This is fairly large news. There has been a LOT of debate the last couple years on using Sweet Caroline at games. It was started during the 2008 season, and since then has angered, thrilled, and “meh”d Panther. Oh, and caused half the student section to leave after it’s played during most games.
Personally, I don’t like the idea of Sweet Caroline itself, but it is easily the most successful thing Pitt has to get people up, out of their seats, and cheer for Pitt. My opinion has long been if you want to replace Sweet Caroline, find something to replace that has the same effect of getting a vast majority of people at the game involved because nothing else that Pitt does comes even close. You can say what you want about the song, but being in a bar or at a wedding full of Pitt folks and having the song come on is still a fun experience. Yes, it’s not Pitt’s song, but there are ton of things dozens of schools do that aren’t there’s, and people love those just the same. Seven Nation Army might be the most played pump up song at any school, but people love it However, as someone pointed out to me, Pitt tries to sell Sweet Caroline as a Pitt tradition, which does draw the criticism of not being something Pitt started. When you put something on a t-shirt, you are certainly trying to make it into something.
As for students leaving early, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen. I’ve long felt that if Pitt was good, the opponent/game is good, and it’s not unbearably hot, students will stay. Should they really all need all three to stay? You can argue no, but I’m not gonna address that much. It was such a struggle to fight when I was in school and helping to restart the Panther Pitt. My thought is they likely will still leave after the 3rd quarter.
I’m also thinking that if Pitt is moving Sweet Caroline to “other points in the game”, that it likely will not be played to its full length, which could make it awkward. Sweet Caroline isn’t a 30 second pump up song, and it’s one of those “do it all the way or don’t do it all” type of scenario to me.
It will be very interesting to see what direction Pitt goes in after this season after changing it up