC

I’ll post the regional map when it is actually published (or simply when I find it. Odds are, though, if you are on the East Coast you are set. West of the coastal states and you better have ESPN 360 or GamePlan.

As for my sobriety, which seems counter intuitive to a 3:30 start? Well, here’s the culprit.

There is a sportsbloggers panel at 2pm on Saturday. I’ll be sitting on a panel with bloggers from Pensblog and Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies. The panel will be moderated by Mike Woycheck of Pittsburgh Bloggers.

So, I’ll be heading over to try and make kickoff afterwards. Faced with the choice of making a guaranteed ass of myself by trying to do the panel after drinking or only a 50-50 chance of it, I’m opting for the coin flip.

September 2, 2009

Bummer for Pitt football coverage.

This is my final day as the Pittsburgh Trib’s Pitt football beat writer, as I’ve been offered an opportunity to move into a new role within the sports department that includes writing a weekly column.

The new Pitt football beat writer is John Grupp, who has done an outstanding job covering the Pitt men’s basketball team the past three seasons and I promise will do the same with the Panthers in football. John also is one of the nation’s leading writers on horse racing and covered high school sports here for about two decades.

The Trib also has a new addition to our staff, Ralph Paulk, who started Monday and will join John in providing coverage of the Pitt football and basketball teams. Soon, they are expected to set up a Pitt-centric blog to continue the intensive coverage to which you’ve become accustomed.

I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all the readers of this blog who have passed along kind words. The pleasure was all mine.

This sounds great for Kevin Gorman. A definite step up in the food chain. I wish him luck and will miss his fine work.

Selfishly, I’m bummed about losing a quality writer that did solid reporting and provided fine observations on his blog. The Trib’s Pitt football coverage has been well done for some time. There was Joe Bendel before Gorman. The fact that both have moved up the chains does indicate some solid people in the spot.

I’m going to be curious about Grupp taking the football side. He’s been decent in basketball, but I can’t say outstanding. In his fill-in posts for the Gorman blog, they were rather devoid of any opinion. We’ll find out I guess about whether he’s comfortable to express his own opinions about what he sees.

Now for a little shameless note of getting love. From’s Big East writer, Brian Bennett’s chat today.

Jack (PA)
Are there any Big East bloggers that you would put on your Big East Message board MVP’s? (Most Valuable Posters) If so, who?

Brian Bennett
The ones I read the most are Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, Bleed Scarlet, Card Chronicle and Pitt Blather. For what it’s worth.

[hyperlinks added.]

Can’t fault his choices. These are the ones I read regularly in the Big East blogosphere.

July 29, 2009

Twitter Updates

Filed under: Basketball,Internet,Media — Chas @ 10:21 am

Coach Dave Wannstedt has 788 followers at last count to Coach Jamie Dixon‘s 1031. This despite Wannstedt more than doubling Dixon’s output. I’m guessing the success of the U-19 team helped. I like to think they have a friendly wager going to see who will have more by the end of the year.

The basketball program — past and present — is loaded with Tweeters.

There’s Jermaine Dixon,

Brad Wanamaker,

Gilbert Brown,

Austin Wallace,

Gary McGhee (locked),

and Travon Woodall.

As for recent former Panthers, Ronald Ramon is a private guy. Sam Young and DeJuan Blair, of course. Mildly surprised that Young is actually Twittering and not locked. Sean Brown has his.

Julius Page has one for his business activity. I think this is Jaron Brown‘s.

Disappointed not to find Twitters for Aaron Gray, Ricardo Greer, and especially Carl Krauser.

I’ll try to get to football at a later point.

May 6, 2009

From Coach Wannstedt’s Twitter page.

Wannstedt and Lightning

Just, um, wow.

March 4, 2009

Health Is Always a Factor

Filed under: Basketball,Injury,Internet,Media — Chas @ 12:34 am

Both papers had stories on the good health of the team this year.  Well, yeah.

Luke Winn isn’t picking a winner yet for the NCAA Tournament, but has a top-3 that you should lean towards.

4. Are you a Pitt person, a UConn person or a Carolina person? Those are the only three teams I’d advise picking to win the national championship in your bracket. Vegas still views it as the Tar Heels’ title to lose — it likes them more than three times as much it as it likes the Panthers — but all three are viable options. Which one you pick is a matter of taste: Pitt is a tough, offensive-rebounding monster that can look vulnerable if DeJuan Blair gets in foul trouble; UConn is an athletic, shot-blocking force that’s the stingiest team of the three, but is missing its best perimeter defender, Jerome Dyson; Carolina is a high-octane scoring machine that’s prone to huge lapses in its perimeter D. As of now I’m a UConn person, because I tend to side with the superior defense … but I reserve the right to change tastes before my bracket is filled.

Bob Knight breaks down Pitt’s poor rebounding when Blair is out.

Brandin Knight doesn’t want to hear crap from people.

Nevertheless, skeptics remain. When asked if Pitt needs to advance beyond the Sweet 16 for the season to be considered a success, Knight nearly recoiled from the question.

“Everybody now is like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m a Pitt fan.’ You might have been a Pitt fan up until Charles Smith and those guys left, and then when things got bad you weren’t a fan anymore,” said Knight, 27. “Now, when you come back when things are going well, as soon as things get a little rocky, those are the people that turn around and are like, ‘Same old Pitt.’

“Everybody has their opinions. For some people, we have to get past the Sweet 16. Well, we have to get past the first round and the second round to get to the Sweet 16. Just getting past the Sweet 16 wouldn’t take this program to the next level. We want to win every game, and we don’t focus more on the Big East Tournament and just throw away the NCAA Tournament. We’re dedicated to winning every game.”

Love that. It just tells you how much the program means to Knight.

