Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Well, so much for that (more merchandising buffoonery)

Two points of interest today:

1. The Pitt athletic department has long contended that one of the major reasons that it is absolutely hellbent on not returning to the old school "script Pitt" look is because not enough people are interested. They point to the auction of the authentic game uniforms from the 2005 Youngstown State game as their example. In the meantime, this hat came on the market at a few weeks ago and, well, you read it:

Here's the hat:

And here's the message on it's description:
"Currently we are out of most sizes in this cap. More caps are due to arrive in late August/early September. Thanks for your patience."
So this logo and color scheme that nobody apparently wants and no one apparently likes is currently sold out in most sizes. Well, whaddya expect? Who here hasn't shilled out $21.99 for something they can't stand the look of? Personally, my closet is just loaded with clothes that I can't stand, never liked and make me sick. I also drink beer that makes me gag, eat food that makes me wretch and own a cat even though I'm allergic to them. Riiiiiiight.
But don't worry, Pitt fans. We're due for yet ANOTHER uniform and logo overhaul in 2010. Maybe this one will actually look like panther...or at least have whiskers.
2. In Saturday's blog about merchandising we referenced three items that were from four seasons ago that were still be pushed off on consumers for full price. Panther Rants is pleased to announce that the golf shirt with the "still dead" Tooth logo has been removed from the site. It could just be coincidence, and probably is since the Nike coat and American Chopper flames visor remain full price, but we are just as dedicated to arrogance as we are sarcasm, procrastination and half-assery here so we shall take credit regardless.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pitt Fans Excited for 2007 Campaign

Pittsburgh - Pantherrants did some on the street investigating on the mood of the good folks around town. Many described feeling a connection to the 2007 Panthers. Swissvale resident, Nancy Jenkins, commented. "These guys aren't getting any credit. They've been working hard and have a lot of young local guys. I think they will surprise some folks; I will certainly be interested in following them for at least the first half of one game this year."

On our walk-about on the South Side, we ran into professional campaign loser, Mark Rauterkus. "Football is like political campaigns - you have several tries to get it right. That's why this Pitt team will do ok. They will not put all their eggs in one basket, or even two. They will keep fighting, just like me." When asked what he was running for, Rauterkus stated, "Well, I'm like Julius Jones - I just keep running. This time around it's for City Council, Auditor, Sheriff, Most Likely to Succeed, Ticket Taker at the local Cineplex, and Head Wheeley Popper." When asked which he is most excited about, Rauterkus continued, "Well, Head of Wheeley Poppers would be a good start. It's a close race right now - polls are showing me right there with 11 year old, little Jimmy Donnelly, from 2 houses down. He's been popping wheeleys since age 4 so that makes him tough to beat. But I'm going to keep fighting."

Pantherrants was too worn out to continue further interviews for the day. More reports to come as the season progresses.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Barlow moves on

The last time Panther Rants spoke with former star Pitt running back Kevin Barlow, he had just inked a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Earlier this week, Barlow was released by the team ... or was he? Panther Rants again caught up with Barlow via the staff's telepathic powers to find out just what happened to this Pittsburgh native's hopes to play for his hometown team.

PR: Kevin, it's always a pleasure. But it's some sad circumstances that bring us back to meeting today. It has to be tough to be cut by the team you grew up loving.

KB: Cut? You think I was cut? You think I'm not better than that closet-shittin' freak Najeh Davenport? You think I'm not better than Verron "I have no skills whatsoever" Haynes?

PR: ...

KB: C'mon, man, you know what happened. We discussed this last time we spoke.

PR: Does it have anything to do with coach Harris moving back to Pittsburgh?

KB: What the fuck do you think? Seriously, what is that lisping asshole's issue? He could have moved anywhere on the east coast to be closer to his kids and neglect his sickly mother on the west coast. Why the fuck pick Pittsburgh?

PR: It is one of the country's most liv...
KB: I'll tell you exactly ... it's the exact same fucking thing I have been telling people since I sign my letter of intent. That motherfucker is out to get me. Everywhere I go, he follows. I go to the 49ers, he goes to Stanford. I come back to Pittsburgh, that motherfucker shows up here again. And seriously, that takes some balls because there are some boosters round here that want to slap the lisp out of that motherfucker's mouth. Hittin it with their nasty old ladies. What the fuck is wrong with that midget?

PR: We're not really sure, Kevin.

KB: But, yeah, that's why I got "cut." I went to the Rooney's and told them I had to get out of town. I told them I needed to have someone watching me at all times so I didn't lose my mind and kill that motherfucker. I told them I had to get away from that quick-kickin son of a bitch. They understood and they even helped me out by getting me some extra PT in the last preseason game - a chance to audition for some other clubs.

PR: Well, Kevin, we understand, too, but we hate to see you go.

KB: My motherfuckin hometown, man! Why?

