Welcome to day 2 of Gannonfest 2019, an extravaganza of 5 different works of literary art in 5 days before the showdown of the century: St. Bonaventure vs. Gannon.
Last time, we took you to Erie, a city only famous for being the wrong answer to the question "Where does the Erie Canal end?" Today, we'll head a few blocks from the bayfront to visit Gannon University aka Diet Mercyhurst.
Gannon was founded in 1925 as Cathedral College after a group of Duquesne students got lost during a weekend trip to Lake Erie. Archbishop John Mark Gannon then purchased the nicest mansion in all of Erie in 1941 to create Gannon College. On the one hand, buying a mansion and naming something after yourself is about as un-Franciscan as drinking a Heineken 0.0. On the other hand, a mansion in Erie is probably less opulent than a tent in Merton's Heart.
The history page on Gannon's website claims it is northwestern PA's premier Catholic university, which is a blatant lie. Judging by how many Twitter pearls were clutched by Erie Bonnies after yesterday's expose, the premier Catholic university in NWPA (what the natives definitely call it) is Bona's, even though we aren't technically in the Keystone Light State. Restricting it to only PA schools, Mercyhurst is the real top Catholic college in NWPA. That's two complements to Mercyhurst in this. One more and I can officially charge their admissions department for this #sponsoredcontent.
Like Erie, trying to pick out one thing that's way worse than anything else about going to Gannon is hard. It's not like looking at all the A10 basketball teams and you CLEARLY know one team is way worse than all the others (It's Davidson, btw #davidsonistoohigh). Look at all these rankings on Niche. They are at or below average in everything, but not like the worst at one thing.
However, a closer look shows that Gannon is not just like La Salle, perfectly content to be in the 8/9 A10 tournament game of life every year. Several negative reviews paint a real picture of Gannon. Some people think Cattaraugus County has more cows than people, but this person literally says everyone is a cow at Gannon.
Gannon is a good place for students who want to be treated like cattle. [...] In general, Gannon is quite simply a small-time college with a huge Napoleonic complex.
Although, Gannon did do something smart by not having a campus, because no one can say your campus sucks when it doesn't exist.
Not much to look at since there really is no campus. I wish I could tell you its beautiful... but its not.
I found two people saying negative things about Gannon on the Internet, so the school is officially canceled.
Gannon still shows a commitment to providing student-athletes with CTE and student loan debt by having Division II football. Gannon never played Bona's in football back when we still had it, because you know they were afraid of what Jack Butler would do to them.
The most surprising thing on the Gannon Wikipedia page is that there's even a section titled "notable alumni." They must not have any English classes in their equivalent of Clare College, because "notable" is a stretch for these alums, folks. It's mainly a bunch of former state representatives and athletes with pro careers shorter than Robert De Niro without those platform shoes in The Irishman. Gannon alum Bill Pepicello used his experience of going to a fake college to become the president of the University of Phoenix. There was also a guy named Daniel Cudmore that played a minor role in the Twilight movies, which I totally didn't see and don't still have my posters for #TeamEdward.
Here's where Gannonfest 2019 takes a wild twist, folks. Gannon may be involved in an actual Pizzagate. Buried at the bottom of the list is an alumna named Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, who got a master's degree from Gannon. Her last name begins with a D, so why is she on the bottom of the list, you may ask. The reason why involves a metal collar, Eyeglass World and a TV transmission tower.
While America was still reeling from the injustice of the welding hoax in August 2003, a man in Erie named Bill Rothstein (familiar last name, hmm???) ordered two pizzas to an address that's a TV tower. Diehl-Armstrong put a metal collar with a bomb on it on the neck of the delivery guy named Brian Wells. Then, Wells went into a bank with his explosive Puka shell necklace and a gun and robbed it. Wells had to do a scavenger hunt to deactivate the bomb, but police stopped him. The bomb eventually exploded and killed him in an Eyeglass World parking lot.
It's believed that Diehl-Armstrong planned the bank robbery to pay for a hitman to kill her father for inheritance money. She also killed her boyfriend because he was figuring out her plan. She got life in prison in 2010 and died in 2017.
That was called the case of the "pizza bomber" and it was apparently all the rage in the summer of '03, as America yearned for a distraction from the didn't-age-poorly-at-all Iraq War and Clay Aiken-mania. It was even made into a Netflix series called "Evil Genius."
This is definitely not a topic I was prepared to talk about when I created Gannonfest. I'm only trained to say VCU fans are just furries who LARP as basketball fans and occasionally tell the President of the United States to eat feces. I'm not sure how much any of this actual Pizzagate has to do with Gannon. All I know is I demand to know where Jon Rothstein was on the day of August 28, 2003.