for our love and loyalty

I stood in a field on Saturday, in the pouring rain, on a much colder September 2nd than is usual, and it was bliss.

I own an absurd amount of clothing for weather — and if you know me at all, I’m not an outdoorsy type.

But I am the oldest daughter of a Penn State alum, an alum myself, the sister of an alum, the first child of a still married couple who met in State College in the early days of 1973.

I don’t know what life is without Penn State football.

Until about seven years ago, our seats were EFU, row 64, seats 25, 27, 29 and 31.  To be precise, when I was very little, it was just section EF, before they built out the suites and the upper deck of restrooms and concession stands.  As an awkward child I remember the questionable bathrooms at the top of the stadium, rickety and insecure.

I have grown up attending PSU games.  Tom Bill was a quarterback who played for the Pop Warner group (ahem, the Flemington Falcons) my brother and I belonged to in middle school (me, as a gangly adolescent with a triangle hair cut, braces and bright red and white wire-rimmed glasses).  In 1994 we watched the best offense I’ve ever seen on the field at Penn State, led by Kerry Collins and Ki-Jana Carter.  I tell anyone foolish enough to listen about my deep and unwavering love for Kerry Collins, and the magic of Freddie Scott’s one-handed catch against Iowa.  I had student tickets in college for one season — long enough to know that Penn State for students is a completely different event than it had been for me my entire life.  I drove to Florida in a rented van with people I no longer have any contact with to watch the 2006 Orange Bowl go into triple overtime.  During the first game I took my husband to, we sat at night, in freezing and unrelenting rain, completely inappropriately dressed, until the bitter end.  Lou had raised me that way.

Seven years ago my dad decided to make moves.  He started counting his accumulated points with the Nittany Lion Club. He made a deal to buy my uncle’s tickets (so they were in his name).  And when our greatest PSU football tragedy occurred in 2011, we moved our seats down over forty rows and closer to mid-field. Lou Simone was not turning his back on his alma mater.  We did it over a few seasons, because of the rules of ticket ownership, and my dad determinedly made sure there were butts in our seats every game.  He got himself a reserved parking spot (something that came in mighty handily when I could barely walk in 2014).

My husband — not a PSU alum — has been indoctrinated.  My brother moved to Texas, only getting home for one game a season.  But not John and I.  We go as often as we can.  We stand in cold, in rain, in snow, in 30mph winds.

This season began with a rout of Akron, and spending the day with John’s fraternity brothers drinking beer (or wine for me!) as the parking lots emptied.  On Friday, after my brother’s arrival Thursday night, we will all head up again for PSU v. Pitt.  We have made the crazy decision to get the tailgate catered (pulled pork and chicken sides and macaroni and cheese … oh my!).  And no matter what happens, whether it rains, is cold, has gale force winds — we will all wear blue and white.  We will sing the Alma Mater.  I will cry (I always do).  And we will enjoy our 2017 family PSU game.

oh sandy

The shelves at the grocery store last night ~ I stopped in for a couple things, and didn’t realize how serious the storm was.  Yowza.

Today, the man and I are both working from home, which has been nice ~if you can use ‘nice’ during a category 1 hurricane.  Lucy was very excited at first, but halfway through the morning, she realized that we were both more interested in our computers, and she retreated to her bed to sulk.

I cannot imagine how my mother must have felt when I pulled stuff like that.  As a doggy mummy, I felt wretched.  Finally I set up on the couch, so she could snuggle up beside me.

We just heard that one of the tall ships ~ the Bounty, off the coast of North Carolina ~ has gone down. The crew was evacuated due to Sandy, and 14 are safe, while 2 are missing.  The more we addictively we watch the weather channel, the more worrying it becomes.   I’m dreading when the power finally goes out ~ it’s been predicted to be out for long periods of time.  Which makes me very anxious.

Luckily, so far all the immediate family members are okay, which makes me feel better.

On a lighter note, we had a great tailgate at PSU this weekend, despite the very disappointing loss to Ohio State.  My little bro has a Halloween addiction, so he had pumpkins and was dressed in an amazing costume ~ we also had candy and Halloween cupcake cookies (seriously ~ ah.may.zing) plus incredible pulled pork, butcher sausages and multiple other munchies.

We had additional seats for this game, so the man and I got to watch from the west side of the stadium (a rarity for me ~ we’ve been in EF/ EFU my whole life!).

