11/26/2008

Smarty Pants.

Penn State is #1 in Football - Academic All Americans, that is.

5 Penn Staters were named to the Academic All America Teams - with 4 earning First team honors.

First team AAAs include senior tackle Gerald Cadogan (also a 2007 honoree), Senior linebacker, Josh Hull, senior safety, Mark Rubin, and junior long snapper, Andrew Pitz. Sophomore guard, Stefen Wisniewski received 2nd team honors.

5 players on the list is a team record, and good enough to lead not only the Big Ten, but the nation.

Excellent work.

Bravo!

Vote for Aaron Maybin!

for the Bednarik Award!

11/25/2008

Wah. Time to "clean up" the Spreadshirt Account.

Over the last few years it has been a lot of fun creating different shirts through Spreadshirt - 

Heal quickly Danny Boy...

I guess we can retire this one - because we FINALLY got those damn seconds back!


My all time favorite cheer - and my all time favorite shirt...


Or for those who are better with pictures (maybe, say, Jay)





I guess we can/should wait until after the bowl game...

We Definitely Need More Cowbell!!!! PSU dominates All Big Ten Team.

Joe Paterno - Big Ten Coach of the Year!

Last night the Big Ten (officially) announced its All Big Ten Team(s).

And, as they did on the field and in the statistics, Penn State led the way.

10 Nittany Lions made the Coaches' First Team All Big Ten list.

6 on Offense:

Quarterback: Daryll Clark, Penn State
Receiver: Derrick Williams
Center: A.Q. Shipley
Guard: Rich Ohrnberger
Tackle: Gerald Cadogan
Kicker: Kevin Kelly

A.Q. Shipley won the Offensive Lineman of the Year honor.

And 4 Lions were named to the Defense:

Line: Aaron Maybin
Line: Jared Odrick
Linebacker: Navorro Bowman
Defensive Back: Anthony Scirrotto

Evan Royster (RB) and Stefen Wisniewski (G) were named to the 2nd B10 Offensive Team.

A number of Nittany Lions received "Honorable Mention" - Jeremy Boone, Tony Davis, Dennis Landolt, Jordan Norwood, Mark Rubin, Tyrell Sales and Lydell Sargeant.

Gerald Cadogan won the PSU "Sportsmanship Award" (one scholarship honoree from each B10 school).

The Media team differed somewhat (somewhat good, somewhat bad...)

Deon Butler (absent from the coaches' list) was named 2nd team B10; but then, so was DW.

Lydell Sargeant is on the 2nd Team at D-back, where he is joined by "bumped" Odrick and Scirrotto.

The Media Honorable Mentions include: Jeremy Boone, Tony Davis, Josh Gaines, Dennis Landolt, Mark Rubin, Stefen Wisniewski.


And Joe Paterno, beating out some pretty successful guys, was named Big Ten Coach of the Year (chosen by the Media) for the 3rd time.

11/24/2008

Darryl Clark - B10 PoW

Darryl Clark has been named as Big Ten Offensive (co) Player of the Week - following his stellar performance on Saturday against the msu spartans.

This is Clark's 2nd Player of the Week honor this season.

All Big Ten Team Announced Today.

The Big Ten will announce its 2008 All Big Ten Team live today (Monday Nov. 24th) on the Big Ten Network at 7:30pm (EST).


Any speculation?

Will any Penn Staters be named to the teams (coaches and press teams are announced).

Will Clark, Williams, Royster, Shippley, Butler or Norwood get any mention?

What about Maybin, Gaines, Bowman, Odrick or Boone?

How about Kevin Kelly?

I guess we'll find out tonight!

Busy Weekend!

Penn State has a New Trophy and Joe has a new Hip.

11/21/2008

On our way...

to State College today!

We're heading up to SC this afternoon for the final game of the 2008 regular season and the final home game for the "class of '05" - by class I mean the standard - and by '05 I mean - well - the year, 2005.

Tomorrow we will bid a fond farewell to the kids who chose Penn State when it was at its lowest - and they worked together to bring Penn State "back".

