Big Lead Sports Bar


Mondesi's House Debate: Allegiance to College Teams

Regular reader Rege from Harrisburg presents an interesting dilemma. Please read his brief story and weigh in: must you have a connection to the college team you root for?

In the words of Rege:
"Just funny story from work today I’d like to share with you. As you know I live in Harrisburg which is in the heart of Penn State country. I’ve been out here 2 ½ years and I deal with the narrow minded, elitist cult known as Penn State nation day in and day out. I have always dabbled in rooting for different college teams since childhood due to the fact I’ve always been an NFL fan first and for most my whole life. So jumping from college team to college team has never really fazed me, because I mainly just watch college football for the great pageantry and rivalries.
I was a ND fan as a youngster, due to the fact the Catholic elementary school I attended was ironically named Our Lady of Notre Dame, and Lou Holtz came and was a motivational speaker at the basketball camp I attend when I was 10. But, my following of the Irish never even came close to my love for the Steelers, so a sub par season by the Golden Domers never really left me too devastated. As the years rolled by I really could have given two s**** about anything college football. As ND lost its luster and the Bob Davie era took over, so then I want no part of that program.
I went on to attend Youngstown State University from 1998-2003 and I really enjoyed 1-AA football. Every team had cool mascots, great seats every game, due to modestly sized stadiums, and best of all playoff games.
Jim Tressel as we all know is the patron saint of Youngstown, and was the head coach for 15 seasons, 4 national championships, 6 appearances in the national title game, a handful of conference titles, and maybe one of the nicest people you would ever meet. Tressel was so assessable to the student body during my time at YSU it was unbelievable. The guy loves just loves everything college, and watching him coach at YSU brought me back as a fan of college football. Unfortunately he left us, and became the head coach at OSU, we all know the rest of the story. I then transferred my fan following to OSU to continue to follow the next coaching legend of Division 1 college football.
Now lets fast forward to 2007 in Harrisburg, PA. My entire office is Penn State fans. I am under abuse every day for being an OSU fan. You would think Jim Tressel stole some of these fans' dates to the prom, they HATE him with such passion. PSU fans are so closed minded they will not acknowledge any of Tressel’s prior coaching accomplishments simply because he spent 15 years in 1-AA, or at least that just my office.
But the reason I decided to let my aggressions out and write the “Don” of sports blogs with the comments I’ve been dealing with lately in my office. A co-worker, who I will let remain nameless, has been busting my balls from roughly 6 months now, because I am a quote unquote, loop hole OSU fan. He said only the true fans of all big-time football schools actually attended the schools. He went on launch into rant about how I cannot transfer alliance to OSU from YSU because I am not an OSU grad, He states I am merely following the career of Tressel, and this is an unwritten rule of college football. Am I missing something here? Nameless PSU fan then went on to bash his own fan base by stating” I know there are PSU fans too, that didn’t go to main campus and true Penn State grads known they aren’t “true” PSU fans by the sense of the word, because the never attended school there. Raul, please tell you've never heard of this unwritten rule?
Is there a worse fan base in any sport in the county? Happy Valley is a college football insane asylum, and has no idea how truly rude they are to every opposing fan that sets foot in the Beaver s*** hole. Always going up I’ve never been a hater of PSU, just kind of didn’t like them, but know after almost 3 years of exposure to their fans everyday I can say with confidence they deserve a 4-8 season every year to chill out their arrogance."

-Rege, from Harrisburg, a very disgruntled OSU fan

PS: Go PITT, at least your fans have class


HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I didn't go to Michigan State and I can't stand Penn State, which, as we all know, is their biggest rival.

Anonymous said...

Subtract one Joe Paturdo Christ and everything wrong there will right itself. Like the famous Pitt cheer says: P-E-N-N S-T SUCKS!

Anonymous said...


I know neither you nor your bozo co-workers. However, I have seen that illogical pattern before in many, many Penn State fans, and my heart goes out to you for having to endure such lunacy on a daily basis.

Hotdog Zanzabar - nice timing. LOL!!!!!

Cardone said...

For what it is worth, I am a transplanted Pittsburgher living in Columbus and all I can tell you is that the OSU faithful here are EVERY BIT as obnoxious as their counterparts in Happy Valley. When I moved here I was perfectly willing to adopt the Buckeyes as a "2nd Favorite" to Pitt but honestly, their fans have turned me against them. I can honestly say, as a loyal Pitt fan, that I now detest OSU even more than Penn State and West Virginia.

However, with regard to the question at hand, I was a Pitt fan long before I went to school there and I would have been a Pitt fan even if I'd gone somewhere else. I don't see any reason whatsoever that attendance of the school must be directly linked to appreciation of a the football team. Hell, my 2nd favorite team is probably Michigan, and the only reason why is because I hate OSU so much!

Cardone said...

BTW - All of that having been said, Jim Tressel is absolutely a class act, not to mention a hell of a coach.

Free Pacman said...

Penn State fans aren't nearly as bad as Philly sports fans. Their arguments are unintelligble and they flip flop.

A recent example of flip flopping:

When Jeff Garcia was leading the Eagles into the playoffs all my Eagle friends (I live near Philly) were talking about how McNabb was past his prime and all said the Eagles should cut him. Then, when the Eagles drafted a quarterback instead of a need, they all started talking about how great of a quarterback he is and how many years he has left and how they dont need another quarterback. I can't stand it, but I've learned to shut them out.

Anonymous said...

