8/31/2007

No Negative Energy - but...

Got a mildly disturbing email from the NLC - regarding parking lots - So I called the NLC - no information - so I called the ticket office and they said that they're trying to crack down on excessive drinking - but tailgating is fine - but canopies, not so much. But, that's the rule anyway - no canopies in the parking lots (general and preferred) - I guess we'll just have to see how it pans out.

This is the part that I hate - just let me tailgate people - just let me tailgate.

8/30/2007

Less than 12 hours until the season starts!

I wonder if Reese Davis is sleepy yet?

So, I come home from work yesterday, and I settle in to watch the DVRed "College Football Live" episode from that afternoon - I notice that the little "record" light is on the machine - I curse a but because I have it programed to record only "new" episodes, and I assume that the machine is recording a re-run of the afternoon show.

Annoyed, I fast forwarded through most of the afternoon episode (which is what I usually do - there's a point at which I've just heard enough about usc, nd, cal, wisconsin, etc.) - I was going to just delete the second recording, but then I thought, eh, I'll just make sure - and, yes, it was different - I soon realized that it was the opening of ESPN's 25 hours of college football coverage, leading up to the LSU/Miss State kick off (I quickly checked the channel guide - they break a bunch of times for sportscenter and their NFL show). 25 hours of college coverage???? But, but, I need to pack for the weekend, and, I have to go to work tomorrow (do I? yeah. crap.), and, I have to sleep (do I? nah. yeah. crap.)

So I let the machine continue recording - they'd have to say something about PSU during 25 hours of coverage, right?

Well, I watched 4 hours of the show (switching between that and the College Football marathon on ESPN Classics - 1982 Cal/Standford and 2003 Fiesta Bowl) - and yes, they did, finally, review the Big Ten - with really no mention of Penn State, until they asked Herbie about michigan...

So Kirk Herbstreit continued his touting of the PSU squad - he said that the other teams are good, but that PSU is the team to beat. While this makes me incredibly nervous, it also causes me to say things like "I love you" out loud, to the tv. And, I really think that any jinxlike karma that might be floating around in the atmosphere, is seriously negated when Reese "yes I frost my hair" Davis closes the segment by saying "...as michigan, ohio state, wisconsin, and (chuckle), maybe, Penn State, battle for the Big Ten title." Jacknut. Of course my cynical side suggests that Herbie's comments are only a means to "remind" teams to be ready to play PSU. Oh well.

And, the little "intro" that they showed every hour or so featured a lot PSU footage - so I spend about 10 minutes doing the "is that Penn State?" Stop. Rewind. (another one of the indispensable things about the DVR) - Yea! it is! They showed the outside of the stadium (and a rather tame version of Paternoville), the players going through the tunnel, the kickoff, and they ended with a shot of the East stands. I'll get my PSU fix any way I can.

So I can't wait until lunch time so I can dash home and watch some more PSU snubbing. It's football time.

8/29/2007

So, my mother asks

on the phone last night... "who are we playing this weekend, anyway?"

I answer..."florida international."

she says... "sounds like an airport."

Thanks folks, he'll be here all week...

Apparently, Coach Paterno was in rare form for the pre-florida international press conference - treating the press to gems such as:

Q: Are you planning on running out of the tunnel with the team?

A: Not really. I've got a new plan. I'm going to drop from a parachute. (laughter) How do you think I'm going to get on the field? How about if you carry me out? (laughs)


Blue White Roundtable - the bootleg edition

Thanks to RUTS for leaving the back of the truck open - just sitting there - with no one watching...


Our long national nightmare is over — football season has returned! The Nittany Lions take on the Golden Panthers of Florida International University this Saturday. FIU was 0-12 last season, with losses to such powerhouse programs as Middle Tennessee State, Arkansas State, and Florida Atlantic. There’s no question that Penn State will win, but what are you hoping to see PSU accomplish against FIU? Aside from not getting injured, what can the Nittany Lions do that will make you say, “Okay, that’s something we can build on for next week against Notre Dame”?

Hey! We play Arkansas State next year - they're a powerhouse! The best thing PSU can do is not get hurt. This is definitely a "looking to next week" game, which can be dangerous, but I have faith that the kids are going to be focused enough to play smart. What would be great would be some playing time for all of the starters and backups - I'd like to see the offense sustain some long drives and SCORE touchdowns.

