12/31/2012

Round 3 Voting - 2theLion BCS Championship

Vote for your favorites - but a warning - many of these match-ups are brutal...

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Round 3 - The Contenders; 2theLion BCS Championships.

Any and all of the remaining candidates easily fit the moniker - Bestest, Cutest, Smartest Penn Stater.

But our task is to choose a Champion, and so we soldier on...

The 2theLion BCS Third Round Match-ups:

Match-up #1: Mauti vs Norwood

Michael Mauti



Jordan Norwood




Match-up #2: McGloin vs Clark

Matt McGloin



Darryl Clark




Match-up #3: Cappelletti vs Jackson

John Cappelletti



Kenny Jackson

Go to the 4:00 minute mark - do it - it's awesome.




Match-up #3: Lee vs Ham (are you kidding me?)

Sean Lee



Jack Ham




Match-up #5: Posluszny vs Warner (this is cruel)

Paul Posluszny



Curt Warner




Match-up #6: Williams vs O'Brien

Derrick Williams



Bill O'Brien




Match-up #7: Robinson vs Arrington (this one will hurt)

Michael Robinson



LaVar Arrington




Match-up #8: Carter vs Butler (I may cry)

Ki-Jana Carter



Deon Butler

12/28/2012

Round 2 Voting Group II - 2theLion BCS!

Group II of Round 2 - There are some seriously tough match-ups here...

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12/27/2012

Round 2 Voting! 2theLion BCS

Round 2 - Group I Vote for your favorite Penn Staters as we make our way closer to crowning our BCS Champion!!
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The Penn Staters moving on to the 2nd Round..

From the Penn Division:

Michael Mauti lived up to his #1 seeding. He'll face John Urschel, who upended Zach Mills.

Jordan Norwood out-lasted a serge of votes for Tony Pittman to make it to the 2nd Round. Up next for
Norwood is Pro-Bowler, Navarro Bowman.

Matt McGloin came out on top in a really close race against Matt Bahr. He's going to have to bring on the Moxie and more for his next match-up against Shane Conlan.

Franco Harris might have some critics in the media, but he's still a hit with the BCS voters - he soars into the 2nd Round to face equally popular, Darryl Clark.

In the State Division:

John Cappalletti rushed into the next round (had har). By ONE, yes, ONE vote, Kyle Brady edged out Mike Reid to be Cappelletti's next opponent.

In a little bit of an upset, Bryan Scott made it past Joy Paterno; he'll go up against Kenny Jackson in the 2nd Round. Jackson spun past Rosey by again, ONE VOTE!

Sean Lee moves into the 2nd Round to face Evan Royster.

Jack Ham scored over initial-mate Jordan Hill; he meets Todd Blackledge in the next round.

How the Nittany Division ended:

With really no surprise, Paul Posluszny storms into the 2nd Round. His next victim match-up? Scott Radecic.

Apparently Mrs. Brown's pasta is even better, as Courtney upset Jimmy Cefalo. Curt Warner moves on with a convincing win.

Derrick Williams edged out Leo Wisniewski to move on to the second round, where he'll face the artful Matthew Rice.

Kerry Collins sails into the next round. Up next for Collins? Our esteemed coach, Bill O'Brien.

Lions Division Results:

Is it a case of age over beauty? Not sure, but Tom Bradley is moving on. Next up for Scrap? Deon Butler.

It was a close contest, but Dan Connor outlasted Lenny Moore. KiJana Carter is sure to be similarly tough opponent.

No suspense to this one, MRob cruises into the 2nd - we'll see next how he does against The Nittany Lion.

This one is tough for me to report - try not to cry - but then I'm guessing if you cared as much as I do, the voting would be different - LaVar convincingly topped Duffy Cobbs, and Spice (Anthony) Adams
trounced Coach Butler

12/24/2012

2theLion BCS Round One Final Group; Vote for (Duffy) your Favorite Lions!

It's the final group! Take a look and make sure to vote (for Duffy).


Michael Robinson vs Craig Fayak

Michael Robinson, QB (2001 - 2005)
Joe Paterno told Robinson that he’d be a pro-bowl fullback one day... But Michael Robinson wanted to be a quarterback. Discipline issues early on led to some serious doghouse time, but, and perhaps because of this, Robinson emerged one of the greatest leaders in the history of the team. He played as back-up qb (& everything else) finally earning the starting job in 2005. The team was in the grasp of defeat, having registered 4 losing seasons out of the last 5 and his offense was stocked with young, untested freshmen (“the babies”). But Robinson refused to lose; metaphoric of his college career, he started the season a little shaky, but once into Big Ten play (that is, once into the 4th quarter of the Northwestern game), he lifted the team on his shoulders and led them to an 11 - 1 season. Oh, and last January, Robinson played in his first Pro-Bowl... as a fullback. 



Craig Fayak, Kicker (1990-1993)

What will Craig Fayak always be remembered for? One kick. One kick against notre dame at south bend. Oh, and that was a riot.

 


OJ McDuffie vs The Nittany Lion

OJ McDuffie, WR, (1988-1992)
The stand-out player of the early '90s, McDuffie excelled on offense and special teams, finishing with 3723 total all-purpose yards. Selected in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft, OJ continued the (apparent) tradition of Penn State receivers playing for Florida pro teams, playing for the Miami Dolphins for 8 seasons.

The Nittany Lion (1904 - FOREVER)
Loyal and true. A legend, passed on from year to year; one that to which we pledge allegiance and always cherish dear. Of all the honored idols, it’s the one that stands the test. It is the Stately Nittany Lion and the symbol of our best.





LaVar Arrington v Duffy Cobbs

LaVar Arrington, LB (1997-1999)
A raw and explosive talent - that’s what LaVar Arrington possessed over so many others who have played the game. He had “linebacker spidey sense” of just knowing where the play was going and exactly how to attack it. Arrington went full-force, leaving it all on field. He will forever be remembered for him superhuman vertical reach and for his aptly awarded middle name “Leap.”

Duffy Cobbs, CB, 1982 - 1986
Cobbs red-shirted the year PSU won its first national championship (as did many of the men on its second). He was small, fast and solid. with an ability to read a play and execute for maximum impact. Without much fanfare, he and Ray Isom patrolled the secondary, pinpointing the angle of attack, and leaving opposing receivers with little more than the menacing echo of footsteps. Cobbs’ play in the National Championship game against Miami was, in a word, swarming - he defended, blitzed and “guessed right” all night.




Anthony Adams vs John Butler

Anthony Adams, DT (1999 - 2002)
This speaks for itself:

 

John Butler, Assistant Coach 2012 - Present
A Philadelphia kid who grew up with the Conlins (Keith, Chris, Kevin) and Craig Fitzgerald, Butler says that he always wanted to play at Penn State, but he was too small (& slow). He now has the opportunity coach for the Lions and is taking full advantage. PSU’s secondary was looking very thin and inexperienced; Butler took the challenge head-on and made the defensive backfield one of the most consistent and rounded parts of the team. His players say he’s intense, which is easily proven by watching him on the sidelines - an activity that isn’t hard on the eyes either.

