Last-minute picks for homecoming court

By Brian Gentry, Contributing Editor

The nominees for homecoming court are decided, and it’s too late for any last-second additions. But there’s so many contestants who were disqualified just because they’re not students — and many would totally win if they could enter. If I could decide Pitt’s homecoming king and queen, these would be my choices.


Pitt Football Team and Dark Sky Above Cathy

It’s been a rough start for the Pitt football team. So far, we have a 2-3 record, and two of the losses were absolute blowouts. But there’s a clandestine relationship hidden in this sports tragedy, something that makes for a great love story — the Pitt football team seems to be protecting the sky above the Cathedral of Learning from the blinding victory lights. Sure, it’s great for students to see the victory lights turned on, but it’s clear that the football team is truly in love with the dark skies. The protective boyfriend trope is such a classic that this pair would be bound to win homecoming couple.

Even better, this couple is environmentally conscious. The fact that we don’t turn on the victory lights means that we can save on power — after all, leaving lights on for an entire weekend takes a lot of electricity! Maybe it’ll compensate enough that we can turn up the air conditioning while it’s still hot out. Regardless, this couple would be stark competition in the race for the crown.

Pitt’s Board Of Trustees and Tuition Increases

These two have been in a committed relationship for as long as anyone can remember. Since 1998, tuition and fees have almost tripled thanks to the Board’s approval. And they certainly model their relationship off of similar ones across the country, like Cornell’s $13,000 increase in tuition in the last seven years.

It’s possible that things may have gotten a bit rocky recently. This year, tuition only increased for out-of-state, graduate and engineering students, hinting that perhaps the Board and tuition increases had a falling out this year. But this is surely temporary — there are similar relationships between universities and tuition increases across the country, and Pitt’s Board of Trustees will definitely catch up with the national trend. It’s this steadfastness in their relationship that makes them such an attractive choice for homecoming king and queen.

Roc and Gritty

It may be cliche, but relationships modeled off of Disney movies are absolutely adorable. And that’s why Roc, Pitt’s mascot, and Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot, should be homecoming king and queen. By looks, they’re about as compatible as toothpaste and orange juice — which is to say they aren’t. Roc is a tall, athletic, speedy panther. Gritty, on the other hand, is an ugly, bright orange, hairy space beast. Did I mention he’s ugly?

But there’s something in the relationship that could work — something that wasn’t there before. It’s like Beauty and the Beast, where a conventionally attractive and a conventionally unattractive character fall for each other over their shared interests. And the two mascots certainly have a lot in common. They can talk about their love of sports and bond over the stress of their similar jobs. It may get a bit weird if they ever think about children, but they complement each other perfectly for homecoming king and queen.


Pitt Basketball Team and 1 Single ACC Victory

This one might be a bit of a stretch. Pitt’s basketball team used to be good — we’ve won our fair share of tournament games, and were seeded No. 1 as recently as 2011. Yet last year, Pitt garnered a shocking 0-18 record within the ACC. Our record outside the ACC was just as bad — at the end of the season, Pitt had a 19-game losing streak.

But we like an underdog love story, and this certainly qualifies. The tension between the two is almost unbearable, and when they eventually collide, sparks will fly. Just imagine the excitement of the basketball team’s friends (read: Pitt students) if the team could pull off a single victory against another ACC team. It would be enough to power the relationship for years — and this is what we look for in homecoming royalty.

Oakland and Affordable Groceries

Let’s face it — there’s very little affordable food in Oakland. Ever since 7-Eleven closed and Oakland Bakery entered a state of limbo while stores shuffle around, there’s no place in the area to buy groceries. Sure, there are niche markets in South Oakland that sell specialty foods, like Las Palmas and Groceria Merante, but aside from that, affordable food is only accessible at stores like Aldi, Giant Eagle and Target that are miles from the neighborhood.

This is certainly a relationship students are rooting for — we’re all waiting for the day that we can find cheap fruit and vegetables without hopping on a bus. Fortunately for us, there’s a promising sign that it might happen. The University is opening a grocery store on Forbes, which will hopefully have lower prices than Market-To-Go, where a box of cereal goes for $5. If the new grocery store delivers on its promise, this relationship would finally begin — and its popularity among students would make them a shoo-in.