Pitt = Forlorn U.

I laughed this morning reading this column by S.F. Chronicle sportswriter Scott Ostler, describing Walt Harris's arrival at Stanford and his departure from Pitt -- aka "Forlorn U." Ostler was channelling the comments of former Stanford and S.F. 49ers coach Bill Walsh. The Great Bill said: "[Harris] built a good program, and it is hopeless there at Pittsburgh. That part of town is sooo forlorn!"

Ah, to be filled with righteous indignation over the snobbery of the white wine crowd! But I'm *from* the Palo Alto area (aka, locally, "Shangri-La"), and I even went to Stanford. If you live there, and if you drive through Oakland occasionally (maybe Walsh was last here when he was coaching in the NFL), then the place *does* look forlorn.

I never quite got why Pitt and Walt Harris didn't get along. I get the vague sense that Pitt thought that the coach was something of smarty-pants. What's worse in Pittsburgh than a coach who's a smarty-pants? Only university administrators and faculty are allowed to be smarty-pants! (Cowher is a smart coach, but he's the antithesis of a smarty-pants.) Stanford! Stanford is Smarty-Pants U.! Their coaches are all but members of the faculty. They should love Walt Harris there.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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