The weather forecast may be chilly - but the stadium will be warm with gratitude - which is a good thing -it may help keep the pre-game tears from freezing

11/19/2008

what's that? You want to see more pix from Homecoming?

What a great idea!

Here are a few more pix that have "rolled" in from homecoming. We showed Mom the DVD slideshow this past weekend. She was impressed and lamented that she hadn't made the 3 mile trip to the stadium to check it out - lesson learned...

That's the turkey roulade - basically, it's a boneless turkey breast "filleted" to be one continuous strip - rolled with chopped herbs and garlic - then wrapped in bacon and roasted.  It is resting on a comfy and delicious bed of wild rice pilaf.  

Btw, Suz made the template for the RV from scratch - she first made a model out of foam board and then used the pieces to cut out the gingerbread.  On Friday, Michelle came over to Mom's house to help decorate - they did such a great job.


Here's a nice shot of the "total look" - buffet table, desserts and living room...


The crown roast of pork - we had more trouble ordering that darn piece of meat than we had with any other part of the planning.  But it turned out great!  Erica, with special instructions from Mrs. TC, did a wonderful job making the "hats" for  the roast.

One last picture of the dessert table - featuring:  christmas cookies; snowman chocolate pops; bon-bon tree; 7 layer jello salad; cupcakes with chocolate snowflakes and poinsettias; and, the buche de noel.

In case you were wondering...

The Scottish Flag looks like this:



Yes, we're having an Australian theme - not Scottish - but we don't have an Australian flag - and the aussie flag has red in it anyway - and tons of Scots have settled in Australia over its history (ie Rupert Murdoch, and Mary, Crown Princess of Demark) so it just seems to be the most appropriate out of the blue and white flags available.

It's going to be Great - or as they say in Scotland...

actually, it's going to be windy and cold.  There is a chance for snow accumulation on Friday night (less than 2") - and a few flurries on Saturday - but mainly - it's going to be cold.

The air temp will hover around 30-35 degrees - but it's going to be breezy - so the "real feel" plummets about 10 degrees.

That's probably the coldest forecast I can remember in recent years - ages past I remember sitting in the stadium during ice storms and frigid temps.

This all lends itself very easily to another series of tailgating tips...

Staying warm throughout the day should be your main priority: 
  • Warm clothing - layers that are dry and snug to the body will keep you the warmest 
  • boots/shoes with thick soles and warm/dry socks - this will help keep the chill from the ground and the metal/concrete stadium floors from traveling up your legs.
  • in the tailgating lots - if you have a canopy, put up a few walls (or tarps) to keep out some of the wind - 
  • if you have portable heaters/stoves/grills - make sure that you follow the safety instructions - be sure to have proper ventilation and keep them away from flammable items  
Another good way to stay warm is with your food/beverage choices:
  • you want food that is easy to eat - especially if your guest are wearing mittens/gloves
  • bite size foods that you can eat with a fork or spoon are good choices - soups, stews, pot pies, etc.
  • warm food and beverages will help keep everyone happy
  • pick foods that can "take" prolonged heating and reheating - 
  • prepare/cook before you get to the parking lot - so all you have to do is reheat the food with little fuss.
Be prepared:
  • bring extra propane canisters - it's likely that you will be serving more "hot" food and beverages - so you will want to be able to keep the fires burning.
  • extra water and heat safe cups for hot drinks
  • get some hunter's "hand warmers" for your hands and feet
  • remember that there are heated bathrooms on the outside of the stadium that are accessible before the game

11/18/2008

PENN STATE v msu - Put the Billy on - it's gonna be cold

It's the end of the season as we know it,

Regular season, that is.

Penn State and michigan state meet up this weekend for Senior Day at Penn State. The spartans erased at 17 point deficit to defeat the Lions last year, and the PSU team and fans are eager for the Land Grant Trophy to return to Happy Valley.

Kick off is at 3:30pm (EST) and will be televised on the ABC family of sports channels (ie ESPN).

msu wears green - this should be an easy color to avoid - in both garb and fare.