PR: Hopefully, some day, we'll get an answer. Best of luck, Kevin, and keep in touch.

KB: God bless.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Countdown to Kickoff - under Five days

We here at Panther Rants not only love Terry Tate, we wish that we could recruit him. Terry brings the passion, intensity and ability to tackle that Pitt football has been lacking since, ummm, what year was Rhodes hired again? Regardless, enjoy the Terry Tate pain train as we get ready for the season.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The No New Year's Day Bowl Zone

Welcome to the Mediocre Athletics Factor for this Monday, August 27th, 2007. I'm your host, and I'm always in my seat 90 minutes before kickoff, even for Pitt-Marist. We're less than one week from opening day for Pitt Football, the 2007 edition, and anticipation is dripping like Kobe Tai after an encounter with Peter North. Luckily, we haven't seen any genius marketing strategies like 'Strike Force' or 'Back to the Future' or 'Electric Boogaloo' associated with the coming season. However, let us not put it past the Pitt Athletic Department to do something stupid. There is still plenty of time for the AD to move the Eastern Michigan game to Sunday at 4, to miss all the church traffic and grab that coveted 56-year old nun demographic. Today's Wlatting Points Memo deals with expectations for the coming season. Pitt plays one of its most abysmal home schedules in years, likely since the 1923 season, when perennial powerhouse Carneige Mellon was the lone bright spot on a schedule that included The University of Rochester Iron Lungs and the State University of New Jersey Battlin' Hoboes. Naturally, such an abysmal schedule would elicit a feeling of hope that Dave Wannstedt and the Pitt Panthers could cross .500 for the first time since 2004. However, with a new QB, an entirely new LB corps, and no Darelle Revis, who knows what this year may bring. We here at the factor will give it to you without spin, like we always do. Expect a 7-5 season, with an upset win over Connecticut, and a close shave with Grambling State, who only fall after their band is bested in a 'West Side Story' type showdown with our very own Bnadie and the Pitt Panther Marching Band.

We'll be here every Monday throughout the season, to break down last week's game and to look forward to next week's opponent. So keep it tuned to Panther Rants, your source for hard-hitting Panthers coverage. And remember, hope stops here, cause we're looking out for you. And Wlat.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Coundown to Kickoff - Under Seven Days

With Six days and 22 hours to go until the Pitt football season gets under way, we here at Panther Rants are committed to providing a week's worth of clips to get you fahhhhred up for the season.

And what screams "college football" more than those three slaps that make up the ESPN College Gameday crew: Lee Corso, Kirk Herbsteit and Chris Fowler. Check out this clip and pay close attention to Corso talking about what h wants to do with Erin Andrews when he believes his microphone is turned off.

Once again, the truth is more amusing

So you got to Circuit City to buy a new television for the kitchen. Sitting side by side are two 19-inch sets. One is a brand new flat-panel, HDTV jobber that's cable ready with all of the bells and whistles. The other is an old school Zenith with the two knobs, fake wood plastic and rabbit ears.

And both are the same price.

So you ask the salesman about it and he says, "well, the Zenith never sold back in '88, so technically it's still a new TV, so it's still full-price." You explain to the guy that this TV is not only an old style television with a tube, it's not nearly as sophisticated as the new HDTV.

"Doesn't matter. Never sold. Same price," the sales dope says.

Seems pretty stuid, huh?

Well, our beloved athletic department is doing the same thing currently. A quick scouring of the Pitt athetics merchandise site shows that, not only are they selling old-logo merchandise at the full retail price, some of this stuff is four years old. Don't believe me? Take a look at this:

This shirt not only says "PITTSBURGH" On it when the name was changed back to "PITT" in 2005, but it has the Tooth logo embriodered on the sleeve? The Tooth logo? That's sooooo 2002. Regardles, if ya want it, ya gotta pay full price for it.

And what better coat to wear with the shirt than this:

It too has the "PITTSBURGH" name embroidered on the front and the now-extinct dinocat logo on the back. It's also a fantasically warm coat. I know this because I bought 2003 for $100. Four years and two new logos later, the university will still be happy to sell it to you...for $100.

Last, and certainly not least, we present you with some headwear to wear with your new shirt and coat.

Where do I even begin with this thing? Should I start with the gold embriodered Git-r-done NASCAR flames on the brim? Or maybe the fact that it's the now-three year old logo that the university is currently removing from the main entrance from the Peterson Center. Despite the fact that the school is spending tens of thousands to take the logo off of the arena floor, you are still welcome to buy this visor...for full price.

You see things like this and I immediately become like Vince Lombardi in that one NFL Films clip. "What da' hell's goin' on out there???" If it's the athletic department trying to bilk every buck that they can out of it's fans, well, they should be ashamed of themselves. You develop a new logo to get everyone to buy the new logo at retail price, and also make a couple of extra bucks when they buy the old logo on clearance.

