U mad, bro? Pitt fans lash out at Pat Narduzzi; angst over Pirates, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Pitt fans lash out at Pat Narduzzi; angst over Pirates, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell

Tim Benz
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AP Photo
Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi talks with running backs coach Andre Powell on the sideline as his team plays against Virginia in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Pittsburgh. Virginia won 30-14. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

How do I know when somebody is starting to slip in popularity at Pitt?

When I write a critical column regarding the Panthers football team and I get far more positive response to it than I do negative.

Normally, if I write anything remotely skeptical about Pitt football, I’m overwhelmed with a torrent of responses from Pitt fans that go something like this:

“Shut up! You went to Syracuse. You suck. What do you know? You’re biased. You have an agenda. Go back to New York!”

And those are just the ones from my Pitt friends and family.

But my recent column aimed at the stagnation under Pat Narduzzi elicited barely any of those responses and quite a few emails and tweets thanking me for writing it.

I know. I was stunned, too. I’m wondering what the next sign of the apocalypse will be.

So, in this week’s “U mad, bro?” I decided to give a platform to some disgruntled Pitt fans, a few agitated Pirates fans and the usual rage directed at Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.


On the Pitt front, here’s an example of what I mean. I got this email from Rich.

Enjoyed your column. It’s very clear, and has been for three years, that Pat Narduzzi is not a good head coach. Fifth year in and they should not look like they did against Virginia. Not all good coordinators make good head coaches. Many max out at being a good coordinator. I really feel that’s Narduzzi. I just think Narduzzi is a bit of a meathead. Not a tactician, not a smart guy, not an innovator. He seemingly gets out-coached all the time.

I guess Rich must have gone to Syracuse, too. I wonder if we were classmates.


John from Freedom nailed it in this email.

The only hope for Pitt to be successful in the coming years is to get (a) QB who is tired of being a back-up on one of the top college programs to transfer. Most mid-tier football programs are unable to recruit top QB’s out of high school and have to go the transfer route. Look at WVU. They continually have to get transfers because they are unable to recruit top high school talent. Just look at the number of major college back ups that have entered the transfer protocol this year and will do so in coming years if they feel they are not getting enough playing time and there is no hope of becoming a starter. It all starts with a big name QB either from another school or a highly recruited, potentially great QB.”

Apparently, John cracked into my day planner for next week. I’m putting together a column on this very topic.

He’s 100% right. And I don’t know how Pitt gets that guy. They thought they had him in Max Browne.

How did that turn out?


Ted says he attended Pitt and had some thoughts.

Good article that touches the general thinking for Pitt fans. You should have attached a link to your article this morning to go to YouTube and play ‘It’s the same old song’ by the Four Tops. Narduzzi (is) a ‘Plane Jane.’ He says the same thing every year. He cannot recruit five star players. Four stars are not good enough. Another contention of mine is Pitt needs its own stadium. Get back up to Cardiac Hill and replace that facility and combine it with a STADIUM. There is no football atmosphere when a major university does not have its own stadium. I’m also reminded of line in a song by Neil Young, “Still searching for that heart of gold. And I’m getting old (Well, I am old).

Ted, that goes without saying based on your musical references.

As for some of your other points:

1. Trying to win with four-star recruits? Try three stars.

2. I agree that Narduzzi’s personality doesn’t have much cache once you get outside of Pittsburgh.

3. I hate the on-campus stadium argument. It’s not going to happen.

But I’m at the point now that I want it to happen. I want an on-campus football stadium in Oakland just so I can see what kind of excuses Panthers apologists will come up with next when Pitt is still 7-5 every year.


Good email here from Tony.

Want your opinion on the following: Do you think season tickets sales for 2020 for the Bucs will be the worst since they moved into PNC? Further, if season ticket sales for 2020 are hideous, do you think you’ll ever see a few of the sponsor/vendor Base of the Pirates begin to jump ship? If a couple of them did so (due) to bad season ticket sales, would it have any impact on the organization?

Hmm. I’ll answer those in order.

Yes. I think it could be the worst season-ticket base ever.

Yes. I think you could see sponsors jump ship.

Yes. I do think it’ll impact the organization.

And, yes, I do think that impact will be an even lower payroll to meet the bottom line.


Morten is sick of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. He sent a tweet in response to my latest post about how Bell took a jab at the Steelers in USA Today this week.

Both players will be good for their new teams. The Steelers will miss both players on the field. Both players will burn out in their new cities before the start of 2021.

Both players make me happy by their absence.


Skip thinks I shouldn’t write about Brown and Bell anymore.

Hot take from a guy whose pinned tweet is a reply, chirping at … Bell.

Smooth, Skip.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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