Sean Lee v Kareem McKenzie

Sean Lee, LB (2005-2009)
Sean Lee came to Penn State in 2005. He was one of the few Pennsylvania “stars” to come to Penn State that year, and he made a quick and lasting impression. Despite the fact that he was competing to get on the field with the likes of Posluszny and Connor, Lee saw playing time as a true freshman. A brilliant student, of finance and football, Lee’s dedication and talent made him the embodiment of the term “student athlete.” Following the great (recent) tradition of PSU linebackers and knee surgery, Lee was on the sideline for his “first” senior year - but he served as a player/coach/motivator extraordinaire. His great play on the field has translated to his pro career, as he plays for the dallas cowboys.

Kareem McKenzie, OT (1997-2000)
McKenzie played on a line that helped create success for, arguably, PSU's less-than-best offensive offerings. Drafted by the Jets, McKenzie's greatest results came with the New York Giants; again, Kareem lifted, what you could call, a less-than-best offensive scheme, on his way to 2 Super Bowl rings. With free-agency looming, McKenzie announced this year that he plans to go back to school to earn an advanced degree in counseling - Yay! Penn State!

Evan Royster vs Bob White

Evan Royster, RB (2007-2011)
Evan Royster developed from a thrilling young runner into a utility back for Penn State. He showed bursts of talent early on, and became the cornerstone of the Lions' offense his junior and senior seasons. He tallied 3932 yards rushing, and 4502 all-purpose yards at PSU before being drafted by the Washington Redskins.

Bob White, DL (1982-1986)
Bob White has worked in and around PSU pretty much solid since graduation. He's earned a bachelors and masters degree from PSU; he's coached; he's worked with alumni; and, he currently heads up the Nittany Lion Club's fundraising division. And, apart from the fact that he was a great football player and on 2 championship teams, he is also the a party in one of the most hallowed stories/legends from PSU Football's history. The story goes that White's academics weren't quite up to PSU's standards (how wide the gap will vary, depending on the story teller); White himself has said that before coming to PSU, he didn't think he'd ever read a book, the whole way through. So Coach Paterno set up a tutoring schedule for Bob with Sue; it was a sort of multi-generational pre-cursor to the *book club*. White would read the assigned book(s) and write a report that he and Sue would then review and discuss. White attributes this mentoring to his success, and he is clearly a shining example of the Penn State Way.

Jack Ham vs Jordan Hill

Jack Ham, Linebacker (1967 - 1970)
Super Bowl Champion; Pro-Football Hall of Fame inductee; color commentator for the PSU Football. These are just a sample of the accomplishments of PSU linebacker, Jack Ham. Playing for 2 undefeated teams, Ham was at the very genesis of the Paterno Era. He played pro ball for the powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, where his hard-nosed attitude and pure talent made him one of the greatest to even line up on the defensive side of the ball. I'll admit, as a kid I was convinced that it was mandatory for Penn Staters to play for the Steelers, and that everyone on the Steelers was a Penn Stater.



Jordan Hill, DL (2009-2012)
Flanked by his teammates, Jordan Hill is one of the 2012 seniors that will never be forgotten. His loyalty to the school, coupled with his amazing play, was a key element to PSU's 2012 success. Due to injuries on the teams, Hill played as freshman, and contributed immediately. His future is bright, and he can rest assured that Penn Staters all over the world will be rooting for him, no matter what his endeavors.

Todd Blackledge vs Mother Dunn

Todd Blackledge, QB (1979 -1982)
The son of a coach, Blacklege led the Lions to their first championship following the 1982 season. As with most great teams, they showed glimpses early on, like reaching the #1 spot and thumping pitt in 1981, but the 1982 PSU squad was special - a grouping exceptionally talented, smart and resilient players, they bounced back from a painful loss at alabama to earn a spot in the Sugar Bowl, and Blackledge was their offensive leader. Now a respected commentator and sports journalist, he continues to engage and achieve at the highest levels.

Mother Dunn, LB, C (1903-1906)
William Thomas *Mother* Dunn, was Penn State's first superstar player, and is it any surprise that he was a linebacker? Dunn was chosen to be an All American in 1906 by Walter Camp; it was the first time that the honor have been given to a non-ivy league player. An iconic symbol for Penn State football, Mother Dunn was the original BCS Lion!



12/21/2012

Time, oh give me Time; First Round Voting extended for 2theLion BCS

So - we're extending the time for voting for the first round of the 2theLion BCS Championship through December 26th! 

Because*: 1. holidays are distracting; 2. I've been delinquent in posting "match-up" descriptions; and, 3. there are not enough votes for Duffy Cobbs!!!!

*mostly #2, but #3 a lot too.

So, make sure you vote:

Group A:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y6MPQRT 





and make sure you post your own endorsements, so YOU can win too!





Group C - Vote for all of these guys!!! - 2theLion BCS

Round One - Group C - impossible (almost) to choose...

Paul Posluszny vs Michael Zordich (the elder)

Paul Posluszny, LB (2003-2007)
Look at the picture. Is there any question why this old school linebacker is on the bracket? And what is more manly than perpetually having a bleeding wound on the bridge of your nose during football season? And let’s not forget that one of our contributors met him in person!



Michael Zordich (the elder), Hero (1982-1985)
Think back to the 80s…big hair, leg warmers, acid denim and Micheal Zordich Sr. Mick, Sr played the strong safety – aka the ‘hero’ – for the Penn State squad. The Nittany Lions were undefeated during regular season play his senior year and he went on to play a number of years in the NFL. Currently he’s the safety coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (don’t hold that against him…) and you may know at least 1 of his sons – Michael Zordich, Jr…

Bill Luther v Scott Radecic

Bill Luther, Quarterback (1947 - 1949)
Under the mentoring of Penn State patriarch, Bob Higgins, Luther was a passer and a runner for the Lions. He played on the storied 1947 Cotton Bowl team that fought back to tie SMU 13-13. Early evidence of PSU's penchant for chin dimples...




Scott Radecic, Linebacker (1980 - 1983)
An Academic All-American on a championship team, Radecic helped lead a defense of star athletes. Standing tall on the field, he and his teammates systematically dismantled the greatest that college football had to offer, defeating Marcus Allen in 1982 (Fiesta) and Hershel Walker in 1983 (Sugar). After football Radecic applied his Architectural Engineering degree to the sports business and tech industry, working for the stadium/arena/anywhere people congregate company, Populous.

Jimmy Cefalo v Courtney Brown

Jimmy Cefalo, WR (1974-1977)
“Mrs. Cefalo, this pasta is better than Mrs. Cappalletti’s.” Said Jimmy Cefalo, on January 26, 2012, recalling Joe Paterno's skill at "recruiting mothers." Cefalo, from Pitson, PA, played wide receiver for Penn State, averaging nearly 20 yards (18.9) per pass play and over 1,800 career all-purpose yards. Cefalo’s playing career continued with the Miami Dolphins, where he served as a consistent asset to their offense. After retiring, Cefalo moved into sports broadcasting on both television and radio... and wine.

Courtney Brown, DL (1996-1999)
1999 All-American and 1st pick over-all in the 2000 NFL draft, Courtney Brown was a dominant force on the defensive line. Brown recorded 33 sacks and 70 T-F-Ls during his time with the Lions. After a promising rookie year in Cleveland, the balance of Brown's career was marred by injuries; despite reduced playing time, he still got in the backfield more than most.

