Because I'm Sad.

Another re-post.

And let me be very clear - if they ever try to take down that wall (next to the entrance to the All Sports Museum) you will likely see me on the news...


Perhaps it's a little morbid -

but it's really special too - and somewhat the genesis of all we now do. The phrase "To the Lion" is what my dad (and his cronies) used to say after every PSU score - they'd raise their respective glass(es) and toast the team. It was the most consistent and personal PSUism that I could remember my father uttering. When Pop passed away, suddenly, in 1999, my mother and I found ourselves confronted with many decisions and choices to make in a very short time. One such choice was if we wanted any special message on his grave marker (I warned you this was morbid) - my mom looked at me and asked "Fight on State?" - I half smiled and said "To the Lion."

Since then, "To the Lion" has been my Penn State motto, moniker, etc. When PSU was selling "bricks" for the new addition to the stadium, I bought one for Dad, complete with the slogan, "To the Lion" (see photo). We have, subsequently, named our tailgate, website and blogs accordingly. Slowly, but surely, we are branding ourselves with accessories (both tailgating and apparel) sporting the slogan. 


Love is Sometimes Having to Say You're Sorry

From Valentine's Day, 2008 - unedited memory from when things were simpler.

I will say that most of this is still true to me - although I would amend paragraph 7:

7.  The Penn State Way. True, right, wrong or false, I love Penn State. (whether or not this opinion be held by all) - The tradition of guiding young people to be the best students, athletes and members of society that they can be - is something that will endure. 

 - because sometimes love hurts a lot - and further emphasize paragraph 4....


I heart Penn State

Happy Valentine's Day.

In honor of the Roman Martyr, who may or may not have been a priest, or a bishop or seven different people, only later to be romanticized by Geoffrey Chaucer, and eventually removed from the Calendar of Saints, I thought I'd list some of the things that I love about Penn State Football (my true Valentine):

1. The uniforms. Navy is such a flattering color - and an investment in a jersey is an investment for life - no worries about whose name is on the back.

2. Tailgating - (get out, really?) I love cooking, eating, and entertaining in the cow pastures. I grew up tailgating over on the East side of the stadium, so I'm a grass purest. Sure it can be convenient to be on the pavement in bad weather - but nothing, nothing, beats standing in a field, with great friends, with good food and drink, toasting the Nittany Lions, nothing.

3. Defense - it's my favorite. Offense is exciting and necessary - but the real thrill is when the Defense is on the field. I love cheering on the squad - it's also when the crowd can really get into it and try to be a factor. Tipped passes, interceptions, blocked kicks - those are the best.

4. Paul Posluszny and players of his ilk - this would include, Sean Lee, Tamba Hali, Kenny Jackson, to name just a few. The fellas that just embody the "Penn State Player" - their enthusiasm for the game and their school is contagious. Smart kids with what appear to be good hearts who truly appreciate what they are doing. These are the kids who warm (and on occasion, mend) my Penn State Heart.

5. Pre-game. I love the Blue Band - sure they can be cheesy - but they really are great and they play my favorite songs every week - I love the drum major and the "flip" - no matter how late it is in the season - I get a rush walking through the gangway into the stadium - filled with the familiar sounds of cheering fans and Penn State fight songs.

6. State College - as soon as I get on the 322 by-pass I start to smile - it's such a great little town -

7. The Penn State Way. True, right, wrong or false I love the reputation that Penn State projects (whether or not it be held by all) - The tradition of guiding young people to be the best students, athletes and members of society that they can be - and winning more than a few games along the way. This is perhaps why it stings a little more when the kids deviate from our "image" of them - but sometimes love hurts.

So that's just a quick list - there are innumerable reasons for why I love this team -

It's a Theory

so, without much sleep -

It's impossible to know what will happen before Saturday - but here's my theory on why McQueary, Curley and Schultz still have jobs/awaiting retirement:

As I see it - there are 2 possibilities:

1.  The BOT knew more than they said they did (when asked, said they had the same information as the public) and they know that more info is going to come out about Paterno's past knowledge and participation in the culture of non-reporting and it will be found that McQueary was forced to not report and testify the way he did and that Curley and Schultz were mere pawns in the situation.

2. Curley and Schultz have clauses in their contracts covering certain situations and their legal defense and PSU needs McQueary to relay the plays on Saturday.

Cynically, I think option 2 is more likely.


An Open Letter to My Dad...

Dad, I’m glad you’re not here.
This is only the second time in twelve years that I have thought that.  The first time was in September, 2001.
And now, with the events unfolding at our University, although I, as I do nearly every day, selfishly wish that you were here to tell me that everything was going to be okay, I know, in my heart, that you are lucky to be spared this disappointment. 
Penn State, and their glorious football team, was the thread that bound us. When I was an unruly child, or confusing adolescent, we would always come together for our Lions. I know that part of the reason I spent so much time memorizing player names, game rules and historic scores was because it seemed to please you when your “wittle girl” could act as a human stats page for your friends. 
I know that there were things that we did together that weren’t Penn State related, one such thing being our faith, which has been invaluable to me - you were my favorite person on the planet, with or without PSU, but the school and the culture of Penn State is so intrenched in our past, and in my memories, that it’s difficult for me to think of one without the other.
I was so proud of you when you taught B-Log (those letters mean something different now, btw) at University Park and Altoona; I remember when you let me grade the multiple choice portions of the tests, and how much you cared about how each student was doing.
I’d make recordings of the Blue Band for your work commute, and you would joke that you almost wrecked the car when you tried to stand up during the alma mater.
Daddy, this week they are going to ask us to sing the alma mater and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it.
You were proud to be a Penn State fan.  
Sure there were times when you were frustrated and disappointed, and you were never a big fan of “game day Joe.” But your admiration and respect for Coach Paterno off the field was steadfast.  He has announced his retirement - he is standing beside his players and the University - he has admitted that he wishes he had done more. 
The actions and inactions and continued negative behavior of others has rocked me to my core.  I know that I am not a victim in this situation, but I do feel helpless. I don’t know Pop - I just don’t know.
What I do know, is that the ideals that we were taught and believed ineven if they haven't been upheld by those who were trusted, are still true. You never got to see Adam Taliaferro play or his victory over adversity - he is still true. You never got to see how the kids camp out in tents to get tickets and how they rally around all the Penn State sports - they are still true. You never got to see how my friends and I have grown and shone as Penn Staters (tailgaters) and people - we are still true.
So Daddy, while I am glad that you haven’t had to bear the anguish of these last few days or to ache for the children who were harmed - I am glad that I do have my memories of you to reassure me that what we’ve believed all these years is true because we make it so.  We Are.