Wednesday, December 19, 2007
When it comes to fighting zombies, the University of Pittsburgh's weapon of choice is asphalt.
In 1968, after reanimated corpses devoured the entire population of Evans City, PA, school officials paved over Oakland Cemetery, a burial ground located behind Pitt Stadium.
The hallowed ground is now known as the OC Lot.
"It was a preventative measure," says David Foster, a former Pitt trustee. "We thought, 'Better safe than sorry.' Besides, people were dying for more parking in Oakland. ... Man, I've been using that one for 40 years and it's still funny!"
While no zombies have ever surfaced, many permit holders have reported paranormal activity at the OC Lot.
Mark Davidson claims his Ford Taurus is possessed by '80s-era corporate rock every time he parks in his designated spot.
"Even when the ignition's off, my car radio blares nothing but the Starship song 'We Built This City,'" he said above Grace Slick's monotonous roar. "This place is like musical purgatory."
Ghosts have also been known to crash parties at nearby fraternity houses.
"Last Friday, I watched five cases of Beast Ice get sucked from my closet, out the window and into a vortex swirling above the OC Lot," explained Robby Whitaker, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. "I guess when there's no more booze in Hell, the dead will drink shitty beer."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director, Steve Pederson, announced on Friday that he will once again be leaving the top athletic position at Pitt to return to another of his alma maters. This time, Pederson, who left Pitt in 2002 to take an AD position at his collegiate alma mater, will return to his high school alma mater and become acting athletic director of the North Platte High School Bulldogs in North Platte, Nebraska. “I was very proud of what I accomplished in my two week stint as returning AD at Pitt,” explained Pederson.
“I feel very fortunate that I was able to change the outgoing voicemail message at the departmental office to indicate actual office hours, I upgraded the coffee from a generic domestic brand to a fair trade gourmet Starbucks blend, and I authorized four staff members to take comp time during the holiday season to spend time with their family. I would have loved to stay longer at the University again, but it just so happens this job at North Platte High is the only job I would leave Pitt for, again. Well, except for the University of Nebraska, of course…and possibly North Platte Junior High and North Platte Elementary, as well. I’d have to think long and hard about those last two though, I don’t know some times younger kids get on my nerves. I just hope Chancellor Nordenberg understands that a chance to return to your alma mater only comes around every couple years, and I really had to jump at this opportunity.”
Pederson, who is credited with the revival of many Panther Athletic programs in his first tenure as athletic director, informed Chancellor Nordenberg of his decision last Thursday.
“I’d like to once again thank Steve for his service to the University of Pittsburgh,” said Nordenberg in an official statement. “We understand Steve needs to return to his roots again. From what I understand North Platte High is up and coming in the corn belt quad A football conference, and with [Pederson’s] tutelage and guidance, I’m sure that program is bound for glory. We wish Steve luck and would like to publicly reiterate that this job will always be his whenever he feels like taking it again, or not. We just want him to know that the door to his office will always be open, in fact we’re not even bothering to change the name plate outside his door.”
Pederson is already enthusiastic to begin his reign and guide the Bulldogs’ athletic department. North Platte school administrators have already discussed plans to update gymnasium bleachers from a lacquered wood to a more durable plastic, and Pederson is rumored to be initiating a controversial seating plan at the new gymnasium. The plan will call for the elimination of the outdated “first come, first served” system to updated seating by perks system. North Platte spectators will start out viewing the event at the top rows and then be subsequently moved up closer and closer to the action depending on how many 50-50 tickets they purchase during the course of the athletic contest.
Pederson will officially begin his new position on January 2, 2008. The University of Pittsburgh will look to see how Jeff Long is enjoying his new job at Arkansas before beginning another extensive search of people previously employed at the University.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
In one of his first moves as returning athletic director to the University of Pittsburgh, Steve Pederson announced that he is dropping the last letter from the city name for the Panthers athletic department. All teams will now be officially know as the Pittsburg Panthers on all university athletics logos and memorabilia.
“At this juncture in the evolution of the athletic department, I am correcting a past wrong,” explained Pederson. “In 1891 when the city of Pittsburgh was ordered to drop the h from its name, for whatever reason the University didn’t follow suit. In that act of defiance the University set a precedence for rebelliousness that began a path of decadence and moral debauchery that cumulated in the alternation of ‘fight Pitt fight’ to ‘Penn State Sucks,’ in the Pitt Victory Song. I believe that by following the proper lettering of the word ‘Pittsburg’ we will be setting a precedent for our student athletes that when the United States Geographic Board makes a decision, you need to follow it…even if you follow it 116 years later.”
Initially the announcement has been met with confusion from many students and alumni, many of whom have never been aware of the brief period of time when Pittsburgh was spelled without an h.
“We have a 5-7 football team and this jag is concerned about reverting the spelling of our team’s name back over one hundred years?” questioned Pitt alumn Donny Lewsheski. “Is it me, or shouldn’t this guy be licking Terrell Pryor’s nuts instead of getting caught up in a spelling bee with the rest of the country. Un-f’ing believable.”
While many share Lewsheski’s concerns and outrage over the change, one elderly Pitt alumn is enthusiastically embracing the change.
“I remember when mummy told me about the modification [in restoring the h to Pittsburgh in 1911], I cried like the dickens I did…for nearly a fortnight or two as I recollect. Oh, I was so upset about it,” recalled 102-year-old and CAS 1928 graduate Virginia Pickforth. “I was so accustomed to writing the city’s name without the h and then all of a sudden, with no warning I was told to put this strange letter at the end of my city’s spelling? I couldn’t fathom it, still hardly can. But back then bread only cost a ha’penny and cars were called motor coaches. It was a different era, and much simpler times. Times that weren’t confused by unphonetic spellings. And I’m just tickled pink that this Pederson chap sees it similar and can remedy the situation for us. He seems like a fine fellow, does that Pederson. I reason he’ll do all right at the ol’ alma mater.”