However, if it's just a simple oversight by the merchanidising department, well, they should still be ashamed of themselves. Everyone knows that the old goes on sale and on clearance when the new starts arriving. Department stores and car dealers have been doing this for decades. Who hasn't saved a couple of bucks by buying a swimsuit after July 4th when the season's half over or bought a car in December when the new model is coming in and they're looking to unload the current model?

Then again, this is Pitt afterall. A school that couldn't get the game time right for Michigan State last yearbecause they forgot that they were neighbors with the Pirates. A school that scheduled a team that's main drawing card is it's band, and then can't decide if they want the band to come. A school that has now designed two panther logos in the past 10 years and neither of them have managed to have whiskers (who needs details and accuracy anyways). I mean, what do we expect? I guess we should just be satisfied that the prices on this stuff didn't go up.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Butt Rock Friday - Aug. 24

Panther Rants is currently trying to track down the validity of a rumor that Wannstache curent has this jam lodged in the tape deck of his school-issued 1989 Toronado Trofeo. Pitt and this man have much in common. Like Pitt, this artist was popular in the 1980s and hasn't been relevant since. Here's Richard Marx with "Satisfied," something that Pitt fans haven't been since the 1976.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

WVU Update

Morgantown - Pantherrants ventured to Morgantown today to check up on our Big East Conference rival. The campus was buzzing with the excitment of freshman phenom, Noel Devine. The Floridian gave WVU a late committment but he's been welcomed with open arms. "We're looking for Noel to take us to the next level," stated a recent WVU transfer. "His high school achievements were awesome and we're looking forward to watching him grow his career. But what I really like about him is his loyalty; I like people that finish what they start no matter the obstacles and Noel does that on the field and in the classroom."

No one was more excited than the chair of the Psychology Department, Dr. Michael Perone. "Noel comes to us as a highly decorated academic. He's done more complex studies of human behavior than many graduate students. We're truly lucky to have someone with resume on campus." Dr. Perone continued, "Mr. Devine has been doing a long-term study on the mating and reproductive habits of adolescent females in Florida. It's the first longitudinal study of it's kind that I know of and the results have given us great insight. We can't wait to see what he does next."

Besides being a great student/researcher and athlete, Mr. Devine is also described as a good community member. "He's helping out all over campus," stated freshman Jenny Daniels. "I saw him help some freshman girls move into their dorms over the weekend. They closed the door to do some decorating after he moved a big barrel in; it was a weird piece of furniture but he said it was 'fun.'"

Campus security guard, Mitchel Connors, even described Noel's good works. "There was this freshman girl crying. She was upset because she was away from home for the first time. Noel consoled her; even went so far as to sleep in her room with her to make her feel safe. He's a real nice guy."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pitt Football Camp Update

Parkway East - Pitt Head Coach, Dave Wannstedt, phoned us on the way home from practice today to give an update. Coach began, "Things went great today. I mean, really great. We saw hustle, we saw teamwork, and we saw guys out there making plays. I was really pleased overall."

Asked about what made things come together, Coach mentioned an inspiring drive to work this morning. "I'm driving in, you know, just listening to some normal stuff. Then a great Richard Marx song came on. I started singing along, "Hold on to the nights, hold on to the memories..." and just got all choked up. I had to pull off the side of the road, it was so good. I don't know Richard Marx, and I don't know anything about Canada. But I DO know is that for 3 minutes in that car idling on the parkway, I WAS that long-haired Canuck. I saw everything he saw and I felt everything he felt. After something so moving and transcendant happens, you know it's going to be a great day."

A Wlatastic Decade

Ten years ago, the incomparable Wlat Harris was preparing his Panthers for what would begin a Wlatastic Decade of excellence for Pitt football, culminating in the Panthers' 35-7 blowout loss to Utah in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.

As the 2007 season draws close, join us here at Panther Rants every Wednesday throughout the campaign as we recount our fondest memories of Wlat as we celebrate this momentous milestone. From quick-kicks to Plako flops – Wlat made the impossible possible and did some things we didn't expect.

The Wlativersary celebration commences one week from today, right here at your #1 source for Pitt Panther athletics: Panther Rants!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sometimes, dammit, the truth is just funnier

PANTHER RANTS MAIN OFFICE -- As most frequent readers of the Panther Rants blog probably already know, we like to look at the lighter side of our beloved team's antics. We don't intend to be hurtful, or crude, or mean, but sometimes it comes out that way in attempt to be funny. We utilize techniques like parody, satire and straight-up sarcasm.

