>> Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ah, football. Toddler has caught the bug big time. He loves going to the game and asks about it all the time. He talks a lot about his "Lion on his cheek" too. Unfortunately, he came down with a cough, and DH attended the game in the cool mist while I watched wistfully from the hotel room and Toddler coughed on me.

And to top it off, Penn State was playing a top 25 team: Eastern Illinois. (Now, I didn't say in which division they were ranked, did I?) Of course ... I couldn't actually watch the game on TV because it was broadcast on ESPN Classic, and the hotel room doesn't get that channel. The good news is that all games are available on line. The bad news is that if you are on an internet connection that does not subscribe, you can't watch the game for free. Guess which kind of internet connection the hotel had.....

Now, if I were home, apparently I COULD have watched the game for free. Of course. For starters, we get ESPN Classic. Plus, it seems our internet connection was a participating company. Of course.

There does seem to be a one-time-pay online service that will get all the games I want forever (so it claims). I'm deeply, deeply suspicious, because I can't find the cost of this "one time payment". Needless to say, I didn't take the opportunity on Saturday. I just watched the clouds blow over State College, PA and listened to Toddler giggle and cheer over recorded DVDs of "Bunnytown" and the occasional "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on our portable player, and I cleaned up the milk he spilled on the carpet while trying to hear ESPN over the singing antics of those Bunnies.

I consoled myself by sharing a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips with Toddler and keeping tabs on my friends actually at the game via Facebook. I tried listening to the local sports cast on the radio, live from Beaver Stadium with student announcers ... but I couldn't hear the announcers over the crowd noise. Good job, crowd. Bad job, radio announcers. Finally, thanks to a wonderful website of a frustrated Penn Sate fan, I located a list of radio websites that would stream the game to me, and I clicked into one. It's a good thing I had directions, because nothing on the web site said they were actually playing the Penn State game, but they were. Whew! I tuned in just in time to hear PSU's first touchdown on its first possession of the game. Nice.

I spent the rest of the game trying not to stare at the pretty psychedelic lights moving around on Windows Media Player in case I got hypnotized. It kept me from the Mikes Hard Lemonade in the fridge, too, because I thought that might be too potent a combination in case I accidentally looked at those lights while playing on the computer. Whew!

Moving away from Penn State, let's give some awards.

I can't decide which award to give to Desmond Howard. He's managed to qualify both for the, "Never Ending Nostalgia" award and the "What About Me?" award. Once again, Desmond Howard took great care to remind his TV viewing audience about his past glory again this Saturday. He was even heard to say, "Now, the year when I won the Heisman ..." and he proceeded to give a bit of a blow by blow of his achievements during 2 straight games.

Umm, Desmond ... you won the Heisman 17 years ago, and now you are a football talking head. Some of the current college football players weren't even born when you won the trophy. I know. The truth hurts. You could have been an aging star in the NFL still, but you aren't. Please, please try to transition a little more gracefully.

On the exact other end of the spectrum, we have the, "I'm Just a Guy" award, which goes to Lee Corso. Every week or so (give or take), Lee makes a statement like, "This game will be closer than the experts think."

Lee, I've always wanted to ask this ... who are the experts if not you and Herbie? I mean, you do have votes in the football rankings ... right?

And as for the Gameday Final group, I have to ask ... are you guys seriously in love with Tim Teabo? I wasn't sure if I was listening to a Florida game wrap up or a love sonnet. Bastardizing scripture? Comments about hugging and wardrobe? Was this Gameday Final or a Lifetime reality TV show? I wasn't sure for a few moments there. I've never seen these guys so effusive for one guy. Where was the obligatory critic? I mean, Teabo is a great humanitarian and a pretty fabulous quarterback, but I seriously doubt he is, as quoted on ESPN, "One of the greatest players in the history of the game."

Well, I'm signing off, sad for missing the game, confused about who the "experts" are in college football, more than a little bit pleased that my good old boys in Blue and White pounded some serious football on Saturday, and obviously suffering from "Teabo Fatigue" as coined by one sportscaster (who claimed we were wrong to be so).

See you next week.


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