1957  Panthers
(Authentic Reproduction)






The Pitt Panthers entered the 1957 season with what was again considered to be the most difficult college football schedule in the nation, yet were the pre-season seventh ranked team in the nation. They were immediately knocked off course 26-0 in the opener against Oklahoma. They embarked on the remainder of their journey through this brutal season with a poor pass defense and the loss of many key players, yet finished with a 4-6 record that included two games decided by one point (a win and a loss), two games decided by field goals (a win and a loss), and two decided by only a touchdown (again, a win and a loss). Wearing a new helmet shell of Green Bay gold with a one-inch navy blue center stripe and three-inch Navy blue identification numerals on each side, they played tough in every game, anchored by guard John Guzik and leading rusher Fred Riddle. Guzik was one of the “Five Jumbos”, so named by famed sportswriter Myron Cope and this crew of linemen included Guzik who played linebacker for the Rams and Oilers, Dan Wisniewski, Ron Kissel, Jim McCusker, and Charley Burekman. Bill Kaliden and Ivan Toncic shared the quarterback position with Dick “Comet” Haley a respectable back. Fred Riddle led the rushers. A sophomore with talent was linebacker Serafino “Foge” Fazio. Making Pitt history, the Panthers unveiled their first soccer-style kicker, Norton Seaman, an East Indian who had played soccer before his family emigrated to the U.S. A back-up guard who received little playing time, he was an emergency kicker but for reasons known only to himself, Coach John Michelosen inserted Seaman into the Pitt vs. Penn State game in place of regular kicker Toncic, after the Panthers had battled back to tie the game 13-13 in the final minutes. Cool under the pressure of this fierce rivalry, Seaman watched the officials march the ball back an additional five yards after a Pitt offsides penalty, and then booted the point for Pitt's 14-13 victory.

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