Curt Warner vs Gerald Cadogan

Curt Warner, RB (1979-1982)
Warner was a premier running back and student-athlete. He combined strength, speed and smarts to make the most of every play. A huge part of the 1982 Championship team, Warner ran for 1041 yards that season, finishing with a career total 3398 rushing yards. Always a team player, Warner might have won a few more awards had he gone to another school, with a different offensive scheme; as it is, he was drafted #3 overall in the 1983 NFL draft (behind Elway & Dickerson).




Gerald Cadogan, OT (2005-2008)
It is not rare to find intelligent, well-rounded young men playing football for Penn State, but Gerald Cadogan took this to a new level as a great student, athlete, musician and ambassador for the university. Sure he was a 2x Academic All-American, 3x Academic All-Big Ten and named to the All Big Ten offensive squad his senior year; but he was also awarded the Big Ten's Sportsmanship Award that season. A gifted musician, Cadogan plays multiple instruments and is an avid singer. He has released 2 gospel albums and sang the National Anthem for Barack Obama's visit to Penn State in 2008.



Matt McGloin vs Chris Bahr

Matt McGloin, QB (2008-2012)
A walk-on quarterback from Scranton, PA, Matt McGloin out moxied the scholarship players ahead of him to make his way, not only on the field, but into the starting line-up. During his senior season, McGloin metamorphasized into a poised and accurate passer, eclipsing any possible expectations that had been set - as well as a few records along the way. 

Chris Bahr, K, P (1973-1975)
A 3x All-American for soccer and 1x for football, Chris Bahr is one of Penn State's all-time great kickers. Bahr was drafted by the Philadelphia Atoms (part of the North American Soccer League) after leaving Penn State. But, following a very successful rookie season, Bahr entered the NFL draft and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976). He is probably best known for his long career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, during which he won 2 Super Bowl rings. Bahr's father is long-time PSU Men's soccer coach, Walter Bahr, and his brother, Matt, is another great PSU (and Super Bowl winning) kicker.



Shane Conlin vs AQ Shipley 

Shane Conlin, Linebacker (1982-1986)
Think back to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl…you may have visions of DJ Dozier’s game winning touchdown dancing in your head. But how and who set him up for this?  None other than Shane Conlan, who returned his second interception of the game 38 yards to the Miami 5 yard line setting up that game winning run. Without Shane we probably wouldn’t have won that game and the national championship.



AQ Shipley, Center (2005-2008)
I will personally never forget watching the 2009 Combine and hearing them talk about the short arms of AQ.  Up until then I never noticed this because he was an awesome center who delivered the ball consistently to his quarterback and then threw a couple blocks. He played on both the offensive and defensive lines during his time at Penn State and was a natural born leader of the team. Little known fact about AQ is that as part of the combine he took (as do all prospects) the Wonderlic Test (used to measure math, vocabulary, and reasoning and scored an impressive 40, while the average for prospects is 20 (average intelligence). 

Franco Harris v Al Golden

Franco Harris, RB (1968-1971)
Likely the most famous Penn Stater in Pennsylvania, Harris was a great college player. He was, however, often referred to as the blocking back for the (then) record-breaking Lydel Mitchell. Franco’s brilliance disapated any lingering shadow during his professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A vital part of many of their Super Bowl teams, Franco’s 1972 “Immaculate Reception” is still touted as the greatest play in the history of the game.

 


Al Golden, Tight End (1987-1991)
A 3 year letter winner, Golden was a leader among his teammates and served as captain his senior year; on the field he played a big part in one of Penn State’s biggest wins of his tenure, defeating (then) #1 Notre Dame in South Bend in 1990. After graduation he moved into coaching, spending time at UVA, BC and Penn State, before he returned to UVA to serve as their Defensive Coordinator. Golden got his first head coaching job at Temple, when he took over a program ravaged by academic and performance problems. His work at Temple brought the program back from the brink of closure into a bowl eligible team. In 2011 he took the head coach job at Miami.

Daryll Clark vs Keith Goganious

Darryl Clark, QB (2005 - 2009)
Darryl’s uniqueness spanned from his ability to relate with and learn from his elders, to his patient ambition, to his mobile classic quarterback mechanics. Waiting for his turn to be the first off the bus, Clark led his 2008 team to a Big Ten Championship and a ticket to the Rose Bowl. His enthusiasm for the sport, his team and his coach was infectious.

Keith Goganious, Linebacker (1987-1991)
Donning a pretty great number, Keith Goganious continued the storied tradition of the Penn State Linebacker during his time at Penn State. A three sport star at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, VA, Goganious was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1992 NFL draft and played in the pros for 5 years. He is now the Defensive Coordinator for Hampton University, fielding a consistently dominant FCS defensive squad.


12/20/2012

I'll have a Whiteout Offseason that's Certain; 2theLion BCS Prizes!!!

It's the time of year (when I watch football on the DVR) for giving and receiving - so, naturally, it's time of another contest!

There's still a few more days to vote in Round One (VOTE!)

We're (so slowly) posting our support for the players, and we'd like to hear what you have to say about your favorite Penn Staters! Just post an endorsement here in the comments, or tweet it for all to see, using the hashtag #2theLionBCS! Post as many comments/Tweets as many tweetles as you wish - each endorsement equals one entry into the pool!

So, what do you win? - we're giving away 4 (yes. 4!) "Whiteout" posters by SHDGFX (@spreadHGFX on Twitter)...


We'll be collecting entries throughout the BCS tournament and there are, of course, some rules:

- Only positive endorsements will count as entries - NO SMEAR CAMPAIGN!
- To participate via the blog, post your endorsement in the comments.
- To participate via Twitter, include the hashtag #2theLionBCS
- You may enter as many times as you like.
- Offensive comments will be deleted and will not be considered as entries in this contest.
- Offensive Tweets will be ignored and will not be considered as entries in this contest.
- We have to be able to contact you if you win, so either register with Blogger, or email your contact info to PSUgirl at 2thelion dot com.
- Winners will be determined by random selection; although multiple entries are permitted, only one prize will be awarded per participant.
- By posting a comment, you agree that we may reproduce any or all of the comment; additionally, you agree that we may post (and re-post) any part or all of your submission, including your name/username as a part of the contest announcement and/or promotions (this does not include any personal information such as addresses, emails and/or personal links).
- Prizes will only be shipped within the US (sorry America's Hat); and we are not responsible for any loss or damage during shipping/delivery.
- Decisions regarding eligibility, timing, shipping and WINNING are ours to make and are final.

12/19/2012

Just Keep Voting; The 2theLion BCS Championships - Round One!

Round One Voting continues.

For Group A: Vote Here!

And I have to ask, how is it that a mug like this has no votes?



For Group B: Vote Here!

with a little more campaigning for one of my favorites...

For Group C: Vote Here!

A Real Sports Bahr

For Group D: Vote Here!

More blatant endorsement.

12/18/2012

2theLion BCS Group B Endorsements

Have you been voting? Having some trouble making your picks? Maybe this will help you make some choices for our Group B match-ups. Remember to vote!

