Dear Pittsburgh student,
I hope you're happy with the choice you've all made, but at the same time I hope you realize by now that it was the wrong one.
Just a few years back, as a junior in high school, I was faced with the same decision you made at one point. Where I would spend my college years was, at that time, was the most important choice I ever had to make. We both eventually made that decision, but where we differ is rather clear. I, by choosing Virginia Tech, made the right choice, and you… well you made the other one.
I chose one of the more picturesque campuses in the country, where we mine our own rock -- Hokie Stone -- because just another stone wouldn't cut it for the façade of the buildings that house our top-tier academics. But brick's cool too.
This isn't to say that your campus doesn't have its attractions. You have that Cathedral of Learning. That's a pretty awesome building.
Sometimes when I'm sitting in our dining halls -- the ones that are consistently ranked among the best in the nation, serving seared steak and fresh lobster -- I sneak a quick peek at pictures of your library skyscraper; be proud of it.
But back to that decision we made. I knew I wanted a bigger school on the East Coast that had a proud athletic tradition. Late in the process I hadn't yet visited Virginia Tech, and to be honest with you Pittsburgh was in the conversation. I mean, the Panthers football team was the first to wear numbered jerseys and travel by plane; it doesn't really get more enticing then that.
Then I stepped on the Tech campus. It was pretty much over after that.
Before I ever attended a Hokies football game, before I ever witnessed the best entrance in college football — 66,233 nut jobs "losing their minds," as ESPN's Mike Patrick said, to Metallica's “Enter Sandman — I knew that it was going to be Tech.
The biggest attraction for me to Tech -- and away from the University of Pittsburgh — was its unique identity. Tech's the only school in Blacksburg, Va. but you share your city limits with more than a dozen other schools. While Tech fans get the exclusive experience of donning the orange and maroon to cheer for the Hokies, Pitt fans, wearing blue and gold, blend into the crowd.
One thing Pittsburgh does have -- and should be incredibly proud of -- is its national championship trophies. You've earned nine in football alone, while Tech is still working hard at earning its first in any sport. The best part of those national championships, I would imagine, is that no one can take them away from you.
Sure, no one under the age of 37 has been alive for one of those titles, and since the last one in 1976 Tech has won 49 more football games than the Panthers, but no one can take them away from you.
Every prospective college student faces the difficult decision of where to attend college. I just hope any high school student that hasn't already made the mistake you did remembers that Lee Corso never claimed God was a Panther.
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