But sometimes, the truth is sillier than anything we can make up. Take this item in Kevin Gorman's blog on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review website:

With NCAA rules changes moving kickoffs 5 yards back to the 30-yard line, Pitt has been holding auditions for its specialists. They are going so well that Wannstedt is ready to place a classified ad in the Pitt News:

Wanted: Undergrad with strong leg, capable of kicking a football 70 yards off tee. Must be available on Saturdays (and one Wednesday night). Some travel necessary. To apply, contact special teams coordinator Charlie Partridge at 3450 S. Water St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203.

“Dave Brytus has really come on the last week with his punting and Conor Lee has been good with his field goals,” Wannstedt said, “but we’re still searching for that guy that can kick it in the end zone. So if there is a he or a she that can kick it in the end zone ...”

I mean, what do you say to that, honestly? Well, for starters, no, you don't want someone who can kick into the end zone. You want someone who will kick it to the two or three, so that they can't take a knee i the endzone and bring it out to the 20. Secondly, a program that was so bad in the mid-1990s that it had to resort to putting an ad in the Pitt News for players is now at a point STILL has to put ads in the Pitt News. May I also suggest and Yahoo Hot Jobs as well. And if those don't work out, maybe you could give this little lady a call. Who could forget her game-typing field goal against Kansas in a driving rain and subsequent kick to the nuts in 1991?

Yeah yeah, the least amount of time is spent recruiting kickers and blah blah, yadda yadda. I know. I get it. Still doesn't exactly look good.

Local Pitt Fan's Wife Does Not Appreciate Terrific Clock Radio

Pittsburgh---Despite having superior sound, better ease of use, and larger numerical display than that the previous piece of crap clock radio, the wife of a local Pitt fan still does not particularly care for, or even respect for that matter, the new clock radio purchased by the local Pitt fan. The recent purchase was prompted by years of frustration on the part of the local Pitt fan with the old clock radio, which suffered from tinny sound, no CD player, poor reception, faux wood casing, obnoxious alarm, and a shockingly bright red display. However, when the newer, better clock radio was brought home, it was ill-received by the Pitt fan's wife, who complained that "there were too many buttons---oh, I can never figure those things out." The rejection of the clock radio went further when the local Pitt fan's wife plucked the old clock radio from the garbage and began using it, side-by-side, with the new clock radio. The dueling clock radios co-existed in begrudging peace until recently, when the ultimate "slap in the face" to the superior clock radio was administer by the local Pitt fan's wife. Specifically, the local Pitt fan came home from busting his ass all day long and wanted to listen to his CD while changing out of "monkey suit." Unfortunately, the newer, better clock radio was missing because the local Pitt fan's wife decided to lend it to a neighbor in the process of moving who was in need of a source of music. Why she couldn't have given away that crappy piece of plastic that the local Pitt fan suffered with for years upon years remains undetermined. However, one thing remains certain: This isn't finished yet. Not by a long shot.


Kingston, Jamaica - Pantherrants has learned that former Pitt and Stanford Head Football Coach, Wlat Harris, has been seen in Jamaica. Many thanks go out to former Pitt great, Mark Stepnoski, for the photo and information provided. The Panther and NFL great commented. "I'm down there just browsing, checking out the newest skunk they've got. I was enjoying a fatty right after the storm and who do I see? I thought it may be Wlat and when I saw him with his arms around some cheap skanks, I knew it was our boy. Man, does that guy like cheap poon; almost as much as I like a good one-hitter."

Unfortunately, Wlat was not available for comment. Stepnoksi filled us in. "Of course, I ran over and asked him what he was doing. Coach said he hitched a ride with some loose hippy bitches from San Fran, using the old "sensitive guy willing to help out routine." Swears he scored on the flight down here; he even forced me to sniff his fingers for proof. So he throws on some Red Cross gear and starts hunting, as he says, 'snapper.' He convinced me to come with him for awhile but it's hard to keep up with someone as committed as Coach. Wlat says a natural disaster is the biggest aphrodesiac he has ever found. 'Fish in a barrel,' he kept saying."

Many thanks to Mark for his update. As with all Wlatspotting contributors, Mark will receive 2 lbs. of chip-chawped ham, a copy of Skynyrd's Greatest Hits, and a "Where's Wlat?" t-shirt.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Superman Invited to Pitt Camp; Thrown Out

South Side - Pitt Strength and Conditioning Coach, Buddy Morris, invited his long-time client to camp today. Superman was to be Coach Morris' special guest.

"Superman got here and we had a planned agenda to discuss motivation, training techniques, and committment," Morris commented. He continued, "I'd not seen the Man of Steel for quite some time and he didn't live up to expectations."

Morris commented that Superman had gone soft. He stated that tall buildings are much higher than in previous generations and today's bullet trains move much faster than old-time locomotives. "Frankly, Superman has stayed the same while the world has changed. Do I ask Dorin Dickerson to meet the standards of players from the 50's? No - he must rise above. I don't know if Superman still has that Lane pussy on his brain or he just became a pussy. Hell, I clocked him as he rounded the Earth going back in time and his last lap was his slowest. This is a guy that gets weaker down the stretch."

