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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024
Opinion | Hold your elected officials morally responsible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 18, 2024

Former Pitt center Jeff McCurley reacts to Drake wearing his jersey

Drake+performs+during+the+Summer+Sixteen+Tour+2016+in+Toronto.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Drake performs during the Summer Sixteen Tour 2016 in Toronto.

Earlier in February, rap sensation Drake made a stop in Pittsburgh to play for a couple thousand highly anticipated listeners. He performed two sold-out nights at PPG Paints Arena, which was one of the several locations around the U.S. on his current “It’s All a Blur Tour.”

A few days after his show, fans saw a picture of Drake on Instagram posing backstage at his Pittsburgh show, wearing none other than a Pitt football jersey. 

The No. 60 jersey that Drake wore in the photo doesn’t exactly look like the ones seen on the team’s players today. Drake was rocking a Pitt throwback jersey, complete with the navy blue and gold colors and the old Panther head logo. 

Only the front of the jersey is visible in the photo, showing off the No. 60 and “Pittsburgh” in bold block lettering. But the photo angle lacked the identifying last name found on the back between the shoulder blades. So, some Panther fans took it upon themselves to figure out who this jersey belonged to. After some quick investigation, they landed on former Pitt center Jeff McCurley. 

“How does he have a 24-year-old jersey on that looks in that good of condition?” McCurley said when asked about his initial reaction to seeing the photo of Drake wearing his jersey.

McCurley played Pitt football from 1997 to 2000, starting out as a nose guard and wearing No. 90 his first year. From there, he switched to guard and center, making a slight number change to 60. 

“I don’t have Instagram, so I didn’t see it myself at first,” McCurley said. 

McCurley said one Pitt fan took it upon themselves to track him down and let him know one of the biggest names in rap was repping his old jersey. 

“[The Pitt fan] had seen it, tracked me down through our business and sent us a message,” McCurley said. “He was letting me know he was just a big Pitt fan, had seen the picture and thought I might get a kick out of it.” 

Once he laid eyes on the picture, there was no denying whose jersey it was. 

“As soon as I saw it, I was like, yeah, that’s it,” McCurley said. “There was only a short period of time when I was there that they really reinvented the jersey, with the Pittsburgh name on the front in big block lettering. It was easy to recognize what time frame it was from.” 

As an 18-year-old first-year in 1997, McCurley started 11 games and had 30 tackles and one sack. When he moved to offensive guard in the fall of 1998, he wound up starting every game. From there, he moved to center in ’99. He was the All-Big East center in 2000, and also started every game. 

“It pretty much influenced everything I’ve done,” McCurley said about his time at Pitt. “My brother is also a coach in the NFL, both of us played at Pitt, and I spent a brief time playing for the 49ers.”

From there, McCurley maintained a career path centered on sports and fitness. He started out designing and selling weight room equipment, but then was given the opportunity to start something of his own.

Today, McCurley owns his own gym, Brady’s Run Fitness, in Beaver, Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. At his gym, McCurley spends time doing group training, working specifically with youth and high school football as a coach and trainer. 

Pitt football has continued to influence the work he does today. 

“I’m still in contact with some of the coaches that I had,” McCurley said. “They’ve had a huge impact on how I handled myself on and off the field. It was a great environment playing at Pitt. It taught me a lot about how to work hard and do the right thing.”

McCurley remains a Pitt fan to this day.

“I’m a huge fan, I still follow along and keep up with all the events,” McCurley said. “I’m looking forward to the fall to hopefully getting season tickets again and going down to the games.” 

But the big question still remains — how did Drake get his hands on a Jeff McCurley No. 60 jersey from the ‘90s? 

“I have no idea where he would have got it from,” McCurley said. “As far as I know, there’s only two copies of that jersey. Back when I played, we didn’t have a lot of copies of our jerseys. We basically had two white ones and two blue ones that we played with. They didn’t make a lot of variations like they do now.” 

The connection is especially odd, considering that McCurley is not a huge fan of the Canadian star.

“I was never a huge Drake fan, but owning a gym and working with youth football, believe me, I listen to Drake for hours on end,” McCurley said. “Doesn’t he say 0 to 100, is that a song?” 

Although, seeing that the only two existing copies of the Jeff McCurley No. 60 jersey are in the hands of the man himself and Drake, McCurley said he “might just follow his new album a little bit more now.”

About the Contributor
Camille de Jesus, Staff Writer