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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Editorial | Our “society” did not lie to the Benedictine College graduates — Harrison Butker did
Editorial | Our “society” did not lie to the Benedictine College graduates — Harrison Butker did
By The Pitt News Editorial Board 12:51 am

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Editorial | Our “society” did not lie to the Benedictine College graduates — Harrison Butker did
Editorial | Our “society” did not lie to the Benedictine College graduates — Harrison Butker did
By The Pitt News Editorial Board 12:51 am

New student guide to Pitt football games

Pitt+fans+celebrate+in+the+stands+of+Acrisure+Stadium+during+the+Backyard+Brawl+against+WVU+on+Sept.+1%2C+2022.
Pamela Smith | Contributing Editor
Pitt fans celebrate in the stands of Acrisure Stadium during the Backyard Brawl against WVU on Sept. 1, 2022.

One of the most anticipated features of fall semesters in Oakland is the return of Pitt football. In recent years, the Panthers gave fans plenty of memorable moments — such as their first ACC championship win in 2021 and their victory in the Backyard Brawl in 2022.

But unlike most other colleges, Pitt football games don’t actually occur on campus, and students must travel to the North Shore to see the Panthers take the field at Acrisure Stadium. This doesn’t make games any less exciting, though, and the travel to and from games creates bonds between students and memories that many of them don’t forget. 

As a new student, games may seem intimidating and confusing. While it may take multiple football seasons for students to master, I’m here to give new students — and returning students who need a refresher — a guide to conquering football games in the fall.

Get to Acrisure Stadium early

The most important tip for students — and a mistake that I, along with many other students, have made — is not getting to Acrisure Stadium at least an hour before kickoff. A big part of games is the pre-game festivities provided both in and outside of the stadium.

Pitt students are blessed with the luxury of a shuttle driving them directly to the North Shore with pickups at Nordenberg Hall and Trees Hall. Students can also take free trips on the Regional Transit buses and light rail to get to Acrisure Stadium. 

As a new student, make sure to give yourself time to enjoy tailgates in the various parking lots while beating the traffic and building excitement for the game. Missing any of the action on or off the field can negatively affect some students’ experience. 

Dress for the occasion 

This seems like a no-brainer, but there are multiple facets to dressing for the occasion. For one, students should definitely dress in regard to the weather. The weather in Pittsburgh can fluctuate from a sunny, beautiful day to a cloudy, rainy day at the snap of a finger. Dressing for the weather is important so students’ experience isn’t ruined by a rain storm or a blistering hot day.

On the other hand, students should dress for the theme of the game. Pitt football’s student section, The Panther Pitt, has dedicated themes for home games such as “Roc the Royal” — where students wear royal blue and wave yellow rally flags. Students should follow ThePantherPitt on social media to make sure they’re up to date with the student section and the theme for that upcoming football game. There are also plenty of places to get Pitt football merchandise, such as Chaz’s shop outside of the William Pitt Union and The Pitt Shop. Both are perfect places to get clothes that are both on theme and proper for the forecast.

Pay attention to the band, cheer and dance squads

They’re called “football” games, but not all the action takes place between the white lines. The Pitt marching band and its cheerleaders and dance team entertain fans for the entirety of the game and give objectively impressive performances every game. It is distasteful for fans to turn their eyes or block their attention just because the play on the field stops.

Yes, fans and students both need time to get concessions and use the bathroom during the game. But I encourage students to do their best to witness the halftime performances of the Pitt marching band and the various performances of the cheer and dance teams during other breaks in the game. Their performances and effort during games are not an excuse for a bathroom break.

Don’t leave the game early

This tip goes hand in hand with the previous tip. There’s too much to miss if you leave the stadium prior to the game concluding. On the field, no matter the score, no one officially wins the game until the final whistle blows. Whether it’s a close game or a blowout, there are amazing feats to witness as the athletes sweat it out until the end.

Off the field, students miss memorable moments and traditions such as Neal Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” after the third quarter and the Pitt victory song after wins. Sacrifice getting back to the dorms quickly for the long, traffic-filled and memorable trips on the student shuttle.

Try Chickie and Pete’s crab fries

It’s the inner Marylander in me speaking, but there’s no other food in the Acrisure Stadium concession stands that compares to Chickie and Pete’s crab fries. The saltiness of the Old Bay seasoning on the crunchy french fries, partnered with the cheese dipping sauce, is a combination that I questioned originally, but it has slowly become a game-day tradition for me.

I recommend all students try Chickie and Pete’s in their first few journeys to the North Shore, especially those who’ve never tried it before. 

Enjoy your time

My final tip is to simply enjoy your time. While it is easier said than done, don’t let the outcome of the game affect your mood. Pitt football games are more about the spectacle, the camaraderie of the student section and the memories students make in the process. 

No fan or student can control what happens on the field, but they can control their attitude. Enjoy watching Pitt football games as a Pitt student during your time here, as that is not a luxury many people have. 

About the Contributor
Jermaine Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor
Jermaine Sykes is the Assistant Sports Editor for The Pitt News. He is a part of the College of Business and Administration class of 2024 and is double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. He is also pursuing a Sports Management certificate and an Economics minor. He has written over 90 articles as a member of the sports staff.