Pitt players expressed disappointment. "We were hyped to see that guy with his underwear on the outside," stated wide receiver Oderick Turner. "We also wanted to see if we could mess up his hair - mufuquer got some of that Jimmy Johnson super mousse or summin'."

Freshman corner, Buddy Jackson, further elaborated. "You'd think a guy that is constantly battling Lex Luthor and saving the world would be more professional. When I was recruited, I was told I'd be training with the best, with heroes, ya know. And what do I get? A fat old slob sporting a mullet. We didn't even get to see him fly in. Pretty sure he drove in with a '83 IROC blaring Rush. That shit is whack."

More Injuries at Pitt Camp

South Side - Pitt football has been batttling the injury bug for the last calendar year. More accurately, been under attack. Word from camp is that freshman sensation, Chris Jacobson, is the latest player to be attacked by the Decepticons. Panther Head Coach, Dave Wannstedt, elaborated. "For the past year, Megatron has been convinced that we are hiding the Allspark inside the bowels of Thaw Hall. He has vowed to continue picking off our players until we give it up."

Megatron's main rival, Optimus Prime, discussed the situation. "We have Bumblebee, myself, and a few of the Contructicons at every practice. But when Starscream has his mind set, it's hard to guard 80+ players and coaches. Today, Bonecrusher sent a rocket into the ground. Unfortunately, a piece of shrapnel hit Chris and he will require surgery."

This latest development comes just 9 days from a similar incident that took down starting wide receiver, Derek Kinder. Wannstedt continued. "There was an epic battle last week. Derek was riding in Bumblebee, showing off and doing donuts. All of sudden in comes Starscream, pelting him with heavy rounds. Derek was almost able to find safety in Chase "Chicken Wing" Clowser's gunt but he didn't quite make it. Fortunately, the bullet only grazed his knee."

Standing together, Prime and Wannstedt discussed the strategy. "We will do everything in our power to keep the team safe along with keeping the Allspark in safe hands. If that means the Pitt Panthers have to stay extra-vigilant, then it will be so."

Local whacko, Mark Rauterkus, further commented. "This sort of threat needs to be evaluated from the larger level. I encourage voters to cast their ballots for me in any one of the 673 positions I'm running. When I am voted in, I promise to make progress on this whole Decepticon thing. And I defintely promise even higher levels of whackiness."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This Day in History--- Era of Judges: Job Renounces Faith After Years of Pitt Fandom

Uz--- After enduring great torments, including the death of his children, servants, and animals, as well as being afflicted with sores over his entire body, Job remained faithful. However, on this day during the Era of Judges, Job renounced his faith following years of unending torment after being afflicted with the curse of Pitt fandom. During Job's entire 248 years of walking the Earth, he would see Pitt play in a New Year's Day Bowl only twice while witnessing over 107 coaching changes. Despite his torments of following the Panthers, it was not until Archfiend Paterno of Brooklyn afflicted him with the sentence of listening incessantly to his followers in the land of Babel (roughly translated to "Valley of Happiness") that Job's faith succumbed. To this day, the inhabitants of Babel still speak gibberish in worship of their unsightly display of hubris, the Coliseum of Beaver.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Morelli a Dad?

Panther Rants has also learned that former Pitt verbal and Penn State Quarterback Anthony Morelli became a father over the summer. Right now, it’s a rumor that hasn’t been confirmed by Anthony or the officials at Penn State. Here’s a picture of Anthony and his newborn. Congrats, kid.

WVU Changes Logo

It’s rumored that West Virginia will follow Pitt’s lead and change their logo as well. At a ceremony when they revealed the new logo, there seemed to be another mishap. The creators got the letters backwards. WVU’s AD looked into it and noticed it was the same people who designed the T-shirts celebrating their NIT victory in basketball.

Bostick's Return

There seems to be a mystery about Pat Bostick’s return to Pitt. Panther Rants made a few calls to find out that Pat Bostick is on his way back…by foot that is. Buddy Morris is having Pat walk back to Oakland carrying two Pitt cheerleaders. Expect Pat back in time for the Eastern Michigan game..if his back holds up.

Famous Message Board Poster Arrested

A poster by the name of “Corporate_Panther” was arrested for embezzling money from the 24-Karat Panther Club. The Club says the corporate man was using the money to satisfy his addiction for hookers in Five Star resorts. Corporate_Panther could not be reached so we sent an email to his EZinbox. He replied saying “I will beat this charge because I am better than all of you.”

Buddy Morris Contacted by Paramount

Buddy Morris has been contacted by Paramount Pictures to appear in the remake of “Necessary Roughness”. Buddy will play the role of Texas State’s head coach, Ed Gennero. Paramount wanted Hector Elizondo to come back, but he refused. Since Buddy does appear to look like the Head Coach, Paramount has offered him big money to play the head coach. Buddy did not return our calls on the subject.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wannstedt, "On to Plan B!"

