Big East game-day traditions: Pittsburgh

March, 4, 2010
3/04/10
1:35
PM ET
Pittsburgh has one of the strongest histories of any Big East team, and though the Panthers now play in an NFL stadium, there are still several game-day traditions worth noting. (Cincinnati is up next, so send me your favorite traditions now, Bearcats fans.)

Lighting of the Cathedral of Learning: The upper section of this campus landmark is lit up in gold lights after a victory, as opposed to its normal white lights.

[+] EnlargeHeinz Field Scoreboard
AP Photo/Gene J. PuskarWhen Pitt scores, the Jumbotron gets a ketchup bath from two giant bottles.
"March to Victory": About an hour before kickoff, the Pitt band makes its way from Tony Dorsett Drive down General Robinson Street and ends at the stage on Art Rooney Avenue.

The Gateway Clipper horns: After every score by the Panthers at home, the horns of the Gateway Clipper fleet sound.

Red zone pours: Whenever Pitt reaches the red zone at Heinz Field, two giant ketchup bottles adjacent to the scoreboard turn over and pour a red color on the JumboTron.

"Sweet Caroline": A recent tradition that has become very popular, Neil Diamond's classic tune is played at the end of the third quarter and gets the crowd riled up, for whatever reason.

Testimonials:

Randy from Pittsburgh: The best Pitt tradition, one that still gets me fired up to this day, is riding the bus home from Heinz Field, turning the corner down Forbes Avenue and seeing the top of the Cathedral of Learning lit up gold after a Pitt win. It's that final capstone to a usually great day of Pitt football that gets you fired up to go enjoy the win with your fellow students. Another awesome/dangerous Pitt tradition is lifting your fellow classmates after Pitt scores. Usually, how this works, is the heaviest gal/guy goes up after Pitt's first touchdown. Then, by the time Dion Lewis has six touchdowns and Tino Sunseri's thrown for another three, you're lifting empty water bottles your arms are so tired.

JD from Pittsburgh: After every touchdown, the Pitt band leads the student section in doing a touchdown dance. Here's the video.

Gary from Cleveland: One that has just started recently and while it may be hokey (jab intended): singing "Sweet Caroline" at the end of the third quarter somehow lifts the team and the crowd to a frenzy. I have been a season ticket holder for many years and this seems to rev up the fans and the defense. Only game it did not work its magic this year was against the Bearcats ... maybe we should have sung it midway through the fourth quarter as well.

Jester from Arlington, Va.: 1) Victory Lights on the Cathedral after a win; 2) Drinking under bridges; 3) Drumline running out of the fog to start the game; 4) Booing the starting QB at least once a year; 5) Losing one head scratcher a year; 6) Wanny's moustache.7) Beating Notre Dame.

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