This is my first run out of the tunnel.
When Cardiac Hill joined the SB Nation family of sports blogs nine months ago, I was thrilled. A huge fan of the SB Nation platform and its user-friendly structure, I was so happy to see a Pitt blog (which previously didn't exist) finally join the network. And let me say, it's a damn good one. This is the best Pitt community on the web, and so, I was honored when Anson recently asked me to join as a contributor. For those of you who are regular readers, you've probably seen some of my fanposts and comments on the site. For those of you who haven't, allow me to introduce myself.My name is Mike Osterrieder, and I'm a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh. Like Anson, I am a product of the undergraduate business school, majoring in finance and marketing, and minoring in economics. I am a proud member of the Pitt Band, and have enjoyed the many cool benefits that come along with that (although I don't know if I'd necessarily call trips to the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the BBVA Compass Bowl benefits). The past two years I played the sousaphone, and this fall, I'm extremely proud to begin my first season as the band's assistant drum major. Look for me at Heinz Field this fall (because I expect you all to be there) - I'll be the one in the white drum major suit, running around the stadium with the traveling band during the 3rd quarter. I think my roles as both a current Pitt student and a member of the band give me a unique and insightful perspective into the world of Pitt athletics, which I'm excited to share with you.
When I was eight years old, in the fall of 1998, my dad and grandfather took me to my first college football game. The place? Pitt Stadium. I vividly remember walking up Cardiac Hill (gasp!) towards the monstrous front wall of Pitt Stadium, with the giant blue and gold panther head enshrined in glass. From that moment on I was hooked. The Panthers, led by quarterback John Turman, went on to win that game 35-0 against the lowly Akron Zips, and even though we had to sit through monsoon-like rain and blustery wind for hours, the experience meant the world to me. Pitt has an ineffable magic to it, a special meaning that only students and alumni could attest to. The University of Pittsburgh is my world, and it means everything to me. With its successes, I rejoice; with its failures, I hurt. Pitt's past, in both academics and athletics, has been decorated and glorious, filled with names like Mellon, Salk, Marino, and Fitzgerald. As we continue to ascend in academic and athletic prominence, the future is even brighter.
I can't wait to take this journey with you.
Thank you to Anson for bringing me aboard and thank you all for reading.
And of course, as always, Hail to Pitt.