My daddy, me and Richie Tenenbaum, er, my little brother.

The man and I at half time.  It was a White Out, and we were a little tired (we certainly look it!).  We managed to rally for the second half (it didn’t help PSU) and we were there to sing the Alma Mater post-game.  Bill O’Brien is a cool, classy coach.

My brother’s pumpkins … sadly, we had to leave them behind.  But they were pretty cool.  And he carved them all free-hand, which was uber impressive.  He’s a talented guy, my little bro.

 

We Are (Always) Penn State

It’s been nearly a year since everything about being a Penn Stater seemed to change.  This weekend marks our (my family and friends) first big tailgate of the season and we have spent this week preparing and emailing furiously amongst our group laying the plans for an it to be epic.

I mean, when you combine the Ohio State game with Halloween, there is only one logical conclusion ~ amazingly fun time.  Obviously!

It feels familiar and good to be heading to State College amped up for a football game.  And despite everything that has come since November 2011, I can say with certainty that not much has changed about being a Penn Stater.  We’re still incredibly proud of our university, fiercely supportive of our players, and always ready to stand up and be heard.
We Are.

Always.

Penn State.

***

Love ya Lions.

we are (still) penn state

The man and I have had quite a weekend ~ and we haven’t even gotten to sleep in!  Since today has been pretty non-stop (it’s amazing how the home to-do list can grow exponentially as the holidays approach!), I just wanted to check in and share the following ….

I am proud to be a Penn Stater.  I think my school has rallied and shown amazing strength in the face of heinous evil and betrayal.

I felt as though being in State College this weekend for the game was very healing.  Seeing my friends, and being amongst alum, fans and students helped me feel the pulse of the Penn State community.  And it made me proud.

Tears will be inevitable as this horrific scene continues to unfold.

One hundred thousand voices are a powerful thing.

We are (still) Penn State. PSiloveU.

Thou didst mold me, Dear Old State

Just so you know, I made Applesauce Jumble cookies and another round of Beef & Broccoli with Angie on Saturday.  But … Saturday was before.  And even though the recipe card is propped up in front of my computer, every time I sit down, I feel compelled to talk about something else ~ something more important than Applesauce Jumbles(*they are rather delicious though*).  I promise to share soon.  On Monday, the man and I experimented with jerky recipes, and started a few batches of antelope jerky that are currently marinating in our fridge.  I also put together one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in awhile (courtesy of Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangolini and roasted Butternut Squash).  So please don’t think my preoccupation with Penn State is because I haven’t been cooking.

It’s more because my whole life, I loved something ~ and in the past few days, that love and blind belief are being questioned in ways that I find both heartbreaking, and utterly uncomfortable.

On Tuesday, as ridiculous as it sounds, I spent the afternoon (following the NY Times report of JoePa’s imminent retirement) on the verge of tears.  I obsessively scoured the web, Facebook and Twitter for as much information as possible.  I spent far too much time on the phone with a fellow Penn Stater lamenting how a school we bled blue & white for could betray us so utterly. And when the day finally ended, and I emerged into the unseasonably warm November air, and everyone bustled by me on their way home from work, and the traffic buzzed, and the lights twinkled, I gave into tears.  The man was waiting for me, and he pulled me against him with one arm, kissing my forehead.

“I’m sorry, Angel,” He said into my hair.  I sniffled in response, and looked up at him with teary, glassy eyes.  We began our walk to the car, and while he talked about work, I found my mind circling back to Joe Pa, to Penn State ~ to what it all meant to me, and why I was finding it all so difficult to cope.

The man didn’t go to Penn State, and while I am sure he has deep love and loyalty to his school, I know that trying to explain to anyone other than a Penn Stater the depth of my devastation was next to impossible.  So when he said to me, “Babe, this doesn’t change Penn State.  It doesn’t change what it means to you, or what it’s been to you,” my first thought was that he really.didn’t.get.it. I didn’t respond.

We drove home, intermittently talking about the scandal, what we were going to make for WeHangsDay dinner, his work, my work, and tailgating for the Nebraska game on Saturday.  Despite being tired (you know the kind of tired I mean … the, I feel like I’m totally emotionally drained and cannot think of anything other than sleep right now kind of tired) we shlepped over to the gym, where I suffered through an abs circuit and three miles at a 10-min-mile pace.  I’m pretty sure I checked the counter every 15 seconds, hoping that I would miraculously cover three miles in about ten minutes.  So not the case.