The weather forecast is for COLD - cold - cold and more cold. The 3:30pm start means that it will be dark before the end of the (first half) game and will, therefore, get even colder. Wear layers and bring warm socks and a hat. A cozy warm down parka is great - but if your feet and head get cold - you won't really care.

Our theme this week is "Australian Pub - It's beer o'clock" - last year at this time Suz was in the land of Oz on a business trip - she brought home some fun tailgating flare and recipe ideas. As it is springtime now in Australia we thought it might help us stay warm dining on some warm meat pies, hot roast beef sandwiches, hot coffees, etc.

The Parking Lots open at 8am, and yes, we'll be there when they open. We may not get out of the car - but we'll be there. We'll be parking in the "general parking area of Lot 13 - email for directions and/or cell phone #s if you need them. We'll be flying our PSU flag and the flag of Scotland. Click here for the PDF of the parking map.

Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you there! -

To the Lion!

Newsletters are Posted

The always glamourous and awesome Janelle has taken over as editor and chief of the Tailgating Newsletter -

You'll find them posted here.

11/17/2008

The rainbow was pretty...

Of course, by then, I had my camera stowed away in the back seat - so no pix of that (sorry!).

It was a fun day. Even with the smelly weather.

We got to the lots around 6:20(am) - we were the 4th car in line - and it was quite a while before we had company. But, by 7am the cars were lined up on Park Ave.

It was a dark and stormy day.

but all things considered, it was fairly warm and it could have been a lot worse.

We set up the stove under the IKEA patio umbrella (purchased at least 4 years ago and never taken out of plastic wrap until this week)and we served up some breakfast of eggs and crispy crowns (it's all the crunch and none of the mush). Later we heated up the potato and leek soup and white bean chili (yum!) - we also had pierogis, and, of course, kielbasa.

The game was a bit frustrating (or flustrating) - for the first half anyway. I was not pleased with the team's performance - but things got better in the 2nd half - and I even caught a touchdown on "film"
- it's the first (or one of the few) time(s) when I just "hold up the camera and shoot" that I actually go a picture of the action - and not some guy's shoulder.

We packed up after the game and got on the road quickly - we were moving along nicely until we hit Toftrees Ave (or whatever it's called) where we sat (creeping forward) for almost an hour. Finally in Park Forest we discovered that the power had gone out on that side of town. We didn't get (full) power back at Mom's until 8pm -

11/14/2008

9 hours of daylight; 12 hours of rain.

That's the forecast for tomorrow - November 15th.

Yippee!

The only "good" news is that it isn't supposed to be "a lot" of rain (just .33") and the air temp won't be too bad.


Wind gusts - that's a little concerning - but hey - we've survived worse.


Here are a few tips for the rainy day tailgate:
The set up:
  • if you haven't already, invest in a pop up canopy. You don't want to be out in the rain trying to assemble anything - 
  • Bring tarps - if you have the fancy canopy walls - use them - but you can also use regular tarps and plastic drop cloths on the sides of the canopy - use clamps to secure the "walls." 
  • Another great use for a tarp is as a "floor."  Generally, with a weather forecast like this weekend's, the ground is going to be wet and muddy - a plastic tarp on the ground will help keep you and your tailgating gear clean(er).  We'll even bring 2 pairs of shoes - one pair for "in the tent" and one pair for outside.
  • We also bring an extra tarp to "link" to the car/truck - using the hatch (or other means) to elevate the tarp and securing with clamps.  This way we can keep a lot of the tailgating supplies off of the ground and out of the elements without having to "go outside" every time we need something.
  • Pay attention to/for any pooling and devise a "gutter system" if necessary - believe it or not - hoola hoops work really well to arc the canopy top if it has a tendency to sag - just slide them between the top beams and the cover 
  • Keep propane appliances out from under the closed in area and be wary of flammable items and ventilation.


The Food:
  • Keep the food simple.  You don't want to be running back and forth to the grill/stove - 
  • Most of your guests will be huddled around in your tent(s) - to maximize on "huddling" space - set up your table(s) "against" one of the tarp walls  
  • Sog-proof your food- put out chips/bread/etc in small amounts - keeping the extras in sealed bags.




