Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4-0 (3-0) VS Pittsburgh Panthers 3-3 (2-3)
I never thought I would ever say, “I’m glad to get back to a little bit of normal by playing Pitt,” but here we are. In a Notre Dame world where we have “Big R” and “little r” rivalry games, Pitt is like a Big R this year — at least closer to one than any other Irish opponent on the 2020 schedule.
As much as the general fan opinion seems to be, “I hate playing Pitt,” Saturday’s game will at least have some semblance of a normal year. We have talked on the podcast about the Pitt Spirit Urn (or whatever the hell it is) which has something to do with the last game. It’s true:
Pitt’s stirring victory over Notre Dame in the final game ever played at Pitt Stadium had ended about 20 minutes ago. People it seemed were everywhere. In the stands. On the field. On the goal posts. When things finally came to order, an elegant figure was escorted to the center of the field with a wooden box.
It was all-time great running back Marshall Goldberg, who was charged with the responsibility of “capturing the spirit” of Pitt Stadium. With the 60,000 people in attendance cheering madly, Goldberg slowly closed the lid of the box and then left in a Brinks truck.
That took place on Nov. 13, 1999. The box has since been stored in Pitt’s Hall of Fame at its practice complex. (Goldberg returned to Pittsburgh on Sept. 27, 2001, to let the spirit loose in Heinz Field prior to the Panthers’ game with Miami.)
The postgame ceremony provided an unforgettable image from a truly unforgettable night.
So... try to get over last week’s performance and whatever sense of dread you might have. The Irish are 4-0 and playing Pitt for the 72nd time. Try to have some fun.
You can follow all the week’s action in the stream below.