Tuesday, April 10, 2007

University Spokesman: Kiss our ass Pitt!

Sen. John Wozniak, D-Cambria, has been pushing for the Universities of Pittsburgh and Penn State to renew their rivalry in a non-conference game in the near future. It's nice to see one of our elected officials spending time dicking around with college football games on our tax dollar, but I digress. Steve MacCarthy, vice president for university relations at Penn State, has responded in an e-mail message that the university is interested in scheduling athletic contests with the University of Pittsburgh, but reinstating the rivalry is not possible at this time. Suck on it. "Current discussions by the Big Ten regarding the possibility of adding another conference game to the football schedule would limit our ability to schedule out-of-conference games," he wrote.

In case you're new to my little blog or you haven't figured out by now, I have no interest in playing Pitt. I'm one that grew up with the rivalry and I fully understand some of the emotions it brings up in older generation alums, but it's just not the same today. Pitt needs Penn State and the feelings are not mutual. Like it or not Pitt fans, Penn State has national appeal, Pitt does not. PSU fills an 110,000 seat stadium to play also-rans like Buffalo and Central Florida, Pitt borrows a stadium and has a hard time giving tickets away. The Nittany Lions are on TV on a near weekly basis, with several contests broadcast on major networks like ABC and ESPN, while Pitt has to rely on Fox Sports' local affiliate for coverage, if they are lucky. Pitt has a deep hatred for all things West Virginia, and for good reasons, but there really isn't a reason to hate Penn State other than locality and the past. And here is the real kicker: while PSU is 50- 42- 4 against Pitt, Paterno is 23 – 7 – 1 against the Panthers and he started out 10-0. That's not a rivalry that's a beat down. Most of my memories of Pitt were of the "oh yeah, Pitt is next week, that will be a win" variety, I don't ever remember thinking of Pitt in the same light as an Ohio State, Michigan or Notre Dame.

That brings us to the only other myth Pitt apologists want us to believe: this is something the state of Pennsylvania wants. "This is something the taxpayers want," Wozniak said, adding that the rivalry would bring an economic boost to both the State College and Pittsburgh areas. "[You] fill up [the] stadiums, bars, restaurants and sell T-shirts." Bullshit, plain and simple. First off, most visiting fans can drive to the game no matter the location which hampers the hotel business (there have been several hotels built in the past decade specifically for Penn State home games and the ability to gouge visiting and out of state fans). Moreover, fans come in for gameday and get the hell out when it's over – there goes your bar and restaurant business. Also, there just isn't the interest of a Nebraska or Notre Dame game – let me remind the class that hotel rooms for the Notre Dame game this year were sold out last year. Sure the stadium would be close to full for a Pitt game but there simply wouldn't be a demand for the game like that of a Nebraska or Florida State. Anyone remember the last time Nebraska came to visit – the stadium was packed, loud, and electric. Finally you know if PSU accepts a home and home with Pitt, traveling Penn State fans will be forced to buy Pitt – Cincinnati tickets just to get the Pitt – Penn State tickets. The University did that last time Penn State played in Pittsburgh so why would they do any different?

All in all, I would MUCH rather see a Texas, Texas A&M, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, or any other team that would give Penn State exposure in one of the big recruiting territories on PSU's non-conference schedule. Penn State already recruits well in western Pennsylvania, there's simply not a need outside of the old rivalry; PSU doesn't have a positive return on investment. Lastly before any Pitt (or Penn State fans that want to play Pitt) point out that PSU should schedule Pitt instead of Buffalo or Temple, I agree, I hate those games but why give a home and home series to Pitt when you could negotiate the same agreement with one of the teams I mentioned. Penn State isn't simply going to shove Pitt into a slot in the next couple years; Pitt has been just as big a pain in the ass when it comes to scheduling as any big name school. Even though I don't like playing Buffalo, they will bend over backwards for Penn State. If you are going to work hard at a deal, at least bring in a team that will put Penn State on ABC regional.

6 comments:

Mike P. said...

Screw Pitt. Renew Bama!

People down here still talk about when Bama/PSU was a yearly national game.

KM said...

Bama vs PSU is scheduled for 2010-11. Can't Wait. I wish we would schedule LSU for a home and home. My family is from there and they are big LSU fans. Nothing would be better than to go into Death Valley and kick the snot out of them.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Penn St-USC games again

Galen said...

Don't worry Mike, I'm looking forward to the Bama PSU series in the not too distant future. I'm sure they talk about it down your way because Bama is one of the few schools that has JoePa's number.

Good ideas All, I would love Penn State to play Bama, LSU, and USC (again). All these games would be beneficial for both parties.

Zack said...

Shoot, I think we should renew the series with Rutgers before we do with Pitt. We can fill the Meadowlands, and we haven't recruited as well out of New jersey the last few years...plus, Rutgers may actually be pretty good again...for a Big East team...

Anonymous said...

How is PSU's record vs. Ohio State and Michigan?

Beat Down indeed. Pitt has struggled, Joe Pa is great and has built a tremendous program.

There will be a day when Joe is gone and the program will not be the same.

Sinners often get religion...