PITTSBURGH (PR) -- Shortly after delivering the news to the Pitt football team that wide receiver Derek Kinder was lost for the season, head coach Dave Wannstedt started working on his backup plan.

Kinder, a senior who led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2006, was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Wannstedt, however, said in a telepathic interview that he's already fingered Kinder's perfect replacement: ex-Cincinnati Bengals star Ickey Woods. Wannstedt said that he plans on converting the former running back to wide receiver as soon as he gets to camp. Woods rushed for 1066 yards in his rookie year in the NFL before being overcome by injuries.

"I called today and left a message with Ickey," Wannstedt said. "Back when Jimmy and I were with the Cowboys this kid absolutely killed us in a game once. He's a free agent now so we should have no problem getting him to sign."

Not only is he a free agent, he's also 41 years old and his NCAA elgibility ran out when he left UNLV for the NFL draft in 1988.

"Dude, this can't be legal," said a source in the athletic department who spoke telepathically on the condition of anonymity. "First of all, the guy hasn't played college football in almost 20 years. Secondly, just how in th hell are we gonna' get him academically eligible in two weeks? Lastly, he's 41 years old for crissakes."

However, Wannstedt isn't concerned.

"Woods graduated which meant he was academically eligible the last time he played. I'm sure there's a loophole in there somewhere that we can utilize," Wannstedt said.

Wannstedt then cut the interview short, claiming that he needed to rummage through his Trapper Keeper and find a phone number for Jim McMahon "just in case."

NCAA Changes for 2007

Indianapolis - The NCAA held a press conference today to discuss a few changes in football terminology in the college game. Honoring past greats, offensive formations formerly known as the "I" and "Offset I" formations will be referred to using new terms.

NCAA President Myles Brand elaborated. "We will honor Sammy Davis, Jr. by renaming the 'I' formation, the 'Sammy Davis, Jr. formation.' In addition, the "Offset I formation will now be called the 'Stuart Scott formation.'"

Brand then took two bribes from Big 10 boosters and ran back into his hole.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pitt Men's Soccer Update

Pittsburgh - The University of Pittsburgh Men's Soccer team began practices this week with a strong attitude and excitement for the upcoming season. Coach Luxbacher stated that player morale has never been higher. "Everyone is really pumped up. The Athletic Department has really taken care of us. We've enjoyed great support this year to help the team take the next step."

Coach Luxbacher referred to several changes. First, the team received new goals and nets. "Last year we had to used a bunch of old, tied up t-shirts as our net and wire hangers to hold them together as the goal. This year, we've got trashbags, the heavy duty ones, and some unused plastic. This will protect them from the rain. In addition, it will eliminate injuries to the players getting stuck on the protruding metal. Also, the Hill District youth program had a fundraiser to get new soccer balls. We were able to secure funding to purchase their old ones. No longer will we have to practice with rocks and stones. This will go a long way to prepare for Big East play."

Pantherrants also learned that the team has finally secured an on-campus practice facility. "Chris Ferris was able to negotiate the space in the 33rd floor bathroom inside the Cathedral of Learning for our practice. We are able to use the bathroom between the hours of 3:00am to 3:45am every 3rd Wednesday. Obviously, we have to vacate in case someone has to do their business. It's not Wembley Stadium or anthying but we're making real progress, and that's what's important...always moving forward."

Senior Leader Tom DeCato commented on the welcome additions. "When I came here as a freshman, we didn't have anything: no equipment, funding, or facilities. Now we have all this. I want to publicly thank the Athletic Department for the great support."

When asked for comment on the team's outlook for 2007, Athletic Director Long stated, "Men's soccer team at Pitt? Yeah, I'm happy to talk about it all day. You have some questions for me about aliens and Sasquath too? [laughing]"

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bostick to Return, Visits with Special Someone

MANHEIM TWP., Pa. (PR) – Pat Bostick will be back to Pitt by the weekend or early next week, according to Pat Bostick Sr. "This was a non-football related thing and we just ask that you respect our family's privacy." As internet sites were buzzing with rumors our own Panther Rants reporters were hard at work getting the inside scoop.

While this was not necessarily a football related thing it did have a little to do with camp, as was reported in the previous article. A source close to the situation did speak with me today regarding what happened at the Bostick residence. Upon returning to the Pittsburgh area Monday night Wlat Harris heard of the terrible news, flew to Harrisburg and met with Pat Bostick personally. Yes, look who's back, wlat is back. After, the meeting Harris left out the back door and Bostick Sr. called the Pittsburgh media outlets to announce, that Pat was heading back to Pittsburgh.

