With Pitt's foray into the ACC, we figured it was time we go to know some of our ACC brethren. So each day for ... well, as long as we have them, we'll be posting Q&As with other SB Nation ACC blogs. The bad news? I'm lazy/tired/too busy (pick one) to get too creative here, so all ten questions were the same for every blog. The good news? That's still better than nothing.
Up today are our good friends over at Streaking the Lawn - SB Nation's Virginia Cavaliers blog. Check them out. Answering questions for us is Paul Wiley.
1. First, give us a little background on your blog. How/why did you get started? How long have you been at it?
Streaking The Lawn was independently started back in 2009 with the idea of putting the spotlight on Virginia's Olympic/non-revenue sports. Let's be honest. UVA hasn't exactly been a football or basketball powerhouse in the past decade, but if we're talking tennis, lacrosse, baseball, rowing, etc., we're right up there with the Stanfords and UCLAs of the world. So, we try to give as much attention to those sports as we do to the revenue ones. Speaking of revenue, what makes our site a little unique compared to other UVA websites -- and really, compared to most other websites generally -- is that we take our profits at the end of the year and basically empty out our coffers by way of donation to a charity of interest to the UVA and Charlottesville communities. So far, we've given to Special Olympics of Virginia, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia, and Cavaliers Against Cancer. AnyHOO (see what I did there?), we joined forces with SB Nation in 2011 and haven't looked back since.
2. So tell us a little about our ACC brethren. Besides maybe your own, of course, whose fans are the most hospitable? Who do Pitt fans need to avoid like the plague?
Well, Maryland is leaving so you don't need to worry too much about them; for thoughts on our "friends" to the North, see what Tim had to say when they announced their departure Miami fans can get a little nasty sometimes too: at the CarQuest Bowl in in 1996, I saw a group of several Miami fans pour their beers over the edge of the upper deck onto U.Va. fans below. For all the crap we give them about everything else, UNC-Chapel Hill fans are pretty great at being hospitable. And of course it's always nice to go to Wake Forest because you'll leave with a win.
3. Again, leaving your school out, best road trip? And the place you wouldn't go even if given free airfare, lodging, and tickets?
Atlanta. Hands down. Georgia Tech is really accessible off the MARTA lines, and there's a Varsity on campus; go get a Frosted Orange alongside your Vidalia onion rings and thank me later. It's also super easy to get to because every Delta flight ever flown goes through ATL. Peach/Chickfila Bowls have been some of my favorite U.Va. sporting experiences. Now that you don't have to avoid College Park, avoid Clemson.
4. After dealing with John Marinatto in the Big East, we're pretty sure John Swofford's a genius, ninja, or both. Can you confirm/deny?
We prefer ninjenius™.
5. Okay, with that out of the way, what did fans of your school think about the additions of Pitt, Syracuse, and Louisville? It's okay - rip into us ... you won't hurt our feelings (much).
But seriously, Swofford and the conference presidents have done a good job positioning the ACC to be a multi-sport force to be reckoned with. In football terms, no we aren't the SEC and we're probably a step or two behind the B1G. But there's a very plausible, credible argument to be made that we're at least on par with the PAC-12 and ahead of the Big XII (which is now what, 9?). And my god, the basketball. That's always been the ACC's true first love just anyway. With the next logical expansions being UConn and/or Cincinnati (BREAKING EXCLUSIVE), there's still room to improve as well.
The biggest complaint is about diluting academic quality with the new additions. This charge is mostly being leveled at Louisville, but if Clemson fans start to give Pitt crap about academics, just throw something shiny over their heads and they'll get distracted. Or remind them of the time their cheerleaders came running out with the flags arranged C-L-E-S-M-O-N. A little more football oomph would be nice from Pitt and Cuse, but U.Va. isn't in any position to be asking that of other people. But in 2015 . . . .
Probably Bryant Stith. School all-time leading scorer, was a great leader/captain. Plus we don't want anyone to piss off B.J. and make him change his mind, so we're gonna defend his dad to our last breath.
7. Not counting football and basketball, tell us a little more about a non/small-revenue program at your school that excels.
All of them? Is "all of them" an acceptable answer? Seriously, we're the guys who get knocked for being good at everything EXCEPT revenue sports. Our baseball team just had another 50-win season. Our men's lacrosse team has won five national titles, and anything other than making the Final Four is considered a disappointing season. Women's lacrosse is similarly top-notch, with three national titles and six more championship game appearances. Swimming and diving have won a combined 25 conference titles, with the men winning 13 of the last 14. Men's tennis just won its first national title and has won more than 100 consecutive conference matches. So, yea all of them.
8. While ACC fans (we're told, anyway) like to dress up to the occasion for games, Pitt fans are mostly the opposite. Even our most buttoned up fans are typically rocking a jersey (including the occasional Steelers jersey) or t-shirt with jeans/shorts for nice weather games. That goes for our ladies, too, by the way. Will that cut it for a game in your neck of the woods or do we need to try harder if we don't want to get mocked endlessly?
We're the reason people think ACC fans dress up. The mantra/stereotype at Scott Stadium is "guys in ties, girls in pearls." The tradition of dressing up for games dates back to when the University was all-male, required coat and tie for class, and still had Saturday classes. Men would go straight from class to games without changing in between. Their dates—from the women's colleges around Virginia—would dress to match their dates, usually in sundresses and pearls. U.Va. doesn't let its traditions die easily, so a lot of students still dress up (especially Greeks) and alums will usually wear at least a polo/golf shirt. But we recognize that we're different that way. T-shirts, jerseys, shorts and painted chests aren't going to get you run out of town. In fact we'll use them as proof that we're still better than you (half-joking . . . ).
9. If we're in town, what do we need to eat and where do we eat it? Oh yeah, and give us a local attraction/touristy thing, if you can.
Charlottesville has more restaurants per capita than New York City, and good ones too, so food is more than plentiful. If you want something diner/college bar-like, go to the stretch of bars known as The Corner. While you're there, get a Gus Burger at the White Spot—a cheeseburger topped with a fried egg, and bacon if you want it. Chase it with a Grillswith—two standard Krispy Kreme or grocery store donuts, cooked on the griddle until they're caramelized, then smothered with a big scoop of ice cream. Sandwiches, go to Little John's, our 24-hour New York-style deli; you can get sandwiches named for Chris Long and Ralph Sampson and share them with a friend or four. More white-tablecloth joints are going to be on the Downtown Mall, such as Hamilton's and the Downtown Grille. Keswick and Boar's Head make for great fine dining options in a traditional Southern setting.
If you're looking for tourism that isn't a tourist trap, do Monticello. It's well worth the price of admission and is just freaking gorgeous in the fall. You can do apple picking on the way up and wine tasting on the way down, too. Lots of attractions for anyone who's looking, whether it's for nature stuff, food stuff, arts stuff, music stuff. There's a reason Charlottesville makes a lot of Top Towns lists.
10. Pitt is known for its medical facilities and research - give us something non-sports related that's important about your school?
Monticello and the University are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So we like that; that's pretty cool. We take a lot of pride in being consistently ranked among the nation's top two or three public universities. And our Honor System is another of our defining characteristics: it's something students and faculty think about and debate quite a bit, and it's constantly evolving, but it's central to our identity and our ties to students past.