Sunday, March 15, 2009

A pre-emptive strike

After being upset by West Virginia in the Big East Tournament, you may need to be convinced that the Pitt men’s basketball team is headed for big things in the NCAA Tournament.

Don’t worry. Check with Pittsburgh City Council.

Council has given its preliminary approval to legislation that would ban upholstered couches from outdoor use. What does this have to do with the NCAAs?

For one thing, putting indoor couches on your porch doesn’t make aesthetic sense. It sounds like the perfect setup for a Jeff Foxworthy joke. But I think Council has another issue on its mind.

Council wants to deter Pitt fans from burning couches should they win the Big Dance.

Furniture burning has become a dubious tradition after sporting events. Stories of couch-burning after the Ohio State-Michigan or Pitt-West Virginia football game have become legendary.

The latest episode occurred after Super Bowl XLIII, when all the local news channels had their cameras fixed on a single, burning couch in the middle of Forbes Avenue.

I don’t understand the phenomenon. Maybe you have to be a college student (and very drunk), but I’d really like to see one of those kids make payments on a couch from IKEA and then set it on fire.

(And, yes, it scares me that I sound like my dad now.)

All the same, I don’t think City Council would be in a hurry to pass this legislation if Pitt were a nine-seed.

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