The Things You Have Missed.

My father, the reason why I, and, in my opinion, the people around me, are such fantastic and ardent Penn State Football fans has been gone (as they say) for quite some time now.

There are many moments in the history of our family, country and world that he has missed.  Or, at least, we have missed him.  But, really, isn't it the history of sports and especially Penn State what really matters?

I am not sorry that he missed the dark years  (or, as Ron Weasley would say "the years that shall not be named") - I have no idea what he would have thought.  He would have been really disappointed in 2000 - the team was so sullen and lacked spark.  Their win over (Drew Brees) Purdue was a bright(ish) spot - but it was just a bad season.  2001 had some glimmers - I would have loved it if Pop could have seen 324 - he'd have been so proud, having witnessed so many of the Ws.  2003 and 2004 were, obviously, devastating on the scoreboard - but they were actually a little "better" on the field - he would have seen some hope (ie Paul Posluszny) for the future.

And, of course, the one thing that really developed during those years was the tailgate.  I can't say that I would have gone to as many games if Dad were still around - shameful, I know, but truthful.  When Daddy was around, I made it home to State College for 1 or 2 games a season - since he's been gone, I've missed 3 home games (total) - and for each missed game I was out of the country (oddly enough, they won them all - no, I will not move).  By 2003 we had started our own solo tailgate (To the Lion) and by 2005 we had a website, 2 blogs and a whole new crew of enthusiastic tailgaters.  Pop would be proud of and impressed by our group - although I can imagine that he'd think it a little silly that I insist that we have a different theme every week.  He'd definitely love the food - and he'd be pleased that we surround ourselves with fun, energetic and intelligent folks.

The 2005 team would have, as it did for all of us, reaffirmed his hope for the future of the team.  I think that he would have cautiously (but optimistically) supported the slew of "babies" that took the field that season - any doubts would have been quelled by the end of the Northwestern game.  I like to think his favorite would have been Deon Butler (THROW THE BALL TO BUTLER!) - he probably would have liked Jordan Norwood.

He would have been so frustrated with the coaching staff in 2006 and 2007 (surprise?) - but listen, Dad was calling for Joe Paterno's head every season (starting around 1976) - so that wouldn't have been anything new.

He definitely would have appreciated the 2008 season for it's high points - and he would still blame Iowa.  But then again, he would be so proud of our "best darn formerly non-award winning tailgate, ever" (did I mention there is a banner?)

Oh, he would have been sooo in love the the women's volleyball team - and rightfully so.

There isn't a day that I don't think of my Dad - and there isn't a sporting event that I watch or enjoy without wishing he were there (or at least available to call and ask "did you see that?!?!?!?!").  But, in my heart, especially my football heart, I know he's already there.


Welcome to the Big Ten University of Nebraska

I watched the press conference held at the University of Nebrasaka.  I think it's important to get to know our new brethen:

NU (as they are called) is a fellow Land Grant University and obviously a member of the AAU.  It is also a high research university.  Nebraska has 140 undergraduate programs serving 22,000 undergraduate students. 

And some things that caught my attention:

**More expansion is possible.  Big12Ten Commish Jim Delany stated they are still following the 12-18 month timeline on expasion.  Just like before though, he wasn't being specific on who.

**The B12Ten Network will begin airing Nebraska athletics July 1.  They will begin playing in our conference July 2011.  Awesome!!!

**There is no idea as to if they are going to change the name of the conference. 

And this is their mascot.  Oh the fun!


You've Been Served USC

ESPN is announcing that USC will be punished by a two year post season ban, loss of scholarships and forfeiture of wins from 2004. 

I don't know about you, but I think this was a great day in college football.


Let the Word go out to Friend and Foe Alike; Nebraska joins the Big Ten?

According to sources that are (these days) just about as reputable as you can hope for - I'm, of course, referring to Twitter - the Nebraska board of regents has given the green light for the Cornhuskers to join the Big Ten.

So much for the 12 - 18 month "exploration process."

In the wake of Nebraska and Missouri ("Mizzou") receiving the proverbial "rose" from the Big Ten, and with the Pac Ten's announcement (intention) that they could (will) offer invitations to some 6 Big 12 schools, the Big 12, reportedly, issued an ultimatum to Nebraska and Mizzou - "Pledge loyalty or get out."

The deadline is Friday - and it's expected that Nebraska officials will make it, well, official.

What this means for the future of college football is uncertain (at the very least) but this is obviously not going to be a typical off-season.


Our Baby is ready for Kindergarten; 2theLion is Five (5).

Our wittle blog turns five (5) this week (June 6th, to be exact) - It's a monumental year, for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is this anniversary!  (2theLion.com is 5 as well, as is 2theLion/Diesel Tailgate - and other stuff too).

So, I proclaim this the week of celebration!!!!

There should be a cake.