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Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
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TerryD Offline
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Post: #111
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 08:44 AM)Nittany_Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-07-2017 07:57 AM)TerryD Wrote:  Pittsburgh area people left in droves during the diaspora of the late Seventies/early Eighties when the steel industry collapsed.

Literally, hundreds of thousands of people from Western Pa. moved elsewhere to look for jobs.

You will hear "The Steelers really travel well" whenever the team plays in Phoenix, New Orleans, Atlanta, etc....

The fans didn't "travel" to the games in those cities as much as they had moved to those places decades ago and kept their old team allegiances.

That's an anecdote. But it doesn't line up with the numbers. PA folk, particularly western PA folk, are much more likely to be residents of their native-born state vs. the rest of America.

And that's a trait that lines PA up more with Michigan & Ohio (Midwest states) vs. the Northeast.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/upsho...-1900.html


Well, then I and many people that I grew up with are just "an anecdote".

I moved from Western Pa. in 1983. I know many others who did as well.

There were few jobs in the area until the economy was rebuilt on "eds and meds".
03-07-2017 11:54 AM
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TerryD Offline
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Post: #112
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 10:41 AM)Dr. Isaly von Yinzer Wrote:  
(03-06-2017 10:14 PM)Nittany_Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-06-2017 08:48 PM)Dr. Isaly von Yinzer Wrote:  Just for clarification's sake, when people say "Pittsburgh feels midwestern to me," what does that actually mean in practical terms?

I spent a summer (and many weekends) in Pittsburgh, FWIW. The majority of my life in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Cincinnati and State College. I mention that to give you some of my background, why I believe what I believe.

Anyway, a few of the reasons I'd call Pittsburgh midwest:

(1) it is industrial based,

(2) more working-class vs. professional-class,

(3) people drive CONSIDERABLY more slowly vs. the East Coast (and much more like Ohio & Michigan folk).

(4) much much more friendly folk vs. East Coast folk. (again, fairly like Ohio & MI folk)

(5) fairly conservative political views, definitely not an abundance of northeast liberal types.

(6) growing up in Detroit and attending college at PSU --- I got to see both eastern PA and western PA classmates. Nearly 100% of my college friends wound up being Western PA folk. We just seemed to bond more easily and have more in common; they reminded me of my High School friends much more than eastern PA folk. As I figure, some of that had to have been because of the culture THEY grew up in.

(7) a fairly provincial feel among its citizens, and an over-tendency of its citizens to not leave their city/state after growing up there. This is a huge trait in particular of MI and OH citizens - those 2 states rank #2 and #3 in terms of percentage of their residents that were born in that state (LA is #1, FWIW). PA is #4 in this and a large part of that is due to Pittsburghers: if they are born there they tend to stay there.

(8) Pittsburgh's doppleganger American city is undoubtedly Cincinnati --- a city I lived in and one I would also classify as Midwest

(9) it's citizens properly call it pop and not soda!!!

I think this is what makes Pittsburgh such an interesting place. Some of what you're saying is right. Other parts of what you were saying it's probably not as accurate as you think.

As I said earlier, of the Midwestern states, I have only lived in Ohio and I can tell you that the Buckeye State in the Keystone State, while similar in some regards, are really very different in many other key ways. However, in fairness, Pittsburgh is also different than places like State College and Philadelphia in many key ways.

That was my point. It doesn't fit as neatly into the package as places like Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, etc.; but, neither does it fit perfectly with Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc. It is somewhere in between those extremes.

Now, to your points:

Pittsburgh obviously made its name nationally/internationally with the steel industry. That's why our professional football team is called the Steelers and it is still the prism by which the city is seen by most outsiders – just like Detroit is with the car industry.

However, Terry is right when he says that industry left Pittsburgh in the late 70s and early 80s and a zillion people left with it. Western Pennsylvania is much smaller population wise now than it was in the mid 80s.

That is also a key distinction between Pittsburgh and Detroit – and really the rest of the so-called "rust belt."

Pittsburgh was absolutely devastated by the collapse of the steel industry domestically. However, it had phenomenal leadership at just the right time and they were so desperate that they were willing to follow that leadership.

That made Pittsburgh much better organized at that time than some of its peer cities and was also much more honest with itself. That forced Pittsburgh to invest heavily in areas like robotics, education, healthcare and others. Those investments have paid off 100 fold and allowed that city to flourish while many of the cities to which it is often wrongly compared have languished. I think Cincinnati is very similar in that regard, BTW. Like Pittsburgh – and unlike places like Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland – Cincinnati has done a lot of smart things over the years.

Those are NOW the industries that drive Pittsburgh, not "industry" - in the classic/former sense. For example, the largest employer in western Pennsylvania is UPMC – a medical system ( University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). The largest employer in Allegheny County is the University of Pittsburgh. The days of J&L Steel are long gone and have been since before "Back to the Future" was released.