John Cappalletti v Todd Kulka

John Cappalletti, RB (1970 - 1973)
Perhaps the best known Penn State player of all time, John Cappelletti was a cornerstone of the undefeated 1973 football team and won the only Heisman Trophy in Penn State’s history. Apart from his football feats, Cappelletti’s off the field compassion and caring for his little brother, Joey, who was battling leukemia, grabbed the heart of America. His Heisman Trophy acceptance speech, during which he thanked and dedicated the award to Joey, was the inspiration for the film “Something for Joey.”

 


Todd Kulka, Linebacker (1991 - 1994)
A little less renown is, , Todd Kulka. Kulka followed a pretty natural formula of football legacy, State High grad & post-grad job with the team - He was named Coordinator of Football Academic Support Services.
 
Mike Reid v Kyle Brady

Mike Reid, DT (1966-1969)
Mike Reid was a standout on a team of stars and his play was the stuff of legends. My father used to tell stories of Reid’s dominance, and I think he sometimes must have borrowed some tales from Paul Bunyan and Hercules. Reid enjoyed great success in his football career, but his true calling was music. A composer and musician, Reid has collected as many awards in his music career as he did in football, writing 12 number one country hits and 7 musicals, winning a Grammy, and being named to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Kyle Brady, TE (1991 - 1994)
All great players are called “clutch” at some point in their career - but with Kyle Brady, it was a weekly occurrence. Brady’s size, smarts and strength (hands) made him a favorite of quarterback, Kerry Collins, and a habitual “stick mover” during the 1994 season. A consensus All-American in 1994, Brady was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round (9th) of the 1995 NFL draft. He enjoyed a long, and productive career in the NFL, retiring in 2008.

Jay Paterno v Bryan Scott

Jay Paterno, Quarterback (1987-1990), Assistant Coach
Flash back before November 2011 and I would not have been accused of being a fan of Jay.  I complained about his over coaching of quarterbacks and the nepotism of his having his job.  Then something changed.  He stood up for Penn State when others left us.  He spoke about the good that has been at our University when it wasn’t socially acceptable – let alone popular.  Do I think he was the greatest quarterback coach ever – nope.  Do I think he has spoken for us when we weren’t ready to – yes.  And for that he’s earned a spot on our bracket.

Bryan Scott, Linebacker, (1999 - 2002)
Bryan was a stand out defensive player for the Nittany Lions from 1999-2003 racking up 202 tackles and five interceptions.  While his feats on the field are impressive, he is also a talented musician, signing and playing the piano, drums, and saxophone.  In fact, he has founded his own foundation, Pick your Passion Foundation for the Arts, which funds field trips to music and art venues around Buffalo.  It is his charity work that has made him the 2012 Bills nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year.
 
Kenny Jackson v Rosie Grier

Kenny Jackson, WR (1980-1983), Assistant Coach
In full disclosure, Kenny Jackson was my first favorite, favorite football player. He was everything you wanted in a favorite player, talented, speedy and a winning smile. While his most remembered play was probably made during his sophomore season game against Dan Marino and the #1 pitt panthers, he was a pivotal part of the 1982 National Championship winning offense and named All-American in both 1982 and 1983. Kenny returned to the team to coach receivers from 1993 - 2000, where he guided the likes of Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicius.

Rosie Grier, DL (1951 - 1955)
Rosie Grier was a great football player who became a cultural icon. A 4 year starter for Coach Engle, Grier was also a standout athlete for the track team, winning All American honors for shot put in 1954 & 1955. Rosie’s talents extended beyond the playing field to the worlds of film, music, prayer and fiber arts. Also a political enthusiast, Rosie was a staunch supporter of Senator Robert F Kennedy’s 1968 bid for the Democratic nomination; and is notoriously known as the man who disabled Sirhan Sirhan by breaking his arm.



Michael Zordich (the younger) v Tom Bradley

Michael Zordich (the younger), FB (2008 - 2012)
The son of a Penn State great, Michael Zordich was recruited as linebacker out of the storied Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, OH. Michael, the younger, had some serious discipline lapses early on - and spent a great deal of time in the proverbial doghouse. Eventually switching to fullback, Zordich matured into a tenacious and yet ferocious aspect of the Lions’ offense. Far and beyond that, Zordich matured into a true leader of the Penn State team, as evidenced by how he rallied his fellow players in the wake of July 2012, and served as the unofficial spokesperson for the team, school and an entire fandom.

Tom Bradley, CB (1975-1978), Assistant Coach, Head Coach
Tom “Scrap” Bradley is the penultimate Penn Stater. A player, a coach, a fan for the team, his enthusiasm for Penn State was a hallmark of the team for over 30 years. Bradley joined the team as an undersized d-back that worked harder than anyone and “scrapped” on every play; he left Penn State known for his oversized loyalty, drive and heart.



Deon Butler v Brett Conway 

Deon Butler, WR, (2004-2008)
Deon Butler joined the team as a walk-on defensive back - but quickly moved to the offensive side of the ball for his freshman (eligibility) season, to join the corps of young receivers that reignited the Penn State team in 2005 and the program in general. Butler became a clutch receiver, prompting some (who will remain nameless) in the stands to continuously shout “throw the ball to Butler!!” He grew to be a key part of the offensive, on the field, in the end zone and in the locker room.

Brett Conway, K (1993 - 1996)
A 4 year kicker, Conway missed only one PAT his entire career (141 out of 142), and kicking 191 of them in a row; adding in his 45 field goals, he scored a total 276 points for the Lions. Interestingly, his one PAT miss came in 1994 - when he scored 62 of that impressive total of points - as much a testament to that amazing offense as is the fact that he only had 12 field goal attempts that season (made 10). Conway was picked by the Green Bay Packers in the 3rd round of the 1997 NFL draft (pretty darn respectable for a kicker), he would spend time with 6 more professional teams (including a season in the CFL) before retiring after 2005.



Dan Connor v. Lenny Moore

Dan Connor, Linebacker (2004 - 2007)
Connor was expected to seamlessly extend the long line of extraordinary linebackers - and he eventually did - after a couple off-field stumbles (Hello? Do you have Jay Paterno in a can?). Connor possessed a linebacker 6th sense - seeming to know where the play was going to develop before the offense even lined-up. A 2 time All-American, Connor did extend the tradition of PSU’s defensive dominance by winning the 2007 Bednarik Award (PSU’s 3rd in a row). Connor was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2008 NFL draft and currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys.

Lenny Moore, RB (1952 - 1955)
Lenny. Lenny. Moore. Moore. Moore! A true Penn State legend, Moore played halfback for the Lions. He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the first round of the 1956 NFL draft, going All-Pro and winning Rookie of the Year honors in his debut season. In 1975 he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



Ki-Jana Carter v. Mike Gasparato

Ki-Jana Carter, RB (1992-1994)
Ah, Ki-Jana, I’ve loved you since my days at Penn State.  I could watch you carry the ball all day.  You are still one of the top ten rushers at Penn State with 2,829 yards and as the co-MVP of the 1995 Rose Bowl you helped lead Penn State to yet another un-defeated season (yet we were robbed of the National Champion title…).  At the beginning of the 1996 NFL season I was filled with anticipation for your rookie season.  It was cut short after a knee injury in the preseason and though you came back and played a few years in the early 2000s I will always wonder what could have been…


Mike Gasparato, RB (2002 - 2004)
Cue the Eagles tune ‘Desperado’ and sing along with me…  “Gasparato, why don’t you come to your senses…break through those defenses and score some points…’  If you sat near me during the 2004 season you heard me sing that more than once.  And it is for Mike that I proudly wear number 32. 

