Hey, Zoo folk! Hope you all are enjoying your summer, whether you’re working, taking classes, or just relaxing. We wanted to give you a mid off-season update on how things are progressing on our end. We’ll start with the things most people would care about, and work our way down. It’s a little long, but full of info.
1. 2012-2013 Oakland Zoo T-Shirt Designs
We are in the final stages of creating the t-shirt designs. The design was done by the same person who has done the past two years’ designs. We can’t tell you exactly what it entails, but can tell you we addressed many of the problems people had with last years design. Beyond that, I can say the back has some really cool elements from past shirts combined with some new stuff. We don’t want to spoil any more though. The design will be released sometime in September or October, and we’ve been throwing around some ideas to reveal the designs to you guys and hand out some free Zoo shirts with the new design in the process. The feedback from people we’ve showed it to has been extremely positive. We’re excited to release them when we can.
2. More ways for Pitt fans/Zoo folk to communicate with us, and each other.
We wanted to make it even easier for people to communicate with us and each other to share ideas about ideas for games, trips, cheers, etc., so we made a new Facebook group under the new groups format that’s been done. The link for the facebook groups page is here Oakland Zoo group page. For you Redditors our there, we also made a new Oakland Zoo reddit. That’s here: Oakland Zoo Reddit. As always, we have the @OaklandZoo twitter and theOaklandZoo@gmail.com for you to use as well. Use these however you like to help discuss ideas and things you think would help make the Zoo better.
3. Zoo Meetings / Opposing Team Dossier
One thing we want to try this year is have actual meetings. Where/when/how often is still completely up in the air, but this is a face-to-face extension of #2 above. We would use these meetings to plan new cheers/pranks/events during games to do. Also using these meetings, we can research opposing teams, and have a dossier on each team we can hand out to Zoo members as they enter games. (eg, the names of Syracuse’s starting five’s mothers, stupid classes they take, etc). During the first semester, we’d maybe only meet once or twice as the schedule usually isn’t exciting enough to warrant this much work. When the Big East schedule rolls around, however, having a meeting for every 2-3 home games sounds perfect. Have an idea for a cheer or something to make the Zoo better? Bring it to one of these meetings. Can ask the leaders questions as well about what we’re allowed to do. More information on this as the year gets closer.
4. Attempting to bring back Zoo field trips
The Zoo has a budget to work with each year earning money from the t shirt sales. In the past, this money has been used to pay for groups of Pitt students to travel to places like WVU, and sit together to cheer. Unfortunately (in an awesome way), the Zoo was far too loud and disruptive at WVU and they refuse to sell us tickets directly anymore. We’re thinking of looking into what it would cost to send some folks to Georgetown, Louisville, Nova, etc. We think this would be a LOT of fun, and would try to make this something you can do for a small price. This would be a heck of a way to experience the last year in the Big East. This is something we’ll discuss in the meetings mentioned earlier.
5. Actual basketball news
To give you a short update on the team, they are training very hard. From what it sounds like, they’re training 2 or 3 times a day. There are times they’ve come back from Greentree games and gone and played pick up with each other. The chemistry on this team is really something to be appreciated. They like each other a lot, and they like playing with each other a lot. Last year proved that any expectations before the season starts are premature, but do not be surprised if this team is very very good. The new players give a nice influx of talent to the experience of our returning guys. Overall, they have the talent to do well, but it will come down to how they execute together.If you haven’t been following closely, all of the new players ( Freshmen James Robinson, Steven Adams, and Chris Jones, along with transfer Trey Zeigler) are on campus and doing well. If you haven’t been able to see any of the Greentree summer league our guys participate in, here’s a link to Panther Sports Network who do the highlights for all the summer games: Greentree Highlights. (James is #48, Lamar is #21, Steven is #64, and Trey is #7)
That’s pretty much it for now. Hope this guys gets you a little more in tune to what’s been going on during the summer. We want to constantly push the Zoo forward to make it better than it ever has been, and we’re gonna need your input and ideas this coming year for that. This is YOUR student section. Let’s make it the best we can.
Hail to Pitt!
PS Keep on the lookout for some big news for students football-wise. Some changes coming to the Gameday experience at Heinz Field.