That is where a lot of people grossly underrate the strength of Pitt. Pitt is WAY stronger institutionally than even many Pennsylvanians realize. The University of Pittsburgh has one of the largest endowments in the country. It is right up there with Ivy League schools and some of the largest programs in the country. That is not by accident and it is always underrated by people who don't understand how these decisions are made.

It is also a research juggernaut. Look at the research funding and look where the University of Pittsburgh lies. Now, consider that they often partner with Carnegie Mellon University – which is literally a block or two down the street – and which also has an enormous endowment and is also a research juggernaut, and you begin to understand the power that university holds over a pretty large metropolitan area.

What other midwestern city – aside from maybe Chicago – has that? The only other city in America that I can think of that is comparable is Boston in it's Cambridge area. In Ohio, it would be like putting Case Western University right on High Street next to Ohio State University.

I don't think people realize what a big deal that has been and I think it is why the University of Pittsburgh was a hot commodity right from the beginning of the expansion process. It has history, it has a market, it has tradition, it has all of that. However, what it has most of all is a lot of money and prestige in academic circles.

That's why the Big 12 quickly went after them when it needed to backfill after its defections and it is also why the ACC stepped in and blocked that attempt.


I never became a Pitt fan (I am a diehard Pirates, Steelers and Pens fan) but Pitt is an outstanding university and a formidable economic machine.
03-07-2017 11:57 AM
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Dr. Isaly von Yinzer Offline
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Post: #113
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
Terry is absolutely right. It's not antecdotal or in any way mythical.

He was part of the great migration out of Western Pennsylvania. There have been a zillion books written about it and documentaries made about it.

I'm sure the same thing happened to Detroit when the auto industry began to tank but I can't speak to that. I only know about Pittsburgh and what happened here.
03-07-2017 11:57 AM
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TerryD Offline
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Post: #114
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
"So much was lost -- not just jobs, but people. Pittsburgh had been shrinking since the 1950s, but between 1970 and 1990, the city proper lost a full 30 percent of its population. People left to find work, and those working-age citizens who stayed behind were feeling around in the dark, searching for jobs in an employment landscape they no longer recognized."

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/bus...1212230258

This PDF discusses Western Pa.'s "stunning population losses". Allegheny County lost 12 percent of its population

https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/0472109782-07.pdf

"The overall population loss in Western Pennsylvania reflects a trend that started with the collapse of the local steel industry 30 years ago, Briem said. A large part of that generation's younger adults fled the area in search of jobs.

'They took with them their families and their future families,' Briem said."

http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/new...26593.html

"In the late 1970s, the U.S. steel industry was failing. Foreign competitors with lower labor costs and lower environmental standards were crowding the market. Coal and iron ore processing had become costly and inefficient. Oil prices, inflation, and interest rates soared. In 1979, the Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Company suffered the largest quarterly loss — $561.7 million — in American corporate history. The episode evokes the recent travails of General Motors and Chrysler, except no bailout came to the rescue. Within a few short years, 115,500 manufacturing jobs vanished in Pittsburgh. The steel industry alone accounted for nearly 50 percent of the losses. The city was being talked about the way Detroit is now: Its very survival was in question."

http://thepolitic.org/rust-belt-renaissa...ican-city/


"Pittsburgh bled residents. Yes, way back in the 1980s there was an impressive exodus."

https://psmag.com/shrinking-city-myths-c....8rogmly89

I was 26 years old in 1983 and came from a coal miner and steelworker family. I know well what happened. I lived it.

"Ancedote" ? No. Real life.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2017 12:15 PM by TerryD.)
03-07-2017 12:13 PM
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Nittany_Bearcat Offline
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Post: #115
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 11:54 AM)TerryD Wrote:  Well, then I and many people that I grew up with are just "an anecdote".

I moved from Western Pa. in 1983. I know many others who did as well.

There were few jobs in the area until the economy was rebuilt on "eds and meds".

Numbers are what they are --- what more can I say?
03-07-2017 03:44 PM
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Nittany_Bearcat Offline
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Post: #116
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 10:41 AM)Dr. Isaly von Yinzer Wrote:  I think this is what makes Pittsburgh such an interesting place. Some of what you're saying is right. Other parts of what you were saying it's probably not as accurate as you think.

As I said earlier, of the Midwestern states, I have only lived in Ohio and I can tell you that the Buckeye State in the Keystone State, while similar in some regards, are really very different in many other key ways. However, in fairness, Pittsburgh is also different than places like State College and Philadelphia in many key ways.

That was my point. It doesn't fit as neatly into the package as places like Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, etc.; but, neither does it fit perfectly with Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc. It is somewhere in between those extremes.

