Friday, December 16, 2016

The Stache Shall Rise Again, Other Directionless Coverage

2016 has proven a devastating revolution for many, as beloved actors, broadcasters, musicians, among others, were lost in its reign. Pitt, it seems, has had its share of turbulence throughout this time. Thankfully, however, it hasn't been related to a new hire immediately unleashing a merciless beating on the punching bag he called a 'love one,' nor was it a flat-top-brandishing knobgobbler who relies on more vacuous buzz words and deception than a second-rate promoter and used car salesman.

That said, as Pitt has risen to reclaim its title as the undisputed king of 'acceptable,' eight-win seasons in football, it has not been without turnover: offensive coordinator Matt Canada has chosen to take his talents to below sea level and pave a path to a big-time coaching gig, while athletic director Scott Barnes looks poised to head back west to light one up as he directs the programs at Oregon State. The loss of Canada and the possibility of Barnes vacating his position leaves the university in a tough bind to replace them with competent counterparts who can try to push Pitt's programs to that next level. How will they do that? You've come to right place to find out.


Why Dave Wannstedt would be an ideal replacement for Pitt as athletic director, assuming he remembers that Nordenberg retired and isn't leaving voicemails on former chancellor's house phone instead of university offices

Dreadful rhymes aside, which are still a thousand-fold superior to the modifier 'high-octane,' there's undoubtedly one man who was paging furiously through his contact book upon hearing somewhere that current athletic director Scott Barnes looked certain to leave Pitt and head to the west coast. That would be none other than Baldwin native Dave Wannstedt. Like any candidate for such a position, he has his failings, but his advantages and potential areas for success suffice to overcome them in spectacular fashion. Let's explore then why Wannstedt could shine as Pitt's new AD.

1. He Won't Be Late Because of Traffic

Nothing is worse than a high-profile employee who doesn't invest him- or herself in the region. By choosing to step out from his mother's reproductive organ -- powerful individuals like Wannstedt are able to consciously make this decision -- in the confines of Allegheny County, the former Pitt boss forever dedicated himself to what is demanded of the locals: understanding a grid of poor planning, shoddier construction, and speed-limited, two-lane roadways with stoplight timing mechanisms that haven't been tweaked since the invention of the cassette player.

Think about it: a possible new hire is waiting in an office at Pitt, and where's Scott Barnes or his potential replacement? That's right, sitting in bottleneck traffic on the Veterans Bridge, trying to connect to Oakland via Boulevard of the Allies, where he will then progress slowly through the stages of lights that dictate movement along Forbes Avenue. By the time he arrives, that hire will already be off to cause an accident on the 40th Street on-ramp to 28 on his way home. But Dave Wannstedt -- the well-mustached fox that he is -- will call up this potential hire, smartly invite him to check out some of the facilities on upper campus, peel off to the right towards Downtown, cut up through the Hill District, and be there at the Petersen Event Center waiting patiently as if he had intended such an outcome all along. The hire will be sealed, and the untold story will be Wannstedt's savvy navigation of Pittsburgh motorways.

2. He Will Do Whatever It Takes to Get the Best -- to Win, Not Ethics or Any of That Shit

While Wannstedt's tenure as head coach did not produce any incredible season to look back upon, he did know how to recruit the kind of players he wanted. Many critics will argue that Pitt's biggest shortcoming is missing out on the top-tier of recruits in both football and basketball that sets the nation's top programs apart. We know exactly what that means: the team doesn't need aspiring attorneys, dentists, engineers, and CPAs; it needs communications majors -- breathing masses of flesh that can write their name down semi-legibly and vaguely grasp the concept of 'plausible deniability' when it involves questions of academic integrity. Nobody interested in a job in southwestern PA knows this demand better than Wannstedt.

