Pitt Panthers Football Game with the Wheels of Support Program
Each year, The University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department gives local Pittsburgh car dealers the opportunity to ride along with them on an away game through their Wheels of Support program. This year, we traveled with the team to Annapolis, Maryland while the Pitt Panthers football team battled the Navy Midshipmen in an epic game that went down to the wire.
We rode in style along with other car dealers from the Pittsburgh area in Pitt’s new state-of-the-art bus and were treated to several movies and treats while on the journey to Navy. After arriving to our hotel, we were invited to a special VIP reception hosted by Steve Pederson, Athletic Director for the University of Pittsburgh. The reception was a casual meet-and-greet and was very well done, allowing everyone to mingle among the other car dealerships, Pitt alumni, administration, and other represented parties.
After the reception, we decided to tour downtown Baltimore and represent Pittsburgh. We were greeted with some friendly hazing from Baltimore Ravens fans, but that’s to be expected.
Before the game on Saturday afternoon, we had the pleasure of experiencing an awesome tour of the United States Naval Academy. We walked the entire Navy yard and experienced the history of how the academy became the prestigious military university that it is today.
After the tour, it was time to party. We were invited to the official University of Pittsburgh tailgate, which was unlike any tailgate party I’ve ever been to. There was a DJ, open bar, buffet of food, and other attractions under a giant tented area. The University of Pittsburgh alumni and fans came in droves to the Pitt / Navy game to the point that we almost made it appear like a home game. Probably the most notable alum at the tailgate party was Congressman Tim Murphy, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh along with being a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserves. Like a true politician, Murphy remained ambiguous by wearing a Navy jacket and Pitt hat.
After a speech by Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, we entered the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. This was the homecoming game for the Navy Midshipmen and the entire brigade marched onto the field prior to kickoff before entering their seats. It was truly a site to behold.
The game went the distance as both teams played hard and although Navy won the game with a field goal literally at the last second of regulation, it was a great day for college football and fun was had by all. We’d like to thank the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department for organizing such a wonderful event.
The University of Pittsburgh – Wheels of Support Program
The Wheels of Support program is a part of The University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department, which reaches out to local Pittsburgh car dealerships in an athletic courtesy car system. The car dealers participating in the Wheels of Support program play an integral role in promoting the University of Pittsburgh sports programs through recruiting, public relations, and fundraising. Through the vehicles provided in the program, coaches and administrators can visit hundreds of prospective student-athletes and fans each year.