I grew up west of Pittsburgh in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember Mario being drafted. I remember the Steel Curtain. I remember “We Are Family”. As an OSU alumnus, I feel a devotion to my school that trumps even my love for the Stillers, Pens and Pirates. I still get choked up when I hear the alma mater or see the Script Ohio. The only thing I tell friends who went to small schools is that they will never fully understand the devotion unless you went to the school and went to games. But that isn’t saying you can’t root for your team unless you are an alumnus. Let’s face facts. These schools would not be where they are if they only had alumni to rely on for merchandise sales and TV ratings. This is America, cheer for who you want. A “true” fan is one who sticks with his team even if they lose twice to Florida.
Or who is brave and humble enough to wear a Pirate hat in Philadelphia.

I’ve always respected PSU’s program. However, PSU was a good independent who became a just another Big Ten team. They just don’t compete year in year out with OSU or that team up north. If ND entered the Big Ten it would be they same story. Yes, PSU had a couple of good years in the conference, but they had at least as many lean years. Conference Titles (at least a share of) since PSU joined: OSU 6, those people up north 5, Wisconsin 3, Northwestern 3, Iowa 2, PSU 2. If Northwestern has more titles than your team, pipe down.

Vonteego said...

I don't know why I come here anymore. If there is ever a post about either Pitt or Penn State it's always Pitt that is placed in the positive light or Penn State in the negative.

Raul, I know you are a Pitt fan, so I guess it is ok to bash them. But you say you are a Pittsburgh sports blog, and PSU falls into that category or it wouldn't be covered by the local TV stations so heavily. Along with "sarcastic" in your little slogan at the top, maybe you should throw in "biased"

Penn State has one of the tighter communities of any university, especially one so big. With football in the fall, and THON in the spring, the student body is completely united when it comes to certain topics, even though they come from places that hate each other like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Football is one of those topics. You're going to get some crazy people who decide to be obnoxious about it.

PSU also graduates almost 10,000 students every year, this just increases the chance of finding a jerk. You also get the ones who planned the VT tribute in the spring game, and the ones who devote their entire semester to THON, which is to the spring as football is to the fall in terms of what is happening on campus. We're very proud of those things, and rightfully so, which leads us to be very protective of the university and cliquey (if thats a word) a lot of times.

When you stand on a street corner 4 or 5 times a winter, asking for money to help people, you tend to get mad at those who assume that we believe our university is a great one just because of football. Trust me, most of us do not care who Rege from Harrisburg roots for. Stop trying to drag our name through the mud because of a few jerks.

Adam said...

For those of you looking for the classic Adam bull dog respose, you won't find it here.

I've sent Don the long version response, but in short:

1. OSU is a REAL college town with tradition, loyalty, and devotion that Pitt fans lack. For those of you that try to compare loyalty, look no furthur than the meager 2,000 fans who showed for Pitt's spring game. i know some of you will say "well, there are other options". Yes there are, but for OSU and PSU fans, there aren't. We're more loyal. Period.

2. Every school has jerk fans, and those numbers seem to be growing across the country, thanks to youtube and ESPN. However, as a college football fan, I have imense respect for OSU, despite my hate for them when OSU and PSU line up.

3. For you Pitt fans trying to pile on, and act like OSU is your ally against Penn State, stop right now. I know for a fact that the average OSU or Michigan fan views Pitt the same way PSU fans do: Inferior college town, with inferior teams. We won't give Pitt a home and home, but I PROMISE you OSU or MU wouldnt either.

Sassy Poker said...

You need no reason to start to devote yourself to an institute of higher learning, but happpenstance. Circa 1989, a young lad was visiting his elderly uncle in Gainesville, FL and was fortunate enough to see the Gators play Ole Miss at the yet to be nicknamed Swamp. I have been infatuated with the Orange and Blue ever since, consequently, it has been a very good year.

Having to endure incessant Penn State mania and short sightedness has been tough in my adult years, but I just wear my Gator gear these days and flash a smile.

sshisheng said...

I hate to say this but as a Pitt alumnus now living (quite unfortunately) in Columbus. I HATE THE F***IN' OSU! They make PSU fans look like pussy cats. These freaking people have nothing else to value at least PSU in in Pennsylvania. I make no apologies, I am a loyal Pennsylvanian so PSU befor OSU any day.

Doug said...

It may be my hatred for ESPN showing but I can not stand the people who think it is cool to cheer for USC of "The U." Those are the most annoying fans.

I am not a fan of Penn State but I agree with other posters here about OSU. My fiance is from Ohio and their fans do not understand the game and have that stupid O-H....(wait for someone else to yell it) I-O chant.

Maybe it is because I go to Duquesne. Maybe it is because I was brought up to bleed Irish Blue and Gold. I just can't stand those teams. Pitt fans are bad too, the second Pitt scores they are all over you. Yelling any 4 letter word you can think of. The second Pitt goes down a score these fans are no where to be found, normally back in their car leaving.

SeanCollier said...

As a Penn State student and fan, it can't be denied that some students happily drink the Happy Valley Kool-Aid. There are, unfortunately, a number of people who think that just because they were accepted to main campus - and, without bashing myself, it's not all that hard - they are now a member of an exclusive club that's called "Penn State" on the surface but reads "The Best College Students that Have Ever Existed" in the subtext. These are the people that had their senior high school pictures taken in Penn State gear, the people who deny that Paterno is a crazy old jerk who should've retired when we were in diapers, the people who overlook the obvious odd and self-serving points of the whole THON thing, the people who think it's odd that every person they meet doesn't pause reverently anytime PSU is mentioned.