Two questions remain, what was discussed and why did Wlat do this favor to Pitt and Dave Wannstedt? Is Wlat looking to become the quarterback coach at Pitt under the mediocre stache? Is he going to have Pat tank the season to help with the demise of Dave Wannstedt? Or is Wlat just trying to be a better person? The questions are there and only time will tell in this sorted soap opera.

The only thing that can be said is that the Pitt fans, alumni, coaches and administration can thank Wlat Harris for saving the day, for now. Wlat Harris slipped into the night before being reached for comment. Can you say WLATMAN? I can. I also can say thank you to the new superhero for Pitt Athletics. Thanks Wlatman!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Freshman QB Bostick Leaves Pitt Camp

SOUTHSIDE (PR) – In an unexpected turn of events, highly-touted Pitt quarterback recruit Pat Bostick has left the Panther Fall Camp and has returned home to Lancaster, PA. While many are shocked and surprised by Bostick's ubrupt action, Pat himself was quite clear in regards to the reasonings surrounding his decision.

"I don't know, I just didn't feel comfortable at Pitt Camp, ya know?" Bostick stated from his home. "I came to Pitt Camp thinking that this would be such a great time, a chance to make some new friends and learn new things...boy, was I ever wrong!" Pat's apparent troubles started with Dave Wannstedt, the senior Pitt Camp counsellor. "Dave was a little weird. He would keep us up until 3 in the morning with his trippy ghost stories about Ricky Williams and Bill Fralic, and something about Jimmy Johnson sorting crack off of Johnny Majors' butt cheeks. Then he woke us up at 5 and made us run 57 miles down the Mon river...he was nuts." Bostick also had issues with another counsellor, Buddy Morris. "I thought Buddy was cool until he forced me to run into the defensive lineman's end of camp on a jock-strap raid...I got caught and the linemen gave me Indian Sunburns until I cried 'uncle,' and then Buddy put his balls in my mouth and took a picture. I was humiliated."

Many of Pat's fellow campers claimed that he had anxiety attacks and was always worried about something, and believed that was the primary reason he left camp. "No shit that was a big reason for me leaving," Bostick added. "Wouldn't you be pretty damned wound-up if counsellor Paul Rhoads would sneak up on you and jump on your bed in the middle of the night, then proceed to fart on your head and scream 'who wants beef stew?!'...Good God." Former campers Mckenzie Mathews and T.J. Porter felt sympathetic to Bostick's problems with the counsellors. "Man, Rhoads used to crap in my applesauce at chow time," said Mathews. "It was disgusting." T.J. Porter's problems resided mainly with counsellor Aubrey Hill. "Aubie used to sneak up on me and pull my pants down, and then point and laugh at my privates."

Camp Director Jeff Long maintains that the camp serves as a great environment for most who attend it, but it isn't for everyone. "We've made great strides with this camp...we even got new Pitt shirts and pants this year for the kids," Long said. "But unfortunately, some campers don't respond to our counsellors and they end up needing to go home. I used to wet the bed at camp myself...ah hell I still do it now, I have to wear swim trunks to bed, but that never stopped me. Some of these kids just gotta buck up!"

Friday, August 3, 2007

Employees sick of co-workers "over-fandom"

ALLENTOWN (PR) --- Bill Stevenson is a Penn State graduate and die-hard Nittany Lions fan.

And his co-workers are absolutely sick of it.

Stevenson drinks his morning coffee from a Penn State mug. The background on his computer and his mouse pad are Penn State. He has Penn State posters on the wall and even his cell phone plays the schools fight song.

"Christ, that guy's a pain in the ass," said co-worker Darin Middlebaugh. "Look, I understand being proud of your school. I went to Bucknell and had a ball when they made the NCAA tournament. But Bill takes things too far. It's like he's obsessed."

With college football season less than a month away, the employees and Irkler and Johnson are not happy. They said that Stevenson (pictured right in his bedroom) develops a one track mind when football starts up.

"It's all he talks about. 'Penn State this. JoePa that.' Fuck, give it a rest," said Cynthia Johnson, who works at the cubicle next door. "I'm starting to think there's nothing in State College but that Goddam football stadium. No school. No students. Just that team and that stadium."

Michael Davidson, director of human resources, said that the company has not received any official complaints about Stevenson at this point. However, Davidson did concede that he has heard grumblings, but nothing that would cause the company to take formal action.

"We have a strict policy against co-workers overtly displaying religious or political beliefs. We feel that it can promote a hostile workplace. But this is the first time we've seen something like this over a football program," Davidson said.

But Penn State is like a religion for Stevenson, according to co-workers.

"That motherfucker nearly ruined my marriage. I almost had my wife divorce me because of that fool," said Malik Norman.

Norman said that he was working late one evening on the same night that Stevenson was as well. Around 7 p.m., Norman was on the phone with his wife when Stevenson's cell phone rang. Norman alleges that his answer was 'typical.'