The running helped, though.  The tension that had taken up intense residence between my shoulder blades, up through my neck and across my skull had eased.  My brain had finally, after fighting tooth and nail to remain in denial, wrapped itself around the sad, true facts of the case.  And I realized, as I emerged freshly scrubbed and cleaned and clad in uber comfy PSU sweats, that maybe the man understood it better than I gave him credit for.

We. Are Penn State.  All of us ~ students, alumni, family members, the community of State College.  We are all Penn State.  And while horrible things occurred outside of the public’s knowledge, and those things are heinous and completely unforgivable, the institution of Penn State is what I believe in, and that institution -although it’s hard to see it most of the time- is more than Joe Paterno.

Yesterday, I sat on the floor of my living room, and silently listened as the Board of Trustees announced that effective immediately, Graham Spanier would no longer be President of the University, and Joe Paterno would no longer serve as Head Football Coach.  Never, not once in my life, have I ever fathomed that the end would be like this.  I knew it wouldn’t end well (as we all know, things usually don’t)~ but this is so far beyond anything anyone could imagine.  The Board of Trustees did the only thing they could to help restore faith in what the University has always claimed to be.  We may not like it, but we have to accept it.

My life has been defined by Penn State.  My parents met there.  As we moved intermittently throughout my youth, Penn State and football games remained a constant.  Every fall, in sun, rain, sleet, wind or snow, we drove to Penn State to cheer on our team.  The uniforms remained unified~ without names across the back; the helmets simple ~ no stickers documenting achievement. All players equal, all players united, all players proudly wearing blue and white.  Our coach remained constant and stoic ~ perpetuating an athletic legacy while financing the advancement of education at a University I will always believe he believed in.  When I applied to college for fall ’98 matriculation, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  And I did; Penn State was home to me for six years ~ longer than I had lived anywhere prior to that.  While I was there, I learned that Penn State is so much more than just football.  I hope, in the following months, others begin to see that, too.

As I contemplate this, and addictively check all news outlets for any shred of new information, my heart remains heavy, but I know that Penn State will recover.  Penn State held us to higher standards; Joe Paterno held us to higher standards.  It’s only fair that he be held to the same higher standards he set for all of us.  I’d like to believe that he knows this, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

the reality of the situation

Last night, I watched three quarters (give or take) of a hugely important Steeler’s divisional game.  We lost, and that was disappointing.  But even more disappointing is the constant reminder of the fallibility of the human race.  That might sound odd.  So let me rewind a bit.

The Steelers are in the North Division of the AFC (in case this sounds like a foreign language, the NFL consists of the AFC and the NFC, each of which contain sixteen teams, broken down into four divisions of four teams; the most recent reorganization of all the teams occurred in 2002 when the Houston Texans joined the NFL).  The AFC North has had a myriad of teams and multiple names, but the Steelers and Browns have been part of the division (minus the three years that the Browns were ‘deactivated’ following then-owner Art Modell’s decision to move the franchise to Baltimore in 1996 and forming the Baltimore Ravens) since the beginning.  Since the most recent realignment in 2002, the AFC North consists of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens, the Cleveland Browns (back in 1999 as an expansion team) and the Cincinnati Bengals.

From the perspective of a Steelers fan (as I am sure it varies depending on which team one supports), prior to the Brown’s move to Baltimore in 1996, the Steelers’ biggest rival was Cleveland.  Following the controversial move of the franchise, Baltimore has become Steeler’s fans’ most hated opponent.  Watching the season opener this year, and the Raven’s blatant steam-rolling of my team, made last night’s game even more intense.  Especially following such a tough game last week (and one in which the Steelers emerged triumphant following years of Tom Brady coming into their house and shutting them down).

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I have a pretty deep passion for my team ~ possibly bordering on irrational at times.  I love the Steeler’s organization, and the way in which the Rooney’s choose to run their NFL team.  I believe that being a Steeler says something about a player’s humanity, and when a player’s conduct, or personal mores and/or values are not in line with that of the organization, most of the time that player is traded or released.  (Most recent case in point: Santonio Holmes’ trade in the offseason to the NY Jets following being named the MVP of Superbowl XLIII in the Steeler’s win over the Arizona Cardinals.  His crimes?  Apparently misconduct involving marijuana possession and charges of assault).  Also occurring in the offseason of 2009?  Ben Roethlisberger’s major infraction involving an allegedly underaged girl in a bar and heavy words, like sexual assault and rape.  But we’ll get back to that.