This is a product of Penn State's propaganda engine, which is probably the best in the world. From the day you get there, they spend a lot of time convincing you that Happy Valley is the ultimate collegiate experience, and you're one of the luckiest people in the world for being there. It's a sad state of affairs, to be sure. As I've said all along, I love Penn State, but only on the bottom level. The people are great, the place is great, a lot of the classes are quite good, it's a nice place to live. But the administration is perhaps the most greedy, heartless, and corporate of any major school, the athletic program is a overly-entitled dictatorship under King Joe, and we're all paying way, way, way too much for anything.

My point (eventually) is that, while you will meet those fans that are completely brainwashed by the blue and white, they're not a representative sample - they're just the loud ones. Many of us are reasoned in our fandom, many of us are not going to do anything to opposing fans at Beaver Stadium, and many of us are none too happy with the Zombie Nation.

And to agree with previous posters - I second that Philly sports fans are infinitely more frustrating than PSU fans, and Pitt and PSU are not equivalent schools in any real way.

AJ said...

I'd rather watch the NFL over any college football.

Quite frankly, I prefer when the athletes I cheer for get paid over the table rather than under it.

That being said - Go Rock, beat IUP!

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

Pitt fans have class?

Have you ever been to a Pitt game?


As for the rule that a true fan of a college football team went to the school, eh i dont think so.

What is important in a fan is their devotion to the team and their knowledge of the team, not why they are a fan.

If someone from New Mexico is obsessed with PSU or OSU football, knows the entire depth chart of the team and the team's history, and listens to the games via the internet, it doesnt matter if they went to the school or not, they love and support the team.

Your devotion to the team dictates what kind of fan you are.

Stoosh said...


You just couldn't help yourself from bringing Pitt fans into this, could you?

The original post was a fan of OSU complaining about PSU fans. Nothing was mentioned about Pitt until the end of his post. The only comments made by a self-proclaimed Pitt fan prior to your diatribes were those coming from Kevin, and his comments boiled down to this:

1) He was a transplanted Pitt fan living in Columbus who initially liked OSU but grew to detest them because of some of the OSU fans he encountered, and that 2) he detested OSU more than PSU and WVU - the two teams Pitt fans largely view as their biggest rivals.

No one made a substantial Pitt-PSU connection until you went off about it. You accuse Pitt fans of trying to piggyback on this discussion and align with OSU fans just so we can use it as another opportunity to jam PSU. Only problem is that not one comment really attempted to do that here prior to your post. In fact, didn't you kind of do the same thing when you used this discussion as just another reason to take a few unsolicited shots at Pitt and their fan base? A bit hypocritical, no?

Then again, I wouldn't expect a card-carrying member of the Delusional Brigade of PSU Nation like yourself to be able to comprehend the irony there. (Just like the irony in the fact that PSU won't give lowly old Pitt a home-and-home series but will do the same with our Big East counterpart Syracuse, a program that's been further down than Pitt the last six or seven years. But I'm sure that's got nothing to do with anything.)

The 1986 PSU-Miami game was one of the first games I ever remember watching as a college football fan, and since then I've always had an incredible amount of respect for the PSU program and most of the fans. But it's smarmy fans like you who stand up on your blue-and-white pedastal that helped turn me off to the program to some point.

And sure, Pitt fans may not turn out in quite the droves that fans do at other schools for what amounts to glorified scrimmages (maybe we can debate where "loyalty" ends and "insanity" begins here, as I'm sure all 100,000 that show up for stuff like this are really paying attention to the scrimm,, I mean game...yeah, "game".). But as I've said before in discussion about this here, there aren't many Pitt fans who will argue with you when you say the Pitt fan base is more fair-weather than most elite programs. Could be because we're not an elite program and we've got a ways to go. Gotta start somewhere.

Get over yourself, pal.

Jon said...

I've been a Pitt fan since, oh, I was aware of college sports. The interest waned from time to time as happens with young people, but that was my college team.

I didn't go there, though, opting for a small private uni in DC. Met the wife there. Good times.

But when she noticed how into Pitt I was (making a point of watching games on TV, attending when possible, putting up little knick-knacks next to my Steelers and Pirates stuff), she got obstinate. "You didn't even go there," she said. "So?" was my response. "I've been a fan since I was a kid. Most people who follow college teams didn't go to that school if they went to college at all."

Fast forward a bit. A certain long-haired kid named Troy Polamalu and a gutty bunch from LA were doing big things in the Pac-10, and I started following them, too. As luck would have it, I went to USC for grad school, did the student section at football games thing, had a lot of fun. "Why do you like SC so much?" the wife would ask. "Why does that bother you?" I'd retort. "I'm actually a graduate of that school." "No, you're not -- grad school doesn't count" she'd say. I'd explain how I got to liking them well before I even applied to the school, how Mssrs. Polamalu and Palmer pulled me to them. She'd just roll her eyes.

And so it goes. The irony? She's a big Duke fan and hasn't ever even set foot in North Carolina.

Stoosh said...

I grew up in Erie and as I mentioned in my post above, the first college football game I really remember watching with a rooting interest was the 1986 PSU-Miami matchup (I was ten). The game made me into a bit of a Penn State fan, although I also liked Michigan because I initially thought their helmets were cool (these are the things that sway your allegiances when you're ten).