2theLion BCS - Round One Group D

It's the final group of our Round One match-ups. There are some devastatingly difficult choices here - but we know you can do it! Voting, as for all Groups, is open through December 22nd.
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12/17/2012

2theLion BSC Round One Group C Voting!

The first round continues with voting for match-ups from the Nittany and Penn Regions - a lot of great pairings in this group!
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12/16/2012

2theLion BCS Group B Voting!!

Today's match-ups hail from the State and Lions Divisions!
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The Match-Ups - Round One - Group A

In case you're having trouble making your choices, here's a little more information for some of the Bestest, Cutest and Smartest Penn Staters ever! Add an endorsement for your favorite and you'll be entered to win a prize (more details to come!)
 
Michael Mauti v Eric Cole

Michael Mauti, Linebacker, 2008-2012
Michael Mauti came to Penn State as a legacy linebacker from Louisiana; he is leaving Penn State as nothing less than a legend. His brother, Patrick (WR 05-09) was already on the squad, and their father, Rich, lettered for the Lions in 1975 & 76. When he looks back on his PSU career, I hope that he is able to focus on the sheer brilliance of his play, character and influence - He has faced more than his share of adversity with injuries and major off-the-field distractions and come through it all as a leader for his teammates, fellow students, and Penn Staters as a whole.

Eric Cole, Offensive Line (1996-1999)
Someone, unfortunately has to go up against the Roger Federers, LA Lakers and Secretariats of history, and so is the case for Eric Cole. As an offensive lineman for PSU, Cole played at various positions on the line, starting as center (JR) and Guard (SR). He can be spotted commenting on the occasional blog post and continues to be a great Penn Stater.

John Urschel v Zack Mills

John Urschel, G (2009-2012)
John Urschel is possibly the smartest person to don the blue and white - having completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics, in just 3 years, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. On the field, he has been a major contributor to an O-line that has, for the last 2 seasons, improved in both run blocking, as well as being a pivotal to the development of PSU pass game.

Zack Mills, Quarterback (2001 - 2004)
Zack Mills enjoyed only one winning season (shut up) during his career, but boy were there some exciting games. Regardless of asterisks and italics, Mills led the Lions in some of the teams most memorable games, included the 40 - 7 trouncing of Nebraska and the amazing comeback win against Ohio State that secured Coach Joe Paterno’s 324th career win. Despite being plagued by injuries, Mills amassed numerous PSU passing records.

Jordan Norwood v Tony Pittman

Jordan Norwood, WR (2005 - 2008)
Jordan Norwood was/is one of the “babies” the fleet of freshmen who took the field for PSU in 2005. Their contribution to the team, and the program, was key Penn State’s success going forward. Norwood was quietly a cornerstone of the offense. He ability to get open and complete plays sustained many a drive.

Tony Pittman, CB (1990 - 1994)
Pittman is another player in the grand tradition of legacy players at Penn State. His father, Charlie, was an All-American running back on the undefeated PSU teams of 1968 & 1969. Tony played cornerback for the Lions, and helped lead the defense during a time when, uncharacteristically, PSU was known more for its offense. Pittman led the team in interceptions in 1993 and was a key contributor to the 1994 undefeated team. Tony was also a star in the classroom, earning Academic All American honors. A businessman, writer and Tweeter (@tonypittman), he is a testament to the Penn State Way.

Graham Zug v Navarro Bowman

OMZ Graham Zug, Wide Receiver (2006 - 2010)
Graham Zug joined the Lions as walk-on receiver, winning a scholarship just before his JR/SO season. Following in the shadow of the record setting receivers of the mid-aughts, Zug evolved into one of the most productive receivers in team history.

Navarro Bowman, Linebacker (2006 - 2009)
After a slightly shaky (or punchy-punch) start to his PSU career, Bowman settled into being one of the most productive and feared players on the PSU defense. He and has extended his talents to becoming one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL. Currently playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Bowman voted first team All-Pro in just his 2nd season.

  
Derrick Williams v Leo Wisniewski

Derrick Williams, Athlete, Wider Receiver, Special Teams (2005-2008) Derrick Williams (and his infectious half-smile) became part of the Penn State family as one of the first Lions to ever announce his college selection during a nationally-broadcast press conference. Williams had narrowed his choices, and Penn State, coming off losing seasons 4 of the past 5 years seemed like a long shot. But, when Williams made his choice “The University of... Penn State” (dragging out the drama, just a little bit longer), he re-ignited the hope of success that had been fading. He, along with his fellow classmates, and the returning players, led PSU to a near perfect season in 2005 (despite breaking his arm during the one loss to um). His defining play, for me, will always be the touchdown pass against Northwestern, when I yelled “he thinks he’s Kenny Jackson!”



Leo Winsiewski, DL (1979 - 1981)
Leo is the brother of Steve and the father of Stefen. A successful defensive lineman for the Lions, he extended his career into the NFL. Leo has also been a unique voice for fans and former players, most recently posting an article, summing up the 2012 season and what those who left may have missed. It was because of this reflection that Leo made our list.

Matt Rice v. Harry Wilson

Matthew Rice, DE (2003 - 2005)
Matt Rice was a standout on the Penn State line, and the team artist as well, having painted the 2005 PSU football poster. After Penn State, Rice spent time in the NFL and NFL Europe before, in 2007, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery successfully removed the benign tumor, and it has, quite wonderfully, enhanced and fused his two favorite things, art & sport. He has gone on to open his own art company, Mateo Blu, and has created many fantastic Penn State themed works of art. You can check out some of his work by following him on Twitter (@mateoblu).

Harry Wilson, Halfback (1921 - 1923) Wilson actually ended his football career as a cadet at Army, but that wasn’t before he was named an All-American and was a prolific scorer for the Nittany Lions. After football, Wilson entered the Army as a commissioned officer, where he earned numerous honors throughout his service in the Army Air Corps. WIlson was posthumously recognized for his college football accomplishments in 1973 when he as elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.


Kerry Collins v Mike Michalske

Kerry Collins, Quarterback, (1991 - 1994)
How does one sum up Kerry Collins and what he meant/means to Penn State? He has been one of the most notorious and written about Lions since even before he stepped onto campus. His early career was met with some set backs (you know, silly “volleyball”) and fans clamoring for him to get into the game; once planted into the offense, they were not disappointed, as he led one of the most productive and dazzling teams in PSU history. The 1994 team sailed, stunned and scrapped to score Paterno his 5th undefeated season as head coach (and 4th uncrowned); Collins was great, no doubt, pummeling many a proud program (and yes, by that I mean, tosu), but imo, his most impressive win was against MSU, when he & the team proved their substance, overcoming a substantial deficit as well as their own errors.

Mike Michalske, Fullback, Class of 1926
Mike Michalske is one of the 5 Penn Staters in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An All-American back at PSU, Michalske switched to Guard in the pros. He was named first team All-Pro 6 seasons.