Bottom line, I am a true, bleeding black and gold Steeler’s fan.  As silly as it sounds, even when life is a little rough around the edges, or falling completely apart (as mine has in the past), the Steelers are there on Sundays, and it’s a very simple game.  Over 60 minutes, either they score more points than their opponent, or they don’t.  To me, football isn’t all about stats, individual players, fantasy leagues, and all the other mumbo jumbo that is inevitably a part of the NFL culture.  It’s about Sundays, and whether or not the Steelers score more points than whoever they face on the field.

I hate it when they don’t.  It physically feels disappointing, as though my heart has sunk  in my chest from the weight of the loss.  It’s infinitely more disappointing losing to the Ravens for a second time in a season.  I have a deep dislike for the men who wear purple and hail from Baltimore.  But with that dislike there is respect, as there must be for any opponent who is constantly a challenge, who constantly elevates and motivates their rival to produce their best effort.

Last night, in a fit of heated frustration, I decided to voice my opinion about the Ravens on Facebook.  Following last week’s dominant win, it was difficult watching the Steelers struggle to move the ball on the ground and complete passes.  Additionally (as is always the case) I felt that there were some questionable calls on the field, and some downright objectionable ball placements (I especially felt this way watching the Patriots Giants game- which aired before the Steelers took to the field for SNF).

So to preface my subsequent comments, let me just say.  1.  I believe (and it is my opinion) that the NFL tends to regulate their players and organizations, and establish rules and levy fines and hold members to a certain standard better than some of the other major sports organizations.  2.  I love the Steelers, and despite being utterly disappointed at times (much more than I was at their loss yesterday) I will always love them, unless they somehow manage to become everything about the NFL that I dislike.  I don’t believe that will ever be the case.  I will defend them even if I don’t always agree with the action taken.  3.  When I think about football, and the teams and players involved, it’s rarely on a personal level.  It’s normally all about what happens between endzones on a field once a week. When things make national news, it’s unavoidable.  But in general, what players do on their own time doesn’t catch my fancy.  I like when they’re suited up in black and gold, and fighting for 10 yards at at time.  Life isn’t black and white, but games are.  At the end a winner and a loser emerge.  And it’s solely about what happened on the grass for 60 minutes.

Before I begin though, there is another side to the story.

If my mind was heavy with thoughts of professionals in the NFL getting a pass for doing reprehensible things, nothing can describe how I felt as I hit my stride on the treadmill yesterday morning only to find myself reading about Jerry Sandusky’s many, erm, indiscretions (not even close to the kind of powerful word that should be used here) that spanned years ~ years!!! ~ and have been under investigation for the past three.   In my mind, there are no explanations that can wash away the shame he has brought to a University that I have loved practically since birth (or at least since when I understood what love and team loyalty was) and am proud to call my alma mater. All of it is so new and fresh and continues to compound in its level of horrific-ness as each new piece unfolds.  My initial reaction?  I’m utterly devastated, but even moreso, I’m furious that someone could tarnish a University that prides itself on its morals and standards because somehow their need to indulge in whatever it is they indulged in somehow trumped the history and integrity of Penn State and the love and belief that thousands of students and alma mater have in it.   I have held my head high for years because I believed in what Penn State stood for, and I believed in what Joe Paterno upheld in our football program ~ that university is first and foremost a place to learn, both academically and socially; that Penn State teaches everyone as equally as possible, to both know information, and to be the best version of oneself that one can be.  I took great pride in Penn State’s reputation, and in JoePa.

I feel, as I watch this train wreck unfold across every media source imaginable, so utterly let down by something I loved so deeply.  In an even worse redux of Ben’s allegations two years ago, I wonder if what I believed in ever existed at all.  There is nothing more heart-breaking than that.

So how does a person reconcile all these things?  Ben Roethlisberger, a alleged rapist.  Ray Lewis, an alleged murderer.  Jerry Sandusky, trumping them both, an alleged child molester.

Ben Roethlisberger, two-time Super Bowl winning QB and team leader.  Ray Lewis, Super Bowl MVP and the heart and soul of the Raven’s organization.  Jerry Sandusky, defensive coordinator for one of the best and most respected collegiate athletic programs.