Wannstedt was undeservedly bounced from his position prior to the 2011 season. As documented here, though, he had long been assembling the right crew of personnel to take Pitt to its next step. Namely, his program had 22 ('student-')athletes with a criminal charge on the roster. That, jags and jagettes, is a dedicated to what is needed to win, not to placate some fleeting desire to maintain a reputable public image. Perhaps none was better than Jabaal Sheard, an NFL regular, who once projected a man through a pane of glass to prove his point. Not to overlook the fine details -- surely a Wannstedt-inspired trait -- he went outside to assault the man physically until pepper-sprayed in the eyes. If Pitt hopes to win, it needs a man who can walk the uncertain terrain of results and the cost for bail. Wannstedt can be that man.

3. He Somehow Won Football Games (Multiple!) With Bill Stull and Tino Sunseri at Quarterback

Harping on this idea of doing what is necessary, Wannstedt will have to know his budget limitations as well; he simply won't have the excess cash to overpay for a coach who's a national name. It is likely that, at times, he will have to be creative with his money and his targeted hires, but a quick look at his rosters will demonstrate his unequivocal ability in this regard.

Need I remind you, Wannstedt  won games -- as in more than one; several, in fact -- with both Bill Stull and namesake-riding Tino Sunseri behind center, both of which, though especially the latter, should have garnered him support to win countless coaching honors, and the patience for which he must have popped up on the radar for several humanitarian awards as well. One may argue that both of these players simply handed the ball off to LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, and Ray Graham 7,000 times a game, to which I readily agree! To design that many run plays, pass plays within ten yards, and somehow to convince the other team that either of these players was going to be trusted to throw the ball more than a half dozen times in total is a feat that perhaps no other coach in major conference college football can boast. Imagine the way Wannstedt can cleverly allot his resources to maximize his budget and clout as an experienced member of 'the business.'

Should that not be enough to make this worthwhile, please take a quick look at this picture of Tino Sunseri.

This is an absolutely real, undoctored photo of the man put in charge of the offense, and despite have a man who evidently aspired to be a overcooked calzone under a heat lamp at quarterback, Wannstedt still managed to make bowl games.

4. God Damn, Is That Mustache Not a Ravishing Piece of Facial Hair?!

It asks for neither attention, nor respect; it simply obtains them from its own existence. Salt and pepper hues underscore the wisdom and latent vintage power within. Neatly-trimmed and fitting for all occasions, it may look no better than it would behind an expensive desk on an Oakland campus. I am writing, of course, of Dave Wannstedt's extraordinary, possibly omnipotent mustache. If nothing else, it will seize the moment and take any school's programs to new heights.

But the question really is, does Wannstedt want the gig if it becomes available? Let's turn to my jag cousin Rick to see what's rumbling with another segment of Jag on the Inside.


Dave Wannstedt Invites Media to Impromptu Press Conference Held at His House

"No reason in particular [for conference]," insists Wannstedt, who then asks, "So, any hot buzz on some new jobs out there?" 

Current football analyst and veteran coach Dave Wannstedt spontaneously assembled Pittsburgh sports media at his house last evening for a meeting that appeared to be an unplanned press conference.

The former college and NFL coach, most recently with the Pitt Panthers, stated that he had no particular intent for calling the media to residence other than to "chat, you know, about stuff in the sports world."

"I don't know," added Wannstedt. "I figured there might be some good tips on jobs or something on horizon."

Since his abrupt departure from Pitt in 2011, the Baldwin native seemed to show no interest in getting back to the sidelines. This meeting, however, came at peculiar time, following several reports that current Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes may leave his position in favor of one at Oregon State.

When asked about this point, Wannstedt was quick to dismiss any truth to it.

"No, no, no," he said, brushing aside a few balloons with the Pitt logo adorned upon them. "I mean, Scott hasn't said anything about it, right?"

Wannstedt was just as cryptic when asked about the Pitt backdrop he had hanging from his living room ceiling and the crude drawing of a man, labeled "me," cheering as walked to a destination listed as "Pitt."

"Just tidying up the house," he claimed. "Just like I'd do as the AD at any university that, oh, I don't know, may be looking for someone to fill that position soon."

Inquiries about Wannstedt's pro-Pitt surroundings were answered with an assertive shrug of the shoulders and blank stare at the back wall.
 Before the media could press Wannstedt more about the motives of his meeting, he excused himself to answer a call from Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi, whom he contacted to look over his resume "for no reason whatsoever."


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