Regardless of whether you call it a “rivalry” — those of us who are old enough certainly do — there’s a buzz in the air as Pitt makes its long-awaited return to Happy Valley. This week’s podcast is all about that in-state battle.
This week’s guest letterman is Bill Contz ’83, a starting lineman on the 1982 national championship team and author of the new book When the Lions Roared: Joe Paterno and One of College Football’s Greatest Teams. Bill’s book is loaded with great anecdotes from his playing days, insightful contributions from his former teammate Todd Blackledge ’83, and a very cool analytics argument that makes the case for the ’82 squad as one of the very best in the history of the game.
One of the most memorable games in that ’82 season was a top-five battle between the Lions and Panthers. Bill will be in town this weekend for a couple of book signings (check the podcast for details) and to reconnect with a few dozen of his teammates, who are back for a reunion celebrating the ’82 title team. Can’t wait to see that legendary squad together again in Beaver Stadium.
We also look back on the season-opening win over Akron, engage in some good-natured trash talk, and dig into tailgating plans with our go-to Saturday chef, Dave Young ’97. Fittingly, Dave has a Western PA-theme planned for this weekend, and he found some inspiration in an old classic: The Alumni Association’s Cookin’ With the Lion cookbook, first published in 1988.
Very excited about the chipped ham sandwich, and—sticking with the Pittsburgh theme—Dave’s working up a pierogi salad. And, yes, there’s even a cookie table in the works. Feel free to stop by our tailgate on Saturday—just make sure you bring cookies, and empty Tupperware, of course.