I have been indebted to the University of Pittsburgh since the day I was born. My parents met here at Pitt, they got engaged two blocks over from my current college apartment and even got married at Heinz Chapel. I guess you could say that without this University, I wouldn’t be here today. But this is no excuse for the pain and anguish that Pitt football has put me through for the last 21 years.
I know, crazy, me writing about football–not my usual thing. If I’m being honest, I never thought I would write a piece on sports, let alone football, but after the last few weeks of troubling games and a lifetime of support for a team that consistently lets me down, I decided that I had no choice but to write about the pain of being a Pitt Football fan.
I’ve been to countless Pitt football games throughout my life. As a teenager, I mainly went to these events for Primanti’s sandwiches, but the game was a nice touch, I guess. I figured out the difference between offense and defense, learned to sing “Sweet Caroline” with a bunch of middle-aged drunk men and freeze my a** off at any game after September (bonus points if it was raining!).
Now as a full-fledged Pitt undergraduate, I can officially say that I have only been to one, count’em: one, Pitt Football game. I have bought season tickets every single year, yet I just can’t bring myself to walk into that stadium and witness the horrors within. And when I say horrors, I mean the irregular and erratic football skills of the Pittsburgh Panthers. That being said, this doesn’t mean that our team is necessarily bad. On the contrary, we have some amazing players, both past and present, and have had some killer games that make people think that Pitt is finally going to have a stellar season. But right when the fan base gets their hopes up that we finally have a chance at an awesome season, reality hits. They drop the ball, they miss the extra point field goal, they throw a bad pass and it all hits the fans.
Since I am not an expert on all things football, I spoke to two of the biggest Pitt football fans I know. For history, one of them once tried to fight a teenage girl at a Pitt game for badmouthing our defense and the other screamed so loud at the Pitt game on T.V. that my neighbors texted me because they were concerned for my safety. Here’s what these two Pitt football devotees had to say:
“Feels like riding one of those old wooden rollercoasters. It has its ups and down, mostly disappointing, but somehow keeps bringing me back”- The Fight Initiator
“As a life-long Pitt fan, I’ve become best friends with pain and disappointment. Every year, it’s ‘our year.’ This excitement lasts about three games if we’re lucky, until I’m hit with the reality that we’re going to finish with a subpar record yet again. On the bright side, at least we’re consistently mediocre. And that counts for something, right?”- The Screamer
This article means no ill will towards anyone that has ever played Pitt Football. I almost failed high school gym, so I have no right to judge anyone on their athletic ability. What I will say is that Pitt Football is a consistent form of stress for so many years of my life and I can attest that many feel the same way I do. But: this will not deter me from watching this rollercoaster of a sport, no matter how off the rails it goes.