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Pitt brings script helmets back for Homecoming

By Joey Niklas / Staff Writer

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Oh what a day Friday, Oct. 24 was — all due to an announcement from Pitt athletics. Based on the Twitter and media reaction, it seemed like Pitt had won the National Championship that Friday. But the announcement was quite different — Pitt would wear formerly-retired script decals on its helmets Saturday. Many people might not find it noteworthy, but I, along with Pitt fans who were around for the old script helmets and uniforms, do.

I found out through a text message from my cousin that Pitt would wear the script logos on its helmets against Georgia Tech the next day. Minutes later, 93.7 The Fan confirmed it.

The way this news came to me was interesting. An hour after hearing the initial news — that the script’s return was just going to be for Saturday — it was reported that athletic director Steve Pederson decided that the script would stay for the rest of the football season and possibly longer.

After all of the years of saying that it’s likely not going to return, why the change now?

If the change to the football logo was in the works for a while now, perhaps there should have been hats with the script on them with the current color scheme.

Pitt fans and alumni immediately tweeted their excitement over the return of the script. It was the kind of news the fan base needed to regain its enthusiasm for the football season.

But when I asked students at the game about their thoughts on the return of the script, many didn’t seem to care, and some didn’t even know what the script was.

Growing up in Pittsburgh and watching Pitt games as a child, I remember watching guys like Curtis Martin streak up the sidelines in their mustard yellow and Pittsburgh blue uniforms wearing those script helmets with a matching color scheme.

Maybe I’m showing my age here, but I was roughly 15 when the script was replaced in 1997 by the infamous Dino-Cat logo, and new shades of blue and yellow for the school colors emerged.

Most current Pitt students were no older than five — and some weren’t even born — when Pitt was wearing those old script helmets and old school colors.

Did Pederson wait too long to return to the script? Using the script once or twice a year for four to five seasons could have been the perfect way to reintroduce the design to the students.

Maybe if Pitt went back to the script during the Dave Wannstedt era, there would have been more enthusiasm for the logo. Then again, perhaps the response among students would have been the same.

Fans and alumni would love to see Pitt go back to its old colors, but I just don’t know how current students would respond to the change in school colors.

Basketball has built its own brand with the “block” logo and current color scheme, and the brand is popular among Pitt students. 

Maybe the script for just football — with the current color scheme — is the best compromise between the fans and alumni for both sports.

In the sports world, you should never say never. A change back to the old colors could potentially be coming as well. That change, especially for older Pitt fans who experienced it once already, would carry significant meaning.

But many say it’s the on-field performance that matters most. The nostalgia of the change in logo will only last for so long, and at some point, the team will have to win on a consistent basis or it doesn’t matter what the team is wearing on the field.

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Pitt brings script helmets back for Homecoming