Not every Big Ten team has a functional bye week. Take a look at this week’s schedule. Who is most likely to suffer an upset?

upset or difficult matchup? I'd say that Illinois has the toughest game of the week. Missouri has become the darling of the Big 12 North not dissimilar to the affection that the pundits have been giving the Illini; however, if Illinois loses that game I don't see it as an upset. As far as "upsets" - if Washington State comes out playing perfect football, they have the ability to challenge wisky - but I don't think it's going to happen - would I cry if it did? no.

How are you affected by the squabbles between the Big Ten Network and Comcast? Who is The Bad Guy in this battle? If you’re stuck in a situation where you won’t be at the game and can’t get the broadcast at your house, what are your plans for Saturday at noon?



I really think that both sides are being the "bad guy" - it's just that Comcast is the big bad guy and the BTN is the annoying little whiny bad guy. Presently, I'll be in the stadium for the scheduled BTN games - so that's good. Otherwise, we have Direct TV - the games showed up on the channel guide yesterday.

Lightning Round

If things go as planned, everyone on the PSU could see significant playing time on Saturday. Who will be the leading rusher, receiver, and passer for Penn State?
Passer - Morelli; rusher - Scott; receiver - throw the ball to Butler (actually, I'd like to see DW get some catches under his belt).

Predict the score of the PSU vs. FIU game. I'm rubbish at this. PSU 48 fiu 3

What non-PSU game are you most looking forward to this weekend? The aforementioned B10 games are interesting - If I get home in time I'll watch some of the tenn/cal game - and on monday I'll probably watch clemson/fsu

It's Wednesday; I'm thirsty.

This is a great drink. We had toyed with the idea of renaming the drink the “Kerry Collins”, but that seemed a little base given our former star quarterback’s ignominious past. So we thought maybe we could be a little more subtle (and encompassing) and name it a “#12”…




#12 (Blue Vodka Collins)

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Blue Curacao
1/2oz sours mix
1/2oz lemon-lime soda

Combine vodka, blue curacao and sours mix in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake
Pour into collins glass, top with lemon-lime soda

8/27/2007

Remember when...

Do you remember your first Penn State football game?

I actually do not remember my first Penn State game(s) - I have vague memories of being at the stadium - and I definitely remember listening to games on the radio, waiting for my dad to come home - hopefully in a good mood.

The first game of which I have a vivid memory is PSU v Stanford. The game was at Beaver Stadium and it was a pretty huge deal for me to be going to the game with my dad. While I don't remember the game so much, I do remember that the Nittany Lion put the Cardinal in a cage. This upset me very much because I couldn't understand why the mascot would allow such humiliation - Dad eventually just told me that it wasn't the real mascot - probably so I'd be quiet.

The first "big" game I remember going to was against Alabama. It was a TV game (big big night) - and the TV people brought in lights - I remember asking Dad if PSU would ever get permanent lights - and he said - no way - it's tradition. It was easily one of the most intense sports experiences of my life - it was a great day.

I need a theme, yeah.

and it's gotta be fun, and it's gotta be cool, and it's gotta be something just right...





So, we need a theme for the the ohio state university tailgate. So far we're planning: Mediterranean (fiu); English (nd); Pro Lions (ie, culinary classics hailing from the different towns in which PSUers play pro ball- buffalo); Oktoberfest (iowa); Fiesta (wisky); French (purdon't); and Italian (Temple in Philly).

It's a late game - for which we, generally, try to pick a theme that lends itself to all day fare - breakfast, lunch, dinner and lots of snacks - also, the game is in late October - it could be very cold - or not - and the tailgate crowd will be quite large (50-100+) - so we need a subject that is versatile.

8/24/2007

PENN STATE v florida international

Penn State opens the 2007 College Football season on September 1st, by hosting the golden panthers of florida international. The former Sunblazers (changed to golden panthers in 1987) don uniforms of blue and old gold - I'll tell you now, you just need to retire all of your clothing, jewelry and accessories (check the hinges of your sunglasses please) that feature any gold, tan, or yellowish hue this season - we're playing a lot of _____ and yellow teams this season.

The panthers hail from the Miami area and call "university park" home - wait a minute... 1987, change the mascot to a mountain lion and ...

There isn't much to report on the football front regarding the panthers. Sadly, their most notorious moment as a team has nothing to do with football.

However, fiu, will enter Happy Valley with some experience at running back and a few returning seniors on defense.

As far as the tailgating goes, were looking forward to a great season - we've been planning some great themes and menus for the home games. To kick off the season we've planned...



Mediterranean Sea Food, of course! We'll have some grilled shrimp and complimentary sides (you look really tall today) including (but, certainly not limited to) white bean and rosemary dip, homemade hummus, tapenade, fresh fruit and cake!

