To all the Zoo readers:
I’m Max and I am the newest writer for the Zoo blog. We get a lot of pre-game and post-game analysis on this site, which is good, but I will not be writing in that same vein. The most analysis I will do about the game itself is, “We won, awesome” or, “We lost, huge bummer.” Instead, I will be writing solely about the Zoo – the way we act, the way we cheer, if we cheer, and things we can change to make the Zoo better. We have been called one of the best student sections in the country and Big East players voted The Pete as the toughest place to play in the league. However, recently, student participation has been down for the most part and many feel, me included, that the Zoo has lost some of its ferocity. I know that a blog can only do so much, but hopefully my posts will be a starting point for change and improvement. I hope the things I say will influence people enough so that they will respond, either in agreement with me or because what I’ve said has made them angry. The only way the Zoo can become better is if people are allowed to voice their opinions and be openly critical of the organization in its current state. So, before I write anything of value, let me say this – yell at me, get mad at me, bash what I’ve said, and respond accordingly – I’m a big boy, I can take it. Now that that’s done, let’s get to the real reason why I’m here -the Zoo.
Tonight is probably a bad night for me to start writing about the Zoo because I have no clue where it was. Yes, Providence is a bad team and yes, it was snowing. These are both good reasons for a father of two who lives in Monroeville not to come to the game, but they are awful reasons for a Pitt student who lives at most a 15-minute walk from the Pete. The Zoo is packed for prime-time games against Georgetown and WVU, but when a game is on regional TV against a cellar dweller, the place is basically vacant. I check my email pretty regularly and it was saddening when I got a message from the Athletics department at 3 PM (4 and a half hours before tip-off) saying that there were still tickets available. There weren’t even enough people to fill the main three sections (6D-F) and the tickets under the hoop by our bench were sold to other fans. It’s pathetic. And for those of you who did come and didn’t stay until the end, please explain to me your rationale. It’s clear that loyalty points don’t matter this season, as proven by the emails. So my question is, why would you come and then leave early? Do you have to beat the traffic on the sidewalks that lead to Towers and lower campus or the steps that lead to upper campus?
I could write a whole lot more about how we cheer for, at the longest, 10 seconds when Pitt has the ball and how we can’t keep the cheer at a consistent pace, but I’ll save that rant for when we do that at the Louisville game.
In my ideal world, the Zoo would be packed for every game and if you missed a game without an excuse, you wouldn’t be entitled to tickets for the next season. But that will not happen while I’m a student at Pitt, so back to reality. I would much rather be a part of a Zoo that has 500 truly passionate members at every game (not just big ones) who stay for the whole game than a Zoo that swells to 1200 or 1300 only when national TV crews come to town.
To all the people I called out and to all the people who have something to say, please respond. I want to hear your opinions.
Other than that, we won – AWESOME.
Thanks to my boys J-France, G-Butt, and Merlin for their input.