For all those wondering what Pitt was doing to get ready to deal with the press and teams trying to strip Pitt.

Pitt has averaged 20.5 turnovers in its past two games, and handling full-court pressure was a focal point at Monday’s practice. The whistles were put away.

“Coach Dixon told the press team to hack us and see how we are going to react,” guard Jermaine Dixon said. “We know we’ve got to cut down on the turnovers.”

Coach Dixon was apparently annoyed that the team spent too much time after turnovers whining at the officials. Let a team like Seton Hall chirp constantly. All it got them was 3 technicals in one game.

January 15, 2009

Young Jamie Dixon

Filed under: Coaches,Dixon,Internet,Media — Chas @ 5:31 am

Congratulations on win #148 and moving into 3d place on Pitt’s all-time win list. Here’s hoping he moves into 2nd place early next season.

I’m still waiting for the YouTube of his Bud Light commercial, but there is this interview after a game winning shot with the “best 6th man in the South West Conference.”

January 3, 2009

Immediate Accolades

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Conference,Internet,Media — Chas @ 11:33 pm

First, barring any shocks tomorrow, Pitt will be #2 and it won’t be in dispute. Pitt is off until the 11th.

The acceleration of news cycle. Bloggers and such, means that sports news orgs are now getting instant opinion stuff out on big games. There was little competition when Pitt-Georgetown was on other than Ohio St.-Minnesota or the International Bowl.

That meant quick love for Pitt.

So it’s time to cement Pitt as the Big East favorite and biggest threat to North Carolina this side of Tyler Hansbrough jumping off a house, breaking his leg and ending his career prematurely, because the Panthers were fantastic at Georgetown, grabbing nearly as many offensive rebounds (18) as the Hoyas did total rebounds (20) thanks to a 20-point, 17-board effort from sophomore DaJuan Blair.

That’s strong.

That’s convincing.

That’s why the Panthers should be the unanimous No. 2 team in the country.

And just so we’re clear, it’s not that I ever doubted Pitt, because it’s always been clear that the Panthers have a great coach (Jamie Dixon), some great experienced talent (Sam Young and Levance Fields) and a developed habit of winning. It’s just that I have trouble pushing teams to the top of the rankings when they haven’t beaten anybody of note (that, by the way, is the reason I have UCLA ranked lower than the Bruins are in both the AP and Coaches poll), and entering this weekend the Panthers were 13-0 with their best win coming by single digits over a Florida State team that had previously lost by double digits to Northwestern.

Meantime: No. 1 North Carolina had wins over Michigan State, Notre Dame and Kentucky; No. 2 Connecticut had wins over Wisconsin, Miami and Gonzaga; No. 4 Oklahoma had wins over Davidson, Purdue and Southern California; and No. 5 Duke had wins over Michigan, Purdue and Xavier.

In other words, Pitt’s resume was less impressive than the other four teams in the top five of the latest AP poll.

Before anyone starts complaining, even before the game Gary Parrish said Pitt was the #2 team in the country.

The game returned a lot of attention to Blair in the context of Pitt making a statement.

The Pittsburgh players termed their game against Georgetown a statement game, a chance to disprove those who believed the Panthers’ No. 3 ranking was built on nothing more concrete than a cloud of underachieving opponents.

The Hoyas were the perfect foil. Just five days earlier, they went into Connecticut and stomped the second-ranked Huskies. Now they were gunning for No. 3 in a building where they hadn’t lost since January 2007, a stretch of 29 consecutive games.

The Panthers got their statement, a 70-54 victory that now stands as John Thompson III’s worst home loss since the first game of his Georgetown career.

Blair provided the exclamation point. The sophomore almost single-handedly outrebounded the Hoyas, pulling down 17 boards to Georgetown’s 21, and chipped in 20 points to cement the double-double.

“Of course that inspires me,” Blair said of the lovefest that encompasses Thabeet and Monroe but never him. “I always have to show people more. It’s been that way my whole life, so I don’t really care about what people say about them. I’d rather just prove what I’m all about.”

“We know people were saying, ‘Yeah but who did Pitt play?'” Blair said.

When the Panthers gathered in the huddle, they actually said “statement game.”

“Yeah I heard that,” Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. “We didn’t bring a banner or anything along to practice but I heard them say that. We’re getting better. To me, that’s our statement.”

Of course, that also means welcoming having the target on the backs. Pitt is at the top of the Big East food chain at the moment.

After months of playing second-fiddle to Big East powers UConn and Louisville, the Panthers weren’t ready to let the Hoyas become the new talk of the town after their surprising defeat of the Huskies on Monday. Instead, Blair and his frontcourt partner and roommate Tyrell Biggs dominated the game inside, leaving the Hoyas struggling for any chance at the boards. The two combined for 34 points in the paint while Blair pulled down a Hoya-heartbreaking 18 boards.

“That’s my roommate. We’re best friends,” Blair said after deferring some of the credit to Biggs. “We’re trying to be the best frontcourt in the nation.”

And as big of a statement game for Pitt as this win was, it was also a coming out party for Blair. The sophomore said he had been concentrating on proving that along with his team being the best, he, in fact, was the premiere center in the Big East — not Uconn’s Hasheem Thabeet or Monroe, whom he had played with at the Amare Stoudemaire Skills Camp in June.

At the end of the game, it was very clearly heard the contingent of Pitt fans in the Verizon Center. In the comments, the size was put as significant. The Hoya fans were aware of it as well.

(11:54 am) There are a whole lot of Pittsburgh fans here. A bunch scattered in the lower bowl, and then practically all of the upper deck. So far, they’re louder than the Hoya fans.

(1:52 pm) Summers gets his season high today with those free throws. Hoyas are still down by 18, though, and the Pitt fans are getting a bit obnoxious.

Only “a bit?”

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