Bill O’Brien v Blair Thomas

Bill O’Brien, Head Coach, 2012 - Current
Bill O’Brien or O’bie (is preferred nickname), was named Penn State head coach in January, 2012. Less than a year later he had already skippered the team through one of the most emotional, scrutinized and successful seasons in the school’s, and perhaps the sport’s, history. O’brien came to PSU via the New England Patriots, where he served as Offensive Coordinator. His future as a Penn State football coach is yet to be written, but he is certainly off to an interesting start.

Blair Thomas, RB, (1986 - 1989)
Before anyone ever heard of the “Lavar Leap” their was another Lion that was familiar with “the air up there.” Blair Thomas’ ability to dive over the line, with both height and distance, prompted the creation of the term “Blairborn.” A member of the 1986 Championship team, the freshman Thomas, as a back-up for PSU great, DJ Dozier, entertained PSU fans with his zigs & zags (and sheer speed), prompting some to opine that perhaps the Lions’ moniker should be changed to “Running Back U.” Thomas’ dominance continued throughout his career, earning the All-American honor in 1989, on his way to a career total 3,301 yards.

12/11/2012

2theLion BCS! Group A Voting.

Okay Friends - we are ready to start the Round One voting!!! Group A features match-ups from the PENN and NITTANY Regions. Voting for Group A will be open through December 22nd.



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11/27/2012

THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP LIVES HERE! and it's all Penn State!

TPTB may have exacted their craven paltriness upon the young men who make up the current Penn State Football team and pirated the accomplishments of many who played before them - but not today, not any more, because we're giving all back with our own...

BCS Championship!!!

We, modestly and with great solemnity, present to you the opportunity to help us pick the Bestest, Cutest, Smartest Penn State Football Players (and coaches & mascots, if you like), to ever wear the Blue and White (or Black and Pink if you're into nostalgic stuff).


How will we do this? In the most democratic and logical way known to humankind... a playoff. We will choose, with your help, 64 of the most BCS worthy PSUers to match up against one another until we crown the BCS Champion.

Thru Saturday, December 1st, we'll be taking nominations for those you deem worthy to don the moniker of Champion.


Just comment here, or on Facebook, or Tweet your nominations with the *hashtag* #2theLionBCS, with your favorite Penn Staters who are truly BCS caliber (okay, maybe that's all of them). Be bold, be fair, be confident in your choices - and nominate, as grown men (and ladies) do.

On December 2nd, while others fuss about airfare costs to San Antonio and Boise,  we'll reveal the nominees and the match-up brackets for the Tournament of Champions. 


For your efforts, we're combining the nomination process with a contest (& more prizes as the championships progresses)! Every person who makes a nomination, and sends us their contact information (by email, DM, or is otherwise easily contactable, through Twitter or Facebook), will be entered into a random drawing to win a hand-knit scarf from Carol Willie, who, along with her Happy Valley, Oregon family, has maintained a close connection with Penn State Football, through the Lift-for-Life program. Although already well-known within the charity, the Willie family was a reminder to us all just how BCS Penn State is when this video aired earlier this year...


We will be posting match-ups throughout the bowl season (what's that, a season for people who are too challenged to use plates?), with more opportunities to win!!!



Of course there are some rules...
- Nominations must be posted (tweeted/etc), and contact information received, by 11:59pm (23:59) on December 1, 2012.
- Winner will be chosen using computerized random number generator and will be announced on or around December 2, 2012
- There is no age limit on nominators, but contest participants will be limited to those who are 18 and older.
- Nominations are unlimited, but one contest entry per nominator.
- To participate via Facebook, post your nomination on our 2theLion page.
- To participate via the blog, post your nomination in the comments hereunder.
- To participate via Twitter, tweet your nomination with the hashtag #2theLionBCS.
- Offensive (to our totally subjective and delicate sensibilities) comments will be deleted and will not be considered as entries in this contest.
- We have to be able to contact you if you win, so either post on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@2theLion), register with Blogger, or email your contact info to PSUgirl at 2thelion dot com.
- By posting a nomination and entering the contest you agree that we may post (and re-post) any part or all of your submission, including your name/username as a part of the contest announcement and/or promotions (this does not include any personal information such as addresses, emails and/or personal links).
- FYI, 2theLioners are eligible to nominate (and will, freely) but are not, sadly, eligible to enter the contest (wah).
- Prizes (there's only one) will only be shipped within the US (please don't riot, again, Canada).
- Decisions regarding eligibility, timing, shipping and WINNING are ours to make and are final.

10/22/2012

As Seen on Twitter; Never Get into a Shouting Match with a Central Pennsylvanian.

as seen on Twitter....

"@CorySprankle Urban Meyer said a 'no huddle offense will quiet the crowd.' He has called us out and now he must pay."
So, Urban Meyer thinks the hurry-up offense can quell the ear-bleeding volume of the Penn State crowd?

Interesting statement Urbie - but I have to wonder why he would say such a thing...

Because, we can assume that he is smart enough to know that such a statement would be an incendiary catalyst assuring that the PSU faithful would be ready, which could mean that he wants us to be loud... so we should be quiet...

On the other hand, he is possibly also smart enough to know that we are smart enough to decipher his plot and act in a contrary manner, which would mean he wants us to be quiet... so we should be loud...

But he might also know that it is generally contrary to human nature to not cheer for one's champions, so clearly...


WE HAVE SPENT THE LAST YEAR BUILDING A TOLERANCE TO YOUR
AND ALL OTHER MIND GAMES
URBAN MEYER... 

 PREPARE FOR LOUDNESS. 

 Inconceivable.

All We Do Is Wine! PSU v tosu Tailgate!!!


Don't tell me to stop whining, or wining, or winning, for that matter...

Don't tell him his shirt is tucked in his belt; he's a buckeye.
It's tOSU week people!!! And while we have really nothing to whine about this outstanding team of ours, we will be "wining" this Saturday (and hopefully also winning) -

Join us for our We Will Stop No W(h)ine Before Its Time tailgate - featuring multiple wine samplings, expertly (ha!) paired with delicious fare, including (bnlt): barbie shrimp; strip steak; grilled chicken; baby (and regular sized) cheeses; spinach and sausage rolls; perogies & burnt kielbasa; rich chocolate brownies; and, much more.

Kick-off is at 5:30pm, so the lots will open at 8am. We're back in the Green Lot (West/Press Box side) - near the soccer field - email/message for details/directions. Hope to see you there!



Image: Wikipedia Commons PD 1923

9/19/2012

PENN STATE v Temple; Mastering the Art of Football Tailgating.

2012 marks the centennial anniversary of the birth of Julia Child - the original culinary rebel. Julia Child saw challenges as opportunities and road blocks as the chance for a new adventures. She translated and demystified the previously elusive French Cuisine for the American home cook with her seminal publication "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." She of course soon became a household name with her PBS cooking show, the first, and still likely the best, of its kind, "The French Chef." At an age when many of her contemporaries were retiring and taking it easy, she continued to develop and discover.

And that is why we are celebrating her work and spirit this week as we further our quest of "Mastering the Art of Football Tailgating."


We will be serving a variety of foods and beverages - some inspired by Julia Child and some directly from her published recipes. Expect to see, and enjoy: Roast Chicken; grilled beef; quiche; gougeres; onion soup; pesto palmiers; a variety of meats & cheeses; desserts, including Ms. Child's favorite "American Brownie;" and, so much more.

