Let the memory live again - 1986

PSU had gone undefeated in 1985 but came up short against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl championship game. In 1986 PSU repeated the undefeated regular season but entered the 1987 Fiesta Bowl as huge underdogs against the #1 Miami Hurricanes. No one, especially not Heisman Trophy winner, Vinny Testaverde (are you seeing a trend here?), or coach Jimmy Johnson gave Penn State a snowball's chance in Tempe.

But the Lions kept their cool, both on and off the field and defeated UM 14 - 10. Testeverde threw 5 interceptions and the Lions defense forced 2 fumbles. John Shaffer and DJ Dozier scored for PSU.

Late in the 4th quarter, Miami pieced together a drive down to the Lions' 5 yard line. The Hurricane defense had been tearing up the field, but Johnson chose to throw. Testaverde was sacked and then they had to put it up. With time ticking away, Vinny threw the ball into a sea of white jerseys. Pete Giftopoulos stepped in front of the ball, sealing the Lions' victory. The Lions had slayed the giant and won their 2nd National Championship.

Misty watercolored memories.... 1982

I've been compiling some prose for the website - so I thought I'd post it here as well. Right now I'm working on the "football" section of the site - with recaps from memorable games and seasons.

Here's 1982....

PSU’s first National Championship followed the 1982 season. The Lions had played for the National Championship in January 1979, but fell short against Alabama and the Bear. In 1981 PSU had spent time ranked #1 but finished the season with 2 losses (Miami, and yes, Alabama).

In 1982 PSU had big hopes but once again lost to Bama; I remember, I was at a friend’s birthday party; when we returned from the roller skating rink, her dad had the game on TV - I couldn’t believe that PSU had lost, and I knew that my Dad would be devastated. I got to go to one game that season - the slaughtering of NC State - it was a good afternoon. With 1 loss, the Lions climbed back up in the rankings and finished the regular season ranked #2. They met the #1 Georgia Bulldogs, coached by Vince Dooley and featuring Heisman Trophy winner Hershel Walker, in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. The Bulldogs were the odds on favorite to win the National Title.

Led by Todd Blackledge, Curt Warner, Kenny Jackson, Harry Hamilton, Mark Robinson, Scott Radisec, Greg Garrity and many others, the Lions played with tons of heart and determination and won the game 27 - 23. Garrity scored the "stay ahead" touchdown with a now immortal layout leap into the endzone. Penn State had won the ball game; Penn State was the National Champion.

I remember being overwhelmed by it all. I was old enough to remember the disappointment of the last Sugar Bowl - and the kids just put together such a fantastic game. Dad had turned on the radio (no delay back in those days) to hear the end of the game, announced by Fran Fisher. There’s nothing like hearing a completely biased announcer call the last seconds of a championship win (no matter what sport) -

Soon after the game, we went outside - it was cold and clear and you could hear cheering and horns honking all around. After all those years of winning and yet waiting, Penn State had won the Championship, ironically, with a non-undefeated team!

They had a parade in State College a week or so later. It was snowing like crazy but Dad and I went downtown, all bundled up to cheer the victors.


Preseason "honors" start rolling in

GoPSUsports.com - Seven Lions Named Preseason All-Big Ten, Three All-American By The Sporting News

I'm the first person to applaud when PSU players are recognized nationally - but all this pre-season stuff makes me nervous. PSU has some very gifted/talented kids returning to the squad this year - but it really means nothing if they can't make it work on the field. The 2006 season is tough - and it's tough early and it's tough away from University Park. The Lions and their new starting quarterback are going to have to show a lot of fortitude early, and on the road.

I'm thrilled that the kids are getting some recognition - but many of the kids they'll be seeing across the field are as well.



GoPSUsports.com - Men's Volleyball Stuns No. 1 UC-Irvine, 3-2; Nittany Lions Meet UCLA in National Championship Match Saturday

Championship game at Rec Hall at 7pm. It's a story-book scenario - NCAA championships held at University Park and 4th seed Penn State gets through to the final -


Schwarzenegger wants two NFL teams in Los Angeles area - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

Schwarzenegger wants two NFL teams in Los Angeles area - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

Baby steps Arnie, baby steps. You want the Eagles?

3 PSUers sign NFL contracts

GoPSUsports.com Interestingly, none of them are the kids who were drafted this past weekend.

Defensive tackle Scott Paxson and tight end Isaac Smolko have signed with the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Cornerback Anwar Phillips has signed with the New Orleans Saints.

I hope that Scotty can turn things around. I think he's a very talented football player - I wish him luck - as I do all of the Penn Staters!

49ers select PSU's Robinson - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

49ers select PSU's Robinson - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Penn State renews draft presence - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Penn State renews draft presence - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review