The Panther Pitt is taking over Heinz Field this fall. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Back in January, I was asked to be part of a group of students who were rallying around the idea of promoting Pitt pride and improving our gameday atmosphere. Many meetings and months of hard work later, the first organized effort of our group went live as The Panther Pitt, the new student section of Pitt Football was unveiled by the Oakland Zoo on Twitter and Facebook.
This idea is entirely organic - a student-organized push by students, for students, to make our gameday experience better. We don't have to look far to find a first-class student section. Right up from the Cathedral, our Oakland Zoo rules the Pete and gains national acclaim. With football attendance improving every year, it's time we take ownership of Heinz Field and create something we all want to be a part of. With this in mind, The Panther Pitt was born.
The idea originated back in late January when a group of involved students, informally known as the Traditions Committee, coalesced around the desire to make our football experience better.
The committee, comprised entirely of current undergrads, includes members of Student Government Board; leaders of the Oakland Zoo and Pitt Band; Pathfinders; members of Blue & Gold Society; leaders representing Student Life, Residence Life, and Greek Life; Honors College students; and two varsity athletes, including a starting member of the football team. Through unprecedented collaboration across nearly every aspect of life at Pitt, each with a unique perspective, we set out to improve the Pitt Football experience and make our gameday one of the best in the country.
Almost immediately, we agreed that a unified, identifiable student section was necessary. With overwhelming support from the committee, and strong affirmation from the student body at large, we decided to brand it The Panther Pitt – a name that pays homage to our great school and mascot, and evokes the primal intensity and frenzy of the college football gameday.
We also unanimously agreed that a single, matching t-shirt was necessary in order to be unified; say goodbye to the scattered sea of pink, yellow, and green. The free shirt that comes with student season tickets will be in ONE color this year. The design, which I'm proud to say I had a hand in creating, will be released via the Twitter account on August 12.
29 days until kickoff. Ready?
Hail to Pitt.