Hearts were broken all over Oakland last night after Pitt's Big East football loss to Cincy. But there's some consolation for Pitt students: You saved face ... and maybe $130 or so.
The day before the game, the Pitt News (where I serve as a member of the advisory board) ran this story:
Nearly 2,000 people have signed up on Facebook to "Rush the field when (not if) we beat Cincy."
... "I understand [Pitt] might be unhappy because its an NFL field, so another team needs to play there," Pitt student Braden Slike, who created the Facebook event, said. "But other schools can rush the field when their teams win, and I feel that we can do the same."
That "other team," of course, is the Pittsburgh Steelers ... who are playing the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field today, in a must-win game. Can you imagine what would have happened if Pitt won, and enthusiastic students tore up the field? And that caused Jeff Reed to miss a crucial field goal? It'd be a whole new amount of momentum for Luke Ravenstahl's tuition tax.
I mean, Slike's quote basically sums up everything that drives people nuts about college students. For starters, Heinz Field doesn't belong to students: It was built with tens of millions of taxpayer dollars paid by people who live across the county. But no matter: Since other schools rush their fields, Slike feels Pitt students should be entitled to do the same thing.
Of course, it's not clear how many students would have done so. Slike, for example, told the Pitt News that while he launched this Facebook campaign, "he will not be attending the game himself because he has to work on a paper for school." What a guy.
But the school took it seriously enough to buy a full-page ad in the student paper, urging students to "Stay in the Stands."
"There's been some talk about rushing the field on Saturday," the ad says, "but it's a really bad idea." The ad notes that students have been seriously hurt in similar demonstrations, and that "rushing the field is a violation of Pitt's Student Code of Conduct."
And as the Pitt News mentions, some 2,000 students were members of this Facebook page. To put that into context, that's about as many students who signed up on two anti-tution-tax Facebook pages together. Nothing wrong with the priorities in Oakland!