As I got a bit older (late 1980s/early 1990s), I got to appreciate Pitt because one of my close friends and his dad were both big Pitt fans. After my freshman year or high school, a couple of guys who played ball in Erie also went to Pitt (Tim Colicchio and Dietrich Jells), so I kept following Pitt because of them. I was still a Michigan fan at the time, but Pitt was climbing the ladder along with Notre Dame.

I came to the Pgh area for college in the mid-1990s (Wash. & Jeff.) and that's when I really started following Pitt. I became less of a Michigan and PSU fan as ND took over as my second favorite behind Pitt.

So no, I didn't go to school there, but I'm not sure that really makes me less of a fan. I've been to plenty of Pitt games the last several years (season tickets in 2003) and I also went to the ND-Oklahoma game in 1999. In all those instances, I will say I felt like my connection to the team wasn't the same as the one the students/alumni, but I'm not sure my connections means less.

Eileen Flinn said...

More people have lived on this planet who consider themselves football fans than ever went to college. My mom cheers for Notre Dame (never went to college), my older sister and I cheer for Pitt (went to college, but not Pitt) and of my younger sisters (neither of whom went to college), one cheers for Penn State, the other USC. My dad could care less about sports.

It's no one's business but your own to decide who is a real fan or not, and what team to cheer on. No one has any right to question another's loyalties to, support for or disdain of one school/team over another. That's part of the beauty of the USA.

The NCAA takes the graduate's money just as easy as the non-graduate's. Having lived in Harrisburg for 7 and a half years before getting out of the Penn State region, I met more people who had no connection to Penn State than actual main campus graduates (or even branch campus graduates). There are jerks in every fan base. You can't control them, only how you react.

Have a nice day!

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

How could Pitt be an inferior college town when it's in Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh's not a college town Adam?

Chapel Hill, Gainesville, State College, Ann Arbor, even Columbus... THOSE are college towns. Pittsburgh's a pro sports city with world class NFL and NHL teams that sell out games.

Even U. of Miami can't sell out games because they play in a big pro city.

And I don't like Ohio State either. They're not my "ally" in anything.... although I did party with the OSU hockey team once, but that's another story.

And I never went to Pitt, in fact, I wound up at a school that is currently in the Big East along with Pitt, and I still root for Pitt. Fuck you, I'll root for who I want!

Either eay, fans of all teams can be asses about it, and they can be cool too.

This whole arguement is retarded.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I swear that Adam's going to be one of those radio talk show hosts that goes on the air and tries to piss everyone off, then feeds off the attention, when he gets old.

Steeltown Mike said...

'Adam' does almost rhyme with 'Madden'...

Football is king, but the whole blind fandom-thing is universal to any sport. During my six-year stay in Chicago, I grew from 'dislike' of the Cubs (being in the Pa'rts' division) to hoping that the Cubs never ever whiff the World Series again.

Not because Sammy Sosa corks his bat or uses drugs that make his head a funny shape. Not because Jim Hendry punk'd Dave Littlefield in 2003.

Because their fans, particularly the younger 2 or 3 generations, go to the games as glorified fraternity parties/business meetings. They get plastered, occasionally pay attention to what's on the field, talk on their cell phones, are marginally aware of the rules...yet laud the rich tradition of their team. I don't think they have much more to celebrate than Wrigley Field.

I came to adopt the White Sox as my "second" team. I'd get harassed at a couple of interleague games when the Pa'rts were in town, but I'd harass back and it was all good. I knew my team sucked.

That's the difference, I think. Root for whomever you want, regardless of where you live or what school you went to. Just be realistic about how good (or not) your team is. And even if you have a really good team, don't go overboard when picking on opposing fans.

Stoosh said...

Louis Lipps,

There's no room here for that kind of rational thought here. Now go away! :)

No matter how much evidence you throw out that supports this argument, fans like Adam just refuse to acknowledge it.

The fact is team coverage goes here, Pitt football plays at best a third fiddle to the Steelers and the Pens. If Pitt hasn't already supplanted the Pirates by now, they will soon because the Pirates move closer to irrelevance with every losing season. But Pitt football isn't even the most popular team playing that sport in town. It sucks that it's that way, but what else can you do? This town is Steelers first, Steelers second and Pens third right now.

You mention Univ. of Miami as another team that faces this problem, and that may be the best example as there are few other elite/marquee programs that share the local spotlight directly with a pro team. Arizona State, Minnesota, BC, Northwestern and Washington are probably the best ones I can think of off the top of my head. Are any of those programs elite? Those programs are all probably closer to Pitt on national relevance scale than they are closer to the 'Canes. Or Penn State.

I can KIND OF see his point. I had season tickets in 2003 and saw what that stadium can be like when the team is winning and it's packed (think VT game that year). You would think that in a football-mad area like Western Pa., a school like Pitt would draw a bit better than they do. And a big part of me thinks they should; I would LOVE to see Heinz Field just as packed and just as wound up for Navy and Eastern Michigan as it would be for WVU, VT, Penn State and Louisville.

But most Pitt fans will agree that a large portion of the fanbase is apathetic - perhaps years of the team being relatively irrelevant on the national stage does that. A lot of fans say they need a reason to go, as if cheering for Pitt isn't enough and that always bothered me because I'll go to the games regardless. It is a very fair-weather fanbase and only an extended stretch of winning will do that.

