I miss this game. I need some hate in my life.
Penn State should play Pitt in football every year. I'm starting to believe that this is an opinion that is a bit dated. Please see below for a few reasons why this game should be played and a plan to make it happen. But first, I would like to thank Mike for putting this site together. I visit every day during football season and most other days as well. I enjoy reading his posts and all of the comments as well. You all help feed my addiction.
Reasons for Penn State to play Pitt EVERY YEAR:
1. It is the right thing to do.
2. Not having a true rival hurts Penn State. I feel that fostering the hate in recruits will help keep some of these kids in Pennsylvania. I hate looking at Michigan's and Iowa's rosters and seeing so much PA Talent. By playing a rival game every year, we will get a chance to show recruits some real passion, from players, coaches and fans.
3. It will help put Pitt fans/alums (my brother and uncle) back in their place. The last win by Pitt has given this group a trump card to play in arguments. Pitt gets a disproportionate amount of pride from that win. They will not be so bold when the next game is 12 months away.
4. There is precedent. South Carolina/Clemson, Florida/FSU, Florida/Miami, Louisville/Kentucky are all great football games that do not have conference tie ins. We should have this as well.
5. I hate to say this, but Pitt is back on the right track. Will they ever be as good as they were in the 70-80's? I don't know. Will Penn State ever be that good again? This game has the potential to mean something again.
How can this Happen? We can talk all we want about why the game is not currently being played, but there is only one reason: MONEY. If we can solve the money problem, we can have our game. Penn State needs 7-8 home games a year to pay for its impressive athletic program. Pitt needs help hiding all of those yellow seats. I think I have a solution (patent pending):
1. Sponsorship. We have several companies that would jump at the chance at naming rights for the broadcast of this game. Good local companies like Hershey, Hienz, Sheetz, WAWA, or UTZ would get first crack. Why do we need a sponsor?
2. We have a home/home/neutral site game rotation. Every third game is played at the Linc in Philadelphia. The sponsorship dollars, TV revenue, and the gate for this game will be split between Pitt and Penn State based on each teams average home game profits. Yes, Penn State will get the lion's share of this cash (pun intended), but Pitt will have no argument here as they will be compensated for a home game. If they want more cash, they should sell a few extra tickets for the Grambling game. This gives Penn State the 2 for 1 financial solution that we require without giving a competitive advantage to Penn State. Tickets for this game would be split evenly between Pitt/Penn State. Any unsold tickets would go into a public sale, first come/first serve basis.
3. Pitt would NOT be allowed to gouge Penn State fans by forcing us to purchase a ticket package to buy the Penn State game. If Pitt can't sell out its season tickets with Penn State on the schedule, shame on them.
4. I would like to see this game in November, but I can live with it during "Rivalry Week" early in the season. Seriously, I'd much rather watch a competitive game against Pitt than Coastal Carolina any day of the week. Plus, a win over an average BCS conference team will help us more than a win over a MAC or 1AA school.
Thanks for playing along.
For the Glory.