Gametime is 12pm - and parking lots open at 7am - we'll be there when they open the gates and, as usual, we're planning on parking in Lot 13 - the parking maps have changed again this year - we expect to park in the section of the lot closer to the stadium - look for the PSU flag (ha ha ha ha)- for more detailed directions, email us for cell phone numbers.

Currently, Accuweather's forecast is promising - but after last year's opening game, we've learned to be ready for ANYTHING!

All are welcome - Let us know if you'll be attending so we can plan accordingly.

Go State!

2 the Lion!

Fan Fare Friday

oh my goodness - I can't believe that in one week we'll be all excited and trying to concentrate at work until it's time to hop in the car and drive up to State College! Yea! Football. It's almost Penn State Football Time!

The off-season seemed so long this year - but August has flown (whoosh!) by. We've been busy planning tailgates and preparing yummy yummy food!

One new recipe that was developed this summer will be featured a the first tailgate - homemade guacamole.

I like it limey (love the accent) and garlicy -

2 ripe avocados (if a 'cado feels soft you can confirm it's ripeness by removing the stem - if the area underneath is bright green, it's ready - thanks to girlfiend for that tip!)

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
juice from 2 limes (about 1/4 of a cup)
1 senorita or jalapeno (again, depending on taste - the jalapeno will, generally, be hotter) finely diced
1 tomato seeded and diced (or a handful of grape tomatoes, quartered)
salt and pepper to taste.

I know that there seems to be a glaring omission of onion - but I really don't care for raw onions - although I have made the above recipe and added some minced shallot or green onion.

SO!

1. Halve the avocados and. using that often demonstrated method, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a medium sized bowl; using a fork, cut up the pieces (ie, pre-mash).
2. Add the garlic, lime juice and pepper.
3. Mash all of the ingredients together until you get a chunky paste.
4. Fold in the tomatoes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips, in tacos, with fish, chicken, pork...

8/22/2007

It's Wednesday; I'm thirsty.

For the 2002 football season PSU issued to me a set of reserved parking passes which were BRIGHT pink (a fairly hysterical color really). Unfortunately, somewhere between driving up to State College for the first game of the season and Saturday morning, I LOST the whole set. We had to park in General Admission parking (and pay for it) and walk the extra distance to the tailgate. By the time we got to the site, I was pretty livid, at my own stupidity and the world, and I was ready for a beverage! Suz and I had concocted a new “favorite” drink that summer – which had remained nameless… until that afternoon…

PINK PARKING PASS
1 oz Vanilla Stolli
1/2 oz Chambord
Diet Coke

Add vodka and chambord to ice filled glass, stir
fill with cola, stir

Blue White Roundtable

I got the questions from RUTS - JB over at There Is No Name on My Jersey wrote the questions this week.

I'm gonna be a rebel like Bryan K and post my responses here!


1. We’ll start with the bad news, what is your take on PSU’s off-season? The team has stated they are focusing on winning a National Title, will these off-field shenanigans get in the way of that lofty goal?

I think that off season tomfoolery (if you will) always affects the team - hopefully the coaches and the players can refocus - of course, we as fans have to remember that these are young adults that really do have lives to live off of the field (NO WAY - not until they’ve used up those years of eligibility!).

2. Competition abounds! Give you take on the battle to start in the secondary. Do you prefer to have a rowdy competition or know who your guys will be?

Competition is good - indecision and uncertainty are bad. It’s time to start the season - let the kids know where they’re going to be so they can be ready.

3. Describe your behavior as a PSU fan. I know some who are hand wringing nervous pacers and others who are drunken revelers before the football gods — where do you fit?

I’d say I’m a nervous reveler. I get really caught up in the game and the excitement of it all. In the stadium, I’m one of those fans who yells on every defensive down - and on every offensive down I yell “throw the ball to Butler - yes, I realize he’s on the sideline - I don’t care!” I can usually be caught doing the same when watching the game on TV - although I am aware that "they can't hear you PSUgirl" (shut up and go home) the football gods can. I like to watch games with PSU fan friends, as long as they understand that I'm not going to be very social or "a good sport" during the game. I do pace, but I have a friend (with whom I regularly watch games) who is a runner - it's awesome.

LIGHTNING ROUND!
4. White Out, friend or foe? (I think the white-out is awesome but the blue unis are great! how do you reconcile this conundrum?)

