Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Great Retrospective on the 2012 Penn State Football Season

Yesterday, Penn State sports historian and author Lou Prato stopped by our house to visit Terry.  It was a great visit, and we spent time discussing our separate journeys to becoming devoted Penn State football fans.  Lou, with his years of experience as a journalist and in broadcast news, has tons of stories not only about his work with Penn State sports, but his coverage of other teams like Ohio State and Michigan.  Hilarious.

Lou learned that our story is different than a lot of Penn State fans.  Our devotion to Penn State had nothing to do with attending school here, and so Terry told him about how he evolved from Ohio State to Missouri to Penn State.  And I told him about my complete lack of devotion to football before I met Terry.   Also as I will tell my students tomorrow when classes begin, the reason I'm here teaching at Penn State's Smeal College of Business is due to Penn State football.  It's not the other way around.

One of Lou's tasks yesterday was to autograph his new book, entitled, "We Are Penn State:  The Remarkable Journey of the 2012 Nittany Lions".   You can purchase it here.  It's a very good read.  I finished it in a day.  Its hard to put down once you get started.

While Lou certainly has a point of view about what happened to Penn State as a result of the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal, especially the damages done to the football team and the Penn State brand by the Freeh Report and the NCAA sanctions, he does not dwell too long on those issues in the book.  He has written about those topics elsewhere, such as in his columns in Blue White Illustrated.

Rather, this book is almost entirely about the 2012 team who stayed when the NCAA sanctions said they could leave at any time without penalty.  It's about this remarkable group of football players whose emotional leaders were seniors Michael Mauti and Michael Zordich, and their brand new coach, Bill O'Brien, and how they kept Penn State football alive and helped us all smile again.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Penn State Football: "Life Comes At You Fast", and Sometimes It Isn't Pretty

It is with a great deal of sadness that I announce that as of this coming football season, the attendance streaks at Penn State football games for my husband Terry and myself will end.  For Terry, it was 282 games in a row.  The last game he missed was the Penn State - USC game in Los Angeles in 1990.  For me, it was 146 games in a row.  The last game I missed was the Penn State - Iowa game in 2001 in Iowa City.  The games we attended were anywhere in the country:  home, away, and bowl games.

Somehow, none of that matters now.  It's just a game, after all.  Right???

Well, maybe.

There was a sign I saw recently in a medical office:  "Life is just a game.  Football is serious business."  For us, it certainly has been that way.  It dominated our lives each fall, and, well, I expect there to be a big hole now.

Unfortunately, I know how it will be filled, and finding time to tend to what needs to be done over the coming months will be a real challenge.