"I'm on the verge of an argument with my wife as it is because I'm working late and this idiot picks up his cell phone and screams, 'WEEEE AREEEEEEEEE!" Johnson said. "I nearly hit him.
Took me 10 minutes to convince my wife that I wasn't at a bar."

Stevenson, however, sees no problem with his office's decor or his behavior.

"Why would anyone have a problem with it?" He snorted. "Penn State is the biggest school in the state of Pennsylvania. It donates thousands of dollars every year to charity with the dance-a-thon and Joe Paterno should be commended for running the CLEANEST program in college football. For doing things the right way. The Penn State way. These people should see me in the street and say, 'thank you.'"

Co-workers, however, see it the other way.

"I would gladly work in my car from September through January if there was a way to move my computer and the fax machine out there. There is no reasoning with that guy," Middlebaugh said.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Zeise makes offensive statement. Tens of people sorta' pissed but not really.

As many of you know, Pitt beat writer Paul Zeise has come under some heat recently for comments that he made on the Number #1 Cochran KDKA Sports Showdown. Zeise said on the Showdown, or "Yinzervision" as we call it at Panther Rants, that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick would have been "better off raping a woman" than being accused of fighting dogs. The comments easily offended about seven of the show's 13 viewers.

If fact is, Zeise's comments were the proverbial tree that falls in a forest. No one heard it. No one saw it. No one started bitching until the Post-Gazette apologized for Zeise's comments. If you've never seen the show, envision ESPN's "Around The Horn" only much more Iron Cittied and Tank topped. Panther Rants was able to obtain an exclusive telepathic segment of the show, which were are generous enough to post below.

Bob Pompeani, "Well, not only is Steelers football less than a month away but so it college football. Guys, how do you see Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia doing this season."

Ron Cook, "I have the whinest sounding voice on the planet. Isn't it amazing that I can whine both out loud and in print? Anyways, I think that I'll be happy with Penn State early on, then about halfway through the season I'll retract everything and say that it's time for Joe to step down. Pitt? I'll find a way to tie this season's failures to Wlat Harris."

John Stegerwald, "Couldnt care less. Lets go Pens."

Paul Zeise, "Pitt people need to stop complaining about the product and come out and support the team. They're season ticket sales are pathetic this season. If they were real fans they'd show up regardless. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to trade my GM car in on a Toyota because the GM is a piece of junk."

Steigerwald "How can you people sit here and talk about football when we have explosive players like Sidney Crosby? Who cares..."

Ron Cook, "It's amazing how much Wlat screwed up Pitt. I mean, yeah, he hasn't been here for going on three seasons, but his mark on the program has yet to wear off. Oooh! I'll bet I can get another column out of this."

Zeise, "That's not the point, Ron. The point is these fans sit and cry about this team, Meanwhile, they don't even show up when they are winning. I mean, look at the turnout that they had for the Fiesta Bowl."

Cook, "That Fiesta Bowl was all Wlat. People wanted nothing to do with that bowl game because they had already written these team off because of Harris. Damn, do I sound like I have a fireplug showed up my nose."

Steigerwald, "I'm not following a damn word that any of you are saying. What's this 'Fiesta bowl?' Unless it's a buncha Mexicans playing hockey, I don't care."

Cook, "Speaking of Mexicans, I look for big things out of Rich Rodriguez and the Mountaineers this year. That team is absolutely loaded with talent. Unlike Wlat, RichRod knows how to recruit."

Zeise, "Rodriguez isn't Mexican, Ron."

Cook, "You know me and research. Totally ruins the flow."

Zeise, "Maybe the recruiting would improve if the fans would show up to the games and give Pitt a real atmosphere at games."

Steigerwald, "You want a real atmosphere? I'll give you a real atmosphere. A hockey night in Pittsburgh at the Igloo. Now THAT is a rockin' place. Why I'll..."

Cook, "Speakin of Igloos, ever notice I look like one of these guys on Ice Road Truckers with the graying-assed beard that I have? Fat, balding and graying. Christ, I look like a middle-aged werewolf."

Beano Cook, "The University of Northern Idaho Werewolfs played Army in 1936. Back then, Army was coached by Red Blaik, and he couldn't get a scouting report on Northern Idaho. So he called a sportswriter that used to work at the old Boise Morning Wood and..."

The Panel, "Where the hell did you come from? You're not on this panel."

Beano, "(pause) I have no idea."

Zeise, "All I'm saying is that, if Pitt fans really want a big time program, they need to start showing that they care by showing up at games."

Cook, "All I'm saying is.........Christ, I have no idea what I'm saying anymore."

Steigerwald, "daaaadaaaaadadada....HEY! dadadada...."

Pompeani, "We have to go to a commercial. Coming up next: more Steelers overkill."