What irritates me is when fans like Adam try to lump Pitt in with schools like some cupcake like Temple, or some other third-class program like that. Pitt's no elite program, but it's most certainly a second-tier bowl program on the way up - just like Iowa was when Ferentz took over. Pitt isn't elite, but it's not schedule fodder like Temple, Buffalo or FIU either. So Adam's assertions about PSU's refusal to give Pitt a home-and-home because they view Pitt as so inferior ring hollow to me (especially in light of PSU's willingness to grant one to Syracuse, another lowly Big East team that is in much worse shape than Pitt). Notre Dame, Iowa, Miami and VT have all thought enough of the Panthers to put Pitt on their future schedules.

Stoosh said...

Steeltown Mike,

Excellent comparison. I can't imagine living in Chicago having to deal with that all the time. Cubs fans annoyed the ever-living hell out of me in the handful of Cubs-Pirates games I went to last year, and I was only around them for three or four hours at a time.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I just threw Miami out there because they're the extreme example of a city school not drawing well. I mean, Miami's won about 7 gazillion championships in the last 20 years.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta, I don't know what their attendance figures our.

My school, USF, is in Tampa and their attendance is atrocious. The student section usually has a lot of people in it, but that's because student's get in free with their IDs. The upper deck of Raymond James isn't even open and the bottom half is maybe 2/3 full.

And I agree, Pitt sports in general really get zero media attention in Pittsburgh. I always hear Penguin fans bitching about always playing second fiddle to the Steelers, but the real people who should be complaining are Pitt fans. The hoops team is good and they get less coverage than the sorry Pirates. BUT, the hoops team has also proven that when Pitt puts a good product out there people will come regardless of media coverage.

And if Notre Dame and Miami have thought enough of Pitt to give them home and homes over the next few years (as well as a few other good programs I can't remember), then what's Penn State's excuse?

I mean, just can all the "Pitt's inferior so it's not worth it" BS, admit that JoePa just has some stupid beef with Pitt, and let's move on?

Also, another thing about Pitt that no one brings up. They play in Western PA, where dare I say high school football is higher on the totem pole than them. I forget until I visit there in fall, just how into high school ball people up there are.

And to the guy complaining the Mondesis biased towards Pitt, it's a BLOG not a big corporate media site. It's supposed to be biased towards the owner/writers favorite teams.

Adam said...

Pitt being second rate isn't argueable. Cincinatti and South Florida played at PSU in 2005.

Both schools finished higher than Pitt in 2006.

We didn't give them a home and home, why should we give it to Pitt?

Really, SOMEONE explain that to me!

When Va. Tech, Miami, and BC left the Big East, things were over for Pitt.

As a (young) kid, I grew up on Pitt-VA. Tech, and Miami, and those games. Packed Heinz Field, College Gameday in town.

Believe it or not, THOSE are the games that made me fall in love with college football, and NOT anything Penn State did those years.

Perhaps its my frustration that Pitt fans accept Pitt-Rutgers as huge games now that gets my goose here.

When the Big East broke up, I was just as upset as any Pitt fan. Though I passionately hate Pitt then as well, at least both schools were big time.

Perhaps at that time, people calling for Penn State to play Pitt home and home had a point.

But not now, not with the poor state of Pitt football. They can't make a bowl is a WEAK conf.

So if I'm placing myself on a Blue and White Pedestal by saying Pitt isn't Penn State, so be it.

Now stoosh, the first three comments were direct shots at Penn State, and people piling on with the OSU fan. I had to call them on that.

I respect your points rather than their pot shots, especially the Syracuse one. I'm none to happy with that, along with Virginia after tham myself. If those are the games we're going to settle for, then we SHOULD play Pitt. However, there is still an open date in week two that could be filled by a bigger opponent, making your point, while valid, less relevent.

Now Louis Lipps. Notre Dame giving Pitt a home and home is much different than Penn State. They make their entire schedule themselves, while PSU gets 3-4 games with which to work with.

Miami owes Pitt one for screwing them out of National relevence, so that the story there.

If you don't think Pitt gets enough attention around here, then try being a PSU fan.

When Pitt was in the Fiesta Bowl, there were 2-3 reports a night from Tempe with Bob Pompeani. Pitt got creamed by Utah, and that was that.

Penn State went 11-1 and won a thrilling Orange Bowl game and we were treated to highlights then next evening.

Please. The local media is in bed with Pitt.

They give the school every opportunity to be big in this town,
but Pitt pays them back with a crap football, and an underaheiving basketbal team.

Now, I think you can be a fan of any team you want. Whether you're considered bandwagon by other fans is a different story.

Part of being a fan mean being willing to follow the team you love anywhere, and having a sense of the tradition of the school. While Pitt fans are fair weather, many do have a senseof history, and have memories of good teams gone by. I think THAT is the most important aspect of being a fan.

It isnt just in college sports either. In our own city we are seeing this with the Pens. In Sid's rookie year, I stood in the student rush line for many a game, getting in easily, and enjoying a hockey game. Now, you have to be there a day ahead of time to get those tickets.

Do I consider myself more of a Penguin fan than them? But instead of resenting them, I just try to ignore thier ignorance, and smile, because my team is better off with a new fan than without one.


Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Many Pitt fans are fairweather?

Buddy, we're all here argueing with you right now on behalf of our team after they just went through back-to-back losing seasons and no major bowl wins since the early-80s.

Someone find the tape of Penn State vs. USF from the 1st game of the 2005 season. Background here, PSU was coming off of a sub-par 2004 campaign. For their home opener in 2005, there were A LOT of empty seats and the announcers even commented on this. I really wish someone had a recording of the game. My sister, the PSU alum, was at my apartment watching it with me and SHE even commented on it and remembers it.