Well, the players are rarely in the seats, so I don’t really see it as a problem - white background makes it easier to see the blue unis anyway. On a personal level, white is not the most flattering hue for my complexion - I much prefer a rich navy - but a little lip rouge and mascara will generally do the trick.

5. Who would you rather punch in the face: Lee Corso, Mark May, Lou Holtz, or Charlie Weiss?

I’ve only ever punched one person in my life, and that was only after he dared me to do it. And I doubt that it would do any good to hit any of those guys anyway: Lee would take it as a compliment; May would just keep talking; it would probably cause Lou to sthpit even more when he sthpeaks; and, Charlie would probably have you killed, bled out and then roasted on a rotisserie for lunch.

8/20/2007

I'll see to it Directly

Ah, finally, we have a channel...

DIRECTV CHANNEL 220
DIRECTV has designated its Channel 220 as the location of the Big Ten Network and will make the network available as part of its Choice programming package. The satellite provider has also committed to carrying the network's overflow games so subscribers will have access to all Big Ten Network games when multiple games are being produced.

8/16/2007

Just Lion Around...

Recently (I believe it was a Blue White Roundtable) someone posted that their pet peeve about tailgaters is the collections of stuffed animals. Really? That's worse than people stealing every last thing (every last ice cube) out of your cooler; or the evil parking attendants. or, people who encroach into your space and then promptly put up tarps and blast crazy music; or, neighboring tailgaters who throw eggs at you (okay, I really like that)?

I have a lion/football inspired collection - and I love it. Sure, most of the "lions" are not mountain lions, and yes, our mascot is not a bear holding a football - but, really, who are we to judge? If a little inanimate bear chooses to be a football fan, and, once his red/green ribbons have been permanently sheared away, a Penn State fan - then what's the harm. Not everyone can be a Nittany Lion, but that doesn't mean that they don't want to join in the fun.



My father and I had a tradition that every Easter I would get an "easter animal" (as it was rarely a bunny). He and I would go out shopping and I was allowed to pick out my present. I remember in particular that one year we went to every toy/gift store downtown and nothing was suitable - until we went out to the nittany mall and I picked out a Nittany Lion puppet - he was so cute (still is).

It may be silly or girly or whatever - but I don't care - they make me smile.

8/10/2007

You Look Marvelous...

So RUTS authored a post highlighting some of the more odious displays of PSU textiles available. It led me to ponder those items that I have in my PSU wardrobe.

Every year when we went back to school clothes shopping I would get a new Penn State sweatshirt - it was just part of your wardrobe. I have an exceptionally good friend who has worked in and around PSU merchandizing since we were in high school - she has been the source of many a "unique" PSU item. Both my mother and I are addicted to Moyer's Jeweler's PSU jewelry.

penn state clothing:

t-shirts:
navy:
1 orange bowl
1 B10 champs
1 v-neck w/paw
"I want my 2 seconds"

gray:
2 v-neck w/paw
baseball shirt w/blue sleeves

White:
"throw the ball to butler"
"fight on state"
psu v minne
2 long sleeve

other shirts:
navy button down
82 jersey
7 jersey
PSU maroon and orange shirt
navy tank

sweatshirts:
navy penn state

sweaters:
paw print cardigan
chipmunk pullover

Outdoor gear:
light jacket

Misc:
night shirt
pajamas
purse
gloves
tennis shoes
apron

Jewelry & hats:
baseball caps
necklaces
bracelets
rings
pins
earrings
barrettes

So, it's not a ton of stuff - I've, historically, attempted to fashion my gameday gear from blue and white non-logo items - but lately I've found more and more PSU t-shirts in my wardrobe.

My favorite item is, probably... my Nittany Lion cameo necklace from Moyer's Jewelers - I've had it for a long time and I love it - the only problem is that it's set in yellow gold - so it can't be worn for many games.

Fan Fare Friday

I posted our Psycho Joe recipe over at EDSBS the other day - so I thought I'd post it here along with some other "hot" drinks - cause there's nothing like 90 degree weather with high humidity to get you in the mood for some warm steamy drinks...

Psycho Joe

Ingredients:
3/4 oz kahlua
3/4 oz Peppermint schnapps
coffee (brewed or instant)

1. Put all ingredients in mixing glass
2. Shake (careful, it's hot)
3. Pour into coffee mug
4. Add sugar and cream if necessary

We added whipped cream to the recipe and "screaming" to the name


Jon's Mochachino

Ingredients:
1 packet instant cocoa
1 heaping tsp. instant coffee
hot water
1 oz butterscotch schnapps
whipped cream

1. Put cocoa and instant coffee in heat resistant cup
2. Add hot water, while stirring
3. Add butterscotch schnapps

Top with whipped cream

Variations: raspberry, mint, vanilla liquor

8/09/2007

Let the games begin...