Clothing:
  • Bring an extra...everything:  socks; shoes/boots; pants; hats; sweatshirts, etc.
  • Best to leave your pretty sweaters at home - wear weatherproof and jersey type clothing
  • hats - baseball - serves as an extra awning to keep the rain off
  • rain gear - the full suit of rain gear is really the only way to stay dry.  Ponchos are fine for walking around and/or standing at the tailgate - but you need the rubber pants to stay dry in the stadium.  I usually change into the "gear" before heading into the game.



Most of all - remember to still stop by and say hello to your tailgating neighbors and that the rainy days can be just as fun and the sunny ones - 

11/13/2008

Have you seen the forecast for next Saturday?

Per accuweather...

Saturday, Nov 22

High: 34 °F RealFeel®: 14 °F
Cold with periods of snow
Saturday Night, Nov 22

Low: 21 °F RealFeel®: 3 °F
Windy and cold with periods of snow


oh my.

11/12/2008

For some bizarre reason...

I can't stop pronouncing "hoosier" as "ooo-zee-aye" in my head.


It must be that darn Quebecois flag.




picture of Q-be-koy flag from wikipedia.

hoosier sez what?

From the Tailgate email:

Well - yes, there are some football games left...

and some tailgating to be done!

Penn State hosts the indiana hoosiers this Saturday (November 15th) at 12pm (EST). This is Penn State's first home game in (nearly) a month - and we're all looking forward to seeing our Lions again.

The hoosiers are one of those "red" teams - so try to avoid the red parkas and flannels because,

it's going to be cold - and, possibly, rainy. Check accuweather.com for the latest forecast - and bring your warm boots and extra socks - just in case.

The parking lots open at 7am - and we'll be there, waiting in line, when they do.

We'll be parking in the "general parking" area of Lot 13 - email for directions and/or cell phone numbers if you need them. Click here for the parking map pdf. This week we'll be flying our Penn State flag along with the flag of Quebec (that is, if I can find it).

In deference to the cold(ish) weather, we'll be featuring hot soups and snacks at the tailgate this week.

We'll be tailgating before and (hopefully) after the game - as always, all are welcome. Contributions are welcome but not mandatory.


To the Lion!

11/10/2008

Penn State v michigan state Kickoff time

The Lions' final game of the regular season (Nov. 22nd) will kick off at 3:30pm and be televised on ABC.

Indiana start time 12pm.

Which is a good thing - because the last time I looked at the weather report - it wasn't pretty.

The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Parking Lots will open at 7am - and yes, we'll be there.

I'll be posting more (and sending around an email) about the tailgate soon.

11/09/2008

Ugh. I ate a bug.

Well now. That was pretty terrible.

So, remember how Joe Paterno spent about 4 years saying that "we're just a play or two away from being a really good football team"?

There were about 10 of those "plays" last night.

Obviously, PSU's first possession was abject failure. They were given that fumble on the 1 yard line. It's sorta sad that I was yelling at the TV - "Take the safety!!!" - but right there - that would have won the game (in the first 1/2 the defense was stopping the iowa offense - given an 80 yard field - versus 25 - Iowa doesn't score that touchdown.

Red zone play calling was just sad - touchdowns versus field goals- PSU wins.

Dropped passes from Jordan Norwood (????) and Andrew Quarless running before he caught the ball.

These were mistakes that other teams (from other schools and seasons past) make - not this squad - or so I had led myself to believe.

The defenisive scheme in the second half lost the game.

Soft zone coverage with the d-backs lining up 10 yards off of the line of scrimmage guaranteed first downs against. Nevermind Anthony Scirotto's penalty - his coverage was much more of a negative factor.

On offense, obviously the interception proved to be the critical play - but the holding penalty before set it up. The lack of a score on that drive - and PSU's "bend over" defense sealed PSU's fate in a game in which (and no, I don't care about the weather or the wind or the lack of heaters on the sideline) Penn State did not look like a team that deserved to be whining about its lack of BCS respect.

