So I've been trying to keep this under wraps to surprise you all ninja-style, but there have been a few leaks here and there. If it seems like I've been preoccupied and not posting as much the past few months, it's because I've been busy as the editor of We Are Penn State, a 2009 Penn State football preview magazine being published by Maple Street Press that is due to hit book shelves this July. I've handed in the last of the material for print, and I see Maple Street is offering pre-orders, so I figure this is as good a time as any to make the big announcement.
We Are Penn State is 128 pages of Penn State coverage with information, stories, stats, and pictures without a single advertisement. In putting this together I assembled an amazing list of authors to cover Penn State football from every angle. Here's a list of what you'll read after the jump.
- Yours truly breaks down each position on the offense and defense telling you who we lost from last year and who the major players are going to be this season.
- BSD's own Kevin HD breaks down each team on the schedule to let you know what Penn State is up against in the Big Ten.
- RUTS recaps the 2008 Big Ten Championship season in his usual wit.
- Recruiting analyst Sean Fitz from BlueWhite Illustrated breaks down the incoming freshmen letting you know who the future stars will be and which kids have a chance to make an immediate impact in 2009.
- Eric Thomas from Read Between the Lions tells you which five underclassmen are poised to have a breakout season.
- RUTS pens another article detailing the fall of the Big Ten and gives you the formula the conference members must follow in order to regain the respect we once had.
- Former Penn State football beat writer for the Daily Collegian, Travis Johnson, gives you an amazing look at the personal struggles Daryll Clark overcame to become "The Man" in charge of the Spread HD.
- BlueWhite Illustrated contributor Andy Elder profiles Mike Mauti and Nate Stupar and their battle for the open linebacker spot.
- Your humble blogger breaks down Penn State's recruiting efforts this year telling you which positions are major needs and detailing some of the kids who have already given their verbal commitment.
- Travis Johnson chips in with another riveting article about the other senior captain, Sean Lee, and the difficulty he had in watching the 2008 season from the sidelines.
- Jeff McLane, the former PSU beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and former author of the blog Lion Eyes, recaps the amazing year Joe Paterno had last season essentially going from a vote of no confidence to a three year contract extension while dealing with an injured hip.
- Then, Josh Lagenbacher, another former PSU football beat writer for the Daily Collegian, takes you on the inside to give you an up close look at Larry Johnson Sr. and what he means to the people around him.
Sound interesting yet? Well that's not all. In fact there is a lot more. The magazine concludes with a special section devoted to the history and tradition of Penn State football. Whether you have been a fan for five years or fifty years, this section is going to bring back memories and fill you with Penn State pride. You will want to cherish this magazine as a keepsake just for this section alone.
- Kevin talks about the storied rivalry with Pitt and Penn State's ongoing search for a new rival to fill the void that was created when Penn State joined the Big Ten.
- I personally give you a detailed lineage of the greatest Penn State linebackers of all time.
- Long time BSD reader jesse tells you how Penn State dug itself out of the hole it was in a few years ago and rebuilt the program in a perenial Big Ten contender.
- Famed Penn State football historian Lou Prato relives the Syracuse rivalry and tells you why this short series with the Orange brings back so many memories to so many Penn State fans. Lou has authored several books devoted to Penn State football including The Penn State Football Encyclopedia and What It Means To Be A Nittany Lion.
- Former Penn State cornerback Tony Pittman relives the amazing 1994 season and tells you what it takes for a team to go undefeated. Tony operates the Penn State Football Podcast along with former teammate Phil Collins and is also the co-author of Playing for Paterno along with his father, Charlie.
- And finally, all of you and your comments are featured inside the back cover in a touching piece about What It Means To Be A Penn Stater.
You can probably tell I'm pretty excited about this project. It was a lot of work, but like this blog it is a labor of love for my fellow Nittany Lion fans. There is truly something for every Penn State fan in this magazine. This is the first year it's coming out, so I'm hoping it sells well and they ask me to do it again next year.
The publication will be sold regionally in the PA area, so look for it on bookshelves July 21st. If you live outside of the PA area or you just want to get your copy a few weeks early, please go preorder your copy now.