When Pitt lost to Iowa last week after an almost dominant first half gave them a solid lead, well, you could say that that was tough loss for the Panthers. When Pitt, a twenty point favorite, lost 21-10 yesterday to the University of Akron, and appeared listless and uninterested throughout the game, well, there is only one word for it: BAD. As in, that was a really BAD loss for the Panthers.
The good news is that Pitt is still undefeated, 1-0, in the ACC. No one expects them to run the table in conference play, but they had better not have any more awful performance like yesterday's over the remainder of the season.
In the game story in today's Post-Gazette, this quote fairly jumped off the page and smacked me in the face:
"We don't play for the fans," Pitt wide receiver Manasseh Garner said. "We play for each other and for our families. That's one of the big things the coaches say, and I firmly believe that. The fans are with us when we win and sometimes they're against us when we lose, so we're definitely not playing for the fans."
Now, Garner is a kid and can be excused, I suppose, for saying something stupid, but the young man needs to learn a lesson that every college student needs to learn: Never, ever publicly criticize the paying customers. That is bad, very bad, for business. And if the Pitt coaches are teaching that, then perhaps THEIR bosses need to impart the same lesson the them.
The Pirates will play their 162nd and, maybe, final game of he regular season today and they STILL have a chance to win the NL Central Division crown. What a season and what a month of September this has been for the Pirates. I will be writing a more complete wrap-up on the Bucs' regular season once it officially ends, but for now, all I will say is Fabulous Job, and I can't wait for the Playoffs!
Back to Pitt football.
Akron brought its marching band to Heinz Field yesterday, and since Marching Bands are part and parcel to the Pageantry of College Football, it was fun to see them and hear them perform. However, a big Bronx cheer goes out to the University of Pittsburgh for dispatching the Akron band to the upper deck of the north end-zone at Heinz Field. It took the band the better part of a quarter to get to their seats and then get back to the field. In a stadium that was only - and I am being generous here - half filled, do you mean to tell me that the that University couldn't have found space for the visiting school's band in the lower bowl of Heinz Field? I mean....
Oh and by the way, the only thing keeping me from presenting an H.A. Citation over this is the fact that I don't know exactly who gets the full blame for this rather unsportsman-like act.
The Steelers, sitting at 2-1, face a game today with the God-awful Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This figures to be an easy win for the Steelers, but, at the same time, nothing that the Steelers have done yet has inspired the populace to start planning for Black and Gold themed Super Bowl parties. Add to this steaming little bouillabaisse the fact that the team's already suspect defense has already been so decimated by injuries and, dare I say it, ineptitude, that they have signed ancient Brett Keisel and lured similarly ancient James Harrison out of retirement (and rumor has it that Joe Greene has started working out seriously down in Texas, just in case), well, no game can be taken for granted. The Steelers not only need to win today, I think that they need to make a statement today in so doing.
On a more serious note concerning Joe Greene, if you have not yet seen the NFL Network's documentary on Greene, you really need to do so. Not sure when or if the Network will be rerunning it, but it is an absolutely terrific look on the Greatest Steeler of Them All.