Friday, September 28, 2012

Hail to Pitt!!!! Happy 225th Anniversary!

I talk often about how my heart still belongs in Oakland.  Of all the places we've lived, it's still my favorite and I get chills just driving off the highway and onto Forbes Avenue, with the straight view of the Cathedral of Learning (pictured above), which is the second tallest educational building in the world (second only to a building at the University of Moscow).  Maybe it has something to do with fact that I was born on Forbes Avenue (within viewing distance of the Cathedral) in Magee Women's Hospital (which now belongs to the university), maybe it's because my family has an almost 100 year history of being educated there (I was the 4th generation to attend), or maybe it's because we were married on campus and Brady was also born at Magee (he was the 4th generation to be born there).  Whatever the reason, I love Pitt and Oakland with all my heart and hope that someday one of my children will go there and follow in our family's proud history.  Maybe on of them will even get married at Heinz Chapel, who knows?

I was in the band for four years as a part of the color guard, so I went to every home game and several away games each year (including an amazing win at Notre Dame my freshman year).  The crowning achievement was the trip to the Fiesta Bowl in 2005.  We didn't win, but I will never have to put attend a BCS bowl game on my bucket list.  Not only did I attend, I performed!  That was my only bowl game however.  The next three years were pretty bleak, but sometimes you have to sit down and weather the storm.  Once I graduated and Andy started grad school, we bought season tickets.  We kept them even when we moved to Michigan in the summer of 2010.  Moving to South Carolina made it very difficult to keep them because it was impossible to drive home for a weekend (the drive one way was 10 hours on a good day).  We gave them up with intentions to renew them this year as we planned on returning to Michigan.  With Pitt's upcoming move to the ACC (next fall), the home schedule was very weak (with the exception of one game), so we decided to hold off until next year, when we are guaranteed quality opponents at home.  My parents have kept their season tickets through all of this, so we have had opportunities to attend games in the last two seasons.

The big game I wanted to attend was the Virginia Tech game that took place two weeks ago.  My parents were headed to Columbus to see my brother (Cal was playing at Ohio State).  This was perfect, as we just used their tickets.  A few weeks before the season started, Brady started to say, "Go Pitt!"  Nothing could make me happier and now he equates all football to Pitt. 

 He's so happy to be there!

 Screaming, "Go Pitt!!!"

 Brady didn't want to sit still while waiting for the parade, so it was hard for me and Andy to hold him down long enough to get a pic.

 Watching for the parade to start.

 Seated and scarfing down a Primanti's sandwich.  It seems like it should be illegal for other places around the country to not put fries on sandwiches and salads.

Pitt started the season looking pretty pathetic and starting 0-2.  With Virginia Tech highly ranked and going to a BCS bowl every year, things didn't look good for us heading into the game.  Well guess what?  Pitt actually came together as a team and killed Virginia Tech 35-17, forcing four turnovers, and effectively knocking VT out of the rankings altogether.  VT will be on our side of the ACC, so starting next year we will play them every year and they are the main competition to reach the ACC championship, so it's a great feeling to know that we can hold our own against them, when so many other teams can't.

Brady hit naptime around halftime but without Puppy it was impossible to get him to sleep.  Andy took him out of the stands and under the shade of the concession stands and that's where they remained the rest of the game.  It was supposed to be a chilly day, but turned out quite warm and none of us was wearing sunscreen.  We all got sunburned, but Andy and I got the brunt of it.  I was worse than Andy and my burn took a week to fade.

Brady has been going to Pitt games since before he was born (same with the new baby), and for the most part he loves it.  It was certainly easier before he was mobile, but he still has a lot of fun.  The next set of pictures will show him in seasons past.

 2011 (Pitt vs. Utah)

 2011 (watching pregame)

 2011 (Brady and Dubby)

 2010 (Brady's first Pitt season)

 2010 (hanging with Roc)

 2010 (waiting for the parade)

 2010 (asleep in the stands)

This is a very special year for Pitt.  It's the 225th anniversary of it's founding in 1787.  It's an amazing feeling to know that Pitt was the first institution of higher learning west of the Allegheny Mountains and is older than most universities (and states) in this country.  I've never been so proud to be a 4th generation graduate.  My mom's side of the family has been attending Pitt for almost 100 years and my dad's side of the family has only been in this country for the last 67 years, so that's kinda crazy to think about.  There was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to go Pitt since I was a child.  My dad graduated from Pitt with his Ph. D in 1985 and in 1987, Pitt celebrated their bicentennial.  I was younger than Brady is now and it's so cool to know I was there (since it's highly unlikely I'll make it to the tricentinnial at 101 years old).

Above is me at 1, already celebrating Pitt's proud history.  Regardless of the fact that I would be a 4th generation legacy, my mom didn't want to let me apply to Pitt.  She didn't enjoy the city living, but I've always known that I do.  It took almost a year of lobbying before I even got her to agree to let me apply.  They were the only school I applied to and I was accepted.  I wouldn't trade my four years of undergrad and one year of post-grad for anything in the world.  I am proud that I was one of the lucky few who not only could be married at Heinz Chapel, but that I was married there.  Happy anniversary Pitt!  Can't wait to celebrate 250 years!

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