Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guest Post: Chris's Penn State Musings

* We are in the process of developing a sports/tailgating blog.  This is Chris's first take.  I'll let you know as things progress.*

So I have been guilted into writing a blog post about football for a while. Those who know me know that I absolutely love college football. I am the type that can sit down and watch 12 hours of college football on a Saturday in the fall and not get bored at all. I can even sit down and watch a game that is being re-played on ESPN Classic or the Big Ten Network. I'm not sure what it is about the sport, but it captivates me.
As August rapidly approaches, my excitement for the season grows, similar to that of a young child waiting for Santa to come at Christmas. I grew up in a house that always had college football on on Saturday afternoons in the fall. Though, I didn't really get into college football until I was accepted to Penn State during my senior year of high school. In fact, when I was younger I hated college football, I found it very boring. But then again I was the type of kid that had to be doing something at all times, whether it was playing some sport or working on a project. My senior year of high school I started to watch as many Penn State games as I could, which was hard since I worked Saturdays at the local grocery store.
I will never forget my first Penn State football game. Penn State opened up the season with a game against Southern Mississippi, which really was a glorified scrimmage. I had just started my freshmen year of college and it was Labor Day weekend. My cousin Bill drove from New York to Schuylkill Haven, PA to the Penn State Schuylkill campus where I was at to pick me up. We drove out to State College on the Friday afternoon before the game and crashed in the dorm room of a friend of mine from high school. As we neared campus the first thing I saw was the lights of Beaver Stadium and my skin began to tingle, I was beyond excited. That evening Bill and I walked around campus and he gave me the tour of campus and town with highlights of his old college apartment, the Wendy's where there was an all you can eat buffet back in the day, and much more. I had never visited University Park because I didn't apply to main campus and I was in awe of the campuses size and beauty. As night fell the college kids came out and the streets filled with an alcohol induced energy that just grew as the night went on. We woke up early the next morning and headed out to the stadium for the game. If you have never been to a game at Penn State before, seeing the sea of Blue and White clad shirts surrounding stadium is a site that is just mind blowing. The tailgating lots go on for miles and the tailgate parties come in all shapes and sizes. I remember passing one tailgate party that day that had a full pig roasting, obviously we take our tailgating seriously.
As game time approached we headed into the stadium to watch the pre-game show. The Penn State Blue Band is amazing and they really get the crowd rocking. As the band lined up for the show, the student section started the stadium cheer, which we are known for. "WE ARE" from the student section followed by "PENN STATE" from the rest of the stadium. As the cheer erupted throughout the stadium my skin began to crawl with excitement. The band went on to play the typical show and the next thing I saw was Joe Paterno leading the team out of the tunnel. It was this moment and this moment alone that hooked me on college football. Penn State went on to win easily, 34-6. They finished the season 9-3 with a win over Kentucky in the Outback Bowl, setting up a national championship run in 1999 (I will save this for another post sometime).  
I went to all but one home game while in college and have gone back each season since for at least one game. I have been part of some of the most memorable moments in Penn State history from Joe Paterno's 324 victory to pass Paul "Bear" Bryant and beome the winningest college football coach, Larry Johnson's 2000+ rushing season, the LaVar Leep, and much more. This summer I became a season ticket holder, a dream of mine since graduating college. I probably won't make it to a game until the game against scUM this year because of studying, but you better believe I will watch every game at home!

It isn't just Penn State football that fuels me, it is everything about the Penn State community. I am very proud of my school and all of it's accomplishments. Those that try to bash my school around me know that I will fire back in retaliation like a soldier defending his country. I will get into more thoughts on why I love my school someday, but for now this should appease those that are wanting me to start a blog. I truly have no idea how often I will post, we will see how it goes.


1 comment:

  1. I have absolutely no interest in football, but I have to say, that cat wears the jersey quite well. And good luck with your blog - it seems like something that could be popular!