As a Pitt alumnus and fan living in the heart of ACC country for the last three years, I feel like an expert on all things Atlantic and Coastal. Not really, but I’ve made a few observations Pitt fans should taken into account. Today, I’m here to give you all a handy guide to life in the ACC. With the announcement of Pitt’s 2013 ACC schedule causing Pitts fans to salivate over the prospects of not playing Rutgers and Cincinnati ever again, I feel now is the time to prepare you for life in the South.
So, without further adieu, here are some suggestions, tips, and warnings about life in the ACC:
- Pitt is joining the Coastal Division of the ACC and will be the northernmost school in that division. Therefore all division games require a drive south for Pitt fans. This means Pitt fans will also see things they don’t experience often in Pittsburgh. Most notably, the sun.
- If you’re traveling through North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina (hopefully not in that order), you must stop at a Cook-Out. You can get a barbecue plate and a milkshake for less than $6. Look at this menu! This brings me to my next point...
- Barbecue is a noun not a verb. Barbecue is generally pulled/chopped pork, and served Carolina (vinegar-based) style. It’s the way to go (the only way if you’re in NC).
- College sports rule in the South. If Pitt is getting spanked, for instance, at Clemson sometime in the future, don’t respond with some argument about "them Stillers" and their Lombardi trophies. No one cares.
- Gameday attire is going to be a huge issue for Pitt fans. In the South, not just in the ACC, football games are a social event. T-shirts, jeans, and painted faces are unacceptable for the most part. They’re about sundresses, pastels, collared shirts, dress pants, and boat shoes. While there will be some exceptions, this is not a bad thing. However, some may experience culture shock.
- Here’s another stereotype that I’ve found to be true living in the South: people are actually friendlier. "Southern Hospitality" is actually a thing. You’ll be chatted up by tailgaters, neighbors, strangers, waitresses. It’s really quite nice. Just don’t ask for a ‘pop’, you’ll get a look and a chuckle. Remember to be nice and courteous.
- I just realized I’ve been ignoring our old friends at Boston College, but I doubt anyone noticed or cared. (LOOK, WE'RE FITTING IN ALREADY!)
- A lot of Pitt alums now reside in the South, especially in the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), so expect a nice showing at away games. And Pittsburghers, please make the easy drive down through the mountains. Enjoy a nice weekend getaway in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Charlottesville, or wherever else the Panthers travel.
- Remember to honk when you drive past Morgantown.
- And most importantly: "Y’all" not "Yinz".
Life is the ACC will be new and different - it’s best if you start preparing now.