Penn State hosts the Owls of Temple this week. Kickoff is at 3:30pm - so the parking lots will open at 8am. For those of you who can't make it to the stadium, the game will air on ABC/ESPN.

Temple sports uniforms of Cherry and White (for which they will fight). But that's no problem, because we will all be donning our best navy garb for the stadium-wide Blue Out, supporting the victims of child abuse. It is also All University Day and PSU will be honoring the 1982 Championship Team during the game.

We park in the Green Parking lot (behind the West/Pressbox side of the stadium), and our spot is in the first row of grass parking (right next to the soccer field). We'll be flying our PSU flag and the flag of Quebec (blue field with white cross and fleur de lis). Message/email for additional directions/information.

All are welcome - feel free to stop by or stay the day. Contributions are appreciated but not required; if there is something that you just have to have - please either let us know, or bring it with you.

2 the Lion.

9/12/2012

Aside from the opinions of others; PENN STATE v NAVY, A Nautical Adventure.

Penn State hosts the midshipmen of Navy this weekend and we're hosting a nautical themed tailgate in honor of our Lions and those who serve.

The food preparation has taken a turn toward piratey and tropical, so expect to see some pineapples.

Gametime is 3:30pm (no joke!) so the lots will open at 8am - the RVers will be in the lots Thursday evening, so, no matter what time you show up they'll be there. Check out Diesel Tailgate's facebook page or contact us if you would like more information.

The midshipmen wear Navy (shocked face!) and gold - so it's a silver jewelry/accessories day.

It's also Military Appreciation Day at the Stadium - or as I'd like to call it "hug a soldier/sailor day."


 We Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

Update! Dark Clouds Over Happy Valley; Tailgater Monthly Responds.

Do they know of what they write?

ILovePSUtoo received this response from Tailgater Monthly's editor in chief, Lee Hurley...
I was not referring to tailgating at Penn State. I have no doubt that Penn State tailgating is still vibrant and meaningful. Nor was I inserting a dig at Penn State. I have always been a fan of Penn State. Still am. What I was doing though was acknowledging the elephant in the room by referring to the dark cloud that permeated most every discussion of college football this summer.  Sincerely, Lee

It seems to me that they absolutely did set Penn State Tailgating "aside."

You Wouldn't Like Her When She's Angry; Reaction to PSU Snub in Tailgating Magazine

Our own ILovePSUtoo took issue with the most recent issue of the online (and, apparently, print) publication, Tailgater Monthly. Not only did the editors leave PSU out of their list of the "Top 21" College Football Tailgate Schools (funny enough, I was annoyed that PSU wasn't #1, an emotion that built as I realized PSU wasn't even mentioned), but in their "editor's note" they started off their College Football edition to say "Penn State aside..." 

So ILovePSUtoo decided to write to them about it...

To the editors of Tailgater Monthly:

I'd like to comment on your recent "Editor's Note" in your September 2012 issue where you state, "Penn State aside, it's going to be an exciting fall."





Are you implying that Penn State tailgating will fail to be exciting? Are you implying that Penn State football will fail to be exciting? Well, dear editors, you are wrong.

As a Penn State grad who recently put together a tailgate for 16 friends, old and new, at the away PSU game at University of Virginia, I say no. It was still exciting.

It was exciting to wake up early and pack my two young kids, football players themselves, all my gear and drive up into the foggy mountains of Western Virginia, and drive over the mountain, breaking through the fog to see the sun and the town emerge. It was exciting to see one of the most beautiful college campuses and stadiums in the country, in the early morning sun. It was exciting to tailgate with friends from all over the East coast, and meet new UVA alumni friends to boot.

It was exciting to walk with thousands of others to Scott Stadium, feeling the combined energy of the crowd, talking to UVA fans along the way. It was exciting to walk into the stadium and see thousands of fans - from PSU and UVA - cheering their school on with pride and wild abandon. It was exciting to see my team rush onto the field and watch how UVA fans were classy enough not to boo.

It was exciting to meet a PSU alum - sitting right next to me - who works at the same company I do and experience one of those exciting "what a small world" moments.It was exciting to be part of a great college football game, even though the outcome was not what I hoped it would be for this Penn State team. It was exciting to walk back to the tailgate, hearing words of support from complete strangers -- UVA grads. It was exciting to sprint through a sudden downpour, laughing with my kids to the car. It was exciting spend a few more minutes with good friends, and get a few extra hugs from my friend I've known for 21 years ---and a friend I'd known for just a day before heading home.

We all know that win or lose, tailgating and supporting our college teams will always be exciting. Because with football, you never know what's next. You never know what might happen, and there's always hope that it will be something great.

Same with tailgating.

Tailgating is spending time with family, friends and making new friendships along the way. And you never know what will happen next. You just hope it will be great.

So before you pass judgment on a university fan base and assume that they won't be excited, or that the fall won't be exciting for them, or try to insert your own personal little dig at a school, think again.

Sincerely, 
I have to applaud her restraint.

8/30/2012

The Blues Tailgate! PSU v Ohio

"The Blues" is the nickname for Chelsea's soccer club - and, well, yes, it does serve well as a play on words this week/season/life.

HOWEVER, that's not going to stop us from having a great time on Saturday as we welcome the 2012 football (and tailgate) season.


The ohio bobcats have worn green and white since 1896 - before then they wore... blue and white. And, out of respect for and in honor of the victims of child abuse, the ohio players will be wearing a blue ribbon on their helmets for this game.

Ohio has a solid team. They won the East Division MAC(tion) last season and finished in the top 45 nationally of all major categories: Passing (43rd); Rushing (24th); Points for (41st); and, Points against (32nd). To compare to PSU, they scored 35 points agains Temple. The retooled PSU offense is going to have to be sharp as is the Lions' strong but (arguably) shallow defense. While most of the coverage (in the world) has been on PSU for this game, many pundits consider this to be the toughest (on the field) home opener PSU has faced since 2005 (South Florida). So our Lions are going to need every ounce of support we can muster!

Game time is at 12pm - so the lots open at 7am. We're parking in Green this season.* It's the lot on the west (pressbox) side of the stadium - between Curtin (BJC) and University Park Ave (IM fields; Devil's Doorknob). We're in the middle of the lot - closer to Park Ave.

We'll be flying the blue flag of Chelsea and a PSU flag - so keep an eye out for the Lions.




The current accuweather forecast is high of 84 (with high humidity; surprised?) and partly sunny. The chance for rain has been reduced to a slight possibility for a thunderstorm - but it's always smart to be prepared. High temperatures and humidity increase the chances for heat related illness - so make sure you dress appropriately and stay hydrated. Sunscreen is a must, even if it's hazy.

Have a great time on Saturday, and, if you're able, stop by to say hello (or to stay awhile). 

*As this is the first game of the season, there is always the possibility of there being issues with the parking/location, etc. If we run into any issues, we will contact those of you that we can and will post to the facebook page and twitter.

