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Food & Football: Hurricanes’ Guide to Tailgating Pitt Panthers

Good Food. Good Drinks. Good Football!

NCAA Football: Sun Bowl-Miami vs Washington State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Canes Fans! As the saying goes ‘time flies when you're having fun’ and this season has been stressful to watch, but fun as hell. Last weekend was the last home game of the season and the Seniors went out the right way on Senior Day. They left Hard Rock Stadium with a win, 44 - 28, over the Virginia Cavaliers and now look for another win on the road against the Pittsburgh Panthers. This game is bitter sweet as we enter the last game of regular season but with a win, the Canes will complete a perfect regular season for the first time since 2002. At 12:00 PM ET on Friday, the Canes will kick-off at Heniz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tailgate Talk: The story line for this game has little to do with the on the field action, but all about Mother Nature. Can the boys of South Florida deal with the cold weather of the North East? The temperature for kickoff is set to be around 50 degrees. Throughout the week there has been mixed responses about the weather. Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown said “It’s not that cold. It shouldn’t be an issue”. On the other hand, QB Malik Rosier said “honestly I think that’s going to be one of the biggest adversities”. My thoughts are that hopefully these Canes take the same approach as the 2013 Canes. While I’m not advocating for the Canes to warm up shirtless like some of the players then, I am saying, don’t let the weather impact you mentally. Before we get into the Game Meal, let’s learn a little about Pitt.

The University of Pittsburgh was founded in 1787 by Hugh Henry Brackenridge who was a writer, lawyer and Pennsylvania state Supreme Court Justice. Pitt began in a login cabin and was known as the Pittsburgh Academy. Thirty two years later (1819) in order to help service the booming population, the academy was re-chartered as the Western University of Pennsylvania (WUP) with full University powers. After moving to downtown Pittsburgh, the school burned down during the Great Fire of 1845. After rebuilding, the school burned down again in 1849 and after a third downtown fire in 1882 WUP moved to the North Side of Pittsburgh. Twenty six years after the move, WUP changed its name to the University of Pittsburgh as we know it now. The name was changed because the previous name gave no clue to the schools location, the name WUP was believed to be undignified and some thought it was a branch of University of Pennsylvania. Pitt’s first season of football was in 1889 and they were known as the Wups. After the name change, the panther was selected as the mascot because it was local to the area, its color matched the old gold in Pitt’s color and no other school had a panther mascot. During the football programs 128 year history they have won 9 national championships with their last one coming in 1976.

Pitt v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Food: The motivation for the game food was similar to the motivation of Pitt’s name change, location location location. While the game is in Pittsburgh, I don’t think it is legal to travel to PA and not get a Cheese Steak. What’s better than steak and cheese on a sandwich? Plus it may be a nice change if you don’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving.

Cheese Steak
Donovan Hutchins

Drink: Pitt’s mascot was the motivation behind this game’s drink. While they selected the panther because of its gold color, I selected the ‘Pink Panther’ because of its name. This pineapple and vodka based drink may be just what you need if you went Black Friday shopping before the game. However, you could opt for a case of Keystone beer since Pennsylvanian is the ‘Keystone’ state.

Pink Panther
Donovan Hutchins

Happy Thanksgiving, be safe and drink responsibly Canes Family! For full recipes of this game and previous ones, see “2017 Hurricanes’ Cooking Guide

Let me know your food and drink choices for this game!