Penn State football has been, is and hopefully always will be about team performance vs individual glory. Yes, it takes great individuals to make a great team --- but they only become a great team when each person puts aside their selfishness and plays their role in building another championship season. There is a reason why there are no names on the backs of our jerseys, so anyone that comes to our school to play on our football team should know what to expect. However, yesterday's news of Mr. Bolden leaving for what he believes are greener pastures is another example of someone who has clearly not bought into that program.
Is that an indictment of the program itself or of the individuals who are leaving it?
I believe in our program and its approach. I believe it builds young men into great persons -- not just great football players. Becoming a great person means realizing there are times when you need to sacrifice in order to achieve greatness - and sometimes the hardest thing to sacrifice is our pride. When everyone around you is saying "you're getting screwed" or "you are so much better than so and so" it gets very difficult to not listen. It gets very difficult to not get bitter and start thinking about how important you are ---- but that is where the real learning should begin. Bitter, self-important people do not make great leaders, so if that is how Mr. Newsome and Mr. Bolden were feeling then the team will be better off without them.
We replace them with guys who are hopefully banding together and ready to look each other in the eye and say "I am going to give everything I have to this team" and when they all do that then we are going to win.
We replace them with guys who were hopefully already back in the weight room or looking at film of Alabama saying, "In less than 9 months these guys are coming into OUR house and I am not going to let my team down on that day"
We replace them with guys who hopefully realize what it means to be a part of this school and this tradition. Guys who understand that their individual glory will come and will be even more important because it came from the glory that shined on the team as a whole.
Only 243 days until the 2011 season starts.
Let's hope we have a core group of guys getting ready right now.