8/20/2012

It's TIME! Penn State Opens the 2012 Football Season vs the Ohio University Bobcats

It's finally here; it's finally time to strike up the band, because... It's Penn State Football time! (if you're near Tailgate Maven when she reads this, you might see she's dancing)

The first game of the season is less than 2 weeks away - PSU hosts the Bobcats of Ohio for their season/home opener.

Completely ignoring the off-season for the moment, we are looking forward to the start of football and yet another superb tailgating season.

For the Ohio tailgate we are drawing on some of the energy and spirit of the other football: soccer. Specifically, the British Soccer Club, Chelsea. "The Blues" defied all logic and overcome extreme obstacles to win the Champions Cup this past Spring - as the ultimate underdogs - and we find that somewhat relatable.

So with a nod to jolly old, and quite a bit of biting of the thumb, we will be serving a variety of traditional British flavors as adapted for the carpark (and with a dash of hooligan, here and there).

Bits and Bobs: curried chicken salad wraps; pork&turkey cottage pie; pepper steak pies; shandy cupcakes; an assortment of HP & beer infused bites; celery; and, much more.

The bobcats wear green - but we'll still make best efforts to recycle.

All are welcome. As always, contributions of food and drink are appreciated, but not necessary. We do ask that if there is something that you really want/need, that you either let us know so we can make sure to have it, or you bring it with you.

This year (unless noted otherwise) we will be parking in the Green (West) parking lot, behind the pressbox. Our spot is in the corner, near the soccer pitch (ha!). Let us know if you plan to join us; you can contact us via email, phone, dm, facebook or twitter, and contact us for specific directions, as necessary.

We'll be flying the flag of ChelseaFC, and keeping the blue flag flying high!






8/02/2012

The Going Rate; An Addendum.

So, the word on the feed is that Ryan Nowicki, who's status had gone from "going" to "gone" to "on the fence" is transferring to Illinois. This is the first PSU player to announce that he will be transferring to a Big Ten school, and will, assumedly, suit up against the Nittany Lions, at some point.

For your reference Illinois' graduation rates are:
GSR - 76
FGR - 59

The Going Rate; A Look at the PSU transfer schools.


I’m trying to stay positive about the whole situation at Penn State - and I’ve been trying to piece together my thoughts on what has happened in the past 8 months - especially the last few weeks.
For a community that has, over the years, had to deal with very little “big news,” the onslaught of exposure and commentary and (literally) life-altering events has been, at the very least, overwhelming.
But, instead of wading through all the stuff we’ve not commented on (on which we have not commented) - I’m going to start at the end (ie the most recent events) because I feel compelled to write about one aspect of this deluge to which you can actually look at numbers and “facts.”
As a result of the sanctions imposed on the Penn State Football team, the transfer rules enforced by the NCAA have been reduced to, nearly, nothing. Typically when an athlete transfers from one FBS (div 1A) school to another, he must enroll in the new school and sit out one academic year of competition. This rule has been eliminated with respect to PSU players for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Any school can contact the currently enrolled players to discuss their program(s) and extend offers; each player is permitted to visit (on the inviting school’s dime) up to 5 schools. Which seems a little crazy as PSU practice starts next week, but the NCAA has “ruled” that transfer recruitment of PSU players is allowed until PSU fall semester begins (August 27th). In addition, the NCAA has lifted scholarship requirements for any school accepting the transfer of a Penn State player. What that means is even if a team is at their scholarship limit (85), they can add the PSU scholarship player to their roster without any penalty. The rules regarding rosters are a little different for teams that are currently on probation/have scholarship reductions, but that is the only limitation. The NCAA has also announced that they will accelerate the paperwork process for any transferring player, thus allowing the immediate transfer of any players wishing to do so.
Basically, the NCAA has created a “free agency” situation with regard to the availability of PSU players. They have, little by little, removed any barriers that might have been placed in front of those students wishing to transfer and those programs wishing to talk to them about it.
The list (to date) of the athletes choosing to transfer is as follows:
Tim Buckley - NC State
Kevin Haplea - FSU
Silas Redd - USC 
Rob Bolden - LSU
Kahiri Fortt - Cal
Jamil Pollard (2012 recruit) - Rutgers
Anthony Fera - Texas
In the Mill:
Justin Brown - Oklahoma 
Akeel Lynch - Iowa
In his presentation of the sanctions levied against PSU football, the president of the NCAA stated that Penn State needs to change its “win at all costs” culture - and focus on academics. 
But I ask you - exactly how does Penn State focus MORE on academics?
Penn State athletes have posted standard setting graduation rates over the years. The PSU football team’s graduation rate is annually among the highest recorded for not only public (related) institutions, but all FBS programs. 

The value of an education or major or class choices is, again, a more subjective matter and I realize that graduation rates alone do not prove that one program emphasizes academics more than others (really?); however, they are a good indicator as to why the players themselves might choose a school and what they are doing while they attend. 
Through my experiences I have come to the realization that very little of what is reported or written down is “fact.” Nearly everything is subject to some element of opinion or influence. Even numbers can be skewed depending on the researchers’ objective - and the same can be said for graduation rates. 
There are 2 different graduation rates that are published for college athletes: the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR); and, the Graduation Success Rate (GSR). Both rates calculate graduation percentages, every school year, for each school, based on the number of student-athletes that complete their degree within 6 years, but they differ in how they account for athlete mobility. 
The Department of Education calculates the FGR based on the players who matriculated to the subject school 6 years prior to the “graduation year.” So, basically, if 10 freshmen join the Boise State field hockey team, and 6 years later, 8 of them have earned degrees (from BSU), then the field hockey team has an FGR of 80%. The NCAA Critics complain that the FGR does not take into account students that transfer from (to another accredited program/school) or into the school, but still graduate within the 6 years.
The NCAA developed the GSR to factor in the transfers of students to and from the schools. Without getting too much into the “numerator and denominator” bit, basically, the GSR calculates graduation rates by removing athletes that transfer away from a school (while in good academic standing) and adds in athletes that transfer into a school and go on to graduate.
It’s a tricky game and my purpose here isn’t go get into a discussion about math - but, before we get to the “transfer numbers” let me say 2 things: (1) over-signing; and, (2) JUCO. 
Okay. So, now turning specifically to football, let’s look at GSR and FGR (2010-2011) for the schools that have accepted transferring PSU students and see if the NCAA has afforded them a chance to escape the “football culture” that Penn State permeates. I’ve added PSU’s numbers as a typographical biting of the thumb comparison. And I’ve added Pitt and U Washington just for fun.
*data via NCAA.org

Kudos to Rugters and Iowa on their high GSR, but the stark contrast between the majority of the “accepting” schools and PSU is laughable, if not cryable. There is no credence to any argument that Penn State failed to focus on academics. Perhaps these PSU transfers can assist their new schools’ GSR in years to come.
Let me be very clear, I do not wish ill will on any of the players/students that are transferring, they have been through an unimaginable upheaval this past year (8 months) and the fact that any of the kids are staying is quite remarkable.
But what I do wish ill will on is the facade of academic sensibility spewed about by Dr. Mark Emmert in an attempt to legitimize the NCAA overstepping its bounds.
And as I’ve said elsewhere - these relaxed (and ever changing) transfer rules are not to help the players, or even to twist the knife a little more in PSU’s back, it’s to reduce the cause of action that the players might have against the NCAA; it’s all business.