Now, to your points:

Pittsburgh obviously made its name nationally/internationally with the steel industry. That's why our professional football team is called the Steelers and it is still the prism by which the city is seen by most outsiders – just like Detroit is with the car industry.

However, Terry is right when he says that industry left Pittsburgh in the late 70s and early 80s and a zillion people left with it. Western Pennsylvania is much smaller population wise now than it was in the mid 80s.

That is also a key distinction between Pittsburgh and Detroit – and really the rest of the so-called "rust belt."

Pittsburgh was absolutely devastated by the collapse of the steel industry domestically. However, it had phenomenal leadership at just the right time and they were so desperate that they were willing to follow that leadership.

That made Pittsburgh much better organized at that time than some of its peer cities and was also much more honest with itself. That forced Pittsburgh to invest heavily in areas like robotics, education, healthcare and others. Those investments have paid off 100 fold and allowed that city to flourish while many of the cities to which it is often wrongly compared have languished. I think Cincinnati is very similar in that regard, BTW. Like Pittsburgh – and unlike places like Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland – Cincinnati has done a lot of smart things over the years.

Those are NOW the industries that drive Pittsburgh, not "industry" - in the classic/former sense. For example, the largest employer in western Pennsylvania is UPMC – a medical system ( University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). The largest employer in Allegheny County is the University of Pittsburgh. The days of J&L Steel are long gone and have been since before "Back to the Future" was released.

That is where a lot of people grossly underrate the strength of Pitt. Pitt is WAY stronger institutionally than even many Pennsylvanians realize. The University of Pittsburgh has one of the largest endowments in the country. It is right up there with Ivy League schools and some of the largest programs in the country. That is not by accident and it is always underrated by people who don't understand how these decisions are made.

It is also a research juggernaut. Look at the research funding and look where the University of Pittsburgh lies. Now, consider that they often partner with Carnegie Mellon University – which is literally a block or two down the street – and which also has an enormous endowment and is also a research juggernaut, and you begin to understand the power that university holds over a pretty large metropolitan area.

What other midwestern city – aside from maybe Chicago – has that? The only other city in America that I can think of that is comparable is Boston in it's Cambridge area. In Ohio, it would be like putting Case Western University right on High Street next to Ohio State University.

I don't think people realize what a big deal that has been and I think it is why the University of Pittsburgh was a hot commodity right from the beginning of the expansion process. It has history, it has a market, it has tradition, it has all of that. However, what it has most of all is a lot of money and prestige in academic circles.

That's why the Big 12 quickly went after them when it needed to backfill after its defections and it is also why the ACC stepped in and blocked that attempt.

Good and fair post.

I will refine what I said earlier --- if I HAD (with a gun pointed to my head) classify Pittsburgh as something, I'd go "Midwest."

But it is, no doubt, considerably more nuanced vs. most American cities. It is not easily "bucket-able."

Of all the places I've lived in for at least a few months, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh were by far my 2 favorites. Probably not a coincidence. I love both cities, enjoyed my time there. (I just moved to Denver, which is something completely different)
03-07-2017 03:48 PM
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TerryD Offline
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Post: #117
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 03:44 PM)Nittany_Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-07-2017 11:54 AM)TerryD Wrote:  Well, then I and many people that I grew up with are just "an anecdote".

I moved from Western Pa. in 1983. I know many others who did as well.

There were few jobs in the area until the economy was rebuilt on "eds and meds".

Numbers are what they are --- what more can I say?


That you didn't live through it and therefore cannot say anything about it with the attempted authority that you did? :)
03-07-2017 04:19 PM
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Nittany_Bearcat Offline
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Post: #118
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 04:19 PM)TerryD Wrote:  That you didn't live through it and therefore cannot say anything about it with the attempted authority that you did? :)

Again --- the numbers are what they are. I presented an opinion, then backed it up with a fact.

Agree to disagree as you will --- but I don't get the hostility from you.
(This post was last modified: 03-07-2017 08:10 PM by Nittany_Bearcat.)
03-07-2017 08:09 PM
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TerryD Offline
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Post: #119
RE: Joe Pa's unrealized eastern all sports conference
(03-07-2017 08:09 PM)Nittany_Bearcat Wrote:  
(03-07-2017 04:19 PM)TerryD Wrote:  That you didn't live through it and therefore cannot say anything about it with the attempted authority that you did? :)

Again --- the numbers are what they are. I presented an opinion, then backed it up with a fact.

Agree to disagree as you will --- but I don't get the hostility from you.



No hostility, I just backed up my real life experience with articles and numbers too.

You just cherry picked one number and acted like you are the ultimate authority on this issue.

How old are you? Were you alive in 1975-83?
03-08-2017 11:29 AM
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