I Procrastinated on the Three-Year Study I Owe Pat Narduzzi, Please Help Me

By Dan Smith on September 12, 2019 at 8:00 am
Pitt Coach and Researcher Pat Narduzzi
© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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During his media availability earlier this week, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi made a rather vague comment that puzzled some fans.

“We’ve got years of videotape,” Narduzzi said, per Greg Pickel of PennLive. “We’ve scoured through and got thick books that big of really what we’re looking at here. It’s not a one-game breakdown, it’s not a five-game breakdown. It’s a three-year study going on here for this game.”

At first glance, Narduzzi implied that his staff and/or athletic department has been gathering secret intel on Penn State for three years. They have had scientists and analysts poring through the copious amounts of data in very thick books. The goal? Putting together an unprecedented game plan based on the types of analytics only dreamed of in the game of football.

And while one could posit that this was a ham-fisted way to say that his staff is taking a big picture view of his opponent, I can in fact confirm that your initial suspicions were correct.

Three years ago, Narduzzi hired me to put together a study on Penn State football. The timeframe suggested that the idea was to put the perfect bookend on this series, by leaving the Nittany Lions stunned in their home stadium by their western rivals.

Unfortunately, that suggestion was all that I could gather. Narduzzi was as vague with me as he was in his public statement, and with my study due this week, I am scrambling to try to put something together while not really having any idea what the study is supposed to analyze.

You may not view me as a worthy charity case. After all, I have had three years and am asking for help right at the deadline. The thing is, though, I never really knew what I was putting together. I wrote down a bunch of statistics about the 2016, 2017, and 2018 games, and put them in a spreadsheet. I also watched some video tape of their games, and even printed out both teams’ rosters. But that does not make for a study one could place in a very thick book.

Narduzzi was no help in this. He does not respond to texts or emails (he has had a vacation responder on for over two years that reads “People often tell me what to write, so I have chosen not to write at all.”), so I would only see him when he would drop by my Philadelphia office during recruiting trips. These meetings consisted of Narduzzi knocking on my open door, loudly stating “Pull those metrics, chief!” and then heading for the exit while grabbing a handful of pretzels.

With 24 hours left to deliver a report that will alter the future of Pittsburgh’s football program, I am at a loss. Without your help, I may have to return the $705,000 Narduzzi has been paying me for the last three years to help him deliver a signature win. And I already spent $600,000 of that buying followers on Twitter, where I am almost up to 1,000.

So, I am asking you, dear readers of Roar Lions Roar, please help me put together the study that I owe Pittsburgh football. Any and all advice you can offer in the comments would not only be welcome, but desperately needed.  Let’s make the greatest three-year study ever seen in the sport here in the next 24 hours.

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