Of all of the ESPN signs I have seen, this one was definitely the best.
In Bob Smizik’s article today in the wonderful Post-Gazette, he discussed why he is surprised that Pitt might not be dead yet. Although I am aware that sportswriters bleed pessimism, the following quote surprised me:
“If you didn’t know better, you would think it was business as usual for the Panthers, who play Georgetown at 7 p.m. today at Petersen Event Center.”
Of course nobody expected the Panthers to pack up their stuff and call the season a wash, but I don’t think even Bob would believe they aren’t going to try to win some big games.
Similarly, at about 12:30 today, while waiting in line, a friend and I were comparing the Zoo this season to the Zoo three years ago. Recalling games of the 2004-2005 season like the home defeat of Syracuse, where Pitt trailed early by 17 points. That was a team that was supposed to be great. That was not a team that had its local sportswriters questioning whether they were dead.
This game tonight, it was something else. The Panthers managed to upset one of the top teams in the country, a team that people had called a contender for the national title. The odds-on favorite to win the conference, today, goes home with a loss.
The crowd tonight was electric, probably the best game in the past two years. Compared to the GameDay event last year against Georgetown, I think this was far better. I think that anyone who has been in the Zoo for a while will tell you that this was what the Zoo can be, and to those of you new folks, this is what you have to look forward to. I sat behind Jay Bilas and heard him tell someone before the game that “this is one of the hardest 10 places to play in the country. The team has been really good, but these students are tough. They are loud and they are creative. It is a tough place to come and win.”
I posed a question a while ago: Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?
And to the fan who answered, “Pitt will not make the NCAA tournament,” what do you have to say now?