I heartily hope that Penn State wins the rest of their games - and I hope that they win the big ten - but I was not impressed with the team, coaching, game plan, preparation (for opposition and/or elements) - Kevin Kelly played pretty well - and had PSU won - Derrick Williams would have had the game of his career.

One faction that I can not blame - the officials - not even a little bit.

Yes, I'm sad and angry that Penn State lost to Iowa - and that they've lost any chance at the "dream season" - but I'm more disappointed that this team isn't what I had built them up to be in my own opinion - and that smells.

11/07/2008

Game Away, Game Away, Game Away that you got to survive.

---to the tune of Real McCoy's "Run Away" - y'know, the Lexus commercial from about 4 years ago...

okay, maybe not -

but anyway - Saturday is PSU's fifth and final away game of the season. They travel to Iowa City, Iowa (hmmm, there's a clue in there - I just know it) - and I'm traveling down to Center City Philadelphia to watch the game.

Where do you watch away games?

Generally - I like (need) to be in a safe and comfortable environment - a place where the people know me and my habits. And it's usually best that I'm not near any remote controls or anything else "throwable".

I love Penn State - and Penn State fans - and I love sitting with 100,000 people at home games - but I'm not good around crowds when I watch away games - I get distracted, and annoyed and kinda nasty about people wearing the wrong colors and/or breathing. But most people who know me - know this about me - and they (run away - cue music) understand.

I've gone to friends' homes and PSU alumni events and bars/restaurants in the past - but that was mainly during the dark years - so I've chosen to condemn the practice.

This season I've watched the away games at home and in State College (at Mom's home - so that's kinda at home as well) - the largest crowd has been 3 (the smallest? 1).

This weekend I'll be at a semi-private venue - The Union League in Philadelphia. But I'm not sure that the Good Old Boy network is ready for my brand of crazy - or that I'll be able to compose a suitable and karmic outfit of Navy with no denim, black or yellow (or derivation there of).

GO STATE - WIN!

11/04/2008

GO VOTE!

It's election day and whether you're a Paterno Republican or a Paterno Democrat - make sure that you get out to the polls and vote.

11/03/2008

And so it begins.

May I remind everyone that the first order of business is for Penn State to beat iowa this weekend.

After that, one's secondary and tertiary alliances should fall to the Tigers of LSU and the Ok State Cowboys (we aleady love their coach!).

And yes. They (or their weekly replacements) must win.

Why? Here's why.

Penn State is currently ranked 2nd in the Harris and USA Today Polls (of course they are #3 in the AP, but that doesn't really matter) - regardless of this, Penn State is ranked 3rd in the BCS standings.

Because of the computers - and sure the computers themselves are unbiased - but the software is completely subjective. And PSU's strength of schedule and "quality wins" are lacking when compared to the surrounding teams in the top 5. And it's only going to get worse.

We not only have to root for the teams playing the other undefeated squads - we have to hope for "help" against the 1 loss teams as well. Currently, even with the loss on Saturday, Texas is ranked #3 by the computers (PSU is #4 - texas tech and alabama are tied for #1); the Longhorns are ranked in the human polls #6 and #7 - but their computer ranking boosts them to #4 in the BSC standings. Texas' remaining schedule (including the Big 12 championship game) is very winnable. If the gators or the sooners stumble, and if tt loses, Texas, with a higher "human" ranking could end up at #2 in the BCS. Florida, currently ranked #5 by the computer, could see that ranking spike if they win out - especially if they are the team to hand Alabama their only loss.

After PSU wins on Saturday (whoo!) - if the Tigers are successful, then, logic follows that PSU is ranked #1 in the human polls - They will, most hopefully likely, then be in the top 2 in the BCS. If the Cowboys win - then PSU is still in the top two - but not as securely.

What the Nittany Lions need is to win their remaining games - no doubt about it - but they are going to also need some seriously positive karma for the remaining opponents of their top 5 neighbors.

But it had to happen this way - because texas will likely win their remaining regular season games - so this is a necessary storm to weather.

Just focus your fan energy on Penn State winning every game they play - That's all we can do.

GO STATE BEAT THE HAWKEYES!!!