What does it mean when organizations that make a point of outlining and upholding standards handle situations like this in what can only be thought of (especially in the case of Penn State) as questionable?  Where are the lines?  Can some be crossed and others not?  How did the Steelers, the Rooneys and the coaching staff, led by Mike Tomlin, decide that Ben’s situations (in Reno and Georgia) could be forgiven, but Holmes’ could not? How did eight boys over fifteen years allegedly get molested and no one in the Penn State organization be aware of it?  Isn’t it ironic (I had to look this up last night) that Lewis struck a deal to testify against his co-defendants, both of whom were later aquitted ~ and that the suit he was wearing the night of the alleged murder was never found?

How do we, as fans, go back to watching and enjoying football, when there -at times- feels to be an undercurrent of the miscarriage of justice?  So, Ben is absolved of his sins, he ‘finds’ God, gets married and all is forgiven?  Ray Lewis becomes a pillar of goodness in the Raven’s organization and it’s all good?  Plaxico Burress shot himself and did time.  He didn’t injure someone else.  He didn’t violate someone or take their life.  He shot himself.  And he did time.  How do you reconcile all these things and find the common thread that unifies all the decisions made and the verdicts given? As I mentioned before, it’s heart-breaking.

So, whether anyone agrees with me or not, I choose to love my teams when they are just that ~ teams, on the field, August through (hopefully) January every year, physically fighting it out yard by yard.

I don’t have a good explanation for what Ben did, how he handled it, or why the organization I love, the Pittsburgh Steelers, chose the path they did.  I don’t want to think about Ray Lewis other than twice a year when we face him on the field, and where I give him respect for who he is as a football player.  In regards to Penn State, it’s so much more personal and on such an otherworldly level right now (after all, I’ve had nearly two years, and a season and a half of football to reconcile with Ben) that in general, I’m just speechless.  I’m speechless at the allegations levied against Sandusky, and I’m speechless that something so utterly terrible will forever change my school.  In general, the fallibility of the human race, and the grand stage of football that presents it in regards to the above men, make me sad.

As a regular person, who goes to work every Monday through Friday, I want to believe in something greater than myself ~ I want to be part of something greater than myself. I want to believe that the organizations and people that I put my faith and love into are infallible, and will never let me down.  But humanity is fallible.  And with that comes the painful heartache of having to come to terms with the reality of situations, such as rape allegations, murder allegations and sexual molestation.  To me, it doesn’t feel fair.  I feel now, processing the Sandusky situation, much as I felt in 2009 when Ben made the news repeatedly for his incredibly questionable behavior.  Embarrassed, let down, misled.

Also, as I come to the end of this rant, I find that I don’t know how to finish what I’ve been rambling about.  So I’ll say this (again).  I love the Steelers.  I couldn’t imagine being a fan of any other NFL team.  I love Penn State.  I am proud to call it my alma mater, and I am proud of the tenets of, in my opinion, one of the best public collegiate institutions.  Neither the Steelers organization nor the Pennsylvania State University, despite my deepest wishes, are infallible.  And while that is disappointing, I still love them both.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t find things such as the above troubling.  It only means that I love them, damages and all.

what i did for love

When I met my man ~ nearly four years ago ~ there was something about him that I just couldn’t shake.  We met each other under (in retrospect) quite interesting circumstances, but when I saw him, and shook his hand, I had this really uncanny feeling that we’d met before.

I was wrong.

This was not the first time.  It also wasn’t the last.  That I was wrong, that is.

Making our relationship work over the years is both fun and exciting, and an exercise in compromise.  I’ve learned how to shoot a gun (only once ~ I’m from suburbia, after all!), and he’s watched an entire season of “Dancing with the Stars,” because Hines Ward was competing, and I had to watch every week.

On Friday, I compromised a little more, and learned to make beef & broccoli.  I know this probably sounds amazing to most people ~ authentic Asian cuisine, yum!  But I have never liked Chinese food ~ never. ever. ~ and the man loves it, and for the first two years of dating, he used to tell people that he gave up eating Chinese food for me.  (“Well,” he’d say -with a smile and a sly look in my direction- mid-conversation about favorite restaurants, “I haven’t had Chinese food in two years.” And everyone would exclaim in horror, and we’d have to have the ‘Gwyn doesn’t eat Chinese food’ conversation … for the millionth time).

