Dear Pitt Fan Base,
Let's be honest - our football team has let you down through the years. The past few have been especially rough and five head coaches in a three-year stretch is not exactly stable. The team had laid eggs in countless big, nationally-televised games. I've been there ... we all have been there. The one thing this school has lacked is stability and success. Those are the obvious things watching a Pitt Football game every Saturday. The one troubling thing about the university as a whole? Pride. Pitt fans simply don't take enough pride in this terrific university and especially this football team.
What is the lifeblood of every college athletic program? Recruiting. Recruits turns into players, and they become representatives of the football team. What is a great way to attract recruits? Atmosphere. The academics of Pitt are outstanding and the setting for the school is unique and special. The history of the football program is right up there with the top as well. Those key things have been able to attract great players for years and the one glaring need for Pitt is a raucous game day atmosphere.
The lack of an on campus stadium contributes to that. The allure of the Steelers also makes Pitt second fiddle in their own city. Still, there's no excuse Pitt should not have at least 50,000 fans in Heinz Field every Saturday. Noon, 3:30, 11:00 a.m., whatever - it should not matter.
That brings us to the announcement today that Pitt's homecoming game against Louisville will be at 11:00 a.m. It is not the school's fault for taking an early game and it won't be the school's fault if there are empty seats. If Heinz Field isn't packed on homecoming, it will be the fault of the fans that don't show up.
So, I implore you, the fan, to go to the homecoming game. Stop waiting for the team to do this on their own. Be a fan, be a proud alumnus, and take pride in your school. Take pride in the football team that has nine National Championships, 72 first-team All-Americans, and 18 college football Hall of Famers. Pitt will be playing a nationally ranked opponent on national television. Pitt still has a way to go, but this game could be the difference in the Panthers going to a bowl game (or even the BCS) or landing elite level recruits that will make this program better.
Step up and do your part. Be there on Saturday 13th against Louisville.