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Cardiac Spill: Excerpts from Pitt Longform

The suspension of SB Nation Longform could not have come at a worse time for me - this week would've been the debut of my commissioned series of 10,000+ word essays about popular and interesting Pitt stories. However, after tense negotiations with legal I was granted permission to print excerpts from some of the pieces here.

Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Excerpted from "The Line In The Sand"

A story of the border town of the nation's most bloodless rivalry.

Nothing but empty streets for miles.

But Silver Creek isn't always this silent, he swears to me over a cup of coffee at Aunt Millie's. The tiny Hamlet in upstate New York is in what the locals call its "spring hibernation" - months away from its famous grape festival, and, more importantly, months away from when the football season tears the town asunder.

Silver Creek, you see, is about two and a half hours from both Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Syracuse, New York.

A line in the sand.

"Once October rolls around, they come out of the woodwork." Morris takes a sip from his thermos before continuing. "You see maybe a dozen folks in football stuff stop here on their way down or up to the game, depending on the year."

"That's it?"

"Yeah. Not that big a thing. Most people are more concerned about the Bills around here, really." Another sip from his thermos. "So do you know anywhere hiring right now? My house is being foreclosed on."

Excerpted from "My Work-Expensed Trip to Some Island Was Cool As Hell"

Technically not a vacation. Technically.

And the food - my God, the food. SO GOOD.

Excerpted from "Diamond In A Coal Town"

Wallace Green is a man who won't stop chasing his dreams.

Every Tuesday morning, Wallace makes an extra cup of coffee. "Liquid confidence," he claims. "If you told me a skinny dip in the Gauley river out there would boost my luck," he says, gesturing outside, "then not the devil himself would be able to stop me from stripping down and jumping in." He sweeps a stack of bedazzled blazers off what is only then revealed to be a stool and offers me a seat. "It's the office now, y'see. Later it'll be the kitchen again. But now it's the office." The master of his domain, however small it may be.

Wallace cracks his knuckles before dialing the phone. As it rings on the other end, he hums a few bars of the song he soon hopes to perform in front of 60,000 screaming Panther fans. Da-Da-Da.

An answer. "Hello - who do I speak to about becoming your Neil Diamond impersonator in residence?"


The expression on his face says it all: Shucks. Guess we'll try again next week.

Excerpted from "New Frontiers"

Meet the guys with a radical idea that might just save us all.

"Let's move the stadium even further away!"

Excerpted from "Hudson Rivers Blues"

What happens to our heroes after the lights dim for the last time?

The name still rings a tiny bell in your head, right? "Doyle Hudson." Big boy. Had dreams of bright lights and big time Big East basketball. Played in 25 games and then disappeared.

Or, maybe you remember Nick Rivers. Walk-on. Danced around a lot. Fun guy. Scored some points and I think now he works for the university. I don't know.

My point is, they should team up and be a cop duo, obviously! It'd be called "Hudson Rivers"  and it'd be the dopest thing ever. They'd arrest, like, diamond thieves and shit. And every episode would end with someone saying "You're going up the Hudson River, bub!" Here, let me show you how it'd go:

[INT - Police Station - Night]

In addition to these excerpts, the following pieces are fully written and edited but (unfortunately) no part of them can be excerpted prior to publishing:

  • Let's Remember A High School Coach Fondly
  • Turning the Corner: The Eternal Hustle of Chuck Bonasorte
  • The People vs. Tyrone Haughton
  • Please Give This James Conner Profile an Award
  • Three Nights in Birmingham
  • Parking The Incline: The Five Lessons Tony Pulis Could Teach Pitt
  • Another Greatest American Sportswriting-Eligible Heartstring Puller About Conner
  • What Even Is Baseball, Though
  • DePaul's Chicago
  • No, Seriously, Let's Not Fire Pat Narduzzi
  • We Went To Morgantown High On Mescaline (Or Something) with James Franco and Got Elected Mayor
  • The Real Victim: Why My Conner Profile Deserved A Frigging Pulitzer
  • "Duquesne, Duquesne!"
  • Those Guys Have All The Butts: An Oral History of Cardiac Spill
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