One of my great friends ~ Angie of the amazing brownies and chocolate chip cookies ~ also happens to cook the best beef & broccoli I’ve ever had (yes, I know my experience is limited, but this stuff is ridic!).  Last Friday, she came over and instructed me in the fine art of making her masterpiece (her non-baking masterpiece that is!).

And because I’m such a genius, I didn’t write it down.  I figured I’d just type the recipe from memory that evening, but instead, I hit the road to get to my parents house, so that on Saturday morning, my dad & I could drive up to State College for the PSU v. Iowa game.  (Sidenote: I’m not gonna get overly enthusiastic about PSU’s win for fear of jinxing something, but it was an adrenaline-filled game, and I screamed and jumped up and down, and chanted “We Are!” and sang the Alma Mater full volume … and my vocal chords hurt until this morning! … and had a fab time hanging out with my dad and maintaining our PSU tradition.  As I grew up going to games, journeying to Happy Valley in rain, sleet, snow and sun and then followed in my father’s footsteps and attended the great Pennsylvania State University, I can’t imagine having any loyalty to any other team ~ I’ve bled blue & white since birth).

Since I didn’t manage to put fingers to keyboard all weekend to discuss Penn State or the Steelers (oh thank you Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisburger, Hines Ward, Antonio Brown, and my new Steeler crush, Isaac Redman, for getting it done! Shout out to Daniel Sepulveda and Mundy for an awesome trick play, and to the entire Offensive Line who looked solid!!!!), I wanted to have a good post tonight.  Unfortunately, I dropped the ball.  I have the rough outline but have to review with Angie before I put it up ~ or, heaven forbid, someone could try to make beef & broccoli and it could be terrible ~ possibly utterly horrendous ~ because I forgot a step.  Ugh.  The pressure! 😉

Currently, there is a peach cobbler bubbling away in the oven (finally!) ~ another effort made for love.  Obviously, I’m missing my man.

So if your significant other is next to you, lean over and smack a wet one on them.  If the man was here, I would, too!

for the glory of old state

 

The Penn State Alma Mater

by Fred Lewis Pattee

For the glory of old State,
For her founders strong and great,
For the future that we wait,
Raise the song, raise the song.

Sing our love and loyalty,
Sing our hopes that, bright and free,
Rest, O Mother dear, with thee,
All with thee, all with thee.

(Softly)

When we stood at childhood’s gate,
Shapeless in the hands of fate,
Thou didst mold us, dear old State,
Dear old State, dear old State.

(Louder)

May no act of ours bring shame
To one heart that loves thy name,
May our lives but swell thy fame,
Dear old State, dear old State.

 

The first semester of my first year of college, University President Graham Spanier launched a multi-million dollar fund-raising campaign, and during the launching ceremony, the Musical Theatre students performed.  I’ve known the words to our alma mater ever since.

Fight on State!

(Official Fight Song of Penn State)
Fight on State, Fight on State
Strike your gait and win.
Victory we predict for thee,
We’re ever true to you, dear old White and Blue.
Onward State, Onward State,
Roar, Lions, Roar!
We’ll hit that line, roll up the score
Fight on the victory evermore,
Fight on, on, on, on, on,
Fight on, Penn State!

 

The fight song was my favorite as a kid.  I wasn’t all that interested in football in my youth ~ my dad and brother were much more involved in what was going on on the field during the game … I was all about the Blue Band performing pre-game and during half time (such a little musical theatre geek was I!).

I grew up with the tradition of journeying to State College on Saturdays in the fall ~ we did it every year, regardless of where we lived.  Sometimes it was hot.  Sometimes it was cold.  Sometimes it rained.  It was always fun ~ it remains so to this day.  It’s changed … obviously I care a lot more about the football than I used to (in 1994 a quarterback wearing #12 piqued my interest in the game ~ he led PSU to an undefeated season and a national title ~ and I’ve totally loved him ever since, whether he wore #12 on the Panthers, or #5 on the Giants, Raiders, Titans and Colts … he’s the only non-Steeler I completely adore).  As we got older, my brother and I learned the fine art of tailgating from the best (check it out ~ Sports Illustrated ran a competition about the best tailgaters in the country …. the Buffalo Bills won for the NFL, and PSU won for college … in a head to head, we took it hands down).  And now, it’s about seeing all those people who lived through the glory days, and revisiting it (albeit with better food, beer, and sleeping accommodations!).

Here’s to the first big game of the year ~ burgers, beer, friends, football and fall.

WE ARE!!!!

PENN STATE.