Not saying that there are more Pitt fans than Penn State fans and whatnot, because that's obviously not true. But the Penn State program is not this infallible beacon of all that is in the world like people like yourself would have us believe.

In fact, I probably respect PSU more than the average Pitt fan because I have a sister and several close friends that are alums. But people get waaaaay too self-righteous with their sports fandom. And a lot of Penn State fans feel that their program is some paragon of everything that is good and pure in the world! It's just a little obnoxious.

And please, I go on all the Pittsburgh news websites and Penn State gets just as much press in Pittsburgh as Pitt does... and Penn State is almost 4 hours away. So Pitt got coverage during the Fiesta Bowl? Well no kidding! Regardless of whether they had a chance or not, it was still the local school going to one of the 4 biggest games of the season... and that's basically what it takes for Pitt to get coverage.

I was talking to a WVU fan at a bar, and that's the thing. He says in West Virginia you're a Moutaineer fan first, THEN a Steeler fan. In Pittsburgh, even if you're a Pitt fan or even student/alum, you're a Steeler fan first, then maybe even Penguin fan, THEN Pitt fan.

And what about Iowa? And that Nebraska home-and-home? I suppose VaTech just feels bad about leaving the Big East too right? Shiiiiit.... by that logic the ACC owes Miami and VT something for robbing THEM of national relevance!!! Anyways, big programs give us home-and-homes left and right. Doesn't seem to be a big deal to them.

Just give up the stupid "We're too good to play Pitt" arguement because it's had a zillion holes punched into it, but your annoying "let me start controversy" radio-shock jock tactics just won't let you let it die kid.

THIS JUST IN! The Steelers have cancelled their game against the Arizona Cardinals this season because they are "too good for them". I mean, why should the mighty Steelers with all of their history and fan following, go out to the desert and sell out the lowly Cardinals stadium for them?

(Of course this is not true, and I'm not saying that Pitt are the AZ Cards of the NCAA by any means, but you get the point here.)

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

And, another thing.

Who's to say that the Big East will never be on a par with other conferences? Do you people honestly think that nothing changes?

WVU is becoming a powerhouse and only getting better. If you were paying attention you'd notice that they kept their coach from being lured away to the powerhouse Alabama.

And sorry, but Rutgers is good and getting better, deal with it. Greg Schiano is stealing recruits away from the big 3 Florida schools left and right. He's dedicated to making Rutgers a real power. He even turned down a chance to coach at Miami. And if you don't think he can turn that a program can turn from irrelevant into a legit contender remember, Miami's program was so bad that they almost got rid of football at the school in the late-70s.

Things change.

Adam said...

First of all, let me direct you here.

Next,I never called you fair weather, but look at the last several seasons. Pitt can't put asses in seats. its a fact. Sure there were empty seats against South Florida. Crappy team, crappy years, but PSU finished 4th in attendance that year, and averaging 104,000. 30,000 empty seats at Beaver Stadium is a lot different than 30,000 empty seats at Heinz Field.

And yes, I do feel Penn State represents everthing that is good with college football. sleepy college town with tons of space to party, and good football 5 out of 7 homes games a year. I'm sorry if I'm not as blown away by Pitt.

Now, Nebraska.

As much crap as I give the Big East, the Big 12 deserves WAAAAY more. Look no furthur than Oklahoma's BCS losses to LSU, USC, and Boise in the last 5 years. Even in 2005, with the anoited Vince Young leading Texas, the conf. championship game was 70-3. When the score is that out of hand, it speaks to the crappiness f your conf., not the quality of Texas.

I'm not going to get started on 2005, cuz itll make me happy and sad at the same time, but in short, I'm glad we lost in Ann Arbor, because I have a feeling the writers would have screwed us again like they did in 1994 if we had run the table. I think that Penn State team was as good as Texas and USC that season, and if you don't believe me, look at how many players were drafted from those teams. I promise you Penn St. had many more than did Texas and USC. But enough of that. It's debateable whether we were better than those teams, but isnt that the shame in it all? We'll never know...

But anyway, back to Nebraska. What a bunch or wind bags Big 12 fans are. What a joke. Period. I may blast the Big East, but they WIN their BCS games.

I could also blast the ACC, but I hink they just had a down year rather than shear sucking like the Big 12. Its good that Pitt can get Miami, but, for the league, Miami is an exception to the rule of schools not wanting to play Big East teams home and home. The only school i could see us (us meaning upper level Big 10 schools) from the Big East at the moment is WVU.

Sure, leagues can change their stripes, but not in one year. Start beating more than one ranked opponent out of the a year, and maybe we'll talk, but until the Big East proves anything to the rest of the world, PSU, OSU, MU, and the like ARE on a different level than Pitt

Its a fact, not an opinion.

Stoosh said...


My bad on the first three comments. You got me there.

Your attempt to justify PSU not giving Pitt a home-and-home by pointing to Cincy and USF rings hollow, though. Why? Simple. Penn State gave a home-and-home to Syracuse. Since 2002, Pitt is 20-14 in the Big East and 36-25 overall and only once in that time have they had an overall losing season. Over that same span, Syracuse is 9-25 in the Big East and 21-38 overall, and they haven't finished higher than .500 in that time frame. Don't tell me PSU can pass on Pitt because they also pass on Cincy and USF, but then accomodate Syracuse. That would be like Pitt telling Utah it can't accept a home-and-home with the Utes, but then giving one to Utah State. Again, this "Pitt is inferior" excuse rings hollow when you consider the record of the Big East team the Nittany Lions DID agree to play in the home-and-home series. If you can't see the holes in your argument here...

