Pitt football has given us quite a ride. For the seniors and juniors, we’ll remember the days where we couldn’t expect to beat a prospective playoff team on an annual basis. We’ll also remember the days where we’d win 6 games a year and play the least exciting football of all time. But each year, we go through the stages of grief when we have to realize we’re not going to win a national championship:
“So what, we’ve lost two of our three non-conference games? Oklahoma State is gonna win their conference and Penn State is a rival so when we run the table we’ll be in great shape to make the playoff! No doubt about it, our division isn’t even that good!”
No, lifelong-overly-optimistic-Pitt-fan. That’s not what’s going to happen. But keep believing it year after year.
This is the stage where Pitt fans start to call for Pat Narduzzi’s job. A lot of complaining how he’s not doing a good job recruiting. Some more about how his play calling is terrible. Then just general anger about how we wish we went to Clemson or maybe Georgia but anywhere except Penn State.
The bargain in this case is “we’ll stay four quarters if you guys don’t suck” or “TBS will stop writing articles about how bad you are if you can finish above .500.” Or maybe it’s just something more intense if you’re a real fan, like “I’ll literally sacrifice a small animal or Max Browne’s right shoulder if we can win a national championship.”
Pure sadness and pessimism has enveloped you. You start betting against Pitt on a weekly basis. You don’t even go to the games for the free shirts anymore. An on-campus stadium couldn’t even help us at this point. Those beautiful retro jerseys don’t even get us excited anymore at this stage. We secretly consider buying gear from other colleges.
And we learn to accept our position as a mediocre football school just in time to enjoy a nice upset of one of the best teams in the country. We can sleep well after we smack the smug looks off of the teams that thought they could beat us. We know we’ll never win that national championship again, but dammit if we can’t, neither will you! And that’s our role. We accept it and we enjoy it.
What was truly an up and down season has come to an end, and it had its rough spots for sure. But don’t relax just yet. We’ve still got basketball season ahead of us.
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