Wednesday Again ... Football Again

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last Saturday was Homecoming in Happy Valley, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers (that still makes me giggle) tried some "trickeration" in State College. They sent a storm and blew out power to the Paterno house the night prior to the game.

Even that didn't help, as the Lions held the Gophers to a goose egg in a stadium still very, very full despite the rain. Yes, DH, Toddler and I were all there, and we had a great time. Beaver Stadium (or "Be-leaver Stadium," as I like to call it) is the only place where Toddler is allowed to scream to his heart's content without admonishment from Mom or Dad. Sometimes he just yells for fun, but most of the time he follows our lead and says cute things like, "YAY PENN STATE!" He has even learned some of the words of the fight song and the ode to the mascot. That's my boy! His favorite line is "Roar, Lions, Roar!" Even better, he is all PSU even when he is telling you he doesn't want to participate. Lots of time when we say, "WE ARE!" He yells, "PENN STATE!" But every once in a while when we say, "WE ARE!" He responds, "No. No 'We Are Penn State!'"

Speaking of "trickeration," I have been wishing this week that I were a real sportscaster, with access to all the film of the weekend's games to play over and over. If so, I'd watch USC blow coverage on that fake punt over, and over, and over, and I'd play it back for you right here, because I can't figure out how this actually happened in real life. I mean, let's think about this. All of the Notre Dame guys line up for the punt except one guy who lines up waaaayyyy out at the sideline. Ya think it might have been a good idea to spare a guy to line up in front of him just in case? No ... don't bother. It's perfectly normal for guys to just wander around the field and line up in the wide receiver position on a punt. That is, if it's a fake punt. (Seriously, again, no one saw this? How do you not see him standing out there??)

And speaking of figuring things out, I think the Big 10 has got me just about befoodled and befuddled. (I'm not even going to talk about the AP top 25 -- that's a can of worms too big for a short blog.) The only team undefeated in Big 10 conference play is Iowa. Wow, who saw that coming? Ohio State has an overall record with two losses, and they are still number 2 in the conference. And who is number three? Why Michigan State, of course, with an overall record of 4-3 and a loss to Central Michigan on the books. I'm so confused. On the other hand, at least I'm feeling a little bit better about PSU's loss to Iowa at this point.

As far as this week's awards, I only have one. This is the, "Huh? Award." In anticipation of the Oklahoma-Texas game, Mark Cuban was heard to say, "Usually for this game, the weather is horrible in Dallas." You know, unless it is is the middle of August, or during a hurricane, I don't think anyone would call the weather in Dallas, "horrible." After all Mr. Cuban used to live in Pennsylvania, speaking of horrible weather. Hmm. Pittsburgh ... Dallas ... Pittsburgh ... Dallas, which one has the worse weather? I said weather. Nothing else.

On the whole, though, I have to say the most dramatic part about the whole weekend was trying to figure out how to get there. All the ugly weather forced Penn State to close all the grass parking lots, destroying much intended debauchery and grilling of bratwurst. In true PSU form, this was solved by efficient machinery in motion. This decision could have been a disaster, but somehow Penn State managed to quickly and painlessly bus in (for free, no less) a stadium full of people. I have absolutely no facts to back this up, but I am guessing that the number of people coming to the game on the impromptu bus system was at least 40-50 thousand. Yes, 40,000-50,000 people, all riding local school busses from distant parking lots and hotels to Be-leaver Stadium like the believers they are. Picture yourself, your children, your parents, and your elderly grandparents all wearing warm weather gear and draped in rain ponchos, sitting on a public school bus with everyone else's children, parents and grandparents, waiting to go sit 3.5 hours in the freezing rain, and all being HAPPY about it. Without the beer.

Only in Happy Valley, I think.

Don't worry. Football season is about half over, and then those of you nasty football haters will get this space back on Wednesdays.


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