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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
Chris Matthews: Inspiring language learners at home and abroad
By Anna Kuntz, Senior Staff Writer • April 22, 2024
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By Irene Castillo, Senior Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Column | Pitt sports programs and their alcohol brand counterparts

The+Pitt+logo+in+the+outfield+of+Vartabedian+Field.
Ethan Shulman | Visual Editor
The Pitt logo in the outfield of Vartabedian Field.

Last year, I wrote a column comparing former Pitt quarterbacks to beer brands. While it remains my favorite article I’ve ever written for The Pitt News, it is time to get a little more extreme. After countless hours of watching tape, researching stats and consuming certain beverages, I’ve come up with Pitt sports programs and their alcohol brand comparisons. 

Football and Jack Daniel’s whiskey

Pitt football and Jack Daniel’s whiskey have a lot in common. They give fans terrible hangovers and significantly worsen their mood, but their followers still keep coming back for more. After an abysmal 3-9 2023 campaign, Pitt football left many fans feeling nauseous about the Panthers’ future prospects heading into next season. Likewise, Jack Daniel’s ridiculously high alcohol content and thick, sugary consistency can wreak havoc on enjoyers’ stomachs. 

But there’s something special about these two that makes up for all the problems. From Pitt’s 2021 ACC Championship to former quarterback Nick Patti’s miraculous performance in the 2022 Sun Bowl, the Panthers produce more good memories than bad. Jack Daniel’s may not help produce the same great memories — or any memories in general — but its iconic black label and rustic taste are still lovable. 

Volleyball and Dom Perignon champagne 

Dom Perignon is the most elite champagne on the market, as its smooth taste and fanciful design delight royalty and celebrities alike. Pitt volleyball also knows something about being elite, as it has qualified for the NCAA Elite Eight in four straight seasons. Matter of fact, after Pitt volleyball defeated ACC rival Louisville in the 2023 Elite Eight, there’s a good chance many fans popped Dom Perignon champagne in celebration.

Of course, Nebraska ultimately put a cork in the Panthers’ 2023 season, but that doesn’t change the fact that volleyball is Pitt’s most dominant program. The best team deserves the best alcohol comparison, and that’s why Pitt volleyball’s pair is Dom Perignon champagne. 

Men’s basketball and Moët champagne

Here’s another champagne comparison, but this one is too good to leave out. For one, Pitt men’s basketball literally had a player named Justin Champagnie a few years ago, making the Panthers a perfect comparison for Moët. 

Moët is a fantastic champagne that is easily accessible at most liquor stores — albeit for a hefty price tag. But Moët champagne isn’t quite as elite and highbrow as Dom Perignon. Likewise, Pitt men’s basketball is a great program, but it just doesn’t produce the same results as the volleyball team. 

Pitt men’s basketball and Moët are also very bubbly. As champagne, Moët is notorious for its high carbonation and dancing bubbles. Meanwhile, Pitt men’s basketball currently stands at 17-8 and is firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. 

Women’s basketball and Pink Whitney 

This connection is simple — Pitt women’s basketball has a yearly Pink Out the Pete game, and Pink Whitney is, well, pink. 

But the comparison goes deeper than just the Pink Out the Pete game. Pink Whitney started out with a lot of hype, as it dominated college campuses for a few years before eventually losing its popularity. Pitt women’s basketball also had a lot of momentum after it hired Tory Verdi as its new head coach. But with the team now standing at 8-19, it’s safe to say that the Panthers’ buzz is slowly fading. 

Wrestling and Fireball 

As someone who wrestled for half of their life, I know this connection all too well. Pitt wrestlers are fierce, fighting for their respect in the competitive ACC conference. Fireball is also a fierce drink, burning stomachs with its strong cinnamon taste.

Fireball also comes in all shapes and sizes, ranging from single-shot shooters to full-on kegs. Wrestlers also come in different sizes, as the sport features weight classes to divide athletes. 

About the Contributor
Brian Sherry, Sports Editor