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The Pitt Fan's Guide To NYC

March 8, 2011

So the BIG EAST Tournament has arrived!  Yet it’s only Tuesday, it lasts until Saturday, Pitt doesn’t play until Thursday, and even then their game will be over by 2pm.  So what is a Pitt fan supposed to in New York City?  Beats us…we don’t live there.  So we figured who better to ask than New York’s resident Pittsburgh blog, Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies.

The Big East Tourney is here! That means it’s time for non-Pitt media members to rehash how awesome Jamie Dixon and staff are at recruiting Big Apple talent to your (2010-11 Big East Regular-Season champion!) Pittsburgh Panthers in an attempt to sound like they’re familiar with the team.

I won’t bore you with silly anecdotes, or even try to pretend I’m some Pitt insider. Hell, I don’t even really deal with statistical analysis or anything that’s even kinda intellectually stimulating over at PSAMP. But I am a Pitt fan who has lived in Queens for 3 years after spending my entire life in Southwestern PA, so BOW TO MY UNDERSTANDING OF THIS FOREIGN LAND THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BIRTH THE 2010-11 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT CHAMPION PITTSBURGH PANTHERS.

I’ll do my best to enlighten any of you making the trip for the tourney to the NYC experience that I know and tolerate love.

Our Panthers don’t start their tourney experience until Thursday, so if you’re around in town earlier than tipoff, why not head uptown to Rucker Park in Harlem, or maybe downtown to The Cage at West 4th Street. Both are iconic streetball courts in the city, and like we’re constantly reminded, Pitt has historically had an affection for NYC recruits. Last month, the Penguins surprised a buncha fans by quietly showing up to Central Park’s ice rink to practice between weekend games against the Islanders and Rangers. So maybe Jamie will take note and hit up one of NYC’s famed streetball courts to give his players that open-air, among-the-fans feeling.

Plus, maybe you can watch as Gil Brown soars over like Hot Sauce or Skip 2 My Lou or any of those And-1 guys. Yeah, I realize that And-1 tour references are pretty dated and I apologize. Plus, I shoulda just replaced “Gil Brown” with like “Donatas Zavackas” or someone equally as random to make that joke work on a better, more dated level.

MSG itself is a trip. You’re in the home of like 85 different teams, so even with all the Knicks stuff everywhere, it still never feels like a home. They DO have awesome plastic beer mugs with holes in the top of the handle in which a pretzel rod is lovingly placed. You can see where my memories of MSG lay. Whatever, just look up at the stunning woodwork on the ceiling, and try to figure out how the hell they’re gonna fit a skybridge for over-the-edge Manhattanites to swan dive off of during the 2020 Big East Tourney.

Didn’t get tickets? Well just head on over to our Penguins bar, Foley’s! It’s only a block and a half east of MSG, and my good friend Shaun, the owner, treats any Pittsburgh fans with all the love and respect in the world. I mean look at this picture! That’s a Penguins flag a stone’s throw from the Rangers’ home.

penguinsfoleyssyracuse

Just ignore that bs blue and orange flag behind the Pens one. Foley’s is also a Syracuse bar, so things could get a little tricky once both teams start up in the 3rd round.

While you’re at the bar, or basically anywhere in town, remember to lose the smokes. Yeah, I know how much Pittsburghers love cigarettes. I admittedly don’t make it back to Pittsburgh as often as I’d like, but every time I do, I’m constantly re-amazed at the number of bars and restaurants with smoking sections. That just doesn’t happen around here any more. I come back to NYC and all my clothes smell like I ate 2 cartons of cigarettes. Man, you can’t even smoke in open areas in NYC any more without some self-righteous jerk ratting you out. The cops are pitting you against each other, Pitt fans. THEY’RE ALL SECRETLY ST. JOHNS FANS!

So enjoy your time in the big city, and make sure you root for Pitt appropriately. And give me a call if you need a local to spring you from jail or something.

Hail To Pitt.

If you think you can handle him, you can follow @psamp on Twitter.

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