As most of you know (and as was chronicled in Success with Hyperlinking yesterday), Herb Hand and Pitt assistant coach John Peterson have engaged in something of a war of words, 140 characters at a time, over who is the premiere program in the state of Pennsylvania. We saw a little bit of it yesterday, but let's take a look at the entire battle as it has played out thus far.
It started on Wednesday (January 21) with a few tweets from Coach Peterson, who was either anticipating a number of recruits checking out his twitter page that day, or was simply feeling very Panthery.
Nothing out of the ordinary there. Coaches often like to use twitter as a way of showing off their school's success, of which Pitt has had quite a bit of when it comes to putting quality players into the NFL. It was the tweet he followed up with that people took notice of.
He also retweeted this picture, which made me giggle, but is less important.
Could our valiant twitter warrior and offensive line coach, Herb Hand, let this all go by without addressing it? Of course not.
Win bowl game✔️ Better record vs common opponents✔️ More seats full on game days✔️ Higher academic ranking (US News&W/R)✔️ (#PssstOurState)— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 22, 2015
After that, things went silent of both fronts for a bit (probably because this is crunch time for recruiting, and they should be focusing on that). But then yesterday, at around 9:00AM, Herb sent out another tweet. It's unclear whether or not it was related to the previous day's fun, but it became part of it anyway.
We have got a lot of work to do to get where we want to/will be but it sure was nice WINNING two trophies this year. pic.twitter.com/VWxbSDWgDQ— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 22, 2015
Sure, Penn State's season was more average than great, but it still must feel pretty good for the team and those coaches to have ended up with a pair of trophies to add to the collection. To Coach Hand, this was a way to show the world that Penn State is proud of its season. To Coach Peterson, it was an opportunity to strike back.
Wow. Answering a tweet about two trophies with the national championship bomb, AND a gif from The Office? That's a power move from Coach Peterson. That was akin to General Washington crossing the Delaware to attack the Hessian mercenaries on Christmas. He turned a perfectly harmless celebratory tweet, and strategically turned it into a full out attack. Well played John, well played indeed.
Any other coach would probably have thrown in the towel after that one. No matter your feelings about Pitt or Penn State, you have to hand it to Peterson here. He did everything right in the waning moments of the battle. He held his troops until they saw the whites of Herb Hand's eyes. But Herb Hand is resilient. Herb Hand is a fighter. Herb Hand was on Chopped, for Christ's sake. HERB HAND DOESN'T GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT.
If there was any proper way to comeback from Peterson's ambush, that was it. It's no secret that Pitt has problems getting fans out to their games. Penn State's attendance wasn't 107k every week like Franklin and his staff wanted, but Beaver Stadium home games in 2014 still averaged 101,622 fans per game. If you're going to attack Pitt about anything, attendance in the way to go. And adding a gif of three hypothetical Pitt men being hit in the face by hypothetical Herb Hand's volleyball spike? Not to mention that fact that Penn State Women's Volleyball is one of the most dominant collegiate teams ever?! IT WORKS ON SO MANY LEVELS. Well played, Herb.
MORE LIKE HERB HAM— Dan Vecellio (@djvecellio) January 23, 2015
Unfortunately, this is where the battle ended. But who knows? Maybe Coach Peterson will send his troops into battle once more. I weirdly used several colonist Revolutionary War analogies for them, so one would think they're not done yet.
***UPDATE: GENERAL PETERSON HAS SENT HIS TROOPS BACK INTO BATTLE! LET THE WAR CONTINUE!!!!***
You gotta hand it to the man. He has brilliant taste when it comes to gifs. First a Michael Scott gif, and NOW a Ron Swanson gif? And a Ron Swanson gif that happens to be one of BSD's favorites? Does Coach Peterson know about us, and about this post? Has he installed spies in our ranks? How will Herb strike back? Will he? Has all been lost? STAY TUNED!