Cardiac Hill's tag line reads "Because Vonteego Cummings was better than you think." Oh, Vonteego. How your game espcapes me and Anson and Mike and all of Panther Nation in these most trying of times?
While Von Von was the boss man, especially junior year when he logged 40+ minutes/game (which is absurd and pokes holes in Ashton's too-many-minutes-a-game argument), isn't every Pitt player, coach and team better than we think - at least in our minds?
We're all guilty of the delusion and "this is the year" claims, because we care… A LOT.
This over-caring is what makes Cardiac Hill awesome. Don't get me wrong; Ray Fittipaldo does great work at the Post-Gazette, but where is the raw, unadulterated passion? So, when Anson asked me to join the website as a contributor this week, I was ecstatic and honored to become a crazed contributor for the Cardiac Hill team. That said, let me introduce myself to yinz.
My name is Chas Wagner and, like many others, am a proud member of the Pitt community, having graduated from the Katz School of Business in 2011. As part of the two year full-time program, my focus was on entrepreneurship, innovation and, basically, anything to avoid getting a corporate job. The most important point, though, is my allegiance did not begin last year at the Pete, when it was wildly convenient to become a Pitt fan.
Oh no, they surfaced at Fitzgerald Field House, a magical place with Paul Hipp doing his best impressions of Usain Bolt and Ralph Willard rocking a Ricky Perry-esque butt cut. Yes, the Pete is beautiful and necessary for recruiting, but the Field House was just so cozy, almost that Eat N' Park feel.
Speaking of delusion, my Dad was the really crazy one. Growing up, he told me to model my game off of Jerry McCullough, not John Stockton. Don't forget, he'd send me to Born 2 Run Basketball Camp at Laroche College to receive advice, primarily basketball, from the likes of Chris Seabrooks. We still debate whether Kelli Taylor or Seabrooks was the bigger head case.
Like my Dad, I developed an infatuation with Pitt hoops. Wearing one sleeve in IM hoops at college was not meant to show off my abnormally-sized left bicep, but to pay my respects to the ultimate Ruben Boumtje Boumtje embarasser - Julius Page.
Or, sneaking in the back door of Rosie O'Grady's in Midtown Manhattan, clearly underage and still looking it today, just to have the opportunity to drink Michelob Ultras alongside Ontario Lett and Donatas Zavackas, after we beat the crap out of Uconn for our first Big East Tournament Championship.
I love Pitt basketball. Simply put, the winter time means Pitt basketball for my family and I. Sorry, but Pens hockey doesn't do it for me and, quite frankly, I don't understand the schizophrenic game enough. Steelers, love them to death, but it's not that difficult to be an outdoor football fan in Western PA. Pittsburgh Power? Now we're talking.
Unfortunately, I didn't grow up a Pitt football fan, so, you won't be hearing my ramblings on that side of the ball. For better or worse, Notre Dame was my squad.
Talk about a team that is never better than you think.
In closing, I'm excited to be a part of this journey with Anson and Co.
I can't thank him enough for including me in his plans for the next phase of Cardiac Hill.
Most importantly, I can't wait to connect with everyone in the H2P community.
Beat Louisville. Hail to Pitt. Cheers to Vonteego.