Actually, they'll be here before we know it - it's that time of the off season when the palpitations kick in when you think about traveling up to State College, tailgating and hearing the Blue Band marching into the stadium for the first time (since blue white) this season. You find yourself clicking on the "driving to Penn State" and/or "PSU game day" playlists on your iPod and getting a little giddy about the opening bars of "Hail to the Lion" and jumping around the house to "Song 2".

And then there's the football. It's like there's an ache in your heart that can only be subsided by the sight and sounds of the game. I was panicking Sunday night because I couldn't find the Hall of Fame game (yes, I realize that it's pre-season NFL - but it's football!) - darn NFL network - I got to see the last quarter anyway.

All the anticipation and hope for the season has been bottling up since the win in the Outback Bowl. The Lions have a lot of talent returning to the team this season - and much of that talent has experience. But I have no idea what to expect from this team - the defense should be solid - but the secondary has had to (still has to) endure a lot of "off the field" distractions this off season and with the shifting of positions and some new men up front - it's going to take some time for the team to get in sync. On offense it's the same questions we seem to have every year - will the qb be able to throw the ball; if he is, will the receivers be able to catch it; will the o-line protect the qb and create lanes for the running game; and, will Austin Scott show up for team meetings?

Bit it's getting close. Soon we will be walking around the State College Wegmans chanting (roughly to the tune of Howdy Doody) "It's Penn State Football time!" (and yes, there is a dance).

8/07/2007

What will this year be like...

...I wonder.

Many of the fine PSU blogs listed on the right have wonderful write-ups on the different aspects of the 2007 PSU team and their opponents,

I don't make any predictions due to an ancient and ingrained fear of the jinx -

However,

I expect PSU to be competitive in every game they play this season - I still have (horrible) memories of the 2000 season when the kids were just "ho - hum" hanging their heads on the sideline and slouching their shoulders - there was no spark - no urgency. In 2001 - (they were robbed of a winning season) - it really was "but for a few plays" - and there was some excitement back in the team - the years that must not be named were brutal (seriously, you want to discuss dropped passes?)- but, again, there were glimmers of hope - 2005 was, as you know, off the charts awesome -

Unfortunately, last season there, again, seemed to be a sluggishness on the team - a sort of going through the motions - there were some great moments (like Deon breaking the receiving record and the defensive effort against tenn) but I just didn't see the sustained intensity that was so apparent with the '05 team.

There have been many distractions this year - most of them having nothing to do with athletics - and the consequences are yet to be fully realized. We know that the team can rally to the aid of one - here's hoping that they can show as much solidarity and commitment at game time.

PSU is searching for leaders on their team - players who love the game and motivate their teammates off and on the field. These kids know "it" can happen (most were around in '05) but they have to figure out how to make it happen.

8/06/2007

Practice makes perfect...

Football practice begins today. Less than one month before the season opener - the Nittany Lions are sitting in the national polls in the high teens.

And, for my part, tonight we'll be "test driving" a few grilled fish recipes (in prepartation for the FI game tailgate) - should be fun!

8/03/2007

Fan Fare Friday

Uncle Al's Burnt Kielbasa





The recipe is simple but the actual charring of the links is critical to achieving the true experience.

Ingredients:
Smoked Polish Kielbasa

Grill the Kielbasa (on charcoal or propane) until charred on all sides. Remove from grill. If grilling at the game, transfer to dish. If not grilling at the game, wrap in aluminum foil and leave in warming oven until leaving for game.

Cut into pieces approximately 1 – 1-½ inches & stick with toothpicks. Serve alongside dipping mustard.

8/02/2007

Temple T - stands for tickets

The PSU game is really temple's marquee home game - and the owls are doing what they can to capitalize on the Nov 10th event.

The process of obtaining tickets for the Penn State v. temple has been a bit of an online adventure - Early on there were tickets tickets available - but only if you purchased a "bundle" of tickets - that is, you bought your PSU ticket for (at least) $75 and you also got tickets to 2 other temple games -

This week there has been a "pre-sale" for single tickets - $40 - $70 a piece. The pre-sale is, technically, for temple people - but hey! I graduated from temple!

While in grad school, I went to an "away" PSU Temple game - i got my tickets through temple - the stadium was packed with Penn Staters - but we were sitting with temple fans - they were very nice - and we weren't jerks - so it all worked out fine.