Moving on...Pitt-Rutgers was a big game last year for Pitt. Pitt was 6-1 heading into the game and Rutgers was ranked in the Top 20. Rutgers finished ranked in the Top 15. That seems like a pretty big game by most standards. That 2006 Rutgers team was an excellent team by just about any standard. Don't penalize them because they haven't been a solid team over the last ten years.

While I'm not sure I'd call Pitt a "weak" program (especially as I just proved PSU is willing to go home-and-home with a much "weaker" Syracuse program), I will agree with you that Pitt is down. They were 6-1 with five games left and despite the fact that three of those games were against ranked opponenets (Rutgers was 19th when they played Pitt; Louisville and WVU were each ranked 8th), missing the bowl game was tough. The UConn loss was inexcusable. The USF loss was debatable.

Pitt is down largely because Wannstedt is only two years into overhauling a program with personnel that wasn't exactly equipped to play his system. They are doing very much the same kinds of program overhauls that Bill Callahan is doing at Nebraska and RIch Rodriguez did at WVU. The lines Pitt will put on the field this year may be better than anything Harris's teams ever had, and a significant amount of Wannstedt's lineman are underclassmen. That speaks volumes about Harris's failures to recruit good linemen on both sides of the ball. Look at the recruits Wannstedt is bringing in. He still has to do something with them, but you have to start somewhere. Let's see where he is in two or three years when he's got an entire roster full of his own kids.

I also disagree with your assessment that "When Va. Tech, Miami, and BC left the Big East, things were over for Pitt." I couldn't disagree more. Miami and VT brought some elite-level legitimacy to the Big East, but hasn't that been adequately replaced by the emergence of Louisville, WVU and, to a lesser extent, Rutgers? WVU has emerged as every bit the elite program that VT was when it was in the Big East. Louisville doesn't have the longer-term history that Miami and VT had, but let's not pretend like they don't belong, OK? They went 12-1 with a team that played without its starting QB and RB for extended periods of time last year. WVU, Louisville and Rutgers all finished in the Top 15 in both polls last year. Again, don't penalize these 2006 teams because they don't carry the name recognition of some of these other schools.

Stoosh said...


I saw the BSD post earlier today and I figured this was coming.

As a Pitt fan and thus a Big East fan when it comes to bowl games, I can tell you there wasn't one Big East fan thrilled when we saw the draw our teams got in the bowl games last year. With Rutgers, WVU and Louisville all in line to potentially play a solid team from one of the other power conferences, Big East fans finally thought our teams could start proving themselves against some of the more iconic programs. When we all saw the draws, fans of the conference were profoundly disappointed.

It was nice that we went 5-0 against these teams last year, but frankly anything less would've likely been a disappointment.

I'm just hoping a few Big East teams can put themselves in position to get some better bowl draws this year.

Free Pacman said...

How does the mere mention of Penn State always lead to a Pitt Vs. PSU debate?

Anonymous said...

Pacman....b/c that's what the people want. However, PSU views the game as a "we have everything to lose and nothing to gain" proposition.

That, or there "Weekend at Bernie's" head coach really does hold a grudge about his failed All Eastern Sports Conference.

Adam and anyone else who needs a refresher on attendance differential between Pitt and PSU, an other schools like them, here you go:

Lastly....Steeltown Mike & Stoosh:

You lived in Chi-Town and actually root for the Sox?

Let it cry out from the rooftops - Go Cubs Go!

ts said...

I agree with everything Paul said.

I'm tired of PSU fans getting our name dragged through the mud on this site all the time.

Penn State football fans are just as rude and obnoxious at the games as any other major college in the country. It's even more magnified when the stadium is on-campus.

You think OSU/Florida/Michigan/Texas fans are polite to opposing fans at the games?

You guys are crazy if you think that's the case.

There are smart and friendly fans for every college and there are the arrogant losers.

Don't make your judgment on PSU or any other school because of what some drunk fans say or what a couple of office workers say.

Rege would get the same treatment for liking a team that differs from the norm anywhere he goes.

Adam said...

Stoosh, you don't need to break down Syracuse and Pitt for me.

I said that if we keep this crap up, then Pitt fans do have a point, however, I will again point out that we only have 10 games scheduled so far for next year. It all depends if the Big 10 decides to add another conf. game or not. If it doesn't I predict a big game and a cupcake. Pitt doesnt fall under either. I'll judge the Syracuse game when the rest of the non conf. facts are in front of me.

I'll also say that I think there is more to scheduling than simply where the game is going to be played. Perhaps some is JoePa's agnst, but personally, if that were the case, I think he'd get Jeff Long phone and tell him to get up to Happy Valley so he can whoop Pitt's ass, and everyone shuts up. I think there is another sticking point that the two sides are fighting over. My guess is the ticket gouging Pitt pulled on PSU fans the last time the game was played in Pittsburgh, or the relatively small capacity of Heinz Field. I dunno.

What I'm trying to say is, it has to be more complex than two schools being run by children who can't compromise. There has to be something else keeping JorPa from saying "Alright, fine, enough, just shut up!" Or Jeff Long saying "screw it lets do the two for one, and we'll show you!"

But again, there isn't as much urgency from the Penn State end to get this done. Fans are fairly pleased with the schedules at the moment, and we're 20-5 in the last two years.

Pitt has horrible schedules and are performing badly.

The desparation from Pitt's end is palpable, but it isn't from Penn St. Is this arrogance on PSU's part? Perhaps. But if Pitt really wants to play, they should just accept the 2 for one, and negotiate things 5-6 years down the road. Thats the only way Pitt will get their last shots at Joe.

Its a matter of pride vs. need. Penn St. is as proud as anyone, and it appears Pitt is two, however, its the desparation on Pitt's part that may force them to cave first.

Just let me ask. Would calling Joe's bluff really be THAT bad? For as much hate as Pitt fans have for Joe, wouldn't you like one last shot at him before he walks away/dies at any cost?

If your answer is no, then maybe the rivalry isn't as important to you as you claim. Maybe your lying to yourselves. Call us arrogant, but at least we're open enough to admit that (state wide) the rivalry isnt that big a deal to us.

Adam said...

by the way stoosh, I appreciate your level headedness and refrain from "Joe Paturdo" referances.

Jules said...

Hey Rege,

Welcome to the world of college football. There is bandwagon fans everywhere. And I'm not sure that the fact that you follow a coach qualifies you as a legit fan of any team. Would if Tressel leaves you burn all your OSU gear?

Deaner said...

I am a Marshall University football fan because I grew up near Huntington, WV and went to numerous Thundering Herd games including I-AA national championships vs. Rege's Youngstown State team. I don't, however, have an acedemic connection to Marshall. In fact I attended what could be considered rival schools: Ohio University and Kansas State University. Regardless, I have maintained my allegiance to the Herd. We all have different reasons for our allegiances. Sometimes those are a product of geography, sometimes academic affiliation, ... whatever that reason is, team loyalty is important to the fan and that is all that matters.

Stoosh said...


I have absolutely nothing against JoePa at all, and I have a lot of respect for the PSU program. I don't root for them actively (unless they're playing OSU or some other team like that), but I respect the program and truthfully, I would love it if Pitt had that kind of atmosphere on gamedays. As you mentioned above, there is something about a game at a big-time college town that just cannot be recaptured in the parking lots at Heinz Field.

I was at the ND-Oklahoma game in 1999 and an atmosphere like that just cannot be beat. My best Pitt game experience (from pregame to post-game tailgate) was the Pitt-VT game in 2003, and for as much fun as that was, it still wasn't as good as the ND experience. It's just not the same thing, and I'm not blaming Pitt for that. It's just very tough to recapture the same thing when the local college team has to share the spotlight with the local pro team.

Back to JoePa. I met him when I was a sophomore in high school and he came to school to recruit a couple of guys on our team (both ended up going there and one - Mark Tate - started at corner for a couple of years in the mid-1990s). He was very polite, very engaging...every bit the grandfatherly guy he's become famous for as a recruiter.

I also read Ken Denlinger's book "For the Glory", and that was easily one of the best sports books I've ever picked up (a kid from my alma mater - Eric Lewandowski - was part of that recruiting class that Denlinger followed and was one of the first to walk away from football). Strong insight into the world of college football, and strong insight into the world of Paterno.

A month or so ago, Joe Starkey (I know PSU fans just love him) wrote an article here imploring Pitt to take the two-for-one and see what happens. Pitt clearly needs this game against PSU more than PSU does, and Starkey did a nice job convincing me that the two-for-one wouldn't be a bad thing. I think what bothers some Pitt fans is that 1) admitted to the two-for-one is (indirectly) equating Pitt with schools like Temple and 2) once Pitt gets into the two-for-one, they may not be able to get out of it.

Some media types here in Pittsburgh have even proposed the idea of a 3-for-2 series, with the fifth game held at the home of the team who wins the third game. As you said, there are ways around this.

Pitt can move on without the game, as can Penn State. To some degree, I wonder if both programs already have. But as I said, Pitt could use another marquee game on its schedule while it waits for the rest of the conference to establish a more solid foothold, and Pitt would have much more to gain and much less to lose by taking the games with Penn State. I won't disagre with you there.

Unknown said...

Another exhuasting college football argument about Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, blah blah blah. And everyone always hates Penn State, and there is always a OSU is a cult remark and all Mountaineer fans are hillbillies. Please someone tell me that they are sick of this discussion.

Pitt has a multitude of problems that Pitt fans use to cast blame on other schools, the city and invariably Penn State. Non-Pitt fans blow these problems out of proportion as an excuse to kick them when they are down, which they are. ESPN ranked them the 52nd best college football program nationally - behind Marshall and Miami of Ohio. A far cry from Dan Marino and Tony Dorsett days.

Being as objective as possible (I went to WVU, have a sister at Penn State and have been to a large amount of Pitt events) here is Pitt's biggest problem boiled down:

Pitt has sold itself out to the corporate environment of the city of Pittsburgh to stay financially afloat, bottom line. Argubly, Pitt is doing what they can to keep up with the Joneses.

Every fall, the athletic department has to write an $8 million dollar check to the University to cover tuition for the academic year for its 450 student athletes - so they're in the hole from the word go.

I suggest - if you claim to be a Pitt fan, shut up and put your money where your mouth is and make a donation - and not just your obligatory seating "gift." If you really and truly want to assist and enable your alma mater - quit blaming everything on Joe Paterno and make gifts and show up at all the games.

Cousin Eddy said...

You know a friend of mine says that Jopa made the Pitt Penn State rivalry better by taking the